Finding a gaming mat is no easy feat, and while the fact that mouse sensors have improved to be more precise on any type of surface, choosing a gaming mat is an odyssey. Which model to choose? Does the quality show? Where do you have to look to get it right? Today we are going to see the key points that you must know to choose correctly.
First of all, you have to differentiate the type of gaming mat depending on the material used. Although it is true that the best sellers are fabric, there are ABS plastic mats with micro textures, and even glass. In any case, we will try to approach the tips from all points of view to be homogeneous, since the type of material used is something personal to the player.
How to correctly choose a gaming mat?
Very little valued, but tremendously useful according to what gamer. This has a great influence on the way you hold the mouse as well as the height from the armrest of the chair to the table. There are players who exert a lot of pressure with the forearm and wrist, since they support a lot of surface to gain precision when making fast movements, others hardly touch the surface of the mat.
Starting from the basis that we are going to choose the fabric as the material, if we are one of the first users mentioned, then the ideal is to choose the thicker the better. It will give us a cushioning effect and we will suffer less pain after long hours of play.
If we are one of those who hardly touches the mat, the ideal is a minimum thickness to maintain the angle with the elbow and biceps. If, on the other hand, we are made of hard micro-textured materials, we will not have a choice, and each model will incorporate a predefined thickness, so it is important to take into account the previous points because the wear of the surface with the skin in rapid movements can be unpleasant.
As always this depends on the specific player and the CPI you use on your mouse. As a general rule, a gaming mat should not be less than 20 cm wide and 15 cm high, regardless of whether we play at 8000 or 16000 CPI, it is simple vertical and horizontal positioning.
Whether we want to or not, at some point in the game we centralize the mouse by lifting it from the mat and if it is not large enough we could reach the edges at some point. The player’s posture must also be taken into account here, since there are people who keep the keyboard completely parallel to the line of the table and play with the mouse diagonally on the mat.
In these cases, we will either need to move the mat to the position that is comfortable for us or opt for larger sizes and even for the new fashion of vertical mats, where the latter are longer than they are wide.
Oddly enough, cloth or fabric-covered mats, including, often have much better grip on any surface, glass included. By being flexible, the support points are more efficient and generally retain better the movement of the player, not moving from his position.
Rigid mats sin otherwise, since they have a rubbery surface that does not give as a general rule, although the latest models are correcting this based on greater flexibility in that same non-slip surface.
In any case, if you are one of the players that supports the wrist and forearm, the pressure exerted on the mat is so high that there will be no model on the market that will not move a millimeter.
In these cases, size does matter, because it implies more non-slip surface on the table.
Various features of a gaming mat
Here comes into play the needs outside of what the gaming mat itself is, such as LED lighting, USB HUB, QI charging or synchronization systems for brand peripherals. How to get it right? Well, we must also take into account our real and not fictitious or future needs as such.
USB HUBs are useful especially if we play with wireless mice, since we can put the receiver very close to the mouse and gain precision. LED lighting can be interesting if we have peripherals compatible with the lighting system of the PC, either by brand or by software compatibility.
QI charging is interesting for mice or mobiles with such a system, but it has the disadvantage that we cannot leave anything metallic on the mat, much less something with magnetic polarity. In short, the choice of a gaming mat is as personal as that of a mouse: no one is going to tell you which one is best for you, it is you who has to decide based on the given guidelines and to know your style of play.
Analyze yourself by video recording your way of playing with the mouse, both from a zenith and horizontal plane, check what pressure you exert, how you support the mouse, how many times you lift it per minute and above all, how much you move it in distance and direction. Only knowing your style of play you will be able to choose correctly.