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Gamers Rate Us 'Excellent'
Three is the magic number.
When it comes to human ergonomics – in this case, when the hand meets the computer mouse – research shows that although each person is unique, we can still reliably split the population into three groups of mouse ‘grip’ style (type) – palm grip, fingertip grip, and claw grip.
It’s a bit of an oversimplification to simply split it into three categories, but it’s a good starting point.
For those of you wondering “what is mouse grip style exactly?”.
Simply put: grip style (type) is how you hold the mouse in your hand – the position of your palm and fingers. It doesn’t have to get more complicated than that.
There are many variables, such as the mouse’s shape, weight, your hand size, hand flexibility and much more, but we’re going to keep this short and sweet, covering each grip’s use-cases and some of the pros and cons that may help you pick the mouse and grip that suits you.
Let’s get into it.
Palm grip is the most common and most natural; even the majority of non-gamer muggles will likely be holding their mice this way. It’s a great relaxed grip that puts minimal strain on your arms and wrists, so it's efficient for long sessions and gliding/flicking motions across your mousepad. In general, larger mice or mice with higher profiles work best with this grip.
Fingertip grip is sometimes hailed as the most accurate grip style, as it allows for maximum vertical agility, making it a solid choice for fast-paced FPS games due to its ability for easy micro-adjustments. Now for the bad news: it may be the most accurate, but it's also the most difficult style to master.
Claw grip can be the best of both worlds. However, it comes with its risks - it can cause more strain on your finger during long sessions. The claw grip can vary between how big the mouse is (relative to your hand), or whether you naturally have a relaxed claw grip or aggressive claw grip. Of course, you can re-train your grip with practice.
As always, if in doubt, try a few different mice until you find the one that feels right for you – it’s not always the one that *should* fit you on paper that is the perfect match (a bit like relationships…).
Check out our mouse store where you can click into the mouse you fancy, and use our handy ‘Mouse sizing guide’ chart that will help steer you in the right direction.
Or come and ask for our community’s opinion and we’ll help recommend some great mice over on our Discord.
Esports is continuing to grow at a phenomenal rate, and so is the number of documentaries and films that capture the competitiveness, the culture, and the behind-the-scenes struggles of the players who've been launched into fame and fortune.There are tonnes of quality documentaries about the esports scene and its trials and tribulations — but here are 5 of our must-sees if you need some motivation to keep up the grind!
All Work All Play covers the global rise of esports and follows several League of Legends teams and their personal struggles while en route to the Intel Extreme Masters championships.
A real story about Liquid, one of 10 pro esports teams in the North American League Championship Series. This doc series follows Liquid’s League of Legends team through the ups and downs of competitive gaming. Everything presented is raw, true to tone, unscripted & uncensored.
Fight for First is a series following British underdogs Excel Esports as they fight to be taken seriously in the global esports scene. The team's 2019 season ended badly, but now with fresh investment they are looking to make their mark.
A tribute to the legendary game commentator & critic, John “TotalBiscuit” Bain, who sadly passed away from cancer in 2018. It’s an emotional memoir detailing his life, his endeavors in gaming, and his influence on the esports scene.
Possibly the most popular gaming documentary ever due to its time on Netflix — follow 3 professional Dota players as they overcome personal adversity, family pressures, and the realities of life to compete in a $1,000,000 tournament that could change their lives forever.
Every gamer knows gaining the advantage over your opponent, however small, can be the difference between losing and getting that W.
The famous quote “a man is only as good as his tools” is often followed by “a tool is only as good as the person using it”. And that rings true with gamers; even the best need that edge when it comes to competitive play, and those tools need to be in top condition.
I cover everything you need to know about Mouse Skates aka Mouse Feet aka Mouse Glides — I'll refer to them as 'skates' from here on in to avoid confusion.
I'll give you an overview on what they are, what their purpose is, when you should replace yours, and how to go about replacing them on your mouse.
Sound good? Let's dive right in...
Mouse Skates are the small pads on the bottom of your mouse that keep it gliding smoothly across your mouse pad. The main purpose of them is to keep the mouse elevated from the pad. In doing this, it minimizes the friction generated, but also keeps the mouse close enough to the pad for the sensor to track properly.All mice come as standard with mouse feet attached, usually made of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE); also known as Teflon. This material is used due to having a very low coefficient of friction.Your mouse comes with basic skates that are 'fine' and ready to go out the box, however, players who game more frequently may get to a point where they start to feel their mouse is just not as smooth as it used to be. Or that the factory stock skates just aren't very smooth.
