The Best Mouse Grip For Gaming – Palm vs Claw vs Fingertip

Your mouse grip is an often under appreciated part of gaming that many players forget about.  But it is actually one of the most important factors to consider when buying a new mouse.

The three main mouse grips are the palm grip, claw grip and fingertip grip.  Depending on the size of your hand you might be suited towards a different style than you currently use.

Lets discuss the three main grip styles and what potential advantages and disadvantages each bring.  If you are interested in picking up a mouse that is perfect for your grip style then check out the links below.  It is worth starting with the choose my mouse tool as it gives a good overview of all the mice you should be looking at.  

Choose My Mouse Tool – To help you pick a mouse for your mouse grip
Best Mice for claw grip players
Best Mice for palm grip players
Best Mice for fingertip grip players

What Does Mouse Grip Mean? 

It is not rocket science that the term is used to describe the position of your hand and fingers as you use your mouse.  Everyone does this slightly different, but players tend to use three main grips. 

Depending on where you rest your wrist or base of your palm, your fingers and the shape of your fingers gives you a good idea of what mouse grip style you use.

You might even use a hybrid grip which is a mix of two of the main styles.  The most common type of hybrid grip is the claw-palm which allows you to select a wider range of mice that suits your grip style and hand size.

Lets dig in and find out the differences between them and what advantages or disadvantages either grip brings to you, the player.

What Mouse Grip Are You?

You probably already have an idea of which of the three mouse grips you fall under, however we have provided an image below released by Asus Republic of Gamers which highlights the pressure points of each.

If you place your whole hand across your mouse then you are a palm grip user.  Often users that use the palm grip tend to move their mouse using their forearm.   

Contrast to this, if you ‘rest’ your hand on the base of the mouse and use your fingertips to position the mouse, you are a claw grip user.  Claw grip users tend to use their wrist more to position the mouse. 

Finally, the fingertip grip is rather obvious, these users tend to use their mouse similar to the claw grip users but with more emphasis on wrist movement.  They also have less of their fingers contacting the mouse, generally only the tips are used to position the mouse.

The Palm Mouse Grip

Palm Grip Example

The palm mouse grip is the most widely used grip because it is most often used by everyday PC users as well as gamers.

The popularity of the palm grip can be attributed to the nature of how the hand relaxes across the mouse.  It is the most natural way for a user to use a mouse for the first time and provides the most support. 

If you are a palm grip user you should be looking for a mouse that has a steep incline and arch to support the palm.  In addition, palm users tend to go for mice that are wider and longer since they are resting their whole hand across the device.

In terms of competitiveness, palm grip users can suffer since it can greatly reduce the precision and agility of your movement.  This is particularly important when it comes to FPS games such as CSGO or PUBG. 

The reason for the lack of agility is due to the fact that palm grip users often use their forearm to support their movement which is slower but can be more consistent.

Often for flick shots and snap movement the player is more likely to use a claw grip or fingertip grip.  

The palm grip does not give you the freedom of movement but it may potentially give you more consistent aim.

That is not to say there isn’t any hugely successful professional FPS players that adopt the palm grip just that it is usually not the most agile or flexible of grips.  

What it comes down to is your own comfort and you may find that the palm grip gives you an edge over the following grips.

The Claw Mouse Grip

Claw Grip Example

The claw mouse grip is the second most popular grip, it allows the user slightly more flexibility and sharper movement.  This is the common grip for a lot of professional FPS esports players.

The hand position of the claw grip involves the palm being arched more, and having a little contact with the arch of the mouse.  Your fingers will also arch more hence the name ‘claw’.  Mice that suit this grip are typically narrower, and smaller. 

Claw grip mice tend to have a more gradual arch instead of the steep incline used for support for palm users.  The reason for this is because the player doesn’t need a big arch on the mouse since they don’t rest their palm.

This is also why you may find that a lot of claw grip mice are lighter than palm grip mice.

Claw grip users tend to use their wrist to position the mouse which lends itself to the agility and sharper movement we talked about earlier.  

Wrist aiming allows for faster and more agile movement which is why this grip is so popular among gamers, especially fps players.

One disadvantage that should be mentioned for claw grip users is that they are more prone to injuries.  Carpal tunnel syndrome can be a problem since the wrist is being used instead of the whole forearm.  

For this reason it can be said that the claw grip is significantly less ergonomic than the palm grip.

The Fingertip Mouse Grip

Fingertip Example

With the fingertip grip the user typically has little contact across the mouse except the tips of their fingers.  Often this grip is used by snap players who tend to snap their mouse from position to position when gaming.

Mice are usually lightweight to allow for quick and agile movement for the user.  Ambidextrous shaped mice are much better for fingertip players due to the nature of the shape giving an even symmetrical shape.

The arch of the mouse is normally lower as it proves no use to the fingertip user and help reduce the weight of the mouse.

The fingertip grip can provide great speed and accuracy with enough muscle memory.  Often it can be quite uncomfortable especially if you are transitioning from another grip.  Some competitive players use this grip for quick snapping which involves a lot of wrist aiming. 

Finding a mouse for the fingertip grip can be more difficult since fingertip players have a much wider variance in how they grip the mouse.

Generally speaking if you have a fingertip grip then you want to find a low profile mouse.  Weight is very important too.

If you have a larger hand you can get away with a heavier mice, and vice versa if you have a smaller hand.

The movement of fingertip players can also be affected by carpal tunnel that I mentioned earlier so something to be aware of.

Conclusion – What Mouse Grip is Best For Gaming

Overall the mouse grip you use can have an impact on the efficiency of your aim.  But there is no right answer for everyone.  Choose what is comfortable for you.  Don’t forget to check out the choose my mouse tool to help you select a mouse for your grip style. 

The palm grip will provide you with the most support but will require you to aim with your arm too which can slow down your aim for things like flicks.

On the other hand, if you are an fps player and often rely on quick snap movements and agile movement, you likely use a form of the claw or fingertip grip.

These grips excel at faster paced games because they provide you with more flexibility for fast adjustments and snap shooting.

Choosing a mouse grip is completely personal preference, similar to choosing a mouse.  These are some general guidelines to help you decide which grip you think you use and what kind of mouse you should be looking for.

Barry H

Barry H

Barry is the sole writer here at GamingGem. Having played games since the age of 7 he is a gamer at heart. His mission is to make GamingGem the primary resource for gamers to find accurate and unbiased reviews on the latest gaming and tech gear.

1 thought on “The Best Mouse Grip For Gaming – Palm vs Claw vs Fingertip”

  1. As you noted, despite fingertip being the least common it also has the most variation in style with ranges between extremes in a few categories:

    * finger movement VS arm movement (planted palm VS lifted palm)
    * flat fingers VS arched fingers (palm VS claw stances)
    * forward/high positioning VS back/low positioning (different approaches to clear the palm rest)
    * level wrist VS angled wrist (thumb or pinkie can be similar height off the mat, resulting in positive angle or different resulting in negative, even, or further positive tilt)

    All of these ranges exist to some extent within other grips, but I think they’re more pronounced with fingertip because the extra free space between the mouse and palm gives more room to make or break the ergonomics for users’ individual preferences.

    It may also be worth noting that the carpal tunnel problems tend toward those users who use a lifted palm as they’re using their wrist more. If the palm is planted and the hand is in an ergonomic position, moving the mouse in fingertip style induces less stress on the tunnels than typing on an ergonomic keyboard.


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