We know that a gaming mat is the key to enjoying excellent tracking and control of your mouse. But can we settle for any old mouse pad we come across? Not at all. Choosing the right gaming mat is our best bet when thinking of performance.
We, gamers, can't compromise on an ordinary mat if we want a pixel-perfect shot to annihilate our opponent. This unassuming equipment can significantly impact our gameplay and overall comfort during long gaming sessions. Let’s explore the 6 qualities we should look for in a gaming mat for a desk to enhance your gaming setup.
How to Choose the Right Gaming Mat?
The right gaming mat can make all the big difference, it can provide us with a level of precision and control required to score big in our games. But how can we know which type of desk mat is right for us? There are overwhelming gaming mousepad choices available in the market. Finding the right one is certainly daunting.
There is nothing like one-size-fits-all when choosing a gaming mat for desk. It all depends on our personal preferences and gaming needs. If we are new to the gaming world, choosing a gaming mat that sits perfectly to our needs is an uphill battle. So here we come in with 6 factors to look for in a gaming mat to guarantee the best gaming experience.
Right Balance Between Speed and Control
First thing first. You need to assess your preferences and gaming style. You can’t find the right gaming mat if you are unaware of the anatomy of your mousepad. The gaming mat can come in many material types; such as hard plastic, aluminum, and soft cloth or silicon.
Soft gaming mats contain increased friction that offers a high level of control over your movements. They have a smooth texture that is gentle on our wrists and are quite suitable for long gaming sessions. However, high friction means less speed while we glide our mouse.
So we have to compromise on speed if we are opting for the cushiony feel of a cloth pad. But what if we prefer speed over control? Then we might go for a hard gaming mat for a desk which is the preferred choice of most fast-paced gamers. The smooth surface of hard material enables us to travel more distance with less effort. They work really well on both laser and optical gaming mice. Though you won’t find the cushioning feel in hard mats, their high level of sensitivity to mouse movement is a compelling point for most gamers. On the flip side, hard material does not provide much precision and control. So beginners might not get comfortable with it for a few months.
So when we think of gaming mats, it's not hard vs. soft, it’s more about speed vs. precision. Does it mean that’s a dead end for those who can’t compromise on speed and precision? Most gamers prefer cloth mouse pads and some of them go for metal pads. The reason is most games demand pixel-perfect shots which can be possible only with a soft pad.
That said, some high-end rubber gaming pads have emerged on screen recently. They contain a textured surface to offer high-level precision that is the essence of a gaming world. But side by side, the base surface is smooth enough to offer hypersensitive responses while we play. These carefully crafted mouse pads can adapt to your varying gaming needs.
Size & Portability
The size of our custom gaming pad also holds the utmost importance, especially if we have a small desk space. Today, most gamers go for extended desk mats to allow uninterrupted glides and aggressive moves. Such pads not only accommodate your mouse but also PC, keyboard, as well as a cup of coffee, if you want.
However, we should keep our desk space and portability in mind. So we should measure the space available desk space to avoid your hanging mouse pad. Though some of us do have our mouse pads hanging from the desk, honestly, they do not look as aesthetically pleasing. So it is always wise to opt for the dimensions that accommodate your available space.
In addition, large mats are difficult to carry in backpacks or travel bags, especially if they are non-foldable. So if we are more of a travel person, going for a small mouse pad or a foldable one like a cloth pad would be more suitable. Rubber mousepads can also be considered as they keep their form and shape intact even after being kept rolled up for a while.
Another great quality of a good gaming mouse pad is its ability to stay in place. An unstable mouse pad that shifts or slides can disrupt your gameplay and lead to frustration. So, an anti-slip base ensures that our mouse pad remains firmly anchored to our desk, even during the most intense gaming battles.
The stability provided by such pads helps ensure precise aiming and smooth cursor movements, enhancing our gaming experience. Mouse pads with rubberized or grippy undersides that feel glued to our desk surface are well-deserving candidates here.
A great mouse pad does not degrade with time. After repetitive washing and extensive use, our fabric mouse pad can start frying gradually. So a mouse pad with stitched edges can be a better and more durable option. However, even stitched edges can fray with time, reducing the smoothness and longevity of our mouse pads.
So we should always look for a thick stitched frame around the perimeters of our gaming mats. This type of gaming mat reduces the seams between the base and the top surface fabric, preserving the quality and life of our gaming arsenal. However, make sure the edging is not sticking out enough to scrape your arm.
Another great advantage of a mouse pad with stitched edges is that it retains its shape after repeated washing. Additionally, we can wash it in the machine without losing the quality of our mouse pad.
Some of us are great fans of RGB lighting. Some brands offer this add-on in gaming mouse pad. A LED strip is stitched around the edge of the mat. Although it doesn't directly affect our gameplay, RGB lighting can create an immersive gaming ambiance. There is a price to pay though, these RGB mats are hard to take care of. You can't submerge them in water or do a machine wash. Mousepads are in constant contact with skin and get dirty fairly easily, but with RGB pad a wet washcloth would have to do the job.
Some mouse pads offer more than just an optimized surface for gaming. Some great features offered by gaming pads include:
Some gaming mouse pads are equipped with wireless charging capabilities to charge our gaming mouse pad. This allows us to use our mouse freely without worrying about its battery life. We can also charge our smartphones and other smart devices with this amazing add-on.
Some modern mouse pads contain a built-in USB pass-through so we can charge our mouse closer to the pad. Again, we can use this port to charge other peripherals like signal adaptors.
Some mouse pads also have other compelling extras, such as wrist rests, water resistant coating, customized art on the surface, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why do we need a gaming mouse pad?
A mouse pad is a must-have in our gaming arsenal. It offers better control and more precision in our mouse movements. In addition, a custom mouse pad can suit our varying gaming needs and ensure the best possible gaming experience.
What is the best thickness for a gaming mousepad?
Generally, a 3mm mousepad is considered the most common thickness of a gaming pad. At this thickness, we can enjoy a great blend of support and comfort without sacrificing the control of mouse movements.
Are fast mousepads better?
It depends on our gaming needs. For instance, if we are playing a game that does not require pixel-perfect accuracy like FPS, we can use a hard mouse pad that prefers speed over precision.
How long do mouse pads last?
Generally, mouse pads tend to last five to six years. If we see visible signs of tear or fray that interrupt our gaming, we should replace our gaming mat immediately.
Now that we have gone through 6 best qualities of the right gaming pad, let’s recap what we have learned so far!
Opt for the material that offers the right balance of speed and accuracy if we can't compromise on any of them. In addition to getting the right dimensions, we always prefer a mouse pad with an anti-slip base, stitched edges, and multiple add-ons.
While choosing our gaming mat, we should keep our personal preferences in mind. Above all, we should opt for the reputed brand that is known for offering high-quality gaming equipment.
With the right gear, we can certainly leave our mark in the gaming world.