I have already commented on occasion that my favorite platform to play is the computer. In fact, you have in this article the pieces and the reason for their purchase. But what that article does not count is that one of my accessories as a PC gamer who plays mostly competitive titles is, neither more nor less, that the XXL mat.
A mat? For real? As it is. It is not an expensive mat, it costs 15 euros, but it measures almost a meter wide and 35 centimeters high. It also has RGB, but that’s another matter entirely. Is extremely useful for gamers who move the mouse a lot, something that surely those users who like titles like ‘Counter Strike’, ‘Valorant’, ‘Quake Champions’ and other titles in which precision is important will do. I tell you my experience.
From table to mat
I used to use the mouse on the wooden table that I have on my desk. As such, not polished, but has groovesquite pronounced in some cases, causing the mouse to make too much noise when moved. Not to mention that moving the mouse over a rough surface like this can cause the gums on the bottom to deteriorate more quickly in the long run.
After a while like this, and having bought a mouse ready to play, I decided to try a mouse pad, mouse pad or whatever you want to call it. The one I had on hand was one from my university, the typical square rug with a plastic coating a little dim. For, let’s say, normal use, like working and browsing, it worked, but playing … well, it was an ordeal.
Why? Because I play with very low sensitivity. It’s like everything, everyone plays in their own way, but I play games like ‘Valorant’ I feel more comfortable moving the sight little when I slide the mouse, helps me to be more precise. The problem is that to make movements like flicks (turn you around quickly) the mat fell short. The mouse was sticking out of my sides when I made a sudden movement and it was, to put it mildly, frustrating.
Solution? A bigger mat. I opted for a cloth one for the simple reason that they are cheap, have greater resistance to movement (something that I appreciate as a game) and prevent the mouse from making noise when you hit or slide it. There are also aluminum ones, which they say gives more precision of movement, but at the levels I play at, I don’t think it’s exactly determining.
The fact is that what was once a small square mat is now a Huge pad that takes up almost the entire front of the desk. The keyboard is on top of me, as is the mouse. Depending on what I am doing at each moment I put these two peripherals in one way or another.
This last photo perfectly illustrates my experience with the mat. When you play you don’t need as much keyboard in front of the monitor, many times with having access to AWSD and three more keys you have enough. In fact, I have plenty of the number pad (maybe buying a 60% keyboard would be a good idea? It may be). The important thing for me, at least in competitive games, is to have space to move the mouse. With such a mat you can do it without fear that it will come off the sides and kill you before you even shoot.
My rule of thumb is that if the mouse comes off the mat, it means that the mat is small. How much is enough? It depends. I have plenty of this with this, but you can always opt for a Razer Gigantus V2, which measures 1.1 x 0.5 meters and takes up the entire desktop. It is a matter of preferences. The fact is that an XXL mousepad has helped me to play not better, but more comfortable.
However, I do not consider that it is a fundamental accessory, essential and that it should be on the desktop of any user, far from it. It depends on the games we play and of the customs that we have when playing. I play with the keyboard far away and I prioritize the space of the mouse, that’s why it suits me, but it would be a bit absurd to buy a mouse like that to play titles like ‘Control’ or ‘Skyrim’. In fact, I play those games with an Xbox controller and lying on the chair.
This article is part of a weekly section by Jose García dedicated to approaching technology from a more relaxed, personal and informal point of view that we publish in EuroXliveevery Saturday.