Gaming Query: Do You Need a Mousepad for Gaming?

If you’ve stumbled upon this article, that’s because you’re wondering, “Is it important to have a mousepad for gaming, or is it just an overhyped accessory?”

Now, prepare to have your gaming beliefs challenged as we uncover the moments when a gaming mousepad truly makes a difference.

We’ll also explore instances where it may not be necessary and provide tips for choosing the right gaming mousepad. You’ll also discover the most popular types of mousepads favored by pro gamers. But let us address your burning question first, “Do you really need a mousepad for gaming?”

 Whether or not you need a gaming mousepad depends on your personal preferences and the type of games you play. But it can certainly improve tracking accuracy, reduce input lag and give you more control over mouse movements. If you’re curious about what kind of gameplay would benefit from it, let’s cut to the chase and jump right into the details!

Do Pro Gamers Use Mousepads?

Yes, most pro gamers use a mousepad for competitive gaming as it improves accuracy and precision and prevents mouse slippage and friction. Mousepads offer a consistent, smooth surface that enhances accuracy and precision, which is crucial in fast-paced shooter games. 

Even slight movements can disrupt the aim of headshots and sniper rifle action for gamers, especially those having lower DPI and in-game sensitivity settings. This means they’ll have to make more physical mouse movements to make the cursor move on your screen.

That’s why it’s vital for gamers to have a large surface area to prevent mouse slippage. Mousepads also protect the mouse’s feet from wear and tear caused by constant friction with the desk.

By providing a softer surface, it prolongs the life of the mouse. Although a few pro gamers opt not to use mousepads, they are more of an anomaly than the standard practice.

What Type of Mousepad Do Pro Gamers Use?

When it comes to mousepad types, professional gamers use cloth, hard, and hybrid mousepads. However, cloth dominates as the most prevalent gaming mousepad material as it strikes a desirable equilibrium between speed and control.

Renowned cloth mousepads favored by pros include SteelSeries QcK+, HyperX Fury S Pro, and Zowie G-SR. Recently, hard mousepads have also gained popularity among games demanding swift movements due to their fast glide. The Logitech G440 and Razer Acari are well-liked hard mousepads in pro gaming.

SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mouse Pad - 3XL Cloth
  • Limitless tracking space provides maximum coverage for all your mouse movements during battle
  • Complete desktop coverage with room for your keyboard, mouse, monitor and more
  • Legendary micro-woven cloth engineered to provide an optimized surface for tracking both optical and laser sensors

Additionally, hybrid mousepads merge the qualities of cloth and hard types, offering a durable and balanced experience. Pro gamers often choose hybrid options like Artisan Zero and Razer Strider.

How Much Does a Mousepad Matter for Gaming?

You may ask, “How much difference does a mousepad make?” The short answer is a whole lot. You cannot overlook the importance of a mousepad in gaming, as it can significantly impact competitive gameplay. Here’s how:

1) Improved Tracking –  A gaming mousepad gives your mouse a smooth and consistent surface to glide on. That means you can be more accurate and precise in your gaming moves. Think about those fast-paced FPS or RTS games where split-second decisions matter.

For instance, if you’re playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, your reflexes must be on point to land those headshots and secure crucial kills for your team.

The even surface of the mousepad allows you to align your shots and secure those vital frags smoothly. On the other hand, a pad with an uneven surface can throw off your aim and make you miss those headshots that could’ve turned the tide.

2) Increased Cursor Precision – If you’re wondering, “Do gaming mousepads improve performance?”—the answer is a resounding yes. Mousepads provide the reliable surface you need for better cursor precision. 

For example, when it comes to a mousepad vs. a bare desk surface for gaming, the mousepad has a clear advantage. Over time, desks can develop uneven surfaces, making it difficult to achieve consistent cursor movements.

In contrast, gaming mouse pads are rigid and offer a consistent texture, ensuring constant friction. This means they can help you accurately predict how your mouse will respond to your movements.

Without this consistent friction, it becomes challenging to maintain cursor precision and start and stop your mouse with accuracy.

