Anatomy of the Best Gaming Mouse: Grip

The Anatomy of the Best Gaming Mouse series takes an in-depth look at what makes up the best gaming mouse. This part of the series we are taking a look how the grip affects a mouse, the type of grips, and materials on the best gaming mouse to help with each grip. Stay tuned for our next Anatomy of the Best Gaming Mouse article about hardware in the mouse.

To understand how to find the best gaming mouse for you, you must figure out which type of grip you use and plan to use. There are three major types of gaming mouse grips. The palm grip, the claw grip, and the fingertip grip. These three grips make up the most common types of grips; there are some variations to these grips, but most manufacturers look at these three grips when designing the gaming mouse.

The Palm Grip

The Palm Grip is the most common grip among amateur gamers. This grip has the palm of the hand resting on a mouse with the tips of your fingers on the two click buttons. This grip seems to be the most natural way to grip a mouse and hence most gaming mouse have a flatter and wider area near the bottom of the mouse to rest comfortably. Most professional coaches work with pro players to move away from this grip, however. The palm grip requires the most effort to go from A to B; the palm grip always requires a full movement of the wrist and arm, and slight changes still need wrist action. Carpal tunnel in the wrist also becomes an issue with this grip. The angle you put your wrist in with a palm grip is natural position and those who play tons of hours will start to develop symptoms from it. The other issues you will find out with the Palm grip is the use of side buttons. When your palm is firmly on the mouse moving your thumb is not only limited but also awkward and stressful on the thumb joint when moving in between side buttons. The same goes with pinky side buttons.

Pros

  • Feels the most natural for gamers to use
  • Most mouse developers keep this grip in mind when developing new gaming mouse.

Cons

  • The palm grip is the worse position for your wrist and puts the most stress on the wrist than any other grip
  • The palm grip is the most energy ineffective way to hold a mouse
  • Side buttons require a lot more effort to navigate and sometimes extremely stressful on the wrist.

The Claw Grip

The claw grip is a hybrid between the fingertip grip and the palm grip. There is a little bit of your palm resting on the bottom of the mouse while there is a bit more pressure or weight in your fingertips at the top of your mouse. The Claw grip like most hybrids avoids some of the worse of each grip while not getting all of the full advantages one way or another. The claw grip alleviates a lot of the wrist pressure that you get with the palm grip while taxes your fingers and forearm less than the fingertip grip does. Small left and right movements can be done using just your fingers, but significant moves will require full wrist and arm movement. Using this grip will not give you the full advantages of the nimbly fingertip grip. This grip also makes it easier to click side buttons with both your pinky finger and your thumb over the palm grip. It is simpler to click the side buttons because with your knuckles slightly raised off the mouse you can move your thumb and pinky with less stress on the joints.

Pros

  • * Less stress on the wrist the palm grips
  • * Less endurance needed in your fingers and arm than you need with the fingertip grip
  • * Gives you easier side button access than the palm grip
  • * Can make small movements without having to make a full wrist or arm movement.

Cons

  • * More stress on your wrist than the fingertip grip
  • * You do not get the full advantages of the fingertip grip

The fingertip grip

The fingertip grip is all about the fingers. The grip has none of your palm resting on the mouse. The fingertip grip is the most natural of the positions for your wrist as in if you were to hold your arms down to you side the angle that your wrist is there is closest to the fingertip grip. The hand positioning leads to less stress and less carpal tunnel issues in the wrist. Since there are fewer body parts on the mouse, there is less to move when making small to minor movements with your mouse. The hold of the mouse also allows for the largest amount of freedom for the thumb and pinky finger to move allowing for a lot of side buttons to be used. The fingertip grip is not without its downsides, however. The biggest downside to fingertip grip is the stress on your arm and actual fingers. This grip doesn’t allow your arm to rest on anything, so you are holding up the weight of your arm and hand. This task doesn’t sound that daunting of a job until you are in the middle of an eight-hour gaming session then it can get tiring.

