There are usually only 2 buttons – and maybe a clickable wheel – on your average mouse.

A gaming mouse, on the other hand, usually has at least 6 buttons but can also have as many as 20!

But is it really necessary to have so many?

Why Do Gaming Mice Have So Many Buttons?

A girl playing PC games with a gaming mouse

The extra programmable buttons allow you to bind various keystroke combinations to a single button press on your gaming mouse.

This allows you to map most of the important in-game actions to various programmable buttons on the side of your mouse, which allows you to game without removing your fingers from the arrow keys or the WASD keys, which are used for in-game movement.

And this is vitally important for FPS games like Battlefield where you always need to be ready to move and have your finger on the trigger.

For example, you could map one mouse button to equip your primary weapon and another to equip your sidearm – especially useful for when playing with the sniper class.

And if you have different size buttons on your mouse, you could map a small button to equip the sidearm and a large button to equip the primary weapon; this will help to make things more intuitive.

You could also map buttons to carry out actions like melee attacks, throwing grenades, providing quick access to special equipment, push-to-talk, and quickly pulling up the map, etc.

Most PC gamers that transition into using good gaming mice like the Razer Deathadder V2 and the Logitech G203 Lightsync swear by them and say they would never go back to using a mouse for gaming that didn’t have at least six programmable buttons.

Extra mouse buttons are most useful for MOBA games like League Of Legends and FPS games like Battlefield.

How Many Buttons Do I Need On My Gaming Mouse?

When it comes to the number of buttons you may need on a mouse, it is recommended to have at least 6.

But the right number of buttons for you will largely depend on the amount you require for the games you play.

If you will be playing MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online Games), you may have a use for more than 6 buttons, but for most other games 6 buttons should be more than enough.

For MMO games, you’ll probably end up using most of the extra buttons to cast sequences of spells and then a few buttons to heal and to open maps and inventory.

For other action games, you might map buttons to crouch/prone, switch weapons, change weapon mode (single fire/auto fire), equip grenades and other items, etc.

The Razer Deathadder V2 gaming mouse even has a button for you to toggle through different onboard profiles that you have saved to your mouse, so choosing the right setup for the right game will never be a problem.

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Are There Any Disadvantages To Having So Many Buttons On Your Gaming Mouse?

There are many benefits to having extra programmable buttons on your gaming mouse but there may also be some drawbacks.

When it comes to first-person shooters like Apex Legends, Fortnite, or Battlefield, the precision of your aim is going to be one of the biggest determining factors in how good your overall game is.

It doesn’t matter how good your tracking and muscle memory is or how finely tuned your reflexes are, pressing mouse buttons while quickly attempting to adjust your mouse with micro-movements to line up the perfect headshot is going to completely throw off your aim.

And if you pick up a mouse with a lot of buttons (like 10-12 or more), it can take a while before you’ll be able to identify all of the buttons without having to look at them.

Having more buttons than you need can cause you to press unintended ones and it can also make it difficult to reach and switch between the buttons you need.

However, most gamers will tell you that it just takes time to get used to a mouse with so many extra buttons, but once you do, you’ll never go back.

Start small and only map 2 or 3 buttons at first, then program more as you become comfortable with what you have and need more in-game shortcuts.

Before you know it, you’ll have a use for every button and it will become like second nature.

You’ll only have to use your keyboard for movement and to carry out a few select abilities.

Once you do get used to it and you find a timesaving mapping for each and every button, it will have been well worth the effort and you’ll be a better player because of it.

Which Gaming Mouse Has A Good Amount Of Buttons For Getting Started With?

There are many great gaming mice but the one that stands out above the rest is the Razer Deathadder V2.

This high-performance gaming mouse comes with 8 programmable buttons and some of the best ergonomics in the business.

6 to 8 buttons is usually a good amount to shoot for on a gaming mouse, especially if it’s your first.

It’s not so many as to overwhelm you but it’s also enough to provide more than enough functionality for most games.

The Razer Deathadder V2’s click latency is one of the lowest and it is considered to be one of the best FPS gaming mice on the market.

Final Thoughts

Many modern gaming mice offer at least 6 or even 12 plus programmable buttons.

This allows you to configure your mouse to fit your specific needs.

A gaming mouse with extra programmable buttons will allow you to be able to cast fireballs with a single button and even let you automatically cast combinations of spells with macro keys.

The extra buttons also allow you to keep your hand in one fixed position, reducing discomfort and fatigue caused by stretching and awkward positions.

Furthermore, the buttons offer incredible levels of control and precision over your in-game actions and this makes it easier to make those split-second, game-winning decisions.