You can get a decent gaming mouse in almost any price bracket these days, but the lower end of the spectrum is full of cheap, no-name brands. This makes it harder to find the actual good deals. So if you need some help cutting through the noise to find the best gaming mouse under $30, you’ve come to the right place.
All five of our picks are mice from reputable brands such as Logitech, SteelSeries, and Razer, so you shouldn’t have any major issues with sensors or software. There’s something for everyone, from a top-tier ultralight to a couple of ergonomic classics and even an MMO mouse. Let’s get started.
Our Favorite Gaming Mice Under $30
|Weight||61 grams (2.15 oz)|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||4.66 x 2.11 x 1.51 inches|
|DPI Range||100 - 8,500|
The Razer Viper Mini might be the cheapest mouse in the company’s well-received range of Viper mice, but that doesn’t make it any less brilliant. Acceptable cutbacks in sensor quality and button allocation, combined with reduced dimensions, make for a killer cheap gaming mouse, provided the size works for you.
For the unfamiliar, the Razer Viper mice are a range of symmetrical, ultralight gaming mice with a neutral, if slightly long, shape perfect for claw and fingertip grips. It’s a great design, although I personally wish it were slightly shorter for maximum comfort. The Viper Mini is much the same, retaining the core styling and shape with reduced dimensions.
One notable difference is that the Viper Mini lacks the left-handed thumb buttons of its larger siblings. This cuts down on weight and cost but means that the Viper Mini isn’t a truly ambidextrous mouse like the full-size Razer Viper. So this isn’t for left-handed users, but the upshot is that the Viper Mini comes in at a svelte 61 grams (2.15 oz) without resorting to honeycomb cutouts.
The Razer Viper Mini also lacks the top-end Razer Focus+ optical sensor present on the pricier units. Instead, it uses an older Razer Optical sensor that maxes out at 8500 DPI instead of the newer sensor’s 20000 DPI. That’s really only a downgrade on paper, as the sensor performs more than adequately and won’t spin out or behave strangely even in the most intense PC gaming sessions.
Unlike other manufacturers, Razer hasn’t tried to keep the Viper Mini’s price down by skimping on the switches. It uses the same optical switches as its bigger brothers, rated for 50 million clicks. Optical switches also won’t ever suffer from the annoying double-click issues that standard mechanical mouse switches may develop. So if you’re concerned about longevity, this is the sub-$30 mouse you want.
For our money, the Razer Viper Mini is the best gaming mouse under $30. It’s one of those mice that performs well beyond its price bracket: a top-tier product at a budget-tier price. The only reason you might want to avoid it is its small size. If the dimensions work for you, though, this is a no-brainer.
|Weight||77 grams (2.71 oz)|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||4.75 x 2.31 x 1.49 inches|
|Sensor||SteelSeries TrueMove Core|
|DPI Range||200 - 8,500|
SteelSeries’ Rival 3 is a great all-around gaming mouse that’s one of the safest purchases amongst budget gaming mice. It’s not the lightest mouse here, but its medium-sized shell and overall quality make it a safe bet if you’re not after outright performance.
The Rival 3 uses SteelSeries’ classic Rival shape, a symmetrical flat design that’s narrow at the front and wide at the rear. The company explicitly states that it’s designed for fingertip and claw grips, and we agree. The wider rear makes it particularly comfortable for claw grippers, as it provides a nice place to anchor your hand during gameplay.
SteelSeries’ TrueMove Core sensor is roughly the equivalent of the PixArt PMW3359 that Razer adapted for use in its Viper Mini, right down to an identical max DPI. These sensors don’t reach the crazy maximum DPI numbers of high-end counterparts, but that really doesn’t matter. The TrueMove Core performs adequately in-game, with no jitter or spin-out issues, which is more important than whatever max DPI settings it can achieve.
