Hello readers. Look at your mouse. Now look at my over-9000 DPI 300 button bionic mind-controlled UberMaus 3000.
Sadly, your mouse will never compare. But MadCatz has aimed to bring you at least a little bit closer with their Cyborg M.M.O.7 Gaming Mouse.
While not a newcomer on the market, we decided it was time to find out if more buttons meant more power, both for MMOs and other genres.
MMO 7: Hardware
As with the previous iterations of the RAT line of mice, the key selling point here is customizability. Nearly every piece of this mouse can be either moved, swapped, or both. Both the palm and pinkie grip come with two replacements (one alternate shape, and one alternate with a textured material for more grip), the weight can be changed by up to 30 grams, the length of the mouse can be adjusted, and the thumb grip can have its position changed to match as well. Unlike previous incarnations of the RAT, the thumb grip’s angle can not be changed.
As ridiculous as this may sound, once I got started tweaking my mouse, I felt like it didn’t go far enough. It would have been nice to see the alternate material as an option for both shapes instead of just one. It also would have been nice to simply have more options, like the ability to tweak the width and height as well. However, I loved what I could tweak, and those of you without freakishly strange hands should be able to find a configuration that feels right.
Lots of buