In our previous review, we looked at gaming mice from across the market. As we pointed out during this review, gaming mice work great when they're used in combination with a gaming mouse.
Personally I cannot tell the difference whether I am using a specific gaming mice pad or a general mouse pad, its the physiological part of my brain that knows when I am using a gaming mouse with a gaming mouse pad, there can be no excuses when it comes to gaming performance.
In this section, we’re looking at gaming mice pads and deciding if you really need one, whether you can just use a thin slice of foam or if you really need to go out and buy the best gaming mouse pad to get the full performance out of your gaming mouse.
The Best Gaming Mouse Pad
What's the best gaming mouse pad on the market today? It's simple, it's the Razer Goliathus Range of Gaming Mouse Mat's. Firstly you're buying a Razor, meaning that your best mouse mat has been designed specifically for gaming. Secondly it ticks the physiological box straight away knowing that you have bought a gaming mouse pad that has been designed to be used with your gaming mouse.
The Razer Goliathus series comes in five different sizes and four different models of which the Goliathus Speed and Control are our two favorite models. The key difference between the two models really depends on the games that you want to play and your style.
The speed is built for just that, speed and thus is made from a slick, taut weave for speedy mouse movements and has been fully optimised for all mouse sensitivities, sensors high mouse DPI's above 15,000. Check it out in action here.
The Goliathus Control is built for control and is therefore made from a slightly larger weave that helps to build friction into your mouse movements to ensure that you get pixel-precise targeting. Check it out in action here.
Do You Really Need A Gaming Mouse Pad?
This is a question that I am asked all the time and the honest answer is No. You don't need a gaming mouse pad, but you do need a mouse pad. The difference between a gaming mouse pad and you're typical mouse pad is marginal, however personally I think there is a physiological difference where a gaming mouse pad reduces any excuses for your performance.
You have to remember, gaming mice have been designed to work with speed and precision through an optical sensor. Over the years those optical sensors have been advanced, however they have also been designed to be more reliable and consistent through the use of a mouse pad.
Typically when you review stats on gaming mice and then try and replicate them at home, the difference is alarming. Generally this different is down to the mouse pad which keeps the consistency and thus increases the performance.
The Gaming Mouse Pad Range
Speed / Control
Enhanced cloth weave
Slick, taut weave
Ultra Smooth Surface
Protective chamfer design
Smooth Cloth Surface
Microfiber Smooth Surface
Rubber reflective surface
Non-Slip Rubber, Super Smooth
Cloth based smooth
Across the market there are literally hundreds of different gaming mice, and gaming mouse pads of all different shapes and sizes. Below we have picked the top ten based on personal knowledge, reviews, ratings and player recommendations to provide you with the positives and negatives of each one.
Remember, the key difference between the different mouse pads is very small and very hard to measure. Yes there is a difference between those that have been designed for speed and those that have been designed for control, but within their specific sectors, the difference is small.
What we're looking for in the best gaming mouse pad, is a mouse pad that not only allows for performance, but also one that stick up to the abuse that you throw at it. The problem with gamers and their mouse pads is they take a lot of abuse with anything from coffee stains to vigorous movements.
Typically if you buy a cheap imported mouse pad, the difference in performance is minimal, but the difference in lifespan will be huge. Personally I have been using the same Razer gaming mouse pad for the last six years, I have never replaced it and never had a problem with it.
That all said, I have demo'ed plenty of gaming PC's over the years and you can tell the difference between those that come with a decent mouse mat and those that don't.
Gaming Mouse Pad Reviews
Razor Goliathius Control Gaming Mouse Pad
Our Rating -
Like all Razer's products, they have been designed and tested by gamers, for gamers. The mouse pads are no different and you can tell the difference between these and a cheap import. Personally, of the gaming mice pad's that I have tried over the years, the Razer Goliathius Control pad is firmly the best in class if you're the gamer that is looking for accuracy and control.
The best thing about the Razer range of control gaming pads is that they come in four different size options to fit all requirements and needs. The smallest mouse pad comes with dimensions of 10 X 8 Inches whilst the biggest which is the extended version, comes with dimensions of 12 X 36 Inches. It's entirely up to you which size you choose as it make no difference to performance. Personally, the bigger the better.
The mouse mat is made from a heavily textured weave that allows for complete control and precise in-game accuracy. The pad has been optimised for all mouse sensitivities and sensors, comes with an anti-slip rubber base and is finished with an anti-fraying frame that stop’s wear-and-tear over the short term.
Razer Goliathius Speed Gaming Mouse Pad
Our Rating -
Very similar to the model above, the “Speed” has been designed for just that, speed. The key difference between the two is the size of the weave. With the control, the weave is larger meaning that the mouse grips the mouse pad as you move it, whilst with the speed, you get a sense that you can freely move the mouse around the pad without any hindrance.
This type of mouse pad will specifically suit those gamers who are playing FPS where mouse speed is everything and whilst I have not used it all that much over the years, it’s an impressive mouse pad.
Across the internet the reviews of the two models are positive. Yes there are the haters, however they typically hate anything Razer related rather than it being the mouse pad.
Reflex Lab Gaming Mouse Pad
Our Rating -
The Reflex Lab Mouse Pad is more a mouse carpet that a mouse mat given its almost three-feet long and one-foot wide and about one cm thick. It has been designed for those gamers who like to be able to freely move their mouse around without ever running out of pad. Personally I have not used it much, but there is a massive community of gamers across the world that swear by it.
There are also over 2,000 reviews on amazon.co.uk with 90% of them being 5-star reviews. The mat is totally waterproof, comes with an ultra smooth surface for friction less gaming, professional edge stitching meaning that it’s not going to fall apart and most importantly, come with a value for money price tag.
As expressed above, I have not used it much, however if you’re looking for speed, want a machine washable - yes it’s machine washable, huge mouse pad then check out the reflex lab mouse pad.
Lenovo Y Gaming Mouse Pad
Our Rating -
Lenovo is Top 10 brand within the technology and more specifically laptop computer market and therefore you’re buying a product that has been tried and tested. Is it a gaming specific mouse pad? Probably not, but for a under £10, its a decent option. The pad is made from synthetic fibres machined into a thin weave that provide decent mouse sensor control.
It's waterproof and comes with an anti-slip plastic bottom that grips to your gaming table. From a quality point of view, the models above are noticeable better, however from a performance point of view, there is little noticeable difference until the gameplay speeds up and start noticing that your mouse is not performing as expected. Overall, decent mouse matt, nothing special.
SteelSeries XXL Gaming Mouse Pad (67500)
Our Rating -
SteelSeries is another gaming specific brand similar to Razer above with the key difference being that they are also involved in gaming e-sports events. Like Razer, when you buy a steelseries product, you’re buying a product that has been tried and tested to perform and whilst it may come with a slightly higher price tag, generally its worth the added expense.
The XXL is very much like the refex lab above given that it's nearly three-feet wide and one-foot long, but the key difference between the two, the steel series is not nearly a thick. SteelSeries do make other sizes, however generally the XXL is the gaming mouse pad of choice for the gaming community.
If there is anything not to like, its the material its made of which is best described as a synthetic cloth. It provides friction less gliding for your mouse and great control, but if you sweat from your hands due to excessive game play, it has a tendency to get rather sticky which can cause skin irritations.
MSI Sistorm Gaming Mouse Pad
Our Rating -
MSI build two key models, the Sistorm which is the cheaper version and the Thunderstorm below. The Sistorm is made from a silicone base and a synthetic cloth material that offers decent flexibility whilst at the same time, control. There is also a slight difference in the speed on the mat with the Sistorm being better for those that are looking for speed.
Dimensions are 10 X 14 Inches and its about 3mm thick. In short, its a more general mouse pad that is pretty decent for gaming, but can also be used for other things and general computer use.
Whilst it’s not the cheapest on the market, it does offer some value for money whilst at the same time offering performance and a quality build construction.
MSI ThunderStorm Gaming Mouse Pad
Our Rating -
The MSI Thunderstorm is the premium version the above model and comes with a dual-sided pad, silicone feet for extra grip and an aluminium core for strength and stability. The Thunderstorm comes with dimensions of 8 X 12 Inches, is designed in an L-shape to help gamers get close to their keyboard whilst using their mouse and a synthetic clothe that is both water and dust resistant.
Performance is decent and whilst I don't think its intentional, the side with the dragon facing upwards is definitely slight more rough than the side with the MSI logo which feels more smooth meaning that it effectively comes with a double design with one side better for control and the other better for speed.
Again I don't think this is intentional and whilst i have reached out to MSI in the past, i have not had an update. What MSI do include is adhesive tape which you can use if you mouse needs less traction as such when you’re playing FPS games where mouse speed is everything.
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