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Mad Catz R.A.T. PRO X3 Optical Gaming Mouse (Hardware) – Review

My first observation of the ‘Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse’ was “What the hell is this, a transformer toy”? Its peculiar design with sharp angles certainly made me wonder how such a mouse could be comfortable, let alone improve on gaming performance. Nonetheless, Mad Catz has been around for three decades innovating their products of gaming hardware, so they must be doing something right. In 2018, Mad Catz announced their dedicated focus on quality products for gamers. The Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse is just the latest to be released since that announcement, so let’s see if this odd-looking peripheral can deliver on its promise.

Opening the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse packaging is as easy as peeling back or cutting the clear stickers. The packaging folds open revealing not only the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse, but a multitude of additional support pieces, a tool to detach and attach the support pieces, a cleaning brush, a quick start guide, some Mad Catz stickers, and a protective carry case. The Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse and its support pieces have a combination of sheens and textures.

The resting points are a matt plastic to decrease hand slip, the black plastic buttons are a gloss to allow easy cleaning and easy identification for the fingers, the grey frame is a smooth glossy magnesium alloy punctuating the black resting and button parts, and finally, the mouse wheel is not only interchangeable between a plastic and magnesium alloy but also a rubber.

The zip-up and close protective carry case is externally covered in a resistant wetsuit material, offering protection from any potential debris or fluids. Internally regardless of the combination you have selected for the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse, it will fit snuggly into the impact resistance high-density hard foam protecting it from any potential knocks or drops, giving you peace of mind that any accidents will keep its precious cargo protected.

Mad Catz has taken the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse’s functionality incredibly seriously. As mentioned above the frame is made of a magnesium alloy making it not only light but strong.

The exoframe parts that give the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse its signature sharp angles are what allow it to be extensively customisable. With three different palm rests to choose from, it is diverse enough for the user to find the right fit for them. The scroll wheel has three different materials to choose from not only changes the tactical feel, but resistance can be tweaked making a hard distinctive clicky roll, or a light smooth gliding roll.

The pinkie finger hasn’t been forgotten about, as there are three different choices, a zero-support option so your pinkie will rest on the desk, and a high-support option. Hence, your pinkie rests in line with your other fingers, and a low-support option that lifts the pinkie slightly off the desk removing any potential friction from the pinkie. The thumb also gets the low support option reducing potential friction, but with access to programmable buttons the two customisable parts come in either a narrow or wide set allowing a comfortable resting position to suit small or large hands.

Overall, Mad Catz has designed the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse to be as adaptable as possible while reducing fatigue from extended use. As comfortable as the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse can be, how fast it can move, and respond is important. With a choice of ceramic or Teflon glide feet, you can choose the least resistant feet to get that acceleration as close to 50G’s as possible. With easy snap on and off magnetic locators underneath you can change out the glide feet in an instant. Being able to swap glide resistance so quickly makes changing surfaces a non-issue as you get that perfect glide no matter the surface. Combined with a 1.8-metre braided fibre cable, the high range of movement with durability makes it nothing short of a baby version of a rope dart.

Of course, all this extreme speed of movement is useless unless it can translate those movements onto the screen. Mad Catz has not been shy or slouching when it comes to the transfer of information. The Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse comes with the Pixart PMW 3389 Optical Sensor, allowing a whopping 16,000 dots per inch (DPI). Combined with a polling rate of 3000 Hz the response time is a tiny 0.3 ms, translating to 400 inches per second of recorded movement. The Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse is also fitted with an Omron 50M switch, which is touted as being able to exceed 50 million clicks. So, durability has also been considered.

When using the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse, I felt an immediate change in comfort. General use of the mouse was a breeze, and I couldn’t wait to try it out in some games. Because I am not a competitive gamer, I don’t have a bar in which to compare my performance. However, playing familiar and regular games I did notice the performance of the mouse made a significant difference to my gaming experience.

Mad Catz has also taken the time to offer a software suite that allows further customisation. In the settings, you will be able to alter the DPI response, activate precision aiming, adjust the polling rate, and activate angle snap. The DPI also has a feature to allow up to four profiles to be set. Along with being able to assign different buttons to both the DPI and precision aiming, you can quickly change the performance of the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse getting differing results to any task you are trying to complete with extreme precision.

The DPI response and precision aiming can be adjusted separately anywhere within the range of 50 to 16,000. The polling rate comes with six presets allowing you to choose between 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz, and 3000Hz. Lastly, the angle snap can be toggled on resulting in the cursor being smoothed out in its movements, or off making all inputs true to your actual movements.

The lighting is also customisable with a full 16.8 million RGB lighting choices accompanied by effect choices of breathing, rainbow, colour cycle, and colour chase. The 10 buttons are all programable with complex macros and shortcuts, which are only limited by your imagination. The alterations you can make to the performance of the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse certainly exceed that of using just the physical aspects of a regular mouse. All these choices may seem daunting, but the software is displayed cleanly, with full descriptions, and is very easy to use.

Not since my days playing MMORPGs like ‘EverQuest 2’ and ‘World of Warcraft’ have I used a professional gaming mouse. I Spent countless hours programming the buttons to maximise in-game performance. The Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse’s software suite makes me wish this was a thing back in the day.

Mad Catz’s dedicated focus has shone through making the Mad Catz R.A.T. Pro X3 Gaming Mouse compatible with any genre of game.

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The Good

  • Durable
  • Comfortable to use
  • Protective carry case
  • Customisable to your needs
  • Appearance and performance customisable
  • Software allowing beyond physical performance

Written by: Ashley Barnett-Cosgrove


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