Optical vs Laser Mouse: Which Is Better For Gaming? [Simple Answer] 

Optical Vs Laser Mouse, Which Is Better: Simple Answer

Both the optical and laser mouse have different advantages that they give to a gamer, but the one that is much better overall is the optical mouse. This is because it delivers better accuracy and responsiveness, while the laser mouse is the better one when it comes to higher DPI and you can use it on all surfaces, making it more versatile.

The story of the computer mouse begins with the track and ball mouse, but we have now almost forgotten all about it, thanks to the emergence of the optical mouse and then the laser mouse.

If you only use your computer for regular pc work, the optical vs laser mouse debate will not be very useful to you since by now you must have realized that almost any mouse can get the job done for you perfectly. On the other hand, it is entirely different for a computer artist as well as a gamer because the mouse is much more than just a rodent that runs about and allows you to click on things; it is your gaming experience.

Generally, a mouse has remained among the most essential peripherals that a gamer needs, but what has remained a big source of concern for gamers is the type of mouse that will serve the simple yet deep needs of a gamer. The two mice that have been a subject of debate are the optical and laser mouse.

Before looking at which is better for gaming in terms of sensitivity, accuracy, and other things, the two rodents are different in many ways. Optical gaming mouse has been around the corner for a very much longer time than the laser mouse which although have made it to the market only in 2004, still lag behind the optical as far as meeting gaming needs is concerned. While the optical mouse makes use of the LED light, laser mouse just as you have guessed, make use of laser light. However, both of them make use of the  CMOS sensor in order to analyze surfaces.

Optical Mouse and Laser Mouse

Optical vs Laser Mouse
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The major things that separate the optical mouse and the laser mouse apart from the prices are sensitivity and accuracy:


When it comes to sensitivity, you are better off with a laser mouse because it comes with a much higher Dot Per Inch (DPI) than the optical mouse. With the DPI, your mouse assists with precision.

With that said, so much has changed over the years in terms of sensitivity as the gap between the DPI of both mice is closing rather rapidly. What is more is that even budget mice now come with a good DPI that can go above 1600 which is quite good. Typically, a gaming mouse should have up to 3000 DPI although there are some that believe it can be up to 4000 DPI, which is achieved by both optical and laser mouse.

More so, mice that are less than a thousand DPI are today able to deliver great precision thanks to the advancement in CMOS technology. Nevertheless, except you are a serious gamer, you may not even get to realize the difference in the resolution even though it still means a lot in gaming.


Accuracy is something that many gamers would find very important to achieve. Accuracy in this sense has to do with the ability of the mouse to accurately track what it should. This tracking function is dependent on how it is able to accurately analyze the surface it is on.

With an optical mouse which makes use of infrared or red LED, you will be able to achieve great accuracy as far as you are able to avoid surfaces that reflect light including glass tables and wood with glossy surfaces or opaque surfaces in general. The tracking done by the optical sensor is by taking multiple pictures of the surface in order to determine where it is on the screen.

See Also: Middle Mouse Button Not Working? Here’s What to Do 

On the other hand, laser mouse makes use of a laser sensor and because of that, they are able to track things on any kind of surface without any problem whatsoever. The only issue that laser mouse has is that because it can be too sensitive, you may experience some jittery when you are tracking things much slower.

When the optical vs laser mouse debate starts as regards which is better in terms of accuracy, the optical mouse will have to take the day. This is because the laser mouse can get to over analyze things. Therefore if you have a surface that will not support an optical mouse, the good news is that the market still has mouse pads.


Of course, like every other thing that you buy, the price is very important when it comes to getting good gaming mice. In this regards, as a result of the technology and the versatility that it offers, the laser mouse has come to be more expensive than the optical mouse. Apart from the versatility based on the surfaces that you can use it on, the laser mouse is also costlier because of the many features it comes with including the programmable buttons.

Optical Vs Laser Mouse – Differences

In summary, of all that is said about the optical and laser mouse, here are their main differences:

Optical Mouse Laser Mouse
Tracking method LED Lights LED Lights
Typical surface Most surfaces with the exception of light reflecting surfaces All surfaces
Accuracy Greater accuracy Less accuracy
Resolution Lower DPI (3000 DPI) Higher DPI (6000 DPI)
Buttons Optical mouse has less number of buttons It has more buttons
Versatility It is less versatile since it cannot work on all surfaces It is more versatile.
Cost Less Expensive More expensive


At the end of the day, in the optical vs laser mouse debate, I will stick with the optical mouse most especially because, as stated earlier, it comes with more accuracy that a gamer would find very useful. Nevertheless, there are some games that you may prefer to use a particular mouse over the other. When playing highly competitive games such as first-person shooter games, getting an optical mouse will be the best thing for you to do. This is because you need as much precision as possible.

For MOBA games, you may not necessarily need to get an optical mouse since the accuracy needed is not too exaggerated.


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