Mouse pads aren’t usually the most exciting part of getting into gaming. Behind all the equipment and hardware there is to buy, like glowing keyboards, and high resolution monitors, mouse pads are often overlooked. With that said, the proper mouse pad will add to your gaming experience. Although mouse pads may not be the most obvious accessory to your PC rig, they’re definitely worth a buy.
Today’s mouse pads have come a long way since their humble beginnings. Not only are they surfaces you can count on when gaming, but they now come with many extra add-ons that can be useful. Many gaming mouse pads now have RGB lighting which adds to your immersive gaming experience. Some offer wireless charging for wireless gaming mice. Most importantly gaming mouse pads provide gamers with smooth gliding that will only improve accuracy. We highly recommend that as you set up your gaming rig, that you invest in the best mouse pad possible. You’ve already bought the best PC, and gaming mouse, why not go all the way? You’ll thank yourself later.
The History of Mousepads
In order to truly understand why having a good mouse pad is important, first you should know the history behind them and why they were created to begin with. Mice when into mass production in the 80’s using a technology that isn’t as common today: roller balls. For their time these roller balls were a great idea. They allowed computer users to convert physical movement into movement on a monitor.
The way it would work is that these balls would transfer information on their direction to two more rollers inside the mouse that would track the movement and translate it into movement on an X and Y axis on the monitor. Although the technology worked like a charm, like all great things, it was susceptible to good-ole wear and tear.
As the roller moved around on surfaces, the rubber ball would pick up all sorts of hair, dirt, crumbs, and other debris that would later wind up inside the mouse. Additionally, some desks didn't provide the right amount of friction to make sure the mouse ball rolled smoothly. Some surfaces were uneven also lending to a static rubber mouse ball. We needed a solution. From then on mouse pads were born!
In order to combat the constant struggle of dirt and uneven or frictionless surfaces, mouse pads were made to stay relatively clean and provide a smooth surface for an even distribution of friction.
This solution was short lived and came crashing down with the invention of optical mice, who didn’t use rubber roller balls. Instead, optical mice shine a bright LED light onto the desk from the bottom of the mouse. The light then bounces off the desk and back to a photoelectric cell that is also found under the mouse, allowing the mouse to track movement.
With this new and improved invention, people stopped using their mats all together.
Why are Mousepads Still Relevant?
Since then, people have noticed that mouse pads were not so obsolete after all. We’ve been able to pick up on other benefits to using mouse pads. With no rubber ball, there was a frictional burden that developed on the underside of the mouse. This causes the mouse to skate. Without adequate cushioning, both the mouse and the desks they sat upon were getting scratched and scuffed through use.
A good mouse pad will allow gamers to use their mice without scratching the surfaces of their desks and lowering the lifespan of their gaming mice. On top of that, when gaming it is paramount to feel as comfortable as possible. Some found that the friction created due to the lack of padding and spongy cushion that certain mouse pads provide was also causing discomfort in the wrist. Some mouse pads are very large, allowing the user space for their keyboard and giving gamers the ability to sweep their cursor across the monitor in wide arcs.
Distinctly, some mouse pads are hard and although they lack wrist support, they are consistent in mouse glide, tracking, and allowing the gamer to glide their mice faster as well.
The material of some mouse mats create a microtectexture that assists the optical sensors of gaming mice to pick up on how fast their moving across the surface of the desk. This will have a direct effect on aiming speed and sensitivity. Harder mouse mats can be great for practice and building up muscle memory when aiming.
Don’t forget about the mouse pad! Mouse pad’s are still very useful and practical especially for gamers and people who spend the majority of their time, whether it be for work or entertainment, on their PCs. Mouse pads are just as important today as they were in the 80’s, just for different reasons.
What to look for in a Mousepad
Although all mouse pads have virtually the same function, they can come with certain features that may stand out to you.
Some offer bright RGB lights for ambiance while others have rubber stoppers in their corners to stop the mouse pad from moving. Some materials are present in the mouse pad surface such as aluminum to improve glidability and your in-game response time. There are stain and waterproof mouse pads that allow for more peace of mind when gaming. Others are made with a higher thread count for the same reason. One of the best features offered on certain mouse pads is the Qi charging feature ( a technology that allows charging over short distances without cables). A lot of what you get will depend on your needs and your personal taste.
What to look for in a mouse pad:
- Huge Surface space - This will allow you to sweep your mouse in large arcs if covering a lot of distance is needed.
- Low-friction surface - You’ll be able to glide faster and more accurately as you game.
- Glow in the dark logo -Stylish and Immersive
- Different sizes to choose from - Will allow you to set up your desk as you wish.
- Thinness - Stylish, functional design
- Qi wireless charging - Convenience when charging your devices
- Razer Chroma-enabled - Great RGB lighting options
- Customizable lighting - Optimum for creating an immersive gaming experience
The Bottom Line
Although at some point in computer mouse history it seemed like mouse pads were going to be a thing of the past, they have stood the test of time and have proven to be just as useful as they were 40 years ago when they first came on the market. If you’re trying to build your perfect CPU rig and gaming room, it is no doubt that a mouse pad would be a necessary addition. If you’re looking for mouse pads to fit your needs and style Patriot Memory is a great place to start! We have a wide selection of products for all your gaming needs.