Gaming Mouse Pad Tech Review

Hunting for the Best Gaming Mouse Pad – Competitive Gaming in 2018

After years of gaming, trial, error and heaps of frustration I think I’ve landed the best gaming mouse pad I’ve ever had. It’s taken a while to come across this little beauty and I’m convinced it has everything. Increased Control? Check. Comfortable? Check. Provides God-like Reactions? Check. Sickening K/D ratio? Check.

I’m using the Razer Deathadder on each of the mouse pads below

What’s the Best Gaming Mouse Pad?

“Mouse Pad?!” I hear you scoff. Yes that’s right, I need a good one.

You would have thought a mouse pad is one of the lowest priority’s when it comes to gaming equipment. But you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s sounds slightly trivial but having a mouse pad that can work with you rather than a table or a book is going to make your gaming experience that much greater.

I’ve clocked up around 50 hours of gaming on each mouse pad. I played from Conan Exiles, PuBG, StarCraft, CS:GO, Rust and Overwatch. These games require a steady smooth surface to be competitive and importantly, survive.

In total, 5 mouse pads were up for the test and after reading reviews on them all I decided to make my own mind up.

The Contenders

The below 5 mouse pads are of the best on the market and the ones I’ve used in this review. At the bottom of this article you will find a list of further mouse pads that are available, if for what ever reason you’re still unconvinced.

The below mouse pads are in the order of which I had them tested.

SteelSeries QcK+

best gaming mouse pad

As one of the most highly rated mouse pads on the market, it would be unforgiving if it wasn’t included on my list. SteelSeries’ mouse pads, mice, headsets.. Well, just about everything are made to a competitive standard.

This specific mouse pad is of a medium-large size with a rubber base (so it doesn’t slide around if you get overly excited.) I chose this mouse pad because you notice a lot of professional Counter Strike players using it. I know, I know, sponsorship right? But they still use it – Which means it has to be good.

The QcK+ is 400 x 450 x 2 mm and considered an average to large pad. I chose to test the 2 mm thickness version over the 6 mm version because I already knew that extra height creates an uneven surface at the edges and can cause distraction.

Overall it felt good. Excellent size, almost perfect size in fact. I’m glad I went with the 2 mm over the 6 mm because depending on how you rest your hand, it could become uncomfortable. My only concern is the cloth surface. While the surface texture is good, smooth and flat, cloth surface mouse pads can’t stand up to the test of time. No matter how well you incorporate cloth over the pad it will eventually wear away and get dirty.

Razer Goliathus

best gaming mouse pad

Big mouse pads are a must and I’m in favour of having too much space than too little. This is why out of the Razer Goliathus Series of mouse pads I’ve gone with the extended one.

This one is a beast and I was shocked when it came. It also forced me to actually clear my desk space for space.

What I liked from the get go is the fact that both your keyboard and mouse are using the same surface. It makes things seem very uniform and solid – but this could just by my OCD kicking in.

With a little more use, I found that the area remaining for your mouse is not big enough for me, personally, and I wish the pad was slightly wider. The Dimensions are 294 x 920 x 3 mm so its a whole 106 mm shorter than the SteelSeries Qck+. I found the limitations more noticeable playing games like StarCraft as you’re forced to use just as much vertical movement as horizontal.

For FPS games, where movement is largely horizontal, I didn’t have any issues and enjoyed the texture and feel of the Goliathus. Even with its cloth surface.

Logitech G440

best gaming mouse pad

I was extremely excited to try this one out. The first two mouse pads were great but from a personal preference I don’t like a cloth surface. The G440 is a solid pad with a polymer surface which felt like my mouse was gliding on air.

With this new feeling of complete control I felt like I had access to seriously high levels of precision that just isn’t possible with a cloth surface. It felt like if I blew on my mouse, it would glide across the pad like an ice skater.

Because the surface of the G440 is so clean, flat and smooth you can be extremely accurate with high DPI settings that wouldn’t be possible on anything else.

The G440 is a smaller pad but considering you’re using much higher DPI, you won’t need the extra space.

I can’t fault the G440 because it’s just a piece of plastic that you’re using as a surface – But it does the job so well.

Razer Firefly

best gaming mouse pad

The Firefly is one of the few mouse pads that have an obvious textured surface and some people will automatically favour this over others. Coming off the back of the G440 I knew I was into a whole new world.

The Firefly is a great piece of kit, as with all Razer products. The textured surface took some getting used to but It would having spent the last week playing on the G440. But, like everything else in this list, it’s faultless.