3) Elevate Gaming Experience – Some mousepads even come with extra perks to elevate your gaming experience. For instance, they may boast vibrant RGB lighting you can customize and sync with the rest of your gaming setup for an enhanced visual experience. 

Many pads come with a built-in USB hub to connect your gaming mouse directly to the pad itself and free up valuable USB ports on your PC. While others may offer a pen and phone holder and wireless charging capabilities.

Simply place your phone or wireless mouse on the pad, and voila! No more worries about running out of battery during those intense gaming sessions.

Razer Acari Ultra-Low Friction Gaming Mouse Mat
  • Ultra-Low Friction: Maximum Speed and Glide
  • Beaded, Textured Hard Surface: Pixel-percise accuracy and easy maintenance
  • Large Surface Area: Complete freedom of movement
  • Thin Form Factor: Providing greater wrist comfort
  • Non-Slip Rubber Base: Made of natural-foam rubber for keeping the Acari mouse mat in place

4) Enhanced Gaming Comfort – Gaming desks with hard surfaces can be a pain—literally. After long gaming sessions, your wrists can suffer from strain and discomfort, which can seriously impact your gaming performance. That’s where a comfortable mouse pad comes into play.

It offers a cushioned surface to prevent your wrists from constantly pressing against the hard desk. Some mouse pads even come with a gel-based or memory foam wrist rest like Gimars, providing that extra support your wrists crave.

However, remember the comfort level varies depending on factors like the thickness of the gaming mouse pad and the material used. So, finding the perfect balance between support and comfort is key.

5 Instances Where You Can Do Without Gaming Mousepad

Although using a gaming mousepad can enhance your gaming experience, there are certain instances where you can do without it. Let’s explore those scenarios where it’s perfectly fine to skip a gaming mousepad:

1) Casual Gaming – If you’re more into casual gaming than competitive gaming that requires pinpoint precision, a regular mousepad should do the trick. You won’t necessarily need a fancy gaming mousepad in such cases.

2) Smooth and Consistent Desk Surface – If the desk or surface you’re using for your mouse is already smooth and even, allowing the mouse to track well, you might not need a gaming mousepad.

Certain desks have laminated surfaces or coatings designed to be mouse-friendly, providing enough accuracy and control without the need for a mousepad.

3) Mouse with Adjustable DPI – A lot of gaming mice these days come with adjustable DPI settings. If your mouse has this feature, you can compensate for not having a mousepad by tweaking the DPI sensitivity to your liking.

By setting a lower DPI, you can make your mouse movement easier to handle on various surfaces, even without a mousepad.

4) Traveling Scenarios – Carrying a gaming mousepad is not always practical when you’re on the move or using your laptop in various places. In those situations, you have alternatives like using the laptop’s touchpad or the mouse directly on the laptop’s surface for casual gaming.

5) Low on Budget – If you’re trying to save some cash, skipping a gaming mousepad is understandable, as they can be quite pricey. In that case, other ways exist to enhance your gaming experience without breaking the bank. For example, you could invest in a better mouse or upgrade to a higher-quality monitor.

Pros and Cons of a Gaming Mousepad

Gaming mousepads are one of those accessories that usually prompt a polarizing user opinion. Here are the upsides and downsides of a gaming mousepad so you can decide yourself if they are worth your green.

Provide better control and precision that can be crucial for gamers who require accurate movements in fast-paced games.Some gaming mousepads can be expensive than standard mousepads, especially if you opt for premium brands or features like RGB lighting.
Provide a uniform and consistent surface for your mouse to glide on, ensuring reliable and predictable mouse movements.Larger gaming mousepads require more space on your desk, which may not be ideal for users with limited desk area.
Texture and material of gaming mousepads can provide better control over mouse movements, reducing the chance of over-shooting or under-shooting during gameplay.Gaming mousepads with specialized coatings may require more maintenance, such as regular cleaning to maintain optimal performance.
Usually have a cushioned or gel-filled design, which provides a more comfortable surface for extended gaming sessions, reducing strain on the wrist and hand.Some of them might not work as well with certain types of mice with low DPI settings or laser sensors,
Often come in various designs, themes, and sizes, allowing gamers to personalize their gaming setup and match their style.May not be necessary for all gaming styles
Top-quality gaming mousepads are built to withstand heavy use and are less prone to wear and tear compared to standard mousepadsSome cloth-based gaming mousepads can be affected by humidity, causing changes in their texture and potentially affecting mouse movement.

