I Use Multiple Mousepads (And You Should Too)

Looking for a cheap way to personalize or switch up your PC setup? Why not try a new mousepad! Here’s why I keep and move between a variety of these often overlooked peripherals.

Specializing Your PC Build

One of the great things about modern PCs is that even mid-grade setups are capable of doing just about anything pretty well. If you buy or build a rig that can run most games, edit videos, or use Adobe Photoshop, chances are it meets at least the bare-minimum specifications to handle a wide variety of applications, both professional and recreational.

Like any generalized tool, an average desktop PC doesn’t necessarily excel at special use cases. A smartphone can take photos or stream Netflix, but not as well as a dedicated camera or smart TV.

My personal PC build was the same way – I built it only to run modern games, but then I found myself using it for a lot more freelance work than originally intended. That quickly became a hassle, and I found myself in want of a solution.

Replacing Peripherals

The main issues I had were not the machine’s capabilities. It can edit videos or run word processors just as well as it can boot up first-person shooters. My issues were mainly with my peripherals and their ergonomics for certain functions. The gaming mouse I use, for instance, is a Logitech G502 Hero. Great mouse – but covered in extra buttons for gaming, weighted for precision movement, and dialed in for quick-twitch aiming on competitive multiplayer games. That makes it a bit cumbersome for other applications. My Redragon 556 Keyboard is also kind of loud and less comfortable for typing than low-profile alternatives.

I found myself using an old wireless keyboard and mouse set, because the red switches are significantly easier to use for typing than my blue keyboard. (Not sure what kind of keyboard switches you should use? Check out our guide to everything you need to know about keyboard switches.)

I’m a sucker for tangible peripherals of any kind – small, inexpensive items that you use regularly. I’m the kind of reliable customer who collects multiple kinds of glasses for different drinks and multiple pairs of shoes for running on different terrains. Those distinctions were probably invented to take advantage of suggestible consumers like me, but hey, what can I do? I enjoy my modest collections of useful gear.

I found, unexpectedly, that the same principle applies to mousepads. You might realize that a different headset or keyboard can serve you well for gaming vs. working, but have you considered switching out your mousepad too? It’s probably the single least expensive item on your desk, but most people only own one.

When I went to round out my perfect PC setup, I couldn’t decide what type of mousepad I wanted – so I just filled up my top drawer with five of them.

Ergonomic Mousepad for Work

For me, I found that I like my MROCO Ergonomic Mousepad for applications like photo editing or word processing. Not only does the ergonomic padding make it comfortable for long hours of use, but the smooth texture also complements the relaxed motions of the mouse when I’m dragging items around my screen. The Lycra cloth surface is slow, but accurate. This mousepad sees a lot of use, and so far, it has shown no signs of wear.

MROCO mouse pad with gel wristpad.

MROCO Ergonomic Mouse Pad

$9 $16 Save $7

This ergonomic, non-slip mouse pad comes with gel wrist support for extra comfort.

Low Friction Mousepad for Gaming

Conversely, I like my Glorious Elements Gaming Mousepad for when I bust out the gaming mouse. I usually play best with high sensitivity, and having a large surface area gives me greater precision over a wide range of motion. The low friction surface of the rubber polycarbonate makes it a pleasure to glide the mouse around in long arcs for those moments when an enemy gets the drop on me. This mousepad is ideal for quick reactions, and the anti-slip rubber bottom prevents me from sliding the mousepad around on my desk in the heat of the moment. Not to mention, the consistent texture for x and y axis means that movement and aiming feel tight and natural.

Glorious Elements cloth mouse pad in black.

Glorious Elements Gaming Mousepad

This non-slip mouse pad is designed for accuracy and control in gaming.

Smooth Mousepad for Smoother Gaming

While the Glorious Elements Mousepad is great for frenetic FPS gaming, it’s almost too low friction for some games (plus, it takes up a lot of desk space). When I want something a little smoother and more precise (say, for sniping or playing a game with lots of crafting menus and navigation), I prefer my Corsair MM200. This is a great all-purpose piece of gear, and the cloth surface is smooth enough to be quick but textured enough to provide a bit of resistance. There’s really no situation where this mousepad doesn’t perform well, so this would be the mousepad I would keep if I had to have just one.

The Corsair MM200 mouse pad in black with a yellow accent stripe.

CORSAIR MM200 Cloth Mouse Pad

$11 $17 Save $6

Corsair’s MM200 makes for a great all-around gaming mouse pad with some (but not too much) resistance.

Decorative Mousepads for Company – Why Not?

For good measure, what about the aesthetics of my home office? Work, play, and a nice dinner – I have different clothes for each of those activities, so why not different cosmetics for when I want to switch it up at my desk?

Personally, I really fell in love with the look of Inked Gaming’s Lever Action and Way of Kings designs, as they really fit my room’s decor. These are quality polyester mousepads with a durable feel, so I leave one of these out all the time for general purposes. There are countless alternatives, though, and you can find plenty of sellers that offer custom artwork from Etsy or even print shops like Shutterfly. Any of these options would be great gifts, as well – particularly if you know someone like me who likes to collect useful items!

Don’t Go Overboard

Of course, all excesses have their reasonable limits. Please don’t use this editorial as justification to buy extra peripherals if your budget doesn’t allow. But if you’re looking for an easy way to customize or improve your PC setup, a mousepad is the perfect collectible that will actually see the light of day and make your life easier!

Want to know what kind of peripherals you should get for your build, or simply want an upgrade? Check out these buyer’s guides for some of the best Mechanical Keyboards, Mice, and Headsets.

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