What Are the Side Buttons on a Gaming Mouse Used For

Gaming mice with side buttons have become essential peripherals for gamers, enhancing their gameplay experience in various genres, including MMO and FPS gaming. These addi

tional buttons provide gamers with quick access to in-game functions, such as casting spells, managing inventory, and executing actions like throwing grenades or performing melee attacks.

This article will explore the significance of side buttons in different gaming genres and introduce some popular gaming mouse models equipped with these features.

Understanding the Basics of Gaming Mouse

Before we explore the world of gaming mouse side buttons, let’s understand the fundamentals. Gaming mice are designed to provide enhanced precision, speed, and comfort. They come with features such as high DPI (dots per inch) settings, customizable RGB lighting, and extra buttons.

Primary Functions of Gaming Mouse Side Buttons

Quick Access to In-Game Commands

Gaming mouse side buttons offer quick and convenient access to in-game commands. Instead of fumbling with keyboard shortcuts, you can assign actions like reloading, crouching, or using special abilities to these buttons. This instant access can make a significant difference in fast-paced games.

Enhanced Productivity in Non-Gaming Tasks

Gaming mice are not just for gaming. You can utilize the side buttons for everyday tasks like web browsing and document editing. Assigning functions like copy, paste, or forward/back commands to these buttons can streamline your workflow and boost productivity.

Customizability: A Key Feature

One of the standout features of gaming mouse side buttons is their customizability. Gamers can tailor these buttons to suit their specific needs, enhancing the overall gaming experience.

Mapping Side Buttons for Your Needs

Most gaming mice come with software that allows you to reprogram the side buttons. You can map them to specific keybinds, macros, or even launch applications. This flexibility ensures that your mouse adapts to your gaming style.

Popular Side Button Configurations

Gaming mouse users often have preferred button configurations. Common setups include using side buttons for melee attacks, grenade throws, or switching between weapons. These configurations vary depending on the gaming genre.

Elevating Your Gaming Experience

Let’s explore how gaming mouse side buttons can elevate your gaming experience.

Improved Aiming and Shooting

In first-person shooters (FPS) games, having side buttons can significantly enhance your aiming and shooting accuracy. You can map these buttons for tasks like leaning, zooming, or steadying your aim, giving you the upper hand in combat situations.

Faster Weapon Switching

Switching weapons swiftly is crucial in many games. By assigning weapon changes to your side buttons, you can seamlessly transition between your arsenal, ensuring you’re always prepared for any situation.

Mouse Grip Styles and Button Accessibility

Different gamers prefer various grip styles, and the accessibility of side buttons can depend on your grip.

Claw Grip

If you use a claw grip, your fingers arch over the mouse, making it easier to reach the side buttons. This grip is ideal for gamers who rely on side buttons frequently.

Palm Grip

Palm grip users may find side buttons less accessible as their entire hand rests on the mouse. However, with some practice, they can still utilize them effectively.

Fingertip Grip

Fingertip grip users have their fingers resting on the mouse buttons. While they have easy access to side buttons, they may need to be cautious not to accidentally press them.

Popular Gaming Mouse Models with Side Buttons

Side Buttons in MMO Gaming

Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games often require players to manage a plethora of abilities, skills, and inventory items. Side buttons on gaming mice are a game-changer in this context, offering a seamless way to access these functions.

Gamers can map different abilities or spells to individual buttons for easy execution during intense battles. Popular gaming mice designed for MMO gaming include:

Logitech G600: This MMO gaming mouse features a 12-button grid on the side, perfect for binding various skills and abilities.

Razer Naga X: The Naga series is renowned for MMO gaming, with up to 16 programmable buttons on the side.

Corsair Scimitar Pro RGB: This gaming mouse offers adjustable side buttons to cater to different hand sizes and grip styles, accommodating MMO players.

Casting Spells and Abilities

In MMO and MOBA games, quick access to spells and abilities is critical for success. Gaming mice with side buttons streamline the process, allowing players to react swiftly in the heat of battle. Side buttons provide a tactile advantage and can be customized for specific spell combinations, improving precision and reaction time.

Inventory Management

Efficient inventory management is crucial in many games, especially in RPGs and survival games. With side buttons, gamers can quickly navigate menus, swap equipment, and manage their inventory without fumbling through complex keybinds. This enhances the overall gaming experience and reduces downtime.

Side Buttons in FPS Gaming

First-Person Shooter (FPS) games rely heavily on fast reflexes and precise aiming. While MMO mice are equipped with numerous buttons, FPS gaming mice typically have fewer, yet strategically positioned side buttons for specific functions.

Grenade Throwing

In FPS games, the ability to throw grenades accurately and swiftly is essential for tactical gameplay. A gaming mouse with well-placed side buttons can be programmed for grenade throws, ensuring precise targeting without disrupting your aim.

Melee Attacks

For games that incorporate melee combat, side buttons can be assigned to execute quick melee attacks, giving players an edge in close-quarters combat situations. This ensures a rapid transition between ranged and melee combat styles.

Popular gaming mice models designed for FPS gaming include:

SteelSeries Rival 600: This mouse features customizable side buttons and a split-trigger button design for FPS enthusiasts.

Logitech G Pro Wireless: Known for its lightweight design, it offers two side buttons that can be used for melee attacks or other functions.

Razer DeathAdder Elite: This classic gaming mouse includes two programmable side buttons for customizable actions.


Can I use side buttons for other tasks besides gaming?

Absolutely. Side buttons can be programmed for various tasks, including shortcuts in productivity software or multimedia controls.

What’s the best way to customize side buttons for a specific game?

It’s best to map functions that complement the game’s mechanics. Experiment and find what works best for you.

Do all gaming mice come with side buttons?

No, not all gaming mice have side buttons. It depends on the model and manufacturer.

What are the most common functions assigned to side buttons?

Common functions include weapon switching, skill activation, inventory management, and quick macros.

Are wireless or wired gaming mice better for side button functionality?

Both wireless and wired mice can work well for side buttons. The choice between them depends on your preference for mobility and latency.


Gaming mouse side buttons are a valuable addition to your gaming arsenal, offering quick and convenient access to crucial actions.

Whether it’s for swift weapon switching, in-game macros, or productivity tasks, these buttons can significantly enhance your gaming experience.

When choosing a gaming mouse, consider your personal preferences, and don’t forget to practice for optimal use. Embrace the benefits of side buttons and overcome the challenges for a more immersive gaming experience.

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