Beyond the sensor, the Rival 3 packs a decent feature set all around: the switches are rated for 60 million clicks, there’s onboard memory for up to five profiles, and SteelSeries even found space to include three RGB lighting zones on the Rival 3. If you’re an RGB fanatic, then this is one of the better RGB gaming mouse options for you in this price range.
The only potential issue is the cable, which is rubber and a bit stiffer than we’d like to see. It’s not bad enough to be a deal-breaker, but it’s a reminder of the mouse’s budget price point. It’s at least a relatively light mouse at 77 grams (2.71 oz), so a mouse bungee should make the Rival 3 feel just as good as a high-end product.
Overall, the SteelSeries Rival 3 is a great budget-friendly gaming mouse. We don’t think it’s the best mouse under $30, but it’s close. Choosing between this and the Razer Viper Mini will come down to your hand size and shape preferences, and we don’t think you can go wrong with either.
|Weight||102 grams (3.60 oz)|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||5.16 x 2.48 x 1.69 inches|
|Sensor||Logitech HERO 16K|
|DPI Range||100 - 16000|
Logitech’s MX518 shape is one of the most iconic mouse shapes ever, alongside the Razer DeathAdder and Microsoft IntelliMouse. The Logitech G MX518 is the company’s subtle refresh, sporting the then-new HERO 16K sensor and onboard profiles while retaining most of what gamers loved so much about the original.
It’s impossible to talk about the MX518 in any of its guises without mentioning the shape. It’s an ultra-comfortable right-handed shape that feels great to hold, especially in a palm or claw grip. Many gamers who were around in the mid-2000s maintain that the MX518 is one of the best gaming mice ever, and that’s almost entirely down to the shape.
Logitech didn’t modernize the MX518 much when launching the Logitech G MX518. There’s a new sensor—the company’s then-flagship HERO 16K sensor—and a more subdued finish, but beyond that, the MX518 retains all of its mid-2000s traits.
Unfortunately, that means that it retains the 100-gram weight common to many mice of the era. The cable isn’t great, either; it’s rubbery and tends to retain kinks from the packaging. It won’t ruin your game if you keep it in a bungee, but it’s definitely a far cry from the braided cables common to a newer wired gaming mouse.
But both of those drawbacks arguably come with the territory. Once you start shopping below $30, you’re often looking at older mice that lack some of the modern traits we expect from newer—and pricier—gaming mice.
However, we think the MX518’s shape makes up for both drawbacks; it’s that good. If you’re not an ultra-competitive gamer, the MX518’s comfortable shape will likely matter more in the long run anyway. So if you want a gaming mouse below $30 that manages to pack a high-end sensor alongside a brilliant shape, check out the Logitech G MX518.
Note that the mouse no longer has a product page on Logitech’s site, meaning it’s likely out of production. Stock levels seem adequate at time of writing, but we recommend you get one soon if you’re interested.
|Weight||96 grams (3.38 oz)|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||5.0 x 2.43 x 1.68 inches|
|DPI Range||200 - 6400|
Razer’s DeathAdder Essential is a refreshed version of one of its older DeathAdder models, but with a budget-friendly price tag. It’s definitely old-fashioned, but the fact that it’s often available for less than $20 makes it a killer deal worth considering.
Of course, you’d expect some sacrifices at that price compared to pricier gaming mice. And they’re relatively plentiful here, from the relatively outdated Razer Optical sensor that tops out at 6400 DPI to the switches, which are only rated for 10 million clicks. The sensor won’t impede you too much, but those low-durability switches mean that the Essential’s more of a quick fix than a long-term solution.
Like many older mice, the DeathAdder Essential is relatively heavy at 96 grams. It’s more than usable, but those curious about the ultralight craze won’t find much of interest here. The cable is quite stiff, too, as is common with many older designs.
The combination of weight, cable, and sensor makes the Razer DeathAdder Essential feel old-fashioned in our eyes. But that doesn’t make it a bad gaming mouse. The right-handed shape isn’t quite on par with the Logitech G MX518, but it’s still a fantastic shape for right-handed users. The fact that you can get that level of comfort at this price point is worth praising.