Pros

  • *Best grip for mouse movement, key clicking, and over performance.
  • * Takes a lot of stress off the wrist area

Cons

  • * Very unnatural and hard to get used to
  • * Takes a while to build up endurance to hold the correct position
  • * Puts a lot of stress on your fingers and arm

With the understandings of the different grips, you can start to look at which gaming mouse will be the best for you. Below we break down some of the key features that make for the best performance and comfort for the mouse hold.

For Palm Grip mouse users a broad base of the mouse helps for support. It gives a large area for your palm to rest on, keeps your hand off the mouse pad or surface the mouse is on, and some of the best gaming mouse will have the base elevated trying to put the wrist in a more natural position.

Large side buttons on the best gaming mouse for League of Legends or the best gaming mouse for MMOs help out palm grip users a lot. With the large buttons less thumb and pinky finger movement it needed to feel, press, and mash these buttons. Palm grip users struggle to navigate a bunch of side buttons because of the limited and stressful movement required especially in the pinky finger.

Some helpful tidbits to know when shopping if you will be using a palm grip. The sensor of the mouse matters less if especially if you use a mouse pad. The mouse will almost never come off the surface you are using the mouse on unless you are purposely picking up the mouse. With your palm laying heavily on the mouse the mouse stays firm to the surface. The composition or makeup material of the mouse is also significant. The palm grip more than any other mouse handling has your hand touching more of the mouse. So you want to make sure that the material of the mouse is a comfort to you. We have found that metal and cold mice like the Ratz series can sometimes feel too hard and discomforting when using for extended periods of time. Look for rubber material in the design of the mouse or other softer materials to keep you at ease throughout the whole gaming session.

For claw grip mouse users, as usual, you can mix and match between the two as they hybrid grip you are. You do not need nearly as much palm support at the bottom of your mouse but still need a little loving. Side buttons are less of an issue for claw grips so you can move from one to two side buttons to smaller four to six on each side. The Razer’s Naga Hex is a great example of a near perfect amount of side buttons. With the claw grip since a lot of the pull will be from the top of the mouse it is ideal that the rubber runs as far up the mouse as possible and that the materials at the head of the mouse are soft and kind to your fingers.

Some Tidbits for you to know when shopping:

A mousepad goes a long way. You will not be forcing the mouse to a surface nearly as much as the palm grip users and will want a surface designed to help the sensor to pick up the surface. Speaking of sensors with the claw grip sensors start to become a factor in the decision-making process. The better the sensor, the less likely for the mouse to pick up all the movement you are using with just your fingertips.

For Fingertip Grip users performance is everything. If you are going to subject yourself to all the endurance needed to pull off the fingertip grip, then you need a mouse that will reward you justly. Cursor, DPI, and side buttons are the primary factors in your buying decisions. Fingertip hold gamers have the easiest time with side buttons so you can have as many as you want. Some of the best MMO gaming mouse have eight or more side buttons, so the bindings and spell rotations are limitless. If you are an FPS shooter, then get the mouse that has right feel with side buttons to zoom in, hold your breath, and get off the perfect shot.

Some Tidbits for you to know when shopping. Mousepads are a must, and you need to find the right size and feel for you. Palm support, rubber and soft parts around the mouse are non-factors in decision making since your hand will not be resting on them at all. The software also becomes a big decision because your DPI settings and analytics will start to elevate your gaming.

We don’t want to leave out the lefties. The one grip we have not talked about is the left handed grip! It is critical that you purchase the best gaming mouse for you, and that means either a left-handed specific mouse or ambidextrous mouse. We have a writer at Gaming Mouse Guru that is left handed and prefers ambidextrous mouse configurations over left-handed specific gaming mouse. It might be the best start out with an affordable gaming mouse for lefties and also an affordable ambidextrous mouse to see which style fits you best.

Hopefully, this gives you an idea of the type of grip you are naturally using and possibly the type of grip you will work on using. Throughout gaming mouse guru when we review or talk about specific gaming mouse, we will refer to which grip best fits the mouse to help you in your buying decision. The best gaming mouse for you is the one that is most comfortable when you hold it. The way you hold the mouse goes a long way in that comfort and nothing can be more frustrating that buying a mouse that doesn’t fit your grip. Let our reviews be your guide!