I remember when I started my Unreal Tournament career back in 2002., we basically had to struggle to find suitable peripherals for our favorite hobby, which was quite a challenge in those days of slow internet and the limited market surrounding us.
From one side there was a dedicated “gaming” mouse already in the making by Logitech, the MX500, and from the other we just took the IntelliMouse from Microsoft and did the best we could – but God forbid if you wanted to invest in to a proper mouse pad for it. Back then the best option for a mouse pad was to go to Best Buy and find yourself a so called Gelpad or, if you were a “pro” you would go for a 3M Precision Mousing Surface.
Luckily, that game changed once SteelSeries entered the game, and presented their SteelPad QcK+ for an “astonishing” $25, which was quite a lot back then for a mouse pad. I will never forget my mothers face once she saw me spending that amount of (her) money on a “simple mouse pad”.
If you look at it from the today’s perspective, back then hardware producers weren’t interested in us gamers as much as they are today. Yeah, here and there a specialized niche company would emerge, but the peripherals market was overall cluttered with office equipment and worthless plastic. Logitech and SteelPad were the only brands who took the game seriously, and I don’t know why, I think that it’s because there was probably a gamer somewhere within their management. It took a while until other manufacturers figured out that selling stuff to gamers can actually make quite a good profit.
Today we have a completely different situation – you want a simple mouse? Here’s 20 brands. A keyboard? Another 20 different brands. You already bought those? Here’s another 10 products you need to “SUCCEED IN YOUR BATTLE”.
And although I usually like to ignore 80% of the gimmicks marketed to gamers lately, especially the RGB hype and the “PREPARE FOR THE FIGHT” or “THE ULTIMATE WEAPON” quotes, I couldn’t keep myself from not trying something simple, yet so useful, as a Gaming Mouse Bungee.
I again found myself in a similar situation as 14 years ago – I wanted something of good quality for my setup, which costed more then it actually should. The only difference is that this time it’s not a mouse pad combined with the doubtful look of my mother, but a simple piece of metal to hold my mouse cord, paired with the same look of my wife (even after 5 years of marriage she still thinks that my spending habits are ridiculous).
Nevertheless, I’m a person who doesn’t believe in Wireless gaming mouses, or as I used to say “in the Cord we trust”, and these little expensive toys, surprisingly, ended up as a quite good investment. So, let me share with you all the info which I gathered in the past few months together with some of the best Gaming Mouse Bungees I found on the market.
I love my corded rodent, but his cable has sometimes a mind of its own
My setup is a combination of brands, because I don’t like to tie myself to one manufacturer just of for the sake of consistency, so I own a Corsair K95 keyboard with brown switches, a Razer Deathadder Elite mouse and a Logitech G640 pad. This setup offered me the most bang for my buck, but also ended up in a Driver hell, since now I have more drivers on my computer then I like to admit. With good desk positioning I solved the problem of hitting the keyboard with my mouse during active gaming, but the cord of my rodent, as stated in the subtitle, still had a mind of its own.
Every time when I started gaming I had to re-position my mouse and free up the cable from all the desktop clutter – you know how it is, it either gets stuck between the keyboard and monitor or somehow your desk pins it to the wall.
In case I forgot that bothersome routine, the cord would probably get pinned or stuck during a crucial moment, which would result in slower movement and frustration. Luckily I’m not the “HIT IT ON THE TABLE AND THROW IT ON THE WALL” type of a gamer, I like my gadgets. But, still, it’s not a pleasant thing, especially if there is a solution.
Some of the guys from my UT clan were quite innovative, they would just take several screws with loops and create a path for the cord from the computers USB port, to the wall and then finally on the desk. Doesn’t sound like a bad idea if you’re in a permanent home and want to have a desk which looks like a DIY project of a 6 year old, so I personally didn’t bother with it, I just wanted to find a solution which would do more and look less, and I got that back in 2009.
The inventor of mouse bungees wasn’t actually a gamer, but it doesn’t matter
A fellow computer nerd named Ed Larkin shared the problem of having a corded mouse while working, and he started his “Mouse Bungee” project. In case the surname sounds familiar, then I’m proud of you, fellow Larkin-Fan. For those of you who are not acquainted with this popular actress, then I definitely recommend researching her professional work. In the meantime, let’s go back to our Ed Larkin.
So, good old Ed tried to combine a mouse cord holder with a pad, where back in 1994. he created the perfect business environment for your favorite rodent, but due to the nature of the project, and a specific niche, it didn’t saw much sales in those days. Fast forward to 2010. and you have the gaming era, Ed decided to move on to other projects and sold the project to Razer. At that point Razer introduced a revised version without a mouse pad, and the product ended up as the current market leader in… Bungees (yeah, I know, sounds weird, but it’s like that).
At that point the trend was created and other companies started following it. Soon enough we had all the major players within the Bungee game: Zowie, Thermaltake, AOBOR, Airfox, etc… Several brands joined the mission of selling a simple solution for a lot of money, and my idea was to try and review most of them.
So, almost four months later I’m full with opinions, and while some models impressed me, others are currently used as letter holders, but before I jump on to the top list, I wanted to suggest you one last thing, which is:
How to not be a sheep within the “for gamers” world
I’m probably the last person who should tell you to not spend a fortune on your gaming gear, because I own several pieces of equipment which could have been bought for less money, but as the author of this article I wanted to remind you that the brands who are producing these things are not here to make you and me happy, they want profit, and the easiest way on reach the quarter KPI’s and to impress the investors is to produce a simple piece of plastic which will hold your mouse, and then ask $50 for it.
If you have the extra money and want to have a colorful desktop with all the gadgets you can afford, then by all means, go for it. Just don’t be that guy who believes that a $2000 setup will bring you 50% more skill. It’s not like that. Mouse friction matters, I agree on that, but if someone comes to me and tells me that he’s playing better with a $50 mouse bungee then with a $20, I will call you a noob, honestly.
Sometimes a simple setup can work far better then a complicated expensive one. As an example, I found this YouTube who made his own bungee, and he’s probably quite happy with it. At the end of the day it’s the player, not the plastic.
Best Mouse Bungee with a metal spring anchor
Before buying your gaming bungee be sure to pick the ones with a metal spring anchor, I will outline the ones which have it, and try to ignore the silicon ones since they are influenced by the climate around you and will degrade over time.
Do not bother about weight to much if you don’t have the budget for the heavier ones, since they can easily be fixated on your desk with a double-sided duck tape.
1.) My first choice is the Razer Mouse Bungee, and there are several reasons for it.
First of all the build quality is unmatched within this price point. The metal spring anchor, combined with the sturdy plastic body and the sticky feet, offers a simple, good looking solution for taming your rodent. It can fit most of the cables, regardless of the brand you’re fond of, and due to the size and color, after a while you will probably forget that you own it. I have been playing with if for quite some time now, and I didn’t stumble on any problems so far. At one point I had to move some stuff around and dust gathered on it’s sticky feet, but nothing which warm water can’t bring back in to action.
The price depends on your location, but I personally wouldn’t pay more then $25 for it. Most of the stores have it within that price point, so be sure to do a small research on the best offers around. Even if you find a used one for less, go for it, it’s worth the price, and it’s not like there is anything mechanic in it which can be broken.
2.) My second choice is the Flexible Mouse Bungee from Agile-Shop, with two things in in mind.
First, it has an affordable price of $8. Second, in case you want some color on your desktop, there are five different ones to choose from. Agile-Shop certainly took some inspiration from Razer, you can already see that from the first look, but I don’t mind. The bungee comes with a metal spring anchor, combined with a plastic body, where the only difference, in comparison to the Razer model, is the overall build quality. The anchor and the body are not as sturdy as with Razer, and there are no sticky feet, but for the price of less then $10 I don’t see a problem – you need something to hold your mouse cord, not your breasts.
So in case you’re on a limited budget, just go with the Flexible Mouse Bungee, find the perfect desk location for it, stick it with double-sided duck tape for better stability and you’re ready for gaming. With that in mind, this model takes the place of the best affordable Mouse Bungee.
Best Mouse Bungee if you need a USB hub
When it comes to my own preference, I have a complete USB hub on the right side of my desk, just below the mouse pad, so that I don’t need duck or move anything while reconnecting my sticks, but in case you’re interested in Mouse Bungees combined with a USB hub, this part is for you. Although I wouldn’t recommend to plug your gaming mouse in to it, I don’t see anything bad in having another USB hub on the desk. The only thing which you need to watch out is to get a USB 3.0 device, since there are a lot of cheaper alternatives with USB 2.0, and I would personally not support them within this article since they promote old technology.
So with that in mind, there is just one choice which fits the above specifications, and that’s the Airfox 3-Port USB 3.0 Data Gaming Hub.
I decided to call him the Ridley Scott of Mouse Bungees, because it’s the only one which doesn’t look like an erected phallus (I mean, look at it, it’s true for most of the bungees). This little Facehugger looking Gaming Mouse Bungee offers three USB ports, the build quality is decent and there is enough weight in it to hold four different cables at one place. And although I mentioned that I’m not fond of RGB lights, I do believe that there are readers who are looking for something like this.
So – here you go, a Mouse Bungee which can cover seven different colors, has three USB 3.0 ports, and is made of decent plastic. Regarding the price, we’re again within the affordable segment. You can find it for less then $25 on Amazon, just be sure to go through the official store.
What about others? Cougar, Aobor, aBell and Zowie?
If you guys read my last article on best gaming monitors in 2018, you probably figured out that I’m not happy with the gaming trends which are currently around us. Basically there are several brands who are asking premium price for old technology, or in the Mouse Bungee world – for a piece of simple plastic, and I don’t want to support that. From the 9 models which I reviewed and tested I only included three of them in this article.
The Razer Mouse Bungee because of it’s quality built and decent price point, the Agile-Shop Flexible Mouse Bungee for those of you who just need something colorful to hold their cord, without spending more then $10 on it, and the last model was the only Mouse Bungee USB hub which actually had a decent amount of USB 3.0 ports and enough weight to hold the cables in one place – the Airfox 3-Port USB 3.0 Data Gaming Hub.
And in my humble opinion, those are the only categories which currently matter. Everything above that is pure marketing where the word “for gamers” represents a synonymy for “give us more money”. Do not fall for their tricks and spend your money wisely.