A gaming mouse pad, like one for your office, can often feel like an afterthought when putting together your dream battlestation. But the right mouse pad can make all the difference in solo or online play. Gaming mouse pads that have soft, woven-fabric surfaces are popular because they’re affordable, comfortable to use, and easy to take with you for mobile gaming. Hard-surface mouse pads are preferred by FPS players for their speed, though they are best for desktop-only gaming since they aren’t as flexible as their cloth counterparts. Extended mouse pads are great for keeping your keyboard in place while providing more room for mouse movements, while mini versions are best suited for mobile gaming or smaller desks. You can even get RGB-enabled mouse pads to sync with your other peripherals and components to show off your personal style or match your favorite game’s aesthetics. I’ve gathered a list of the best gaming mouse pads available and broke down their features to help you find the one that best fits your budget and play style.
Size: 14 x 10 inches | Surface material: Woven fabric or micro-texture plastic | Thickness: 5mm | Base: Non-slip rubber | RGB: Yes
The Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris is an almost perfect mouse pad that is tailor-made for gamers. You can get it with either a woven-fabric or micro-textured hard surface for speed, precision, and control, and the non-slip base keeps everything right where it should be. The mouse pad measures about 14 x 10 inches, giving you plenty of space to move your mouse, so you won’t have to worry about messing up critical shots in online matches or missing tricky jumps in platformers. It features customizable RGB lighting and effects that work with Corsair’s iCUE software so you can show off your personal style or sync effects and colors to the rest of your Corsair RGB components and peripherals. It even has a USB passthrough for connecting your mouse or other wired components to free up ports on your tower.
- Great surface area
- Fabric or plastic surface
- USB passthrough
- May be too big for some desks
- 5mm thickness may be uncomfortable for some users
Size: 13.5 x 13.5 inches | Surface material: Reversible fabric/plastic | Thickness: 10mm | Base: N/A | RGB: Yes
If you have a Qi-enabled wireless mouse, you need the OMEN by HP Outpost mouse pad. It features a wireless charging pad that delivers up to 5W of power to keep your mouse powered up between raids and even to charge your phone or other Qi-enabled wireless peripherals in as little as 2.5 hours. The mouse pad itself features a reversible design so you can choose between soft-woven fabric and textured plastic to suit your playstyle. It also features customizable RGB lighting to sync with your other RGB components or show off your personal style. It even has a USB passthrough for connecting wired peripherals like headsets, keyboards, or microphones without needing to take up a port on your PC tower.
- Reversible pad
- Qi charging
- USB passthrough
- OMEN Command Center app can be clunky
- No anti-slip feet
Size: 16.5 x 12.5 inches | Surface material: Textured plastic | Thickness: 2mm | Base: Non-slip rubber | RGB: No
For gamers who play fast and frenetic shooters or action platformers, the Razer Acari is an excellent choice for a mouse pad. The textured plastic surface provides enhanced tracking accuracy for both optic and laser mouse sensors than other Razer mouse pads, and it is treated with an oleophobic coating so that oils from your hands don’t slow down your mouse. Its larger size also gives you plenty of real estate to make quick or broad swipes with your mouse when you need to quickly take aim or change direction while chasing down opponents. The mouse pad measures just shy of 2mm thin, allowing your desk to feel almost completely flat for improved comfort.
- Perfect for shooters and action platformers
- Oil and water resistant
- Good size
- Thinness may not be to everyone’s liking
- Not great for gaming on-the-go
Size: 35.4 x 15.7 inches | Surface material: Woven fabric | Thickness: 3mm | Base: Non-slip rubber | RGB: No
An extended mouse pad is great not only for using a mouse, but also for keeping your keyboard and other peripherals in place. And the Asus ROG Scabbard II is a top-notch extended mouse pad. Asus teamed up with the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists to create a specialized, woven-fabric surface for the Scabbard II which resists water, oil, and dust as well as providing a military-grade nano-coating for consistent tracking response. The Scabbard II measures about 34 x 16 inches, making it big enough for your mouse, keyboard, arcade stick, and any other peripherals you need to play your favorite games. The edges feature specialized stitching to prevent fraying and layer separation so your mouse pad can stand up to years of use. It’s also only about 3mm thin, so you won’t have to worry about a bulky mouse pad hurting your wrist during longer play sessions.
- Oil, water, and dust resistant
- Military-grade coating
- Anti-fray stitching
- Only one design scheme
- Can be damaged by hot liquids like coffee and tea
Size: 9.8 x 8.2 inches | Surface material: Woven fabric | Thickness: 2mm | Base: Non-slip rubber | RGB: No
Not everyone has the luxury of a large desk for gaming, and if you prefer to play your favorite games on a laptop, you don’t need a huge mouse pad. Enter: the SteelSeries QCK Mini. It measures about 10 x 8 inches, making it perfect for smaller desks and travel; and the soft-woven fabric paired with the flexible non-slip rubber base make it easy to roll up and place in a backpack or laptop bag for gaming on-the-go. It’s also an exceptionally affordable mouse pad, retailing for just $7 so even the tightest of budgets have room for a quality mouse pad.
- Good for small desks and travel
- Great price
- Basic, but still good quality
- No anti-fray stitching
- Not water resistant
How did we choose these gaming mouse pads?
Aside from price, I chose a variety of sizes and surface types to curate a list of gaming mouse pads to suit a wide range of game genres and play styles. I also chose a few RGB-enabled models for gamers who like customizable lighting and syncing components for a personalized setup.
Which gaming mouse pad is right for you?
Once you’ve narrowed down a budget for a new mouse pad, you should measure your desk to ensure that the kind of pad you want is going to fit and work with your current setup. Extended mouse pads are great for keeping multiple peripherals in place, but aren’t suited for smaller desks or mobile gaming. Hard-surface mouse pads are best suited for shooters and rhythm games that require fast, twitchy movements, while woven-fabric pads are better for lower DPI settings and slower-moving games like action RPGs.
Do I need a mouse pad for PC gaming?
No, you don’t necessarily have to buy a mouse pad to get the most out of your mouse when you play games, but they do offer some benefits. A mouse pad provides a consistent surface for your optical or laser sensor to track as well as protects your mouse and desk from everyday wear and tear.
How often do you clean your mouse pad?
You should clean up spills immediately. Not only will this prevent staining, it also prevents sticky build-up that can damage your mouse and make gaming uncomfortable. You should also invest in a lint roller to quickly clean up crumbs, dust, and pet hair that can gum up your mouse. Hard-surface mouse pads should be wiped down with a soft, damp cloth or disinfecting wipe once a week to prevent oil and dirt build-up, where fabric-topped mouse pads should be hand-washed in warm, soapy water only if they are very dirty. Just make sure you let it air dry and don’t throw it in your dryer to prevent warping and fraying.
What makes a good gaming mouse pad?
A “good” mouse pad is a very subjective thing, but the best one for you is one that fits on your desk and gives you plenty of room to move your mouse. It also will have a surface that works best with your mouse sensor, preferred DPI settings, and provides comfort for your wrist and forearm. Woven-top mouse pads are better for lower DPI settings and games that require more control over your mouse, where hard-topped mats are better for speed.
Are there alternative gaming mouse pads worth considering?
With so many options out there for gaming mouse pads, there’s one out there to suit just about every play style and personal preference. Here’s a short list of alternative gaming mouse pads I thought were good choices: