Which keyboard and mouse?

I notice many people use a gaming mouse and a gaming keyboard to play Age of Empires. Is there any benefit of doing so, or is that just marketing?

I now use an Apple Keyboard and an old HP mouse. (I play on Mac with Boot Camp but the Apple mouse is worthless imo, so I use the mouse of an old pc of mine).

Of course, strategy is muuuuch more important than the keyboard and mouse you use etc etc. But would a gaming mouse/keyboard make things like microing a bit easier, or is it just a waste of money? I never used a gaming mouse/keyboard so I don’t know how it’s like.

I recently got a Logitech G305, and it’s definitely a bit nicer than a cheaper mouse because:

  1. The high DPI sensor combined with turning down the mouse speed in Windows gives noticeably smoother and more accurate movement of the mouse pointer than a lower DPI mouse.

  2. The absence of cable drag helps a bit.

  3. It has a high polling rate and the wireless lag can actually be lower than many wired mice.

Any effect on my performance in the game has been very small, but now I’ve got used to it, I just can’t bear to use a cheap mouse any more, as the movement of the pointer seems so horrible by comparison.

For keyboards, customising the keyboard lighting could help if you make it match your hotkeys. You can potentially get a nicer feel than a cheaper keyboard, and also maybe quieter for streaming.

1 Like

In my experience, I would avoid wireless mice and keyboards. Every wireless mouse I’ve ever tried has always had lag. Even if it’s just minuscule lag, I notice it. That was as of last year when I tested a new wireless mouse or two.

LOL, while I was posting, I see @breeminator commented that their wireless lag is actually less than wired. Interesting. Maybe you have to spend a lot of $$ to get over the lag hurdle with wireless? Admittedly, my wireless test have been with sub-$50 mice, so maybe you get what you pay for. I just always assumed that lag was inherent to the technology so spending $100+ on a wireless mouse would have similar lag.

  • Personally, I also don’t like having to worry about my mouse’s/keyboard’s battery dying on me, needing replacement on occasion, or slowly depleting over time. (Wouldn’t the responsiveness diminish as the battery drains, too?). So I prefer wired for these reasons, too.

-=-=-=-=-=-
I have a wired ‘Logitech G Pro Gaming Mouse’ and really like it. Really smooth, responsive movement, and the braided cable is quite flexible compared to old-school cables, which is nice to help move it out of the way.

As breeminator said, I agree that the smooth movement and accuracy of gaming mice is worth it. Cheaper mice are fine for work, but for gaming/home, it’d now be weird for me to use a mouse without good DPI and polling rate.

The DPI switch on my mouse (located below the mousewheel) has come in handy. It has four customizable sensitivity presets to toggle through; to be able to change sensitivity on the fly.

  • Comes in handy for certain games where the game changes mouse sensitivity on you; when you, say, go into a vehicle after running around. An older game I’ve played, in particular, really slows down the sensitivity when entering a tank, but I just click my DPI button a couple times to increase sensitivity to the max preset I made and I’m good. After exiting the vehicle, I hit the DPI button a couple times to put the DPI back to what I like.

Regarding DPI and polling rate, it’s pretty incredible how sensitive you can make gaming mice. I could see some elite players across the gaming industry being able to crank up the DPI beyond what I use and do great with ultra-fast turning and such. I have my personal limits :wink:

I also like being able to move my mouse pointer across the screen by moving the mouse a couple inches (literally) on my mouse pad, without having to lift my mouse up and repeating that motion multiple times. I can do this with my gaming mouse; which, over time, may help me avoid carpal tunnel syndrome since I’m not moving my hand/wrist as much.

  • At work, though, with the inexpensive (non-gaming) mouse, I find myself having to crank the Windows 10 mouse settings’ Pointer Options sensitivity all the way to the highest and it’s still not fast/sensitive enough for what I’m used to experiencing on my home PC with gaming mouse. The relatively poor polling/reporting rate also probably doesn’t help.

I just checked on my home PC and I’m able to have the Win10 setting at a reasonable mid-point level because of the gaming mouse, which I have set to a default of 2550 DPI sensitivity & 1000 polling rate. There’s no way I could have this setting at the mid-point at work:

image

-=-=-=-=-=-
As for keyboards, the main problem I’ve had with non-gaming keyboards is sometimes they don’t let you press multiple keys at once to register the keystrokes you want and in the order you want. So, for example, if you’re playing a FPS game and need to hold ALT+SHIFT+W down to do a particular move (which some do), some keyboards won’t let you do that, if they only allow two buttons to be reliably pressed at once.

