Can You Use a Normal Mouse for Gaming?

Mice have always been an important gaming tool ever since we left the 2D world and entered the glorious realm of 3D gaming. Whether you are playing a fast paced FPS game, a competitive MOBA title or a good old RTS, having a good mouse can definitely be the difference between winning or losing.But, can you use a normal mouse for gaming? Or are we at a point where a gaming mouse is the only way to go? Lets find out.

Understanding the Basics

Computer mice started out as tools that allowed us to navigate graphical user interfaces with ease. That is still their primary role. However, clicking your way through Windows or OS X doesn’t take much finesse.

Gaming on the other hand, does. What we quickly realized is that a mouse matters when it comes to games. We’ll focus mainly on First Person Shooters in this article, but keep in mind that everything we’re talking about applies to other types of games as well.


Aiming in FPS games started out in a world where arrow keys were the preferred way of getting things done. When games like Quake 2 came about, things got a lot more interesting. However, it wasn’t until multiplayer games came around that we truly learned the meaning of mastering sensitivity.

Those who remember the golden days of Quake 3 will tell you just how important a good aim was, especially with a rail gun. Back then all we had were normal, everyday office mice.

Today things are different. Today we value and understand that finding good mouse sensitivity (often times referred to simply as ‘sens’) is the key to becoming a better shot.

DPI Values

Sensitivity is nothing more than a value that tells you how much you need to physically move your mouse in order to cross a specific distance on the screen. Higher sens means shorter physical movements will cover more distance while lower sens does the opposite. There are two types of sensitivity, in-game and hardware.

Hardware sensitivity of mice is called DPI or Dots Per Inch. Good gaming mice have DPI values up to 16,000. However, most people tend to use values much lower than that. The key is to find a combination of in-game and hardware sens that works best for your reflexes. This is most often a very individual thing.

Can Normal Mice Compare?

The issue with regular mice is that you are working with fairly inaccurate sensors and no possibility of hardware sensitivity adjustment. Could you use a normal mouse for gaming? You could, but you wouldn’t get far. If you are serious about gaming, you will need a more specialized solution.

Fortunately for us, gaming mice are becoming more and more affordable. You can find a decent package these days for less than the cost of a large pizza. That is definitely an improvement compared to how things were just a few years ago.

Taking the Leap

Going from a regular mouse to a gaming mouse is a one way leap you won’t regret. The fact is that gaming mice can do everything regular mice can, only much better. It’s not like you’ll be held back in your daily work activities if you plug in your gaming mouse instead of your regular one. On the contrary, you might find your productivity increasing as gaming mice are always more ergonomic and comfortable to use.


At the end of the day, regular mice can be used as a last ditch solution for gaming. Just don’t expect great results, especially in FPS games. A good gaming mouse will get you a long way if you are serious about your gaming experience. You can find plenty of awesome models at very affordable prices, while those that cost a bit more offer numerous awesome features.