Which Pad Is Best for Gaming?

When it comes to finding the best gaming mousepad, it all boils down to what suits your unique needs and gameplay style. That being said, there are a bunch of mousepads out there that have gained immense popularity and rave reviews among gamers.

Here are a few examples of some of the highly rated gaming mousepads you might want to check:

1. SteelSeries QcK+It’s a large micro woven cloth mousepad, measuring a generous 450mm x 400mm x 2mm, and designed to provide space for a mouse and keyboard. What’s more, it’s specifically optimized for optical and laser mice, ensuring precise tracking for your gaming sessions.

A non-slip rubber base also ensures it stays firmly on your desk. The QcK+ is suitable for gamers who prefer low-sensitivity and high-resolution settings.

2. Logitech G G740It is another spacious cloth mousepad measuring 460 x 600 x 5 mm, offering plenty of space for a mouse and a full-size keyboard. What sets it apart is its cushioned surface and just the right amount of surface friction.

This means it provides the perfect balance of resistance for your mouse feet when you need to make quick or sudden movements.

Plus, it’s been optimized specifically for Logitech G gaming mouse sensors and is ideal for high-speed and low-DPI gaming. Other features include stitched ends to prevent it from fraying and a non-slip rubber base.

3. Logitech G440 It is a hard mousepad measuring 340 x 280 x 5 mm in dimensions and featuring a durable multi-layer construction. The consistent texture enhances tracking performance and aiming precision, while a low-friction surface ensures smooth and fluid mouse movement.

Designed to match Logitech G sensors, the G440 offers stability with a rigid base that stays in place during intense gaming sessions. It is perfect for high-DPI gaming.

4. Razer Acari The Razer Acari is a hard gaming mousepad with an ultraviolet-activated nano-bead surface and an Oleophobic coating. This unique combination ensures an incredibly low friction experience, allowing for ultra-smooth and precise mouse movements.

With its thin and lightweight design measuring 420 x 320 x 1.95 mm, it’s incredibly portable, perfect for gamers on the go. The Razer Acari is compatible with gaming mice with ceramic feet and is particularly well-suited for low DPI settings.

5. Razer Strider The Razer Strider is a hybrid soft/hard gaming mousepad measuring 450 x 400 x 3 mm. It comes with a micro-textured gliding surface that combines the smoothness of a hard surface with precise agility.

The 3mm thick mat features an anti-slip base and is easily rollable and portable yet remains flat without warping. It features anti-fraying stitched edges to ensure durability, even during intense use or travel.

What’s more, it’s water-resistant, making it effortless to clean with a simple wipe. The Strider is specifically tailored for low-DPI gaming and is optimized for optical mouse sensors.

How to Pick the Mousepad for Gaming — A Quick Buying Guide

Regarding selecting the perfect gaming mousepad, there are a few key variables to consider. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a handy gaming mousepad buying guide covering those factors. So, let’s explore what you should keep in mind before making your purchase:

1) Surface Material – Check what kind of surface you want for your gaming mousepad. The surface plays a vital role in determining how well your mouse glides and the accuracy of its movements. Mouse pads with cloth surfaces are the most prevalent as they strike a balance between control and speed.

Moreover, they provide a comfortable experience compared to hard mousepads. On the other hand, hard mousepads offer faster movement but may be less comfortable to use. They are also more prone to wear out.

2) Mousepad Compatibility with Gaming MiceWhen picking out a gaming mousepad, it’s important to make sure it works seamlessly with your gaming mouse. Some mousepads are specifically designed to enhance the performance of certain mouse types or sensor technologies.

