Mad Catz are back with an updated range of their iconic R.A.T. gaming mouse range. We were lucky enough to get a review sample, to get hands on with the R.A.T. 8+ mouse – the top product of this new range. Coming with 11 programmable buttons and a 16,000 DPI optical sensor, weighing in at only 145 grams without the cable, the mouse is built with gamers in mind. However, should gamers rejoice that the R.A.T. is back in the game? Let’s find out!
Let’s start off by saying the obvious… the R.A.T. 8+ looks divine. If there is one thing that the R.A.T. 8+ doesn’t look, other than boring, it is comfortable. With sharp lines and and ultra modern design sat on a desk it doesn’t visually look like it’ll sit well in your hand. However, the design that has gone into the mouse is spot on, resulting in an ergonomic mouse that is comfortable for long gaming sessions without a remote inclining of hand cramp.
This is due to the ease of customization of the mouse, the extent of which is top of its class. Firstly, the mouse can be adjusted to different lengths, to suit different sized palms – as well as different mouse grips if anyone truly uses Claw. Gamers are able to tweak the weight of the mouse with three 6g weights initially centered, which can be removed. While the exact weighting may truly be something only pro gamers will seriously have to worry about, reactions wise, it does mean you can make the experience feel more comfortable for you. Furthering this, it is also possible to alter the palm and little finger rests, by substituting the pieces with extras that are included.
Opening the R.A.T. software, available from the official website, the ability for users to alter and tweak their experience is extended past the physical components of the mouse. Every clickable or scrollable button/wheel on the mouse can be rebound – with the precision aim button becoming a copy paste tool and the secondary scroll becoming an ideal volume control. Going above this the software allows users to create simple or advanced macros that can be performed at the click of any button. This is something that could be extremely powerful for anyone doing repetitive tasks.
As with all eye catching gaming mice the R.A.T. 8+ comes with glowing LEDs. By default it nicely pulses or rainbows through the RGB lighting colors. Again, from within the R.A.T. software users can choose the speed of color changes, the colors to include and set this up over multiple profiles. According to Mad Catz, 16.8 million color are at your control, so you really can make it your own.
Precision aim is something designed with snipers in mind, or at least those with more methodical/camping methods. Holding the button down, which is at the tip of your thumb, drastically reduces the mouses sensor speed. This makes what is normally a high 16,000 DPI optical sensor, that affords gamers a high sensitivity, feel like you are moving the mouse through treacle – giving a boost in accuracy for longer shots. As hinted to above this can be disabled, with the button then free to be rebounded, if the FPS genre isn’t something you’re into.
Production quality wise the materials used are of premium quality and stop the mouse from warming over hours of play – causing irritating sweaty palms. Mad Catz has crafted a lightweight yet robust mouse, ready for many a gaming session – with the specs saying the mouse will take 50 million clicks thanks to utilizing OMRON switches. With those sort of numbers noone will reasonably have to worry for many years to come that their reaction clicks will be hampered by the mouse they use.
Almost to be expected, as gaming mice get more expensive they tend to fare worse with non-perfect/flat desk surfaces. There are designed for top performance not for use with lackluster surfaces. While still perfectly useable, with only a marginal improvement noticeable, the mouse glides much smoother when on a mouse mat. The sensor tracking and the precision are not affected but moving the mouse lets you feel the bumps – much in the way a sports car compared to a 4×4 feels a bump in a road. Potentially, this why Mad Catz is releasing the new G.L.I.D.E. range of gaming surfaces – so everyone can get that smooth experience.
The R.A.T. 8+ mouse is a statement piece of a peripheral, yet it backs up the iconic look with solid, top quality, performance. If you are looking for some customization this mouse comes with it and plenty to spare. From the physical size shape to the glowing colors and onto the macro potential, it is all easy for any gamer to do – mostly thanks to the R.A.T. software. There is a slight annoyance to using the mouse on a non-perfect surface. However, it isn’t enough of an issue to make me return to my old mouse, with all the other improvements. It merely means I’ll have to invest in a decent mouse mat to get the best out of the R.A.T. 8+.
[Editor’s Note: The R.A.T. 8+ was provided to us for the review. The price point for the mouse is currently set at €99.99.]