The Best Gaming Mouse Sensors List [2023] – Optical + Laser!

Have you recently dropped your hard-earned money on a gaming rig with a beefy GPU, a zippy CPU, and a fast monitor, but something still feels amiss? That could be because you don’t have the best mouse sensor for gaming.

The gaming mice market these days is swarmed with sensors in various forms, shapes, and sizes. Every manufacturer claims they have got the best sensor in store. How do you even decide which one to pick? 

To bring some semblance of order to this clicking critter chaos (and help you in your buying decision), we bring you the ultimate gaming mice sensor royal rumble!

In this blog post, we’ve listed and ranked the best gaming mouse sensors using a thorough research methodology, covering both optical and laser mouse sensor technologies. Our ranking and rating criteria encompassed essential factors such as DPI, tracking speed (IPS), and acceleration, enabling us to bring you a comprehensive and data-backed analysis.

Top Gaming Mouse Sensors List

Here is a list of all the top mouse sensors for gaming available on the market.

Sensor ModelManufacturerSensorFlawlessDPITracking SpeedAcceleration
PAW 3950PixArtOpticalYes30,000750 IPS70g
PAW 3399PixArtOpticalYes20,000650 IPS50g
PAW 3370PixArtOpticalYes19,000400 IPS50g
PAW 3369PixArtOpticalYes18,000400 IPS50g
PMW 3391PixArtOpticalYes18,000400 IPS50g
PMW 3392PixArtOpticalYes18,000450 IPS50g
PAW 3335PixArtOpticalYes16,000400 IPS40g
PMW 3389PixArtOpticalYes16,000450 IPS50g
PMW 3390PixArtOpticalYes16,000450 IPS40g
PMW 3327PixArtOpticalYes12,400220 IPS50g
PAW 3311PixArtOpticalYes12,000300 IPS35g
PMW 3360PixArtOpticalYes12,000250 IPS50g
PMW 3336PixArtOpticalYes10,800150 IPS30g
PMW 3331PixArtOpticalYes8,500300 IPS35g
PMW 3359PixArtOpticalYes8,500300 IPS40g
PAW 3333PixArtOpticalYes8,000300 IPS35g
PMW 3330PixArtOpticalYes7,200150 IPS30g
PAW 3309PixArtOpticalYes6,400150 IPS30g
PAW 3328PixArtOpticalYes6,400220 IPS30g
PMW 3310PixArtOpticalYes5,000130 IPS30g
PMW 3325PixArtOpticalYes5,000100 IPS20g
PAW 3519PixArtOpticalNo4,20048 IPS10g
PAW 3104PixArtOpticalYes4,00045 IPS15g
PAW 3222PixArtOpticalYes4,00030 IPS10g
PMW 3320PixArtOpticalYes3,50080 IPS20g
PAW 3805PixArtOpticalNo3,00010 IPS40g
PAW 3212PixArtOpticalYes2,40030 IPS10g
PAW 3220PixArtOpticalYes1,80030 IPS10g
HERO 25KLogitechOpticalYes25,600400 IPS40g
HERO 16KLogitechOpticalYes16,000400 IPS40g
HEROLogitechOpticalYes12,000400 IPS40g
HERO 12KLogitechOpticalYes12,000400 IPS40g
MercuryLogitechOpticalYes8,000200 IPS25g
ADNS 9800AvagoLaserNo8,200150 IPS30g
ADNS 3988AvagoOpticalYes6,400200 IPS50g
ADNS 9500AvagoLaserNo5,700150 IPS30g
AM010AvagoOpticalYes4,000500 IPS16g
ADNS A3055AvagoOpticalYes2,50060 IPS20g
ADNS 3050AvagoOpticalYes2,00060 IPS20g
ROG AimPointAsusOpticalYes36,000650 IPS50g

Gaming Mouse Sensors – Research and Ranking Methodology

As our long-standing approach at RealGear, we started the research for this blog by digging deep into the best mouse sensor Reddit threads to discover which gaming mouse sensors Redditors swear by. We also checked out all the top gaming mouse manufacturers and their best-selling products for sensor recommendations. Additionally, we revisited the findings from our previous in-house investigations on the best MOBA, FPS, MMO, and Razer mice.

