Last Updated on by
When it comes to input devices, there are many ways pull the cat out of the box.
One of the least common devices among them is the trackball mouse, or simply called the trackball.
Although most people consider them as a mere variation of computer mice (apparently due to the word ‘mouse’ in their name, trackballs are even older than the traditional mice.
Best Trackball Mouse 2020 For Gaming
But for some unknown reasons (probably due to their unconventional shape), these trackballs couldn’t become even half as popular as regular mice. That’s the reason why a very few hardware manufacturers make trackballs.
You can literally count good quality trackball model on your fingertips.
That being said, some people have started to prefer them for PC gaming.
Well, there are a couple of arguments they put in their favor.
Benefits of Gaming With Trackball Mouse
- The trackball mice are operated through a finger/thumb, instead of regular mice that are controlled through arm and wrist movements. This functionality makes a trackball mouse far more precise, according to some. There’s no scientific proof for that argument, however.
- Since you operate them through your fingers and don’t need to move them, trackballs mice don’t run out of space like mice.
- And the last one is carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition can lead to pain in the thumb and other fingers. A trackball saves you from these injuries.
Limitations of Trackball
- A trackball covers less distance than a mouse.
- While wrist injury can be prevented by using a trackball, finger injuries are still possible.
How To Choose A Trackball
Now that you’ve read the benefits and limitations of a trackball, let’s find out about the things you need to look for while choosing a trackball.
Thumb-operated vs Finger-operated Trackballs
Trackballs come in two different types, in terms of how you operated them: thumb-operated trackballs and finger-operated trackballs.
Thumb-operated trackballs normally have a small-size ball placed on their left side and are operated by the thumb. Along with that, there are also some other buttons to be clicked by your fingers. Design wise, these trackballs look a lot like regular mice.
The second type is what you can complete trackballs. Finger-operated trackballs usually have a bigger ball, located on their top surface, and it’s controlled by your index and middle finger.
These ones have some buttons on them too, and these buttons can be clicked by the Thumb and the ring finger.
Many people prefer finger-operated trackballs due to their precision, and the fact that thumb-based trackballs look more of a mouse than a trackball, but this is something purely subjective.
Right-Handed vs Left-handed Trackballs
Like all other peripherals, a lot of trackballs are just made for right-handed people, and left-handed trackballs are quite rare. That being said, you can get an ambidextrous trackball (like Logitech Marble) if you like, and it can work for right and left-handed users.
There are different types of trackballs, with respect to the number of buttons they have. Most basic trackballs come with 2 buttons, and this count goes up to 8 in case of premium options. 4 is the most common number, however.
So, if you’re into MMO games and want a large number of macro combinations, then more buttons will be better for you.
There are a number of trackballs that come without any sort of scroll wheel. To buy those trackballs or not, is a subjective matter and varies from person to person.
Wired vs Wireless Trackball
Like the mouse, wireless connectivity option is available in trackballs too, but I don’t like them personally, and it’s for two reasons.
- First, unlike the mouse, trackball don’t take that much space in the first place. That’s why you won’t get that many benefits like you would in the case of wireless mice.
- Second is that wireless connections aren’t as stable as wired ones. On top of that, most wireless devices use the same 2.4 GHz frequency band, and it gets a lot of interference. That’s why you better have as minimum wireless connections as possible, while gaming.
Gaming Trackball Mouse 2020 Buying Guide
Logitech MX ERGO – Best Gaming Trackball 2020
Above section was all about choosing a trackball. In this section, however, we’ll discuss the trackball we found to be best for gaming: The MX Ergo Trackball from Logitech.
Logitech has actually produced many trackball mice historically. In 2010, they released one called Logitech M570, which was liked by many. But despite all this, trackballs remain unpopular due to their unconventional designs, which means you’ll have a steep learning curve.
MX Ergo trackball, however, actually looks like a traditional mouse, except now there’s the Trackball under your thumb. And you’ll have to move that ball to move the cursor on the screen.
Other than this thumb-ball, there are the usual left and right-click buttons on the front side. Between these buttons, there’s a scroll wheel too, which can be pressed in left and right directions for further functions.
Since it’s a right-handed trackball, you need to look somewhere else if you’re a leftie. On the left side of the left button, there are two small buttons, which acts as your additional thumb buttons.
In addition to those, there’s a button behind the scroll wheel for toggling between USB dongle and Bluetooth(for connectivity), and a button for “precision mode”. This button can really help you in FPS games, where you want extra precision.
One thing I noticed is the position of my hand while holding it. Thanks to its design, it’s higher on the left side and lower on the right. This makes it look like a vertical mouse, and makes your arm tilt up to 20 degrees. This is good by the way and prevents you from many wrist-related injuries.
Now comes the actual trackball. Its regular size ensures that you don’t have to readjust your thumb while using it. It’s grippy and doesn’t let your thumb slip over it, even without being textured.
In case you want to clean this trackball (which I am sure you will) you can push it out from the bottom side. All you need to do is to Magnetic plate at the bottom.
When not in use, it can go into standby mode, which prevents the power from being wasted.
According to Logitech, its battery life is 4 months. But I think it really depends on your own usage. By the way, this trackball mouse charges through the Micro USB port.
As far as the performance is concerned, let me tell you one thing: it’s not for every genre of games.
Trackballs as a whole aren’t suitable for all genres for games. Still, we liked it while playing some FPS games.
On top of that, it can take a day or two from you to become used to this trackball mouse.