There are three mouse grip styles that most people fall into: palm grip, claw grip, and fingertip grip. Any combination of the three styles will be referred to as a “hybrid grip”. These grip styles should be seen as simple guidelines. One person’s palm grip may look slightly different to another’s, and that goes for claw and fingertip too.
There is technically no right or wrong way to grip a mouse. If you are comfortable with your current grip style then there is no reason to switch. That being said, there is nothing wrong with experimenting, especially if you’re pursuing aiming perfection. It’s hard to know which grip style is best for you without giving each one a fair shot.
A lot of people consider palm grip to be the most popular grip style. It’s certainly the most popular style for your average computer user, but when it comes to competitive gamers, I’m not so sure. Palm is the comfort option of the three styles. With more points of contact than any other style, palm grip allows you to keep your hand relaxed while maintaining full control of the mouse.
One downside to palm grip is the lack of finger movement available. Keeping your fingers flat on the mouse can really limit your ability to perform micro-adjustments. Although palm grip may suffer in the micro department, it’s considered by many to be the king of large swipes and quick flicks. Palm grip promotes aiming with your elbow and shoulder rather than your wrist and fingers, this makes it a strong choice for low sensitivity players.
As the name suggests, the only points of contact with the mouse will be your fingertips. While this may give you less stability than palm or claw, fingertip grip unlocks some dexterity that the other two styles cannot provide. It allows you to aim with not just your wrist and arm, but with your fingers too. This is why I consider fingertip to be the most flexible grip style, it gives you access to all forms of mouse control at once. It’s the ability to aim with your fingers that makes fingertip grip, in my opinion, the master of micro mouse movements.
Fingertip users tend to have a loose and relaxed grip while holding their mouse, which is great for reducing hand and wrist strain. Unfortunately, hand pain is a common issue amongst competitive gamers. Playing with a style that promotes a loose grip can drastically decrease your odds of having similar problems.
A combination of stability and flexibility makes claw grip the middle ground between palm and fingertip. Arching your fingers up like an eagle has two key benefits: a larger range of motion and more clicking power. Giving your fingers room to extend up and down is great for vertical movements; something palm grip users tend to struggle with. Much like fingertip grip, claw grip gives you access to all forms of mouse control at the same time, just not as much.
Claw grip is considered to be the least “natural” grip style due to your fingers being bent at all times. If you feel any strain or pain while using your mouse, I would recommend loosening your grip as well as taking regular breaks.
Although we refer to palm, claw, and fingertip as the three ‘main’ grip styles, many people fall into a 4th category: hybrid grip. A hybrid grip is simply a combination of any of the three ‘main’ styles. For example: using a fingertip grip while arching your index and middle finger (fingertip + claw hybrid).
What is the best grip style?
There is simply no such thing as the best way to grip a mouse. Everyone has their own answer to the question, and that answer will be whatever grip style they find most comfortable. Shroud has insane aim not because he uses claw grip, but because he’s been clicking on heads full-time since 2014!
Once again, there is nothing wrong with experimenting with different grip styles, especially if you’re pursuing perfect aim. That being said, switching to a less comfortable grip style is not the way to go!
“I can’t show you how to grip your mouse, just pick it up, hold it, and that’s how you hold your mouse. Whatever feels natural.” – Shroud