This exercise allowed us to compile an ultimate list of optical and laser gaming mouse sensors. We targeted every category, from top-of-the-line to middle-of-the-pack to budget-friendly options from PixArt and Avago–the two biggest gaming mouse sensor OEMs in the world.

Once we had an initial list, we downloaded the data sheets for the mouse sensors to get an idea of what each sensor had going under its hood. We specifically tracked the specs that matter the most for in-game performance, including resolution (DPI), tracking speed (IPS), acceleration, and lift-off distance. 

Based on the data compiled and their underlying comparison, we handpicked the 7 best sensors in the optical and laser categories.

So, what is the best sensor for a gaming mouse?

Best Optical Gaming Mouse Sensors Ranked

We’ll begin our review with optical mouse sensors, as they are by far the most popular sensor type when it comes to gaming. Often labeled as flawless sensors, optical mouse sensors demonstrate high-end gaming performance, ensuring minimal external interference and excellent tracking capabilities.

1. PixArt PAW 3950

PixArt’s PAW 3950 is undoubtedly the best mouse sensor for FPS gaming you can buy right now. This is thanks to its peak 30,000 DPI and 750 IPS tracking speed with a max acceleration of 70g, making it a formidable weapon for gamers. 

The PixArt PAW 3950 was made in collaboration between PixArt and Razer. The gaming giant markets the sensor as Focus Pro 30K. Unsurprisingly, it’s found in several high-end Razer gaming mice models, including Razer Naga V2 Pro, Razer Viper V2 Pro, and Razer Cobra Pro. 

While the Asus ROG AimPoint (the second best-ranked mouse sensor on our list) surpasses PAW 3950 in raw DPI, it’s important to note that DPI isn’t the be-all and end-all for gaming mouse sensors. PixArt PAW 3950 has a very balanced profile overall, demonstrating low acceleration, impressive tracking speed along, and a high-end resolution. 

SensorMain HighlightsGaming Mouse ExamplesGrip Style
PixArt PAW 3950a.k.aRazer Focus Pro 30K30,000 DPI750 IPS Tracking70g AccelerationMinimum Lift-Off Distance (0.7mm)Razer Naga V2 ProRazer Viper V2 ProRazer Cobra ProPalm, Claw

2. Asus ROG AimPoint

Looking for the fastest gaming mouse sensor in the world with the highest DPI? Asus has the answer in the guise of ROG AimPoint. The optical mouse sensor features a staggering 36,000 DPI with 650 IPS tracking speed and 50g acceleration. 

Asus worked with PixArt to produce the Asus ROG AimPoint. Understandably, the sensor is exclusive to Asus ROG branded gaming mice only. You can find it inside the Asus ROG Harpe Ace, ROG Keris, and ROG Charkram X mouse models.

It ranks second on our list of best mouse sensors for gaming! 

SensorMain HighlightsGaming Mouse ExamplesGrip Style
Asus ROG AimPoint36,000 DPI650 IPS Tracking50g AccelerationMinimum Lift-Off Distance (1.2mm)Asus ROG Harper AceAsus ROG KerisAsus ROG Chakram XPalm, Claw, Fingertip

3. Logitech HERO 25K

The Logitech HERO (High-Efficiency Rated Optical) 25K optical gaming sensor is built with power efficiency in mind, making it an ideal choice for people looking for a wireless gaming mouse. It features a peak resolution of 25,600 DPI with 400 IPS tracking speed and 40g acceleration. 

Unlike most other sensors on this list, the HERO 25K was built entirely in-house by the Logitech team and can be found exclusively in high-end Logitech gaming mouse models. Notable examples include Logitech G502 X Plus LightSpeed, G Pro, G Pro X SuperLight, G303, and G703 LightSpeed. 

While the Logitech HERO 25K lacks the raw horsepower of PixArt PAW 3950 and Asus ROG AimPoint, it more than makes up for it with its class-leading power efficiency. For example, the wireless Logitech G Pro can last well over two days of constant usage on a single charge. 

SensorMain HighlightsGaming Mouse ExamplesGrip Style
Logitech HERO 25K25,600 DPI400 IPS Tracking40g AccelerationMinimum Lift-Off Distance (1.2mm)Logitech G502 X PlusLogitech G Pro WirelessLogitech G Pro X Logitech G303Logitech G703 LightSpeedPalm, Claw, Fingertip

4. PixArt PAW 3399

Next up on our list is PixArt’s PAW 3399 optical sensor. It wouldn’t be a far-fetched claim to call it one of the most capable mouse sensors on the market, featuring a peak resolution of 20,000 DPI, 650 IPS tracking speed, and 50g acceleration. 

