I tried a $12 gaming mouse and didnt hate it

PC gaming accessories can regularly run you into three-figure prices, but for all the flashy marketing, futuristic sensor names, and “revolutionary” switch revisions, a gaming mouse can only do so much for the everyday player. I’ve had my hands on plenty of the best gaming mouse models lining the shelves, but when I stumbled upon a pointer that came in at just $11.99 / £12.99, I was intrigued. What are we actually gaining by spending over $100 /  £100 on a clicker, and how would a super cheap gaming mouse actually compare? 

Into the basket it went, and I’ve just spent two days playing and working exclusively with the Havit RGB Gaming Mouse. So, do you need to spend more than $15 on a rodent? No – but also, yes. I’ll explain. 

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Havit gaming mouse | $11.99 / £12.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The Havit gaming mouse carries a particularly budget-friendly price tag. At well under $15 / £15, it’s an excellent in-between option, or a cheap pointer for anyone looking to play casually without breaking the bank. Of course, you’re not getting speed-focused features here, and the sheer weight is a little off-putting, but there’s some excellent value for money here.

View Deal (opens in new tab)Essential Info

Price: $12.99 / £12.99
Form factor: Right-handed
DPI: 4,800
Buttons: 7
Connectivity: Wired
Weight: 150g

I’ll confess, in the last few years I’ve been spoilt with review devices, testing the latest and greatest and often taking premium features for granted as a result. However, my main go-to for the last few months has been the $60 Razer Basilisk V3 – a mouse firmly pitched in the mid-range. Before that, I was firmly in the $30 – $50 price range. Taking the leap down to $12 didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. 

Sure, this is a heavy mouse – far heavier than any I’ve tested in the last year. In particular, this weight is concentrated in the lower part of the device. As a result, micro-movements and finer tuned responses don’t feel quite as slick as they would on a lighter mouse – the Razer Viper or the SteelSeries Aerox 9 I’m currently testing. Still, putting it to the test using 3D Aim Trainer (opens in new tab), I managed 91% accuracy spending $10, compared to 95% with the Aerox 9 and 96% with the Razer Viper V2 Pro – both priced at $150. 

Havit gaming mouse

(Image credit: Future)

The numbers aren’t everything, but they do prove that you don’t need to spend big to pull a virtual trigger (and hit your target). The clicks are responsive, you’re getting two additional side buttons, a nice stream of (admittedly weak) RGB, and on-the-fly DPI shifting across six levels up to 4,800. That’s all you need in a budget gaming mouse for weekend and casual play. I rarely dial my DPI up further than 4,800 outside of testing, after all. 

I was also impressed with the comfort here. This isn’t a hunk of plastic with some fancy circuitry; some real attention has been paid to how this device sits in your hand. I actually preferred the height and length of the domed back compared to the far more expensive SteelSeries Aerox 5 for my smaller hands.

There is a problem, though. A $30 gaming mouse isn’t too far of a stretch away from this rock-bottom price point, and does offer better value for money. Don’t get me wrong – you’re not throwing your cash away with this particular $12 device. However, something like the Logitech G203 does away with the weight problems (and the particularly sticky feet on the underside), while offering the reliability of a solid piece of software (I never did manage to get the Havit program running correctly) and a shape better designed for speed.

Havit gaming mouse vs Logitech G203

(Image credit: Future)

Similarly, the Razer DeathAdder Essential comes in at just $19.99 right now (opens in new tab), with a famously ergonomic shape and greater precision. These are big brands in the world of PC gaming, but they can still cater to the strictest of budgets – and do so with a pedigree in their name.

I’m happy with the Havit; it does its job and doesn’t get in the way of casual gameplay, all while offering some nice-to-haves like RGB lighting and on the fly DPI shifting. However, I can’t help but feel there’s better value just a little further up the price scale. If $12.99 is your final price, you’ll get on fine with this model – in fact, I feel a little guilty that I was so impressed. For those with $30 ready to go, though, I’d recommend checking out budget releases from some heavier brands.

For more inspiration, we’re also rounding up the best wireless gaming mouse options available, and the best Razer mouse models on the market as well. Or, for a whole budget setup, check out the latest cheap gaming keyboard deals

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