Have you ever wanted to put your hands on a mouse you can tweak to your preferences? If you have, you will totally fall for the RAT Pro X, one of the most ambitious projects of Mad Catz. The Pro X comes with a modular design that allows you to customize it to a point where it feels like a natural extension of your hand. The RAT Pro X targets aspiring pro gamers and helps them take their gameplay to a whole new level.
The Pro X enables you to choose between three different sensors, interchangeable palm rests, two pairs of skid feet, three scroll wheels, three right, and two left panels.
I am pretty sure the mouse is refreshingly different from every gaming peripheral you have used so far. However, is the whole customization thing a gimmick or the Pro X can compete for the “Most customizable gaming mouse ever crafted” award?
The Pro X ships with Teflon feet for speed of movement and ceramic ones for enhanced control. Matte, plastic and aerated palm rests; two metal scroll wheels and one rubber; two thumb rests, and three finger rests (one for your little finger, another one for your ring and little finger, and a neutral rest) are the other pieces you will find in the box.
The mouse is not ambidextrous, so I guess apart from MMO players, lefties will also be resentful of Pro X design.
The approximate dimensions of R.A.T. PRO X are 6.2 x 5.3 x 7.1 inches (LWH). Weight is among the few features of Pro X that cannot be adjusted. The mouse tops the scales at 3.7oz or 105g.
The Mad Catz Pro X comes with seven programmable buttons – right and left clickers, DPI sensitivity adjuster, a scroll wheel, two thumb buttons and a sniper button. The mouse ships with an Allen wrench, so swapping between the components is a no-brainer.
The scroll wheel is undoubtedly one of the mouse’s biggest selling points. It is tilting left and right, (for that price, it better be). If you wish, you can even set the resistance to your liking.
I want to pay a special attention to the tiny button just below the scroll wheel. Yes, that’s the button you use for increasing the DPI. The well-though-out DPI buttons of a gaming mouse make FPS fans lick their lips as these buttons allow them to quickly change the mouse sensitivity and line up shots or make slow precise movements. The Pro X has a wild appearance, and that’s the reason why Mad Catz has added a tame button, too.
The side buttons offer a great tactile feedback. Keep in mind that the left button has a shorter travel than the right to make it easier to rapid tap. Likewise, the various resistance of the right and left clickers will be beneficial to MOBA players as they won’t have to worry about accidental ability misfires. The Omron switches are rated for up to 20 million presses – yet another feature MOBA freaks will be pleased with.
Apart from the opportunity to adjust the scroll wheel tension, the mouse comes with yet another innovative feature. The scroll wheel can pivot from side to side independently from the rest of the mouse. That functionality definitely gives you an edge over the competition. All you have to do to circle attack an enemy is to push the scroll wheel left or right. If you are a diehard fan of first person shooters, the scroll wheel, in combination with the razor sharp accuracy of the laser sensor make the Pro X well worth the purchase.
I tested the RAT Pro X in several games and it was a sheer joy to use. I guess if the mouse had WASD keys, I would not need a keyboard at all. I tried it in the Assassins Creed IV Black Flag and it performed brilliantly on both land and sea. Instead of using multiple buttons, I just set the scroll wheel as a weapon.
Wired Mode Only
The Pro X is a corded mouse that sports a gold-plated connector. You never have to worry about the battery running out of juice. On the other hand, you will have to put up with yet another cable on the deck, but Mad Catz did its best to save you the inconvenience. The Pro X cable is braided, so any snagging and bending is minimized.
Responsiveness and Sensor
Both laser and optical sensors have fierce opponents and proponents. To help you overcome the hesitation whether to choose a laser or an optical one, Mad Catz enabled you to swap between three different sensors.
The R.A.T PRO X that is a subject to the current review sports a PixArt ADNS-9800 laser sensor and I have to tell you that I do not regret my choice. The 9800 allows you to increase the DPI to 8,200. You can execute the perfect headshots, lock-on to opponents and have a full control over the mouse. The adjustable lift-off height and the angle snapping features also come in handy, although using them is a personal decision.
The Mad Catz RAT Pro X software works fine, although I find it a bit obtuse at times. It is straightforward and easy to work with, but there are some caveats I consider relevant to tell you about.
You can assign a specific command to every mouse button, create profiles to different games, and change the settings to your liking. However, assigning commands can turn into quite an irritating activity. Instead of clicking on the chosen command, you have to drag and drop it from a menu.
I also want to mention a very specific problem I have stumbled upon. If you are a fan of Battlefield 4, I strongly recommend exploring the software options before you challenge Pro X capabilities in a game. If you are impatient to start playing as soon as you take the mouse of the box (like yours truly), you may find yourself in the following situation.
The right click allows you to scoop a weapon. That’s its default function. However, I did not know it had yet another function – swapping between single shop and burst fire modes of the chosen weapon. (You know, the command you usually trigger by pressing V on the keyboard). If it is of any help, I did not encounter that issue in any other game I tried.
If you liked the RAT Pro X, raise your hand, if you did not, raise your standards.
I believe that if it wasn’t for the hefty price tag, Mad Catz would sell no other gaming mice. Still, I expected it to offer greater versatility in MMOs. The software is not flawless but it works fine.
To sum up, the Pro X is a gaming peripheral of superior quality and manufacturers should definitely regard it as a challenge to adapt their products to the latest mouse design trends.