Like the PAW 3950, the PAW 3399 is built in collaboration between PixArt and Razer. As with the Focus Pro 30K, the PAW 3399 is marketed by Razer as Focus+. It powers several popular Razer gaming mice, including Razer Basilisk Ultimate, Basilisk V3, and Razer Viper Ultimate.

On the performance front, the PixArt 3399, a.k.a Razer Focus+, trades just below the Logitech’s Hero 25K optical sensor. While it can’t quite compete with the HERO 25K regarding raw resolution or DPI, it offers higher tracking speed to even things out. 

SensorMain HighlightsGaming Mouse ExamplesGrip Style
PixArt PAW 3399a.k.aRazer Focus+20,000 DPI650 IPS Tracking50g AccelerationMinimum Lift-Off Distance (1mm)Razer Basilisk UltimateRazer Basilisk V3Razer Viper UltimateRazer DeathAdder V3 ProRazer Viper 8KPalm, Claw, Fingertip

5. PixArt PAW 3370

PixArt PAW 3370 is a budget-oriented optical mouse sensor typically found in low to mid-range gaming mice. However, its affordability does not undermine its capabilities, as it boasts a respectable peak resolution of 16,000 DPI, 400 IPS tracking speed, and 50g acceleration. 

Unlike other optical sensors on our list, the PixArt sensor PAW 3370 isn’t exclusive to a particular brand. As a result, you can find several gaming mouse brands using this sensor. Notable examples include Redragon Enlightenment M991, Roccat Kone Pro, EndGame Gear XM2we, and MSI Clutch GM41. 

While the PixArt 3370’s specs may appear modest on paper, its 16K DPI and 400 IPS tracking speed are neck-and-neck with the older Logitech HERO 16K. Although the HERO 16K is getting a bit long in the tooth nowadays, it’s still no slouch. The same can be said about the PAW 3370. 

SensorMain HighlightsGaming Mouse ExamplesGrip Style
PIxArt PAW 337016,000 DPI400 IPS Tracking50g AccelerationMinimum Lift-Off Distance (1mm)Redragon M991Roccat Kone ProEndGame Gear XM2weMSI Clutch GM41Palm, Claw, Fingertip

Best Laser Gaming Mouse Sensors Ranked

Next, let’s move on to laser gaming mouse sensors. Unfortunately, laser sensors haven’t taken off despite their superior tracking technology, with only a handful of gaming mice utilizing them.

1. Avago ADNS 9800

Avago ADNS 9800 is the best laser mouse sensor available in the market. It features a peak resolution of 8,200 DPI. The tracking speed and acceleration are rated at  150 IPS tracking speed and 30g, respectively. 

As with all modern Avago sensors, the ADNS 9800 is manufactured by PixArt due to Avago’s cross-licensing agreement with the company. More on this later. The sensor powers the Attitude One Rapira Elite, CM Storm Mizar, and CM Storm Havoc gaming mice. 

In terms of performance, the Avago ADNS 9800, unfortunately, falls well short of the competition. An 8,200 DPI, a 150 IPS tracking speed, and a 30g acceleration bring its capabilities on par with lower mid-range optical sensors such as the PixArt PMW3331, commonly seen on sub $25 gaming mice.

SensorMain HighlightsGaming Mouse ExamplesGrip Style
Avago ADNS 98008,200 DPI150 IPS Tracking30g AccelerationAttitude One Rapira EliteCM Storm MizarCM Storm HavocPalm, Fingertip

2. Avago ADNS 9500

Lastly, we have the Avago ADNS 9500, the ‘precursor’ (if you excuse the pun) of the above-mentioned Avago ADNS 9800. Compared to ADNS 9800, it manages a noticeably lower resolution of just 5,700 DPI, though tracking speed and acceleration remains the same at 150 IPS and 30g, respectively. 

Just like the ADNS 9800, the ADNS 9500 too is manufactured by PixArt and subsequently licensed to Avago. It’s used in two gaming mice: Corsair Vengeance M90 MMO and Perixx MX-2000B. 