Whilst the mouse feet should last for a good length of time, they will need replacing and it’ll depend on how frequent a gamer you are. Some notable situations that might mean you need to change your mouse feet are;
When moving the mouse you can feel the bottom catching, or dragging across the mouse pad, causing extra friction.
If you have a look at the bottom of your mouse, the feet should be typically white. The signs that the material is wearing down is if you can see ‘black bleeding’ which is the black plastic showing through the mouse feet.
The mouse feet are showing obvious signs of peeling away from the base of the mouse. This is caused by liquid (most times sweat) getting into the feet causing them to lose their adhesiveness.
When you're looking to switch out your skates, you’ll need to choose replacements that fit your specific model of mouse due to each mouse having a different layout on its base where the skates are installed. The exception being brands who use the same mouse chassis for multiple models, but that will be mentioned on the skates product description.
You can pick up new skates from most reputable gaming retailers, but to save you the hassle, you can find some of the best-rated skates on the market for the most popular mouse models in our mouse skates store over here.
Once you have your replacement mouse skates in hand, it's now time to remove your old ones from the base of the mouse. There are a few different methods to do this, but we’ll cover the main, most reliable method (in our opinion):
Method: Hairdryer & Spudger (removal tool)
This method involves using the hairdryer to heat up the glue underneath the mouse feet. Once the glue has been heated long enough, use a spudger (a flat plastic tool with a sharp end) or a knife to scrape underneath the feet to peel them off — be careful if using a knife!
Be careful when using the hairdryer too, as you want to avoid overheating the mouse, which can cause damage to your mouse (plastic melting or warping) and also cause injury to yourself, so proceed with caution.You can use the spudger or knife on its own without using the hairdryer, especially if you're unsure of how long to heat the feet up by. This may leave traces of glue on the bottom of the mouse however, which will need to be removed before attaching the new mouse feet.
Installing your new skates
Once you have removed all the old skates from the base your mouse, give the surface a clean by using rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl). This will remove any excess adhesive that may still be present. Leave the mouse to dry, and then it's time to apply the new ones.Almost all aftermarket mouse skates will be a simple case of peeling and sticking onto the mouse, ensuring the feet are applied evenly to prevent any air bubbles from appearing.
There are several mouse skate brands out there, so it can be daunting to know which ones are the best. Like most things when it comes to gaming, it's about personal preference. Different brands and models have their own unique feel and can react differently depending on your mouse pad, sensitivity and play style.
Most skates offer less friction to the standard factory-fitted skates, which is a good thing, and allows quicker mouse movements and a smooth glide.
You may have never thought of replacing your mouse skates, or that high-quality replacements were even a thing, but just like any enthusiast gear there's always a way to step things up a notch.
Keeping the factory-fitted skates will do the basic job, but they tend to wear quicker than upgraded skates and for some people, they can feel sticky or scratchy on a range of mouse pads which isn't ideal.
So if you want a buttery smooth glide and incredible control for improved reaction times and micro movements, it's recommended to upgrade your stock skates to something like the enthusiast-favourite, Tiger Gaming ICE/Arc, for just a few quid and let's you really get the most out of your gaming mouse investment.
We have a community of gamers and enthusiasts who are passionate about getting the most from their setups, so offering the best mouse skates is important to us.
Check out our full range as we're always adding new models, and these couple nicely with mouse grip tape for next-level grip and control - it's certainly worth a look.
If you have question, have any specific model requests, or want to share some of your own pro tips on replacing skates or getting the mouse out of them, don't forget to join the discussion on our Discord community server.
It's been on the scene for a while now so I was interested to see how it's held up over time with all the new TKL keyboard releases over the last year.
In this overview and unboxing, I'll be taking a look at the Tecware Phantom 88 TenKeyLess (TKL) Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Outemu Brown switches.
I give my first impressions of the keyboard, I then dive into its design and layout, key switches, keycaps, functionality and software, overall build quality, value for money, and whether I think it's worth buying if you're in the market for an upgrade (spoiler alert: it is!).
There's plenty to cover, so grab a caffeinated beverage and let's get on with the show.
The Tecware Phantom 88 TKL gaming keyboard box and packaging is clean and simplistic. It's a matte black box with the keyboard displayed on the front under the Tecware logo and specifications/features on the back.
