In a lot of ways, a good mouse is the best tool a PC gamer can have. Assuming that all the computer’s components are optimized for good performance, and that the keyboard, well, works, the mouse needs to provide both quick, responsive movement as well as precise control over one’s environment. Combine this with an optimized surface like a modern gaming mouse mat, and you’re really already just programming a few macros and adjusting your sensitivity away from a control scheme that has been unparalleled and finely-tuned over a decade. The Roccat Kone[+] Max Customization Gaming Mouse and the Roccat Sota Granular Gaming Mousepad will give you the tools you need.
“Max Customization” really isn’t just marketing speak, as virtually every aspect of the Kone[+] can be adjusted to suit your needs. From the standard attributes like speed and sensitivity(which can actually be adjusted using the default buttons on the mouse) and programmable macro buttons, Roccat delivers the kind of customization that gamers dream about. The mouse has 8 buttons, including a 4-way scroll wheel, and automatically these 8 buttons can perform 22 functions. By creating profiles, you can map these buttons to do anything you like, and if you’re already using a Roccat Isku keyboard, you can use the Roccat Talk software to have your mouse functions change as you change keyboard profiles as well, opening up all kinds of possibilities using the 5 profiles stored in the mouse’s onboard memory.
The mouse itself has 4 LEDs on the side that change colors throughout the full rainbow by default. These can also be programmed individually or as a group to blink, stay on, use multiple colors, and so on. The mouse is already somewhat large and has a good weight to it, but if it’s not heavy enough, the Kone [+] is packaged with 4 5-gram weights that can be inserted into the bottom of the mouse for some additional heft. I absolutely love this idea, and I personally added another 10 grams, which keeps me from making any unwanted movements if my hand shakes. The only downside to this is that I started out trying all 4 weights and removing them until I was satisfied, and removing the weights can be extremely difficult. I had to resort to a pair of pliers to get one of them out.
The Roccat Kone [+] is capable of a lot, and has features you wouldn’t even really think you were looking for until you saw them: for example, the Tracking & Distance Control Unit (TDCU) scans your mouse surface to get a feel for how much space it has and adjusts itself appropriately, also minimizing any movement if the mouse needs to be picked up for quick scrolling movements. What few flaws it has are really forgivable and not something that stick out constantly , and when it comes to gauging its performance there isn’t much to say besides “Wow.”
As for the Sota Mousepad, it’s really nothing that goes above and beyond what a mousepad should do, but it’s slick, large surface will give you plenty of room for maneuvering without putting up any unwanted resistance. It’s not the best surface I’ve seen, and if you’re looking for something that’s going to put up the smallest amount of a fight or offer anything more than what you expect from buying a pad labeled for gaming use, the Sota probably isn’t the surface for you. If you’re just looking for something gaming-optimized or something that spreads out and takes up some room, however, it might be a good choice.
Bottom Line: The amount of customization and control one gets with the Roccat Kone[+] is incredible. The amount of features and programmability are likely to go unnoticed unless you study the back of the box and the manual to learn about things like the 4-way scroll wheel and the customizable LED lights. While not entirely perfect, the mouse is fairly comfortable, responsive, and is sure to meet the needs of all but the most scrutinizing gamers. The Sota Mousepad doesn’t bring anything particularly groundbreaking, but is a reliably effective surface for mice.
- 8 responsive buttons with 5 onboard-stored profiles to switch out macros, and a 4-way scroll wheel, the level of control is exceptional
- The addition of weights to the inside of the mouse for a heavier feel is a nice customizable touch
- LED system on mouse offers full spectrum of colors for customization to match the rest of your rig
- Weights are incredibly difficult to remove from inside the mouse after they have been placed inside
- Mouse mat only offers a speed side, leaving players who require precision controls to be even more careful than usual
- Groove for thumb on left side has no matching spot for the small fingers of the hand on the other side
Born in the Midwest, living in the Southwest, Michael Radon grew up wanting to make video games for a living before finding his calling as a writer. Though he often heads out on spur-of-the-moment adventures with little to no preparation, he's just as sure to remember his toothbrush as he is at least two portable consoles, a laptop and five to ten games on his person at all times just for those lulls in the action where he can squeeze in a few levels of gaming.