Just like the ADNS 9800, the Avago ADNS 9500 isn’t going to blow your socks off with its performance. While the 5,700 DPI resolution is still more than adequate for casual players and even most MMO buffs, the tracking speed and acceleration leave too much to be desired when it comes to eSports gaming.

SensorMain HighlightsGaming Mouse ExamplesGrip Style
Avago ADNS 95005,700 DPI150 IPS Tracking30g AccelerationCorsair Vengeance M90Perixx MX-2000BPalm, Claw, Fingertip

Gaming Mouse Sensor Tier Chart

In this section, we’ve grouped the top gaming mouse sensors into different tiers. The tiers include S, A, B, and C. The higher the tier, the better the sensor’s gaming performance. Tier S represents the best of the best, the absolute cream of gaming sensors. 

Tier A sensors are a notch below Tier S but still offer great gaming performance, even for professional eSports players. Tier B sensors are good enough for casual gaming but may not be suitable for eSports. And lastly, Tier C consists of budget, low-end gaming sensors that still manage to offer decent gaming performance to the casuals for the price. 

Gaming Mouse Sensor Tier Chart

PixArt and Avago – The Two Biggest Gaming Mouse Sensor Manufacturers

If you noticed, most mouse sensors on our list are manufactured by two key players: Avago and PixArt. These companies used to be rivals in the CMOS imaging sensor industry, which included gaming mouse sensors, at one time. It all changed in the late 2000s when Avago entered a cross-licensing agreement with PixArt.

Per the agreement, PixArt is responsible for manufacturing all Avago mouse sensors, while Avago reserves the right to use its branding on these sensors. This means all Avago sensors you see in the market today are made by PixArt, giving the OEM giant the lion’s share of the computer mouse industry.

What is a Flawless Mouse Sensor?

A flawless gaming sensor is a mouse sensor that provides minimal jittering and acceleration with close to 1:1 mouse input for a natural mouse feel. It is also designed to eliminate sensor prediction by default, a mouse tracking flaw that anticipates near vertical or horizontal movement and translates them into perfect movement.

Almost all optical sensors are considered flawless sensors. This is thanks to their reliance on long wavelength Red LEDs for surface illumination, making it far easier for the CMOS sensor to detect x and y-axis motion with next to no noise, resulting in minimal jitter and unwanted acceleration.

In contrast, laser mice sensors rely on VCSEL or IR Laser Diodes for surface illumination. Since lasers have a much shorter wavelength than LEDs, they penetrate the mousepad’s surface deeper, picking up a lot of unwanted background noise. This noise causes jittering and acceleration issues, making them less suitable for gaming. 

How Does an Optical Mouse Sensor Work?

Optical mouse sensors illuminate the mousepad’s surface with a Light Emitting Diode (LED). Most optical mouse sensors use red LEDs. Red has the longest wavelength in the color spectrum, making it the easiest color for sensor detection.

Once the surface is illuminated, the texture of the surface is captured by the mouse’s CMOS sensor, essentially a low-resolution video camera designed specifically to track image sequences in the x and y-axis. This image sequence is then transmitted to the PC – hundreds, if not thousands, of times a second, as governed by the mouse’s polling rate. 

How Does a Laser Mouse Sensor Work?

Unlike optical mice, which rely on LEDs for surface illumination, laser mice use either Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser (VCSEL) or, in some cases, an infrared (IR) Laser Diode. The key characteristic of VCSELs over LEDs is they offer higher surface penetration due to a shorter wavelength, making laser mice ideal for all types of surfaces, including glass tops.

Just like optical sensors, laser sensors also rely on a CMOS sensor to track x and y-axis motion, which is then transmitted to the PC with a frequency ranging between 125 Hz to as high as 8 KHz. 

You can learn more about optical and laser mouse sensors in our Optical vs Laser gaming mouse sensor guide.

What Makes a Good Mouse Sensor for Gaming

No task pushes a mouse sensor harder than gaming. Gaming is a territory where the differences between mouse sensors become the most evident. Hence, it’s important to consider the following aspects of a mouse sensor while choosing a gaming mouse:


A mouse’s sensor resolution refers to the number of pixels the cursor moves across the screen. It is typically measured in DPI (Dots Per Inch). The higher the DPI, the more pixels the cursor covers and the more responsive the mouse feels. This becomes especially crucial in gaming, where quick maneuvers can make or break the game. 