Overall, Razer’s DeathAdder Essential isn’t necessarily a mouse worth getting excited about. But it’s a tried and tested product that’s regularly available for less than $20, making it a brilliant buy for those on a budget.
The Razer DeathAdder Essential is also available in white.
|Weight||82 grams (2.89 oz)|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||4.52 x 2.83* x 1.45 inches|
|DPI Range||200 - 2500|
* Rear width, not grip width
If you need a lot of buttons for not a lot of money, Logitech’s G300S has you covered. Its nine programmable buttons might not be on par with some higher-end MMO mice, but they’ll still do the job if you need mouse macros on a budget.
The G300S is a relatively small gaming mouse whose main draw is an array of six extra programmable buttons on the top, alongside the usual two clicks and mouse wheel. All nine buttons are freely programmable in Logitech’s software, making the G300S perfect for MMOs or productivity situations where you need quick access to keyboard shortcuts.
Logitech ships the G300S with three preset profiles from the factory: MMO, FPS, and “productivity.” These differ in terms of the key bindings, polling rate, and sensitivity and are differentiated by different LED colors. Of course, you can freely overwrite any of these presets with your own profile, but you are limited to three profiles.
The G300S can be had for around $15, so it’s no surprise that it’s not necessarily the best performer. Its unspecified optical sensor is an old unit that maxes out at 2500 DPI, and the switches are only rated for 10 million clicks. It’ll perform adequately in-game, but anybody with competitive aspirations should opt for one of our top two picks instead.
However, the Logitech G300S is a more-than-decent buy if you need more buttons than most sub-$30 mice and don’t mind giving up some potential performance and longevity. It won’t wow you, but nine buttons for $20 or less is good value any way you cut it.
Before You Buy
How Cheap Should You Go?
Even the most cursory glance at Amazon product listings for budget gaming mice should be enough to tell you that there are a ton of options under $30. While it might seem tempting to just go for the cheapest gaming mouse you can find, we recommend you exercise some caution and avoid buying solely based on price.
This isn’t to say that you can’t find a good mouse below $30 (or even $20). However, the chances of buying a dud are relatively high, especially if you opt for a no-name East Asian brand. How bad can it get? Check out this Optimum Tech video to see some horrible budget (and not-so-budget) mice:
To avoid ending up with a laggy or completely unusable mouse, we recommend sticking to products from reputable brands such as the ones we’ve listed here. They’ll likely be older mice, but an old, trusted optical sensor is better than a cheap knock-off that spins out or stops tracking movements during heated gameplay.
That said, if you absolutely must get a budget gaming mouse from a lesser-known Chinese company, try and see if the company lists what sensor it uses. If it’s a PixArt unit, it’ll likely be usable at least and may even turn out quite good for the price.
The biggest concern when shopping for a cheap gaming mouse is durability, mainly of the clicks. While the two best budget mice on our list pack ultra-durable switches, most sub-$30 mice will have switches rated only for 10 million clicks or less. Granted, that’s still a lot, but these cheaper, less-durable switches tend to fail more regularly in our experience and often well before 10 million clicks.
To be fair, the 50- and 60-million-click switches like Razer’s Optical switches may not make it to that number either. However, the higher ratings generally indicate significantly improved durability, based on my experience. So if you want your affordable gaming mouse to last as long as possible, keep an eye on the switch durability when shopping.
Shopping for the best gaming mouse under $30 can be challenging, with all the unknown brands flooding the market in that price bracket. But you can find some great mice from reputable brands by shopping for older mice that have dropped in price.
If you want something for competitive PC gaming, look no further than the Razer Viper Mini or SteelSeries Rival 3. Both are lightweight mice perfect for claw and fingertip grip. But if you’re a more relaxed gamer looking for comfort, check out the Logitech G MX518. It’s a classic, and you’ll understand why when you put your hands on it.
Curious what you can get for an extra $20 or so? Check out our best gaming mice under $50 list for some other great value picks.