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Anyone with the goal of playing PC games at a competitive level should know the importance of equipment. Gamers often think about their mouse and keyboard as the first, and most important piece of the equipment, and they aren’t wrong, but there is another piece of the puzzle: the mouse mat. This is where that high-end mouse meets the surface, and for gamers looking to maximize their performance, a good mat is critical. Don’t skimp here, because spending $200 on a top-of-the-line mouse and using a cheap mouse mat will void much of the performance gained.

Don’t worry though, we are going to show you some of the best mouse mats that you can get your hands on, which will make it easier for you to choose the one that suits your needs.

SteelSeries QcK

This is easily one of the most popular gaming mouse surfaces available, and with good reason. SteelSeries offers this particular mat in all kinds of options, with the cheapest QcK mini coming with a price tag of only $6.99. Part of what makes this mat so popular is the wide range of design choices. SteelSeries works with some of the most popular professional gaming teams to bring custom surfaces with logos and art from said teams.

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The QcK is a soft mouse mat, which means it can be rolled up and carried to tournaments. The top is a soft cloth that glides quite well, and the button is rubber, which is there to provide some grip. It’s a pretty standard mouse pad, but the standard QcK is quite a bit larger than your run-of-the-mill mouse pad, coming with dimensions of 12.6 inches wide, 10.6 inches tall and 0.08 inches deep. This is important for gaming as you don’t want to your hand to run off the pad in large sweeping play motions. If durability is a concern, you can always go with a QcK Heavy and get an extra thick mouse pad that can take a beating.

Razer Invicta

If you are looking to go with something with a little more beef than the QcK, and portability is not a concern for you, the $59.99 Razer Invicta is a fantastic choice. Unlike the soft QcK, this beast features a reversible double-sided hard surface. One side is smooth, which is meant for quick mouse movements, and the other side is textured, which is designed for better control. This type of surface is great for gamers who play more than one game at a high level, as it allows them to change up the material based on what game they are playing. Like many popular gaming mats, this one is big at 13.98 inches wide, 10.04 inches tall and .18 inches deep.

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The baseplate of the mouse mat is aluminum, which adds a great deal of weight. In all, it weighs in at 1.55 pounds, which does take away some of the portability. However, it also creates a very stable mat that will not move during intense play sessions. Of course, if you are carrying a backpack to remote matches, sticking the mouse mat is the back will do away with any portability problems. All in all, for high level gameplay, this is a fantastic choice, as long as you don’t mind spending a little more on your mat of choice.

Corsair Vengeance MM660

This is another dual-sided mouse mat, and it comes from Corsair, one of the top names in PC gaming peripherals and hardware. We reviewed the company’s top-of-the-line mouse and keyboard quite favorably, and its $39.99 mouse mat rivals the quality of those. Like the Razer offering, this mouse features an aluminum base that gives it a great deal of stability. However, Corsair takes it a step further by adding rubber pads to the corners to keep it from slipping. This means that even in the most intense gaming sessions you won’t have to worry about losing control.

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This is a pretty big mouse mat, coming with dimensions of 13.86 inches wide, 10.7 inches tall, and .2 inches deep. You will, of course, need a large enough desk area to accommodate such a mat, but as long as you have the space, the larger mat will offer some serious gameplay benefits. Whether using the smooth or textured side, this is a great choice, and as far as dual-sided mats go, this one comes with a very affordable price tag.

Razer Goliathus 2014 Extended

This is another soft mouse mat, but this time from Razer. The twist with this particular mat is the size, as thing is positively massive, coming with a width of 36.22 inches wide, 11.57 inches tall, and .16 inches deep.

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Since this is a soft mat, it is not reversible, but Razer does offer the $34.99 mat in both speed and control options. This means that you will have to choose which kind of game you play before you jump in and make a purchase, but having this kind of size with the ability to pick the type of mat that works best with your play style is something you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. If you have the room and don’t want to ever worry about your hand running out of mouse surface area, then the Razer Goliathus 2014 Extended is the surface for you.

Conclusion

When is a mouse pad more than just a mouse pad? When you are trying to push your gaming skill to its very limit, and every little detail is critical to achieving maximum performance. For the casual gamer, a cheap mouse pad, or even just the surface of a desk is fine, but for those looking to play at a competitive level, it’s definitely worth spending a few extra dollars to get one of these high-performance options.

What mouse mat do you use for gaming? Have you tried any of these? Hit the comments section below and let us know!

Image Credits: DeclanTM Via Flickr

  1. Mark
    January 21, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Would have been nice if you included an entry from Monoprice.... they have 5 models, of which the first 3 have a rating of 4 or 5 out of 5

    PID's - 9278, 9279, 9280, 10232, 10233

  2. Justin P
    January 18, 2014 at 12:32 am

    I support you're going to tell me that my my "Notepad, Upsidedown Ddition" isn't good enough , huh?

  3. Joel L
    January 17, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    I was able to get a SteelSeries QcK off of Ebay for about $10 and I love it. However, I've noticed that mouseskates are just as important - if not more important - than mousepads when it comes to mouse performance.

    It wasn't until recently that I looked under my mouse and saw that its feet were worn away after three years of constant use. It's surprising how much friction your mouse can generate just from old skates.

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