In addition to this, four extra key switches of the same type and switch puller are provided, along with a keypuller secured on the underside of the keyboard.
There's a QR code on the back of the box which links directly to the keyboard manual - bonus points for saving the trees!
When lifting the keyboard out of the box, I was pleasantly surprised by the weight and feel as these are usually the first aspects that lack in budget keyboards in this price range. Coming in at 1kg, it the Phatom 88 TKL has a real premium and solid feel to it.
The keyboard comes in a Ten Key Less layout (362x134x40mm) which is often considered the most optimum layout for gaming, catering to the majority of needs whilst saving on valuable desk real estate.
For the last year, I've personally been daily driving a 60% keyboard, so it's been a pleasure to come back to a TKL layout again, and getting the most out of those arrow keys.
The Phantom 88 TKL has an understated style with a gunmetal grey plate, slightly angled corners and the model name printed on the bottom left corner of the rim. The rim around the plate is almost flush with the plate itself, and with the floating key design, it's easy to blast out the debris from your Cheetos left between your keys.
It's equipped with a standard-length 1.8m braided cable with gold plated USB 2.0 connector, accompanied by an end cap.
As you can see pictured below, the cable management on the underside of the board allows for the cable entry position to be swapped between the left, right and centre, providing more flexibility for desk layouts.
The extendable feet are rubberised to provide a sturdy grip on your desk, preventing any movements when slapping those keys. Standard stuff, but welcomed nonetheless.
This model comes in Red, Blue and Brown Outemu switches, and is hot-swappable, however, this is limited to Outemu or switches with the similar structure only.
I chose the Outemu Browns for this overview as I'd been on linear switches for the last year, so figured it was time to give the old tactiles a fresh look. Through the years, my preference has always been Cherry MX Browns so this also played a factor.
Overall, I've been pleasantly surprised with the Outemu Browns. They're considered lesser switches compared to Cherry MX, but finding Cherry MX in a keyboard at this price range is like finding a unicorn.
With that said, they're a bit louder than what I've been using recently (yes - these aren't considered the "loud ones"), but after a couple of days, I can honestly say that the extra noise isn't too noticeable and there have been no complaints from the EG team when I'm spamming the keyboard on Discord.
The Outemu Browns are very responsive and I've had no qualms using them for fast-paced FPS games. Tactile bump ftw too.
Swapping out the switches is super easy — simply remove the keycap using the Keycap Puller provided, along with the Key Switch Puller, and slotting in your new switch. The four replacement switches are definitely a nice to have and a rarity these days.
Outemu Brown Switch Specs:
If the Brown switches aren't for you, it's also available with Outemu Red or Outemu Blue switches if they're more your style.
The keycaps are double injected ABS with laser printing and a slightly different texture to your usual keycaps. It's not quite as smooth and glossy as most others; rather rubbery and grippier, but it still has good brightness and shines through the legends.
They're also fairly durable and after some light usage, they show no signs of wear or damage. However, after long term use, they may be susceptible to the dreaded greasy/shiny look, which most ABS keycaps are afflicted with. Although, we haven't seen or heard these complaints from our community and we've sold them since May 2020.
The legend style is basic but clean, and has nice clarity with the RGB shining through.
The majority of the Tecware Phantom 88 TKL features can be controlled without the software; which is always useful, however, the software is very easy to install and can be downloaded directly from the Tecware website.
The benefits of using the software are that you can create up to three different profiles, record macros, assign new keys and change the polling rate. Personally, I'm not mad about RGB, but for those who are, the LED Editing Mode provides a very solid amount of options and a lot of customisation to go along with them - more than you'd expect from gear at this price point.
The speed of the lighting effects and brightness levels can be controlled using the Fn and arrow keys. The two lights located above the arrow keys also indicate when you've reached the minimum or maximum setting. Six lighting presets have been bound to the M1 to M6 function keys.
Being involved in the finance side of Esports Gear, I'm regularly buried in a spreadsheet, so the calculator shortcut is a simple but personal favourite.
Having extra features on a budget keyboard tends to be uncommon, but moreso with a TKL layout as its form factor limits the chances of having dedicated media or macro keys.
Full N-Key Rollover
I've been using the keyboard for a few weeks now so my perspective on general wear and tear will be limited, although I feel confident in saying that due to the solid build quality — again, for this price point — the Phantom 88 TKL should enjoy a long life span.