So, double-check if the mousepad you’re eyeing is optimized to deliver precise tracking for both optical and laser sensors. This compatibility ensures that your mouse movements are accurately translated, giving you the edge you need in gaming.

3) Gaming Mousepad SizeWhen selecting a gaming mousepad, take into account its size, considering your gaming preferences and available desk space. If you prefer low-sensitivity or wide-ranging motions, a larger mousepad will provide ample room for sweeping mouse movements.

On the flip side, if you favor higher sensitivity and require precise, quick movements within a limited space, a smaller mousepad will be more suitable.

4) Thickness and Wrist Comfort – The thickness of your gaming mousepad can impact both your gaming comfort and wrist support. Thicker mousepads provide enhanced cushioning, which helps alleviate wrist fatigue during those marathon gaming sessions.

On the other hand, thinner gaming mousepads offer a more direct connection with the surface, resulting in improved responsiveness. So, when considering the thickness of your mousepad, strike the right balance between cushioning and responsiveness for an optimal gaming experience.

5) Durability and Construction – When purchasing a gaming mousepad, it’s wise to choose one that’s built for longevity. Opt for a mousepad featuring reinforced stitching along the edges to prevent fraying or deterioration over time.

Also, take into account whether the mousepad is water-resistant, as this makes cleaning and maintenance easy.

FAQs – Gaming Mousepad

Can a Dirty Mousepad Affect Gaming?

Yes, a dirty mousepad can seriously mess with your gaming experience. The accumulated grime can interfere with the mouse’s sensor, leading to inaccurate tracking and difficulty aiming your shots in FPS games.

Moreover, the dirt can increase friction or cause slipperiness, making it impossible to control the mouse for RTS games or MOBAs.

Does a Mousepad Improve Aim?

Yes, a gaming mousepad offers a smooth and uniform tracking surface, which can enhance your aim in competitive gaming. It also provides low friction for your mouse to glide effortlessly, allowing you to achieve precise and accurate movements.

How Often Should You Change Your Gaming Mousepad?

How often you should change your gaming mousepad depends on factors like usage, mousepad type, and care. If you spend countless hours playing games every day, you may need to replace your mousepad more frequently.

Moreover, if you regularly clean your mousepad and avoid spills, it can also extend its lifespan. Durable materials, like hard mousepads, also tend to last longer than cloth ones.

What Mousepads Do Esports Pros Use?

Cloth mousepads like the Steelseries QcK Heavy and Zowie G-SR are incredibly popular among esports pros. 

Renowned Fortnite players such as letw1k3, Endretta, and Bizzle swear by the Zowie G-SR for their exceptional performance. Pro players also prefer the Logitech G G740 for esports like CS: GO, VALORANT, and Fortnite.

What Can You Use Instead of a Gaming Mousepad?

If your desk is made of wood and has a smooth and even surface, you can use it as a makeshift mousepad. A regular mouse mat can also be a decent substitute, offering a smoother surface compared to a bare desk.

Another option is using a mousepad designed specifically for optical mice, which often has textured surfaces to enhance tracking. However, these methods might not provide the same level of accuracy, tracking, and precision in competitive gaming as a dedicated gaming mousepad.


While a mousepad improves precision, accuracy, tracking, and control in competitive gaming, it is not an absolute requirement for every gamer. Some players swear by mousepads and find them indispensable, while others are perfectly content without one and rely on other factors like mouse sensitivity settings.

Ultimately, whether you need a mousepad for gaming boils down to your personal preferences and gameplay. The choice is yours to make based on what feels most comfortable and effective for your gaming style.

Ed has fond memories of the times when he played games on an 8-bit console. If you want to make him talk for hours on end, just ask him about Valla from Heroes of the Storm. Eddie despises hackers and gamers who do not take the game seriously. He sees RealGear as a place where he has the freedom to express his viewpoint regarding PC and console games and put his journalism skills into practice.

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