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The world’s best-selling but worst gaming mouse is 10 today

The venerable Logitech G502 turns 10 today, and while this many-buttoned gaming mouse design is a best-seller, it's never won me over.

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The Logitech G502 might not have quite the pedigree of the likes of the nearly 20-year-old Razer DeathAdder, but it’s still one of the longer-running mouse names on the market, and it’s just marked its 10th year. In all that time, it has proved hugely popular, selling over 21 million units, so clearly it’s got something right. However, on the day Logitech is celebrating its best seller’s birthday with a free mousepad giveaway, I’m here to say I’m surprised this mouse ever sold so well.

While the current Logitech G502 isn’t listed on our best gaming mouse guide at the moment, it does offer masses of useful extra buttons, a tiltable scroll wheel, and a comfortable design. It’s just that it did some gaming mouse stuff terribly for a long time.

You see, I was a huge fan of the G502’s predecessor, the G402. That mouse was so comfortable to use, and I loved the utility of the extra index finger buttons. I never actually used the sniper thumb button much, but I liked that it was there just in case. I even really appreciated the three little LEDs that indicated your current DPI level, even if I only ever used two DPI levels.

So it was a great disappointment when the G502 arrived and came with the worst scroll wheel I’ve ever used for gaming. What?! I hear you cry. Yes, I know, the scroll wheel is notable for its switchable free-wheeling and notched scrolling action, and the extra utility of being able to tilt it left and right, but it’s horrible to use for precise control in games.

The problem is that the solid metal wheel is too heavy, so it maintains too much inertia to control accurately in tasks such as switching weapons. Plus, it was made from smooth bare metal and was incredibly slippery. It also didn’t help that the tilt buttons made the wheel feel imprecise and mushy.

Add in the fact that the cable was incredibly thick and stiff, making it push back really annoyingly against your mouse movements (a mouse bungie was a must), and you had a mouse that was a massive letdown for me.

Even worse, Logitech didn’t realize the error of its ways for four generations after the original G502 Proteus Core. The Proteus Spectrum that was released two years later was basically identical in design, as was the G502 Hero that followed another two years later. By this point, the modern trend for lightweight mice was taking off too, leaving the G502 Hero’s 121g weight looking a little heavy.

Finally, though, with the G502 Lightspeed and now the latest G502 X, Logitech has added a rubber coating to the scroll wheel, making it actually grippable. The latest model has even dropped to 89g, making it surprisingly competitive on the weight front considering all the extra buttons you still get.

All told, it’s probably about time I give that model a go. Maybe ten years is enough time for the Logitech G502 to finally win me over.

You can find the Logitech G502 free mousepad offers on the Logitech website, with the G502 X Plus currently discounted too. If you’re still unconvinced on the Logitech g502, though, you can find our other mouse recommendations in our best gaming mouse guide where every mouse has a sensible scroll wheel.