  • I’ve had a couple other things not work or act weirdly, just can’t remember offhand… but it was usually tied to the keyboard not allowing more than like two keys to be pressed at a time and/or needing to hit keys in a certain order if you needed to hold down 2 or 3 of them.
  • A higher “n-key rollover” value on keyboard specs lets you press multiple keys at once without issue; I doubt you’d need to hold more than 3 or 4 keys at a time, but you’d want it to be possible and reliable if you did. I have a Logitech that has gotten the job done for me.
  • I think responsiveness may have been an issue on some keyboards I’ve tried, too. I don’t try a lot of keyboards, but the issues I’ve experienced are with the generic ones that get included with PCs you buy.

That’s just my experience, but I think it’s worth it if you can. Even low- or mid-level gamer peripherals might be okay. I don’t have high-end peripherals by any stretch of the imagination. The Logitech G110 keyboard I got 10 years ago is still going strong. And there were definitely mice a lot more expensive than what I got.

Wow. Sorry for the wall of text :-/ Didn’t intend for that to happen.

2 Likes

The G305 isn’t hugely expensive, but it’s quite bare bones in terms of extra buttons, all the money has gone on the sensor and wireless comms. They show a comparison here of click latency against unnamed wired competitors:

I can’t discern any lag when using it.

Although it seems counter-intuitive for wireless to have lower latency, it’s not unprecedented, e.g. I’ve seen it claimed that PS4 controllers have lower latency when used wireless:

Oh, cool. Good points, as I forgot about consoles. I don’t remember ever really noticing any lag with my old PS3 wireless controller; so I guess wireless tech is fine – even for moderately priced stuff – and I’ve just been unlucky with the few wireless mice I’ve tried on PC :smiley:

I should also add, the G305’s battery life is insane. I’ve been using it at the highest polling rate, with a rechargeable single AA battery (2500mAh), and after a month of being used all day every day, it’s still showing 2 out of 4 bars of battery life remaining in the Logitech software. I’ve read that it can last over 6 months at the lowest polling rate.

1 Like

I just use laptop keyboard and a cheap non gaming mouse. I never would never really consider changing this. I feel like my own speed hold my back, not the speed of the mouse. Only reason why i would consider a gaming mouse is because the extra buttons, so you can bind hotkeys to those buttons. At this moment i dont really use most hotkeys. That also says i lot of my rating and how diehard gamer i am. I dont know your rating, but if it less then 1200-1300, just dont care about these gaming keyboards and mouses. If your rating is higher, then it might useful and you can consider it. Still no must in my opinion.

2 Likes

A good mouse is very important. Extra buttons, good sensor, variable dpi, different profiles for multiple applications.

Also for webbrowsing, extra buttons for changing tabs, page forwards & backwards, copy & paste, enter, f11 (fullscreen). An endless scroll wheel (logitech g502) is now a must for browsing long pages (YT, Reddit, Fb…)

It really doesn’t make sense not to buy a good mouse if you spend a lot of time on the computer.

1 Like

In using my work mouse today, I noticed it actually wasn’t too bad when I used my metal mouse pad with it. The mouse pad smoothed out the mouse pointer’s motion a lot compared to using my table’s surface. You might consider trying that if you go with a more standard mouse?

The pad I use was given to me by a friend 5 years ago. Insignia brand, which I think is Best Buy’s brand. It looks like this:

image

“Control Surface” on one side; “Speed Surface” on the other. I always use Control side (personal preference)

It’s little rubber feet/pads fell off a few years ago, but I use the pad and mouse on my lap, so that’s no big deal.

There are probably other, maybe better options out there; but wanted to share my experience.

I use the pad with my Logitech mouse at home and I’ve always liked it.

1 Like

I am a keyboard snob, although I try to be gracious about it and keep quiet around other people.

There is no doubt in my mind that the quality of the keyboard has a direct relationship to the quality of the writing. That, of course, is subjective and may well be unsupportable, but it is a truth for me.

My main keyboards are an old Das Keyboard that sounds like how a war tank sounds as it thunders over the horizon. I like it loud and I am sure it would get me censored in an office, but I work alone.

I also use a modern KeyChron K3 Slim. This is one of a long line of models made primarily for gamers. There is just about nothing that you can’t change on them; the keys, colours, and unfortunately, the backlighting. I say unfortunate because my keyboard has something like a dozen lighting setups, colours, and light level changes. Some settings make it seem like I am trying to write at a rock concert, and I am sure they are a danger to someone with epilepsy. Fortunately, there is an old-guy steady light setting that has an adjustable light level. Moreover, there are other quite affordable mechanical keyboards like a few of them listed here 9 Best Gaming Keyboards Under $100

As someone else mentioned, backlighting is just so useful and comfortable that I am going to make sure that whatever keyboard, or laptop, I get next has it.

fair eonugh you said the truth

1 Like