I would consider the Firefly a premium purchase because it’s more than twice as expensive of other mouse pads. Other than the LED lighting around the base of the pad, I can’t really work out why, other than branding.

Corsair Gaming MM300 Extended

I do like my big pads and have gone with another, and final, extended one. This time I chose the MM300 Corsair which is another top rated mouse pad and I was eager to see how it compared with the Razer Goliathus. The first thing I noticed was the texture of the cloth surface was much softer and finer than the Goliathus. This isn’t neither a bad or a good thing but to individual taste. I quite like this about the MM300 it felt like I had better control and range of motion.

The MM300 is of a very similar size to the Goliathus but with this I felt my range of motion was constricted on some games.

The Verdict

I started this experiment with some bias opinions towards mouse pads. I always thought I needed a hard plastic/metal/polymer surface that was big enough for both my mouse and keyboard. I’m surprised to say that I’ve been converted.

The Winner: SteelSeries QcK+

The SteelSeries QcK+ was just too good to stick my nose up at. It’s completely the opposite to what I used to use but now its found a home on my battle station for good. Not only did it not feel any different to my usual plastic surfaces but I felt that I had more control on this pad than the G440.

I’m glad I did this experiment because had I not, I wouldn’t be this comfortable at shooting people in the face as I am now. Below are the key points of why I’m now using this mouse pad for the foreseeable future.

Comfortable Surface Texture

The cloth is not heavily textured and allows you to have a really clean movement. There doesn’t feel like there is any friction under the mouse and because of this I feel a lot more responsive and competitive.

A Shape for all types of Gaming

The shape is perfect because its more square than rectangle unlike other mouse pads. What this means is it gives you just as much vertical movement space as it does horizontal. FPS games tend to rely heavily on horizontal movement, which is why most mouse pads are rectangular in size. Strategy and MOBA require the full range, equally. Because I like to play a whole range of games, this suits me much better than the standard rectangular shape.

Not too big, but not too small

Not only does it have shape on its side but also size. Large mouse pads like the Goliathus can almost take up too much room on the desk. If you have a small desk things like these can be over kill. Considering the QcK+ is 400 x 450 x 2 mm it means you still have a sizable surface area but it’s not overkill on the smaller desks.

Inexpensive

It’s cheap! It won’t set you back much, honest!

In Summary

I’ve tested several different mouse pads and ones that I’m not overall comfortable with. I wanted to be converted to something new and to something that would improve my overall gaming experience. Fortunately this experiment allowed me to find a mouse pad that does just this.

What are you looking for in a Gaming Mouse Pad?

Mouse pads are as customisable as the DPI on your mouse. The fact that there are so many available it shows that mouse pads are a deeply individual choice. There are three main areas where mouse pads differ; Surface Texture, Size and Height/Depth

Surface Texture

Having a good base to your trigger hand is monumentally important to your overall performance. Using a desk or a piece of paper is just not as good as having a gaming mouse pad where the surface is smooth, clean and zero friction occurs. Each stroke with the mouse is a clean motion and this should be expected with every mouse pad.

When it boils down to it, the surface texture is a deeply personal thing. For example some people prefer the rough surface of the Razer Firefly, over the ultra smooth surface of Logitech Powerplay

Size Matters

A small mouse pad just isn’t going to cut it. Unless you’re one of those freaks that can be competitive with an insanely high sensitivity you’re going to need a big pad. Think of all the times you’ve been in a situation that’s required a lot of room and a consistent surface.

Maybe you’re playing solo at teams in PUBG, you’re sitting tight in a house when you can hear a 4 man squad approaching your location. There is no way you’re going to be able to maneuver yourself to cover all windows, doors and put up a fight if you’re shooting hand is confined to a small space.

Mouse pad height/depth

Sometimes overlooked when buying a mouse pad and it’s understandable. The height is not something you’d really consider but it can make a huge different in comfort. Without sounding obvious a shorter pad, 2 – 3 mm, is closer to the desk, where as one that’s 5 mm + it higher up.

The difference between the two is the ‘lip’ which is from desk level to the top of the pad. If you have a particularly thick pad this might put your keyboard on an angle if it overlaps.

I mostly favour with a thinner mouse pad because sometimes when reaching the edge it distracts me into making a movement I shouldn’t do (moving the move close to the centre.) So as a personal preference I don’t go for the thicker ones.

Still unsure?

Take a look at the below table with all available mouse pads.

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