The metal plate provides high rigidity and offers little flex, and with the Outemu switches being rated for 50 million clicks, as well as being hot-swappable, this makes them more future-proof.
As mentioned above; a possible issue that may arise with long-term use is the ABS keycaps surface wear, but this is yet to be seen as an issue from our community and this type of material is part in parcel with a keyboard at this price range.
Coming in at £54.99 (RRP £59.99) at the time of this article, there's absolutely no debate that you get more than your money's worth with the Phantom 88 TKL. Similar keyboards at this price point that I have seen or used, don't appear to offer the same kind of quality feel and overall package offered.
The areas where the keyboard maybe be saving money (Switches and Keycaps), do not deduct enough from the keyboard's performance enough to warrant the extra £40-£60 some higher-end gaming keyboards retail for.
When it comes to gaming, performance is key.
So, when taking the cons listed below into consideration - for me at least, none on them are of much concern or should be expected in a keyboard in this price bracket.
I can honestly say that if this quality of keyboard was available at this price range when I first started gaming (back when ball mice were a thing), it would have made things much easier, cheaper and more enjoyable.
The Tecware Phantom 88 TKL Mechanical Keyboard may have been on the market for a few years now, but it has stood the test of time when it comes to value for money, which is always a good sign.
It's a compelling offer for anyone looking to level up their older gear or take the leap into the mechanical switch world — it's why it's a go-to for many Esports Gear community members who aren't looking to splash out, working from home and are tired of their old membrane keyboard, or those who are getting into PC gaming and wanting to swerve the shamefully low quality "gaming gear" punted by most big-box retailers and online marketplaces.
We’re a team of passionate gamers and we're building an enthusiast hardware community that's growing every single day. We're attracting top gaming brands from around the world and bringing fresh new gaming gear to the UK, with a mission to make it accessible to everyone nationwide.
Building something special and disruptive takes time, so we're hyped to have such an awesome and supportive community along with us for the ride!
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All our products are responsibly sourced & shipped within the UK.
*Please Note: Orders with Express Delivery must be made before 4pm to have your gear delivered to you the next working day - Monday to Friday. Orders are not processed on weekends or bank holidays.
Last orders of the week must be made before 4pm on Thursday to receive your gear on Friday.
Orders made after 4pm on Friday will be processed on Monday, and delivered to your door on Tuesday.
There are many factors that come into play when sizing your mouse, such as shape and grip style, but we've focused on the size of your hand comparitive to the mouse itself.
Length: Measure your hand from the base of your palm to the top of your middle finger.
Width: Measure from the knuckle of your thumb to the edge of your palm.
*These sizes should only be used as a guide, but we would love to hear your feedback on your own personal experience. All mouse sizes shown here at EG are based on this guide.
This method involves using the hairdryer to heat up the glue underneath the mouse feet. Once the glue has been heated long enough, use a spudger (a flat plastic tool with a sharp end) or a knife to scrape underneath the feet to peel them off — be careful if using a knife! Be careful when using the hairdryer too, as you want to avoid overheating the mouse, which can cause damage to your mouse (plastic melting or warping) and also cause injury to yourself, so proceed with caution.You can use the spudger or knife on its own without using the hairdryer, especially if you're unsure of how long to heat the feet up by. This may leave traces of glue on the bottom of the mouse however, which will need to be removed before attaching the new mouse feet.
Buy now and pay later with Pay in 3.Choose Pay in 3 at checkout where PayPal is available, and enjoy the power to split your purchase into three interest-free payments, with no set up fees or charges.* It’s a great way to help you stay in control of your budget.
1 / Check out with PayPal
2 / Choose "Pay in 3" and complete your purchase.
3 / Make the first payment now, the rest in two payments every month on the same date.
It’s an interest free loan. With Pay in 3, there’s no interest and no set up fees.*
Get a decision in seconds. You won’t have to wait to see if you’re approved.
It’s backed by PayPal. Your purchases are covered by the same security and Buyer Protection you already enjoy from PayPal**.
Pay in 3 eligibility is subject to status and approval. UK residents only. Pay in 3 is a form of credit, may not be suitable for everyone and use may affect your credit score.
Please note that the product images used are for illustrative purposes only and may differ slightly from the actual product.
We recommend getting in touch with us if you'd like to confirm the exact specification before ordering.
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