Mad Catz R.A.T.7 Gaming Mouse for PC and Mac
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- Gaming-grade 6400 DPI Laser Sensor^FPS-style Precision Aim Mode^6 Programmable Buttons (18 User-definable Commands via 3 Modes)^Set and toggle 4 Custom DPI Settings per Profile^Lightweight Aluminum Chassis^Custom Weight System Add/Remove up to 30g for a Perfect Feel
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Perfect your grip - How do you hunt? Whether you ‘palm’ the mouse or ‘claw’ it, the R.A.T. can quickly and easily adapt by adjusting in length to suit your hand size and grip style. In addition, the Thumb Panel of the R.A.T. 7 moves forwards, backwards, and pivots outwards, giving you perfect positioning for effortless gaming.
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I have left it a while before updating the original 5 star review to see how this mouse has held up. Despite my initial rating, I have got to say exactly the same issues have now appeared. It is constantly loosing tracking and freezes on the vertical or horizontal axis. As others have said a tap or in most cases a bash will kick start it again, but by this time you have missed that critical game shot or just been annihilated because of the non-responsiveness of this mouse.
Verdict: Utterly gutted as this was my third Rat mouse, totalling some £280 I have spent, with 2 now consigned to the bin, and the third one duly following it. So I have had to revise my rating from 5 to 1 star as basically the quality of the switches and the longevity of the mouse is totally unacceptable. I love the design and the interchangeability of the palm rests and weights, but after three of these, Mad Catz have now lost my support for good. I will never be able to trust another opne of their products as a result.
With this review, I want to start out on the positive, the issues and then hopefully a solution in case others have had the same problems that can occur with this mouse.
Firstly, I had spent weeks researching and looking for a mouse that is solid, comfortable and infinitely adjustable. Filtering out all the ones that didn't meet my criteria, there were about 2-3 I looked at. Having had a RAT 7 previously (issues below) I knew how much I loved the feel of this mouse and that is was very well weighted and customisable to your needs with lots of additional interchangeable finger and thumb rests etc. It can be adjusted forwards, backwards, weights added or removed and adjusted width ways etc. I haven't found any other mouse that provides this level of adjustment. So a big plus here on that. It is also very solid and has a high quality feel to it.
Previous CAT 7 issues:
This is the issue I had with my previous RAT 7, not the contagion white version that replaced it, the first being condemned to the bin after a serious ongoing disagreement! There are well-documented issues with these mice losing tracking and getting stuck on a vertical or horizontal axis on a regular basis. Some users have put this down to bad / failing sensors and others are at a loss to say. MadCatz, the manufacturers say it is down to the cleaning of the lens - which is super sensitive and does not like any foreign matter obstructing it. Although it is important to make sure the lens is regularly cleaned and unobstructed, this doesn't hold true, when actually unplugging the mouse from the USB port and re-plugging it in seems to temporarily fix the issue - again as many have reported. It got so frustrating that it became unusable - frequently freezing and stuck on the vertical axis.
Possible Fix / Solution:
It was only after my previous RAT 7 and I had parted company, that I dug deeper into the issue when researching another mouse to replace it and discovered another prime cause of this erratic behaviour - The USB ports and the Power Saving features of some PCs. Unless you bother to check - and lets face it, most of us don't for other devices, most of the power saving plans on Windows systems are set up to allow the PC to turn off USB ports to save power periodically depending on the settings you choose. To access these settings in Windows 10 (and I think Windows 7 & 8.1) you need to go to the Control Panel, Power Options, look next to the selected Power Plan you have enabled and choose 'Change Plan Settings'. In the next screen, choose 'Change Advanced Power Settings', From the Advanced Settings screen that pops up, scroll down until you find 'USB Settings'. Expand this option by clicking the '+' sign, then expand the 'USB Selective Suspend Setting' and change this to 'Disabled' and finally 'Apply' the settings and choose OK.
Prior to making this change to the power settings, this is the likely reason why unplugging and plugging in the mouse's USB connector, 'wakes up' the USB port and you are good to go for another while - until the PC suspends the ports again to save power! Repeating this process would again clear the problem. Applying this fix will stop the PC from turning off / reducing power to the mouse and should prevent this problem from reoccurring.
As soon as my new Contagion version of the RAT 7 arrived, this is the first thing I did on my PC and I have not had any issues with this problem to date. This is also why I have waited for a month to review this mouse. So I hope this may help if anyone else has had previous problems. I just wish I had found this out prior to loosing it with my old mouse - a costly and regrettable mistake!
I will edit this review in about 6 months time if needed - but I am hopeful of this fix and that this will be the end of the issue.
Overall, I am really pleased with the design and concept of this mouse and is extremely good value for the level of customisation available. There is programmable software that can be downloaded from the MadCatz website that contains many profiles for popular applications / Games. You can also customise the functions of the myriad of buttons and wheels using easy to set up macros. The DPI settings are easily accessible on the mouse, making switching very quick, depending upon the application you are using. There is also a precision aiming button for shooting games. I won't go into all the features here, as you can see these for yourself in the product description or on the MadCatz website, suffice to say it is a very well-made and solid mouse. There is also a 2 year guarantee - so that should give you peace of mind too.
The main selling point for the R.A.T range, other than it looking like the Batmobile crashed into a Countach, is that they are so adjustable. Personally, I feel that they've almost made it too adjustable, throwing more bits in the box than you really need. Each to their own there, I guess. I was more than happy to stick with the standard build and adjust them, rather than bolting on all of the other replacement parts.
I've had a bit of RSI in the past, from a mixture of working in IT and gaming, so getting a mouse to fit is a major help with that. I have big hands and most mice are too small for me and mean that my tendons are taught when I hold the mouse, rather than being loose when I naturally drop my hand on it. The advantage for me with the R.A.T is that I can extend out the back of the mouse to fit the palm of my hand, angle out the left side where my thumb sits and add weights to the thing to make it heavy. The only thing I wish it could also do is adjust the angle of the whole top of the mouse by 20 degrees, so the left is higher than the right. The hand naturally sits at an angle and having to make it flat tightens the tendons in your forearm. A number of Microsoft mice have addressed this, but sadly not here. Maybe in a future version...
As for the mouse itself, the build quality is just amazing, as you'd expect given the cost. The design is precision made. The plastic is rigid. The base on which everything is mounted is a solid lump of steel(?), as are all the various wheels, weights etc. The micro switches are incredibly precise and can be programmed for certain game functions, used to increase or reduce sensitivity or use custom templates, allowing you to use different capabilities for different games. The wheel moves incredibly smoothly and the aiming button reduces the sensitivity, making it great in an FPS.
All in all, it's a must-buy.
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