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Geek Candy
Gaming Mice and Keyboards
by rob

A mouse, is a mouse, is a mouse, right? Not exactly. Gamers (especially those that play first-person shooters) have come to recognize that their input devices are as important to ‘killer’ gameplay as the PCs that run their software or the monitor that displays the carnage. Several hardware companies have developed high-performance mice and keyboards that can make you more efficient and deadly on the battlefield.

Logitech G5 Gaming Mouse
Logitech® G5 Laser Mouse

Gaming mice have developed the furthest with the ability to switch their optical resolution (DPI) with the push of a button. But what does this do for a gamer? The DPI is how sensitive a mouse is to your movements. Most mice will have several different settings along its range that you configure for different weapons. Crank up the DPI to 1600 or 2000 when you’re trying to hit a tiny target with that sniper rifle from a mile away. Then shift down the resolution to move your point of view quickly to the next threat.

Other gaming mouse options include super-slick pads for smooth movements, hot-keys for quick switching of sensitivity and hot-swappable battery packs for wireless models.

Logitech G5 Gaming Mouse
Black Icemat 2nd Edition Glass Mouse Pad

Don’t forget the surface you run your rodent across is important as well. Sure, you could use the top of your table for your optical mouse, but gaming mouse pads are made with special compounds or glass to reflect the tracking beam accurately. High durability, consistent glide and a rubberized bottom layer for good traction on your desk are other good gaming mouse pad attributes.

Just like mice, there are keyboards specifically designed for your favorite games. The Zboard (which I covered before in the Doom 3 special issue) has a myriad of keysets that you can place onto the base to provide game-specific key layouts. The other constant among gaming keyboards is the plethora of programmable keys that can perform complex macros with a single keystroke. Some keyboards even have each key illuminated so you can play long after the sun goes down.


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