A gaming mouse is a luxurious I don't want, however I nonetheless need one
Some time in the past I assembled an inventory of eight gaming mice value shopping for. They ran the gamut when it comes to design, customization and, in fact, worth. Although all of those mice are nonetheless obtainable and I might gladly advocate any of them, fairly a couple of contenders for the crown have made their debut since I revealed my roundup. For the previous few months I have been utilizing the Cougar M550 and the SteelSeries Rival one hundred and, whereas each have so much to supply hardcore players, a “filthy informal” like me additionally discovered a lot to love.
Proper out of the field the Cougar 550M is an actual behemoth, simply filling my palm and increasing previous my fingertips. The great factor is that my hand does not want to succeed in throughout the entire thing to activate the buttons, because the clickable floor extends about 2 inches again. This undoubtedly helped hold any hand pressure at bay, as I barely needed to transfer my fingers to do something. In fact, this labored greatest throughout extra lackadaisical actions like net searching and level-and-click on video games.
Along with its measurement, the 550M can also be fairly aggressive in look. Its curves evoke extra velocity than grace, and the prongs on the entrance remind me of a predator’s claws, as befitting the Cougar identify. The scroll wheel is treaded like a tire, and within the middle of the mouse is a big button for altering the DPI on the fly. In contrast to the appropriate and left buttons, this requires a little bit of a forceful push, which is sweet since you do not need to hit it by accident in the midst of a match. The one factor I undoubtedly liked was the thick braided USB twine. Positive, it provides to the general bulk of the mouse, however I appreciated its sturdiness. Plus, it simply feels good to the contact.
The SteelSeries Rival one hundred appears virtually dainty as compared, with a softer form that matches comfortably in my hand. Nevertheless it’s no delicate flower, both. It is a strong little puck, with a clean matte black floor damaged solely by the glowing SteelSeries emblem. The Rival one hundred shares the identical basic button association because the 550M: the usual assortment of left and proper buttons cut up by a clickable scroll wheel, plus two buttons on the left aspect of the mouse and a central button for adjusting DPI. The Rival one hundred’s DPI button is way extra modest than that of the 550M: The latter is the dimensions of my index finger, whereas the previous is only a sliver.
Each mice work simply wonderful out of the field, however to get probably the most out of both you will need to obtain their respective drivers from Cougar and SteelSeries’ web sites. In some instances, this may even be needed: An older Toshiba laptop computer operating Home windows 10 determined it did not need to play good with the 550M, placing the pointer in all places however the place I wanted it to be. As soon as I downloaded the driving force and restarted the pc, every thing was peachy.
The Cougar UIX and SteelSeries Engine three software program primarily supply the identical customization options. You’ll be able to select the perform of every button on the mouse, choose a number of DPI settings and decide the colour of the lighting. I admittedly spent somewhat an excessive amount of time enjoying with the lighting settings on each, partly as a result of it is easy however principally as a result of the LEDs are fairly. The 550M additionally lets you set the entrance- and again-lighting parts in another way. Nevertheless, whereas I selected a pleasant turquoise for the Rival one hundred, I ended up going again to the default orange-purple for the 550M; the swoop of shiny tangerine-coloured plastic behind the mouse enhanced hotter shades however made cooler shades of blue and purple really feel incidental, weak.
The default settings for the DPI on each mice are enough, however should you’re feeling loopy you’ll be able to all the time crank up the 550M as excessive as 6,000 and the Rival to four,000. However that is provided that you do not thoughts your pointer skittering all the best way throughout the display since you breathed a bit of too exhausting on the mouse. Excessive DPI sounds spectacular nevertheless it’s lots like a digital camera’s megapixel rely: After a sure level, issues do not noticeably enhance and may even worsen. In my case, the DPI was jacked excessive sufficient that I had hassle even getting the pointer again on the slider to vary it to one thing extra manageable. I ultimately caught with round 1,000 for searching and 1,600 for gaming, as a result of a mouse is sort of a race automotive: I need to go quick, however I nonetheless want to have the ability to decelerate sufficient to make turns.
Button task is the place the Cougar and SteelSeries UI differ probably the most, and there is no clear winner. When it comes to ease-of-use and visible panache, I most popular Cougar’s answer, which provides you a diagram of the mouse and allows you to drop and drag features onto every button. The issue is that you simply’re restricted to the features that Cougar provides you within the menu, which embrace primary mouse features like proper-click on and left-click on, media buttons like play and pause, and a few gamer-particular features like a sniper DPI button. What is not included is a strategy to map buttons to particular keys on the keyboard — which is all I actually needed! As an alternative, you need to resort to programming macros, which is not precisely intuitive within the Cougar UIX. The distinction in accessibility right here is like going from an introductory school course straight to graduate faculty. It isn’t utterly indecipherable, however come on.
SteelSeries Engine three is a bit more opaque in its button-task course of. You get a diagram of the mouse and may click on on every button to vary its task, choosing from a collection of drop-down menus. It isn’t precisely the simplest to navigate, however there’s good purpose for that: It consists of each key on the keyboard. It took a bit searching to seek out the “area” key however I reassigned the press wheel for Papers, Please so I might toggle examine mode just a bit bit quicker. The issues I do to make my bureaucratic duties just a bit bit simpler.
I used each mice on and off for each gaming and every day use. The SteelSeries has been a delight for shopping: I like the best way it feels in my hand, and the aspect buttons really feel good underneath my thumb in addition to being helpful for going forwards and backwards on the internet. The Cougar is a special matter. Whereas I initially favored the texture of it, it will definitely felt just a bit too huge for lengthy-time period use. Even switching to it for a couple of minutes causes one thing in my mind to wig out; it is too huge, it is the flawed form, it simply does not really feel proper. Even now, I am utilizing it whereas I write this publish and I really feel a basic sense of unease each time I want to maneuver the mouse.
It is a totally different matter once I was gaming with the 550M. I attempted some rounds of Dungeon Defenders 2 with it and every part went slightly swimmingly. With the mouse, anyway. I used to be capable of to purpose my wizard’s employees and place weaponry simply advantageous, with my largest drawback being that I am not nice on the recreation. However the Cougar was clean and responsive and the dimensions simply did not hassle me as a lot as a result of I used to be continually shifting my proper hand round whereas my left was busy hammering away on the keyboard. If solely it was simpler to reassign a few of these keys to the mouse!
I switched to the Rival one hundred for Papers, Please. It won’t be an motion recreation, however it could possibly nonetheless get fairly intense, and there is a variety of mouse work in it. In a approach it is sort of just like my on a regular basis workflow — bouncing between home windows, always having to look stuff up — there’s simply far much less fingerprinting and invasive searches at Engadget. The keyboard motion is restricted to 2 toggle features, so it was good to have the ability to simply dump these features on the mouse and never need to program a macro to do it.
For many players, programming macros is not an enormous deal. They usually’re sort of essential once you’re juggling all types of melee weapon assaults and spells and therapeutic potions and it is advisable to get this stuff carried out shortly within the warmth of battle. However all lots of people may need to do is change a button or two. And whereas the Cougar UIX wins on simplicity, it is SteelSeries that gave me the pliability I wanted, in addition to making a mouse that is simply extra snug in my dainty informal-gamer arms.