Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 review: Epic tales await
While not as ubiquitous as Logitech, SteelSeries or Razer gaming mice, Mad Catz has made a name for itself with unique designs, customisable bodies and great performance. The Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 is the latest evolution of Mad Catz striking design, and it’s a fully customisable and peak-performing gaming mouse that’s only held back by average software and a steep price tag.
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|Amazon||From $342||Check price|
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After being untethered by a flurry of high-performance, wired-like wireless gaming mice in recent years (the SteelSeries 650 Wireless and Logitech G502 Lightspeed to name two of the best), it’s tough to go back to wired mice. Then SteelSeries sent me a mouse bungee – a desk-mounted contraption designed to eliminate cable drag by stably holding the mouse cable – and my ancient love for wired mice clicked over from dormant to active.
The mouse bungee certainly helped to highlight the easy movement and fantastic accuracy of the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 for this review, which ranks as the most impressive wired gaming mouse I’ve used in a long time. Then again, considering the price, you’d absolutely hope that’s the case.
Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 specs
|Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3||Specs|
|Connectivity||1.8m braided-fibre cable|
|Switch durability||50 million clicks|
What’s in the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 box?
A whole lot of customisable versatility.
Pop open the incredibly well-packaged Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 and you’ll find a default mouse configuration that’s already a faithful gaming companion. If you don’t like it, you can swap in one of the two additional palm rests, alternate between the two different scroll wheels, or switch out the pinkie rest, thumb rest, and even the glide feet.
Hang onto the included manual and thumb-sized screwdriver so you can see how to switch the parts in and out. That thumb screwdriver also doubles as a handy prying tool for the well-secured additional mouse parts. An included soft-shell, zip-up carry case is also a great premium touch.
What are the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 main selling points?
- Fully customisable body
- Incredibly accurate optical sensor
- Pro sliding technology
As is the trend for Mad Catz R.A.T. gaming mice, the main big selling point is the customisable mouse body. Mad Catz includes a key to tighten and loosen removable parts, and it’s a nice touch that there’s a fine brush for getting rid of dust, dead skin and other bits of accumulated gunk. The sensor has great accuracy at 16,000 DPI, but what makes it feel even more responsive is the 3,000Hz report rate and choice of Teflon (great) or ceramic (better) feet.
Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 customisability
Extensive customisation to truly personalise your gaming mouse.
While not as easy to detach and attach as the magnetic parts of competitors, the positive trade-off here is that the Pro X3 feels robust and there’s a permanence to each modification. For every gripe I had with the Pro X3, there was a customisation answer just a few anticlockwise then clockwise screws away. In default configuration, the sensitivity-modifier button was too big, but there’s a replacement panel with a lower-profile alternative.
If you want to switch mouse grips – from claw to fingertip to palm – there’s a palm rest for that and a thumb and pinkie rest to make it comfier. The default scroll wheel can feel unpleasant during extended everyday use, but there’s a soft rubber alternative for ultimate comfort or one with less-pronounced spokes as a great compromise between in-game control and everyday use.
Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 performance
The best scroll wheel for gaming.
For years, I’ve accepted that mouse wheels are finicky things that are best avoided when it comes to relying on them for critical in-game functions, particularly for reliably weapon swapping in first-person shooters. The Pro X3’s default mouse wheel may not be the most comfortable for prolonged everyday use, but it’s an accurate and reliable companion in even the tensest online situations. Instead of opting for a wealth of buttons like the Logitech G502 Lightspeed, Mad Catz keeps things simple with a typical five-button configuration, as well as a conveniently placed hold-to-use sensitivity-modifying button and a single top-mounted DPI increase button that’s easy to feel for but not easy to accidentally press.
In my dozens of hours of testing, the Pro X3 has never skipped a beat. I love how easily it glides across my giant mouse mat on lower sensitivities, and it still maintains fantastic accuracy if you prefer to play with a higher sensitivity. It’s not so light nor small that it feels lost in my grip and it’s incredibly comfortable to use.
Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 software
Deep features sans an intuitive layout.
While not as light-on as SteelSeries Engine 3 software, Mad Catz software isn’t as intuitive in its layout as Logitech G Hub but, with some patience, it lets you customise the essentials. The Programming tab is dedicated to tweaking button and scroll binds. The Settings tab is where you can tweak DPI options, raise or lower the poll rate (it’s at 1000Hz by default), or enable/disable angle snap for more consistent cursor input.
The Chameleon tab is where RGB lovers can tweak the Pro X3’s light show. Things fall apart a bit in the Support tab, with the ‘Download Drivers and Software’ and ‘Contact Us’ options both dead links. Head to this link for Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 software download.
Is the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 worth the price?
Deep features sans an intuitive layout.
Tame its tail from potential snags and you have an insanely accurate mouse. If you want a faithful fragging companion and don’t mind the investment, the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 is a versatile inclusion to any serious gamer’s kit. Whatever way you cut it, whether you’re a R.A.T. devotee or new to the family, the Pro X3 is the best wired gaming mouse I’ve ever used.