Finding the right mouse isn’t just a matter of getting the one with the best specs. Finding one with a suitable shape is crucial, and that relies on first figuring out how you hold your mouse. To help you with that, we’re going to discuss the three main mouse grip styles most people use: palm grip, claw grip, and fingertip grip.
There’s no right or wrong grip type, and unless you’re trying to be the next s1mple, you’ll likely be fine with the grip you’re already using. Just so long as you have the right mouse for your grip, that is. So if you’re still searching for the perfect mouse, this guide should help you narrow down your choices. Let’s get started.
The 3 Types of Mouse Grip Styles
The palm grip is arguably the most relaxed grip of the three. As the name suggests, a palm grip involves resting the entirety of your palm on your mouse, along with most of your fingers. This makes the palm grip quite comfortable and minimizes hand strain compared to the two other grip types.
A palm grip usually goes hand-in-hand with arm aiming, especially since pivoting at the wrist with a palm grip is seriously uncomfortable. Delicate adjustments aren’t the forte of the palm grip and arm aiming combo, but it’s great for large, gliding movements and slower-paced gaming.
Low sensitivity gamers will love palm grip, as it perfectly complements the wide sweeps and extended mouse movements they commonly make.
If you’re a palm gripper, you want to look for an “ergonomic” gaming mouse like the Razer DeathAdder V2 and Glorious Model D. These gaming mice are right- or left-handed-only and will have sculpted curves and extra width to make palm grips more comfortable. These aren’t your only options, of course, so check out our list of the best palm grip mice for even more recommendations.
The fingertip grip is the complete opposite of the palm grip. Here, only the tips of your fingers hold the mouse while the palm floats well above it. It’s probably the most uncomfortable of the three, although there are benefits to it depending on your playstyle.
The best thing about the fingertip grip is how fast it is. Gamers used to a fingertip grip can make speedy micro-adjustments without even any wrist movement. This makes it an excellent grip for twitch shooters and games where rapid mouse movements are essential. You do tend to lose the stability that the palm grip offers, though.
One often-overlooked benefit of the fingertip grip is that it makes aiming downwards incredibly easy. You can just pull your fingers in to point your view downwards, while palm and claw grip users will have to drag their wrists back. It’s a small bonus, but it can make a difference in heated situations.
Smaller symmetrical mice work great for fingertip grips, especially ultralight mice. The combination of delicate control from the fingertip grip and sub-70-gram weight of ultralight ambidextrous mice makes for an excellent gaming experience in FPS games. You also want a relatively low-profile mouse so that you don’t have to hold your palm up too high. Check out our roundup review of the best fingertip grip mice for a whole list of options.
The claw grip is somewhat of a hybrid between the two other mouse grip types. The conventional claw grip involves resting the base of the palm on the mouse before arching the hand over the mouse. The fingers then come down at an angle on the buttons, giving it the look of a stereotypical animal claw.
Gameplay-wise, it retains most of the flexibility and fast movement of the fingertip grip but with a bit of extra stability and control afforded by the palm contact. Both fingertip and claw grip suit medium- to high-sensitivity gamers who predominantly aim at the wrist.
The main downside is that claw grip puts more strain on the fingers and joints. Getting the right mouse will help, but it’s definitely less comfortable than the other mouse grips for me. Small- to medium-sized ultralight symmetrical mice are ideal, like with the fingertip grip. However, you might want to consider a slightly shorter mouse than expected for claw grip.
For example, the Logitech G Pro X and Razer Viper are both perfect claw grip mice on paper. But the Logitech is a lot shorter at 4.41 inches vs. the Viper’s 4.99 inches, and that shorter length makes it a much better fit for me. That’s despite the Viper supposedly being a better fit based on the 60% rule for mouse size (which recommends mice that are 60% of your hand’s length and width). So it’s definitely worth experimenting to see how you get on with mouse lengths.
Check out our list of the best claw grip mice for more recommendations that should be perfect for claw grippers.
So there you have it, the three main mouse grip styles that most users fall into. There’s no right or wrong grip here, and it’s just a matter of personal preference and comfort as to which you use. Don’t worry too much about whether your grip’s holding you back; you’ll find pros that use each of these grips and make it work for them.
However, knowing your mouse grip style is a huge help when buying the perfect mouse. Of course, you’ll still have to try out a few mice to find one that you like. But knowing that you use a palm grip should save you from wasting time and money trying smaller ambidextrous mice, for example.
All in all, you’ll be in a much better position to find the right mouse once you know your grip style and have measured your hand size. Good luck!