In what dimension does a non-Razer gaming mouse conquer? Answer: plenty. But the R.A.T. 9 from MadCatz is one of the more notable competitors to the gaming mouse empire. It is wireless, comes with customizeable plating and weight management system, 3 different profile modes, a 6400dpi laser sensor, and rapid fire buttons. This all translates to a rather expensive $149.99 package. And so, the review begins.
Price as Reviewed: $149.99 at MadCatz
But it is the best gaming wireless mouse of its kind: the plates included can be treated as simple replacements, in the event that the surface area becomes aged (somehow), but also included is a rugged grip plate set, which reduces palm moisture, if that is an issue for a gamer who would use the R.A.T. 9 for extended gaming session.
All in all, it’s hard not to love the R.A.T. 9, however it is possible. The plates for example, despite being of different textures, can’t fit every size of hand, even though the palm rest is adjustable by several centimeters. As for the special buttons: the rapid fire buttons perform consistently for both left and right mouse clicks, the sensitivity switch (below the scroll wheel) is extremely useful in-game or in Photoshop, and finally, the precision button, elegantly painted red, slows down the sensor in order for you to line up multiple headshots in a game accurately, or any other task that requires precise movement.
MadCatz R.A.T. 9 Gaming Mouse Gallery
If it was for everything said previously, the R.A.T. 9 would receive a perfect score. But it won’t.
MadCatz designed a fantastic gaming mouse that even non-gamers would enjoy, but the little things, like no built-in device memory, means that the programmable buttons and sensitivity ranges from 100 to 6400dpi are not saved, unless you download the R.A.T. 9′s own software program and save those settings on your computer, locally — something Razer does in the cloud via their own service called Synapse 2.0.
Lastly is the battery. When I play games on PC, I go all-out: Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Assassin’s Creed, and just about every Total War game ever made. But the problem is that in the defining moment of a multiplayer battle, the R.A.T. 9′s battery died as soon as it started blinking away, and it cost me the fight. Thankfully, MadCatz includes 2 rechargeable batteries that last anywhere from 8 hours to a week depending on how much you use the R.A.T. 9. The trade-off to the high power consumption is that while one battery is being drained, another can be in the USB wireless receiver, ready for another run.
Would I suggest the R.A.T. 9 as your next wireless mouse? Yes, yes, and yes. Just be weary that if you possess very, very large hands or fight yourself in many battles, that the R.A.T. 9 can buckle under the pressure, albeit rarely.