Hard vs Soft Mousepads Explained

Guides & Resources

Aug 30 2021

Optimizing your PC gaming performance means finding what best fits your playstyle. Some gamers prefer lightweight mice with machine-cut holes, while others play better with heavier mice with added weights. Keyboards come in varying sizes, layouts and switch styles to best fit the needs of their users.

However, the unsung hero of the mouse and keyboard setup, which gamers can forget about, is the mouse pad. Traditionally, the cloth pad is a staple accessory for gamers, but there is no denying that hard hybrid pads deserve a place on any PC player's desk.

In this article, we will break compare hard vs. soft mousepads, discussing the pros and cons of each to ensure you make the most informed buying decision possible.

Soft Mousepads

Soft mousepads refer to pads with a soft cloth exterior and inner foam core and come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. This versatility makes them the ideal choice for the average gamer and typical PC users as a whole.

The added grip granted by the cloth surface allows mouse users to aim shots in fast-paced PC games carefully, and the soft nature of the foam core helps reduce fatigue due to its pillow-like nature.

However, players who play on extremely low or high mouse sensitivity can find this grippy surface hindering their accuracy and precision while enjoying twitchy shooters. Not as slick or uniform as hard pads, cloth pads can hinder their constant, rapid arm movements.

Additionally, the friction caused by swiping an arm across a cloth mousepad can leave users feeling that the heat produced is uncomfortable during extended play sessions.

Pros and Cons

+ Beginner Friendly
+ Excellent Control on Regular Mouse Sensitivities
+ Versatile and Comfortable

- Increased Heat and Friction
- More Difficult to Clean
- Less Uniform Surface

Check out our selection of cloth mousepads here.  

Hard Mousepads

Fast and precise is the name of the game for hard pads. Their ultra-slick surfaces require some practice to get a feel for, but the speed benefits are considered worth it by many PC gamers. Combining a hard pad and lightweight gaming mouse outfitted with porcelain or PTFE feet makes for a genuinely unique experience.

Hard mousepads typically come with a highly grippy rubber base or even adhesive to ensure that they do not move around your desk during rapid, intense gameplay, which is an issue some users have reported on smaller cloth pads.

The thin surface of hard mousepads does sacrifice some level of comfortability that cloth mousepads provide. Similar to a high-end sports car, some creature comforts get cut in favor of pure performance. This difference can make hard pads a hard recommendation for the average PC gamer who also uses their computer for productivity tasks.

Additionally, the highly slick surface offered by hard mousepads can be a steep learning curve for some users. Hard mousepads thrive on low or high DPI settings, requiring a gamer to change their playstyle and muscle memory.

Pros and Cons

+ Unmatched Speed
+ Easier to Clean
+ Stays Put on Desk

- Learning Curve
- Less Comfortable
- Limited Shapes, Sizes, and Colors

Check out our selection of hybrid-surface mousepads here.

In Conclusion

Much like any other peripheral in a gamer's arsenal, the pros and cons listed in this article are entirely subjective. We believe in trying out a plethora of different mousepad shapes, sizes, and materials to find what best fits each user's playstyle!

What type of mousepad do you prefer? Do you have more than one for different purposes? Let us know in the comments below - we would love to hear from you!