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MadCatz RAT DWS Mouse Review

Return of the RAT

Verdict

For those mouse purists out there, the RAT DWS is a great option thanks to its 16,000 DPI sensor and dual connectivity. In addition, its comfortable and contoured shape makes it perfect for those long gaming sessions. However, without any RGB lighting, it's unlikely to wow everyone, and its fiddly physical customisation may not appeal to all players.

Pros

  • Comfortable shape
  • 16,000 DPI sensor is ideal for gaming
  • Easy to use & intuitive software

Cons

  • No RGB lighting
  • Non-rechargeable
  • Some assembly required with customisation

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £TBA
  • Sensor: 16,000 DPI
  • Connectivity: Dual with Bluetooth & 2.4 GHz
  • Weight: 113g

I’ve had a Madcatz gaming mouse on my desk for as long as I remember, and the arrival of the all-new RAT DWS looks to continue that trend. 

Bolstered by a a host of features gamers will love such as a 16,000 DPI sensor, dual wireless connectivity and customisable side pods, it looks to be one of the best gaming mouse options available for professional players.

Price and Availability

The RAT DWS isn’t available anywhere on UK shores right now, with a launch expected in the coming weeks.

There’s only US pricing available right now, and at $119.99, the RAT DWS looks to stand up well against the more mainstream offerings from Razer and Logitech, among others. UK pricing is set to be released in March for those who are interested.

Design – The RAT’s looks don’t disappoint

  • MadCatz’ signature looks make the RAT look timeless

  • Sturdy plastic construction

  • Customisation is nice, although some assembly required

I’ve been a long-time lover of the RAT’s design and construction for the best part of 10 years. The RAT DWS only looks to continue that love with its signature sharp curves, a two-tone black and silver colour scheme and a hard-wearing plastic construction.

The hard-wearing plastic offers something a little more traditional compared to the RATs of old that were coated in rubber. With that being said, the move to a two-tone black and silver paint scheme looks sharp and particularly classy.

Its premium feel is only backed up by the RAT DWS’ 113g weight, giving the mouse a sturdy feel as I glide it across my desk. What’s more, it’s got a comfortable thumb-rest that means even with such aggressive looks. The back-piece can even be adjusted to suit those with larger hands by making the mouse longer.

The design is customisable too, with the mouse bundled with interchangeable side pods and a backplate. Unfortunately, the various attachments are not easy to change between.

Whereas other manufacturers such as Corsair, HP and Logitech have made use of magnets to make the process intuitive, MadCatz has  bundled the RAT DWS with a small screwdriver so you have to involve yourself in a bit of manual labour to get the mouse feeling just right. This does seem rather fiddly, even for gamers who love to fettle with their peripherals.

Performance – An eSports ready wireless mouse

  • 16,000 DPI is fast enough for competitive gamers

  • Dual connectivity with Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz

  • Great battery life, although no ability to recharge

The RAT DWS features a 16,000 DPI sensor right out of the box. This is comfortably sensitive enough for competitive gamers, although you can get a higher DPI with rivals such as the Razer DeathAdder V2.

When it comes to wireless connection, the RAT DWS provides you with two flavours: Bluetooth or 2.4 GHz wireless through the included USB-A receiver. Switching between the two connections is seamless thanks to a little switch on the mouse’s underside, and it means that the RAT DWS can also be a nice little mouse for productivity too.

A lot of MadCatz’ marketing material with the RAT DWS focused on its inclusion of the firm’s DAKOTA switch which acts as a acronym for Dynamic Asynchronous Key Of Trigger Activation. In a nutshell, it apparently offers 60% faster clicks than the competition, akin to Roccat’s Titan Click technology, as well as a 2ms response time.

Even with this claim, I didn’t feel too much difference when testing, but the mouse buttons on the RAT DWS remain tactile and solid to the touch, as do the extra buttons – although the scroll wheel doesn’t feel as smooth as those on other mice.

Despite the RAT DWS’ rather marvellous battery life of 200 hours through the receiver and 300 hours via Bluetooth, there’s no ability to recharge. This is largely thanks to the power source of the RAT DWS being an included AA battery. This cheapens the look and feel of the mouse, especially given that the rest of the competition is rechargeable.

Software and Lighting – Great for one side of the story

  • Good software integration

  • Endless customisation for system functions

  • Absolutely no RGB backlighting

It’s on the software and lighting side of things where the RAT DWS differs to other more gaming-grade mice. There’s no RGB backlighting whatsoever, which will be another contributing factor for the good battery life.

MadCatz’s offering is certainly simplistic by comparison to that of Logitech and Razer, but that doesn’t mean that the company is unable to provide any less functionality. Moreover, the four on-board profiles means you’re hardly limited by the scope of customisation possible.

By employing a drag-and-drop style system, the accompanied software offers a rather intuitive layout and user experience. There’s an option to program macros, which I found to be equally simple, and the long list of preset commands should be ample for even the most pernickety of players.

You should buy the MadCatz RAT DWS if…

  • You’re after wireless freedom
    With the RAT DWS being exclusively wireless, it’s great for those gamers who just want a bit more freedom, even if that comes at the cost of it being powered by one AA battery.
  • You’ve got some money to spend
    The RAT DWS’ $119.99 price means it’s not likely to be purchased by casual gamers. This is a mouse that’s a prime investment for competitive players.
  • You like some customisation
    Given there’s the ability to fiddle with the RAT DWS’ functionality when it comes to both hardware and software, it’s an ideal product for those who like to get things just right.

You should not buy the MadCatz RAT DWS if…

  • You’re an RGB junkie
    With a lack of RGB lighting, the RAT DWS isn’t a mouse for those who value flashy lights as much as performance. Offerings from Razer are more likely to tickle their fancy.
  • You don’t play competitive games
    A price tag of $119.99 isn’t for the faint-hearted and those who don’t care about improving their kill/death ratio. There are plenty of mice out there with a more affordable price.
  • You like ‘em wired
    Gaming purists will tell you that having a wireless mouse brings copious amounts of latency and that it’s only worth having a wired mouse as a result. If you’re one of those people then this isn’t the gaming mouse for you.

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