Tracking Speed

Tracking speed refers to the peak linear velocity at which the mouse’s sensor can monitor its positional data. It is measured in IPS. The higher the IPS rating, the more accurately you can make turns in-game, making it a crucial aspect of competitive esports gaming.


In common usage, acceleration refers to discrepancies in cursor tracking. These discrepancies are usually influenced by surface type as well as sensor technology. For example, optical sensors typically have lower discrepancies, usually less than 1%, compared to laser sensors which may exhibit acceleration variations as high as 5%.

Lift-off Distance

Lift-off Distance (LOD) refers to the height (in millimeters) at which the mouse’s sensor stops tracking the surface. While it may not sound all that important at first glance, LOD is crucial for gamers who use low mouse sensitivity for better accuracy. Overall, ideal LOD differs from person to person, so it’s best to pick a mouse that offers adjustable LOD.

Polling Rate

Polling rate, measured in hertz (Hz), is the frequency at which the mouse’s sensor reports its positional x and y-axis data to the computer. A higher polling rate is always preferable as it can help improve your in-game accuracy. We must mention that the polling rate is not just a function of your gaming mouse sensor’s capabilities. Driver or software settings, system resources, and mouse connection type can all influence it.

What is a 25k Mouse Sensor?

“25k” represents a mouse’s resolution in DPI (Dots Per Inch). A 25k mouse sensor will have a 25,000 DPI. Likewise, a 30k mouse sensor will have a 30,000 DPI, and so on. 

What is the Average DPI of Most Gaming Mouse Sensors?

Gaming mouse sensors statistically have an average DPI of 12,500. However, it’s important to note that resolution or ‘DPI’ is just one aspect of a gaming mouse sensor. To make a well-rounded purchase decision, consider a sensor’s tracking speed, acceleration, lift-off distance, and polling rate in addition to the DPI. 

Do Mouse Sensors Make a Difference?

Absolutely. Mouse sensors can make or break a game. They directly influence the mouse’s accuracy, responsiveness, and tracking capability, which are especially crucial in fast-paced, competitive gaming.

Do Mouse Sensors Wear Out?

No. Mouse sensors have no moving parts, so they don’t ‘wear out’ or lose their performance over time. However, it’s important to note that mouse sensors may stop working due to failing capacitors, transistors, Light Emitting Diodes (LED), etc. These components have limited lifespans. 

Is the PixArt 3359 a Good Gaming Mouse Sensor?

Yes, PixArt PMW 3359 is one of the better optical gaming mouse sensors available and is at the heart of many capable gaming mice, notably the Razer DeathAdder V2 and Razer Viper Mini. It features a peak resolution of 8,500 DPI with 300 IPS tracking speed and 35g acceleration. 

What is the Most Accurate Gaming Mouse Sensor?

PixArt 3950 (also known as Razer Focus Pro 30K) is the most accurate gaming mouse sensor available on the market right now. This is thanks to its impressive 30,000 DPI resolution, 750 IPS tracking speed, and 70g acceleration, far outgunning the requirements of even the most hardcore gamers. 

Gaming Mouse Sensor Supremacy: Making Point-and-Click!

In conclusion, choosing the right gaming mouse sensor is crucial for a great gaming experience. Each mouse sensor, be it optical or laser, brings a certain set of perks and quirks that one must be aware of to make an informed decision. 

For example, the PixArt PAW 3950 is the most advanced optical sensor on our list. Likewise, the Asus ROG AimPoint offers the highest DPI. The Logitech HERO 25K mouse sensor excels in power efficiency. Meanwhile, the PixArt PAW 3399 provides a more well-rounded set of performance metrics. 

It’s also important to note that contrary to popular beliefs, sensor resolution, i.e., DPI is not the sole determinant of a sensor’s quality. Factors like tracking speed and acceleration also play significant roles. Ultimately, choosing the best gaming mouse sensor depends on individual preferences and gaming requirements.

Andrew is arguably the geekiest member of our team. He has a knack for new gaming hardware and awesome gadgets. Although Overwatch is his current favorite, he thinks the Counter Strike Global Offensive is the best shooter of all times. He is constantly hunting for news about new hero releases and patches. Andrew believes that playing video games is not just a hobby but a way of life. He regards his job at RealGear as a way of helping fellow gamers make the most of their gameplay by writing reviews about the hardware he uses and the FPS/ RTS he plays.

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