Mad Catz RAT 9 is a top of the line gaming mouse that comes with a number of improvements as compared to its predecessor, the well-known RAT 7. The latter has gained popularity among the e-sports gaming community as a sturdy, customizable piece of gaming merchandise, but it seems the RAT 9 is company’s most successful attempt to accommodate the high demand for premium class gaming hardware.
But what exactly makes the R.A.T 9 superior to its rivals? First, it is the incredible range of customization options. Second, its wireless capabilities that will be a subject of a thorough discussion later and third, the brilliant battery design that is a blessing for those of us who are fed up with the bundle of cables around the desk.
I have been playing for quite some time and I tested a whole lot of mice and keyboards that did not justify their price tag. So, the last thing I want is to sugar talk you into purchasing a certain model. Instead, I will outline the most important technical specs as well as the setbacks I have encountered and let you decide for yourself whether the Cyborg Mad Catz R.A.T 9 is well-worth the purchase.
If you want to find out more details about the Mad Catz RAT 9 Gaming Mouse before buying it, read the review below.
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The R.A.T 9 comes with three different palm shapes as well as three buttons for little finger and thumb. Unlike some other high-end mice, the Mad Catz RAT 9 has an adjustable weight feature. Personally, I hate feather – light mice, so the adjustable weight option is one of the reasons why the RAT 9 is included in my list of favorites.
What’s more, the mouse possesses an Accurate Aiming button for thumb (here you go, FPS lovers) as well as Back and Forward for browser. Each button can be programmed via the Cyborg software.
The RAT 9 differs from its predecessor by the absence of conductors. Although there is not a huge performance gap between this model and most products in the same price range, the available features make it stand out from the crowd. Now, after this brief overview, let’s focus on the essential factors that make the RAT 9 worth your attention.
Almost all pro gamers I consulted before I test the mouse myself heartily approved that the RAT 9 is unbeatable in terms of ergonomics and drew the following arguments.
The Cyborg RAT 9 allows you to adjust the size, shape and weight, but the best of all is that you can also swap between the materials your hands rest on. The mouse comes with 5-gram weights, two extra palm rests and right wings for the pinkie finger. I used to have a non-gaming mouse and one of the things I hated most is how my pinkie drags off on the mousepad. In other words, the customizable plastic slabs are an awesome design idea.
At a first glance, the mouse looks like a futuristic piece of hardware and you may think it will take you ages to configure it but that’s not the case. You can transform it into a beautiful, comfortable gaming tool in no time. For the purpose, you need to unscrew the hex key and adjust the angle and length of the thumb rest. You can also extend the palm wrist or replace the pinky rest. To a certain extent, the thumb and palm grips interlock so you might be displeased to find out that not all combinations work as expected. Still, if you take your time and fiddle with the settings, you will definitely find a style you like.
Frankly, the mouse is fairly hefty, but the weight cartridge on the underside comes to your rescue. You can add up to 42 grams in several 6-gram increments. The wireless transmitter serves a dual purpose. It is used not only for charging mouse’s battery but also for storing the weights you do not want to use.
When you adapt the physical size of the mouse to your preferences, it’s time to have a look at the buttons. The Cyborg RAT 9 has two scroll wheels as well as a dedicated button for lowering the DPI. There are also four DPI default adjustments. The mouse has a light-up toggle located next to the left mouse button and you can use it to swap between the three preset modes. You also have five customizable buttons at your disposal. The mouse does not have an onboard memory but Mad Catz came up with a solution. More details about it are available in the Software section of my review.
It would be unacceptable to skip the sniper tool, yet another favorite feature of mine. It allows you to reduce the mouse sensitivity to a level you customize and when you let go, it instantly raises. I have to admit that it is a pretty useful tool for lining up headshots.
Needless to say, the RAT 9 has plenty of extra buttons to assign macros. To put it the other way around, the mouse’s design is simply impeccable. The left and right buttons are large enough. As for the scroll wheel, it has a rubberized ring so flicking up and down is a no-brainer. The thumb wheel allows horizontal scrolling and lateral movement, but these two will be available after configuring the mouse via the software.
Now, let’s mention all good things about the Precision Aim button. As mentioned above, it enables you to adjust the sensitivity of the mouse sensor. When you squeeze the little red button, the cursor moves more precisely but you don’t have to make any extra mouse movements. The Precision Aim button is a feature Call of Duty enthusiasts will particularly like.
The 1ms response rate is definitely a decent reaction time for a wireless mouse but I have some remarks about the tracking. In my tests, the mouse did not track well on all surfaces. It performed flawlessly on my wooden desk, over clothes and other flat surfaces. However, tracking over a dimpled surface was a dealbreaker. In this case, making slow, precise movements can be a problem, especially if your playing technique involves many small quick movements at high DPI.
No corded mode? Is it a big deal?
Many gamers, (me included) have a soft spot for wired rodents. There are some solid reasons why wired mice have an edge over their wireless counterparts the slight delay and the frequent change of the battery being among them. However, before you jump to conclusions, I want to let you know that the Mad Catz has solved these issues.
The R.A.T 9 model is a wireless gaming mouse. It does not use standard batteries or USB. It has no removable play-and-charge cord either. Instead, you always rely on wireless connectivity. The mouse ships with two swappable lithium-ion battery cartridges. This way, you can use one of them, while the other one is in the charging. In other words, you always have a fully charged battery to use. Keep in mind that it takes up to 10 seconds for the mouse to get up and running when you switch batteries.
As for the battery life, it can pull you through 2-3 days of moderate mouse use. However, if you are planning a weekend CS: GO marathon, you have to be prepared for battery swapping every 5-7 hours.
To be able to use all fancy features, you have to configure the mouse through the Cyborg software. You are enabled to program each button and wheel movement, assign macros and key sequences, and adjust the DPI sensitivity from 25 to 6400. You are allowed to program up to three different profiles at a time and switch between web-browsing mode to a customized FPS or MMO profile in one click of the button. As a matter of fact, you can create as many profiles as you wish, but only three of them can be active at once. You can set up to 18 user-definable commands using the programmable buttons over the three modes. You will not be able to use the horizontal scroll wheel unless you make the necessary settings via the software.
It would not be excessive to say that the Cyborg R.A.T 9 is the expected result of manufacturer’s attempt to introduce a new mice king on the market. Still, it seems to me that purchasing any RAT model is a matter of taste. Of course, the price should also be taken into account but if you seek comfort, precise aiming and a stunning number of customization features, the Mad Catz RAT 9 definitely makes the cut.