Professional footballers don’t just slip on a pair of trainers on matchday like they’re going for a kickabout in the park. No, they take it very seriously with their neon pink Adidas Aces. Having the right gear for the right occasion is a must, and it’s exactly the same if you want to up your game in competitive online gaming. Just plugging in your $10 Dell mouse and playing will take care of the basics, but there’s a world of performance to be unlocked by getting hold of a better mouse and fine-tuning the settings to give you the ultimate competitive advantage.

Unlike just about every other platform, PC gaming offers the means to players to easily upgrade their interface, whether that be a mouse with dozens of shortcuts or an insanely high DPI for lightning quick reactions. The lower your mouse sensitivity, the more control you have over the precision of the movement, while the higher the sensitivity, the quicker you can aim. It’s obviously important to find the right balance for you here, between speed and accuracy. Whatever you choose, you’re going to stomp a gamepad in most games.

For me personally, I like to keep things fairly simple. I like a couple of shortcuts on the mouse, max, along with fine tuning the sensitivity. If it’s an FPS like Siege or CSGO and I’m planning a lot of sniping then it’s also handy to have the option for quick-switching between DPIs so I can lower it for long-range accuracy.

Sort of secondary to this, I always make sure in just about every game I play that mouse acceleration is turned off. With it turned off, your cursor movement is one to one with your mouse movement. With it enabled, mouse movement is distracted by the speed you move your mouse in any one direction. I’m not sure why it’s enabled by default in certain games, but some people must like it.

One final thing to take of is the mouse mat. If I’m not playing competitively then I’ll do the heinous thing and sit on the sofa and just put it on a stack of books, but if I’m getting serious then a decent mouse mat is a must. The larger the better, really, and next on my list has to be one of those desk-sized ones. Glorious.

I'm sure plenty of you get more in-depth than this though, whether it's setting up a mouse with dozens of shortcuts or designing your own macros. So how do you set your gaming mouse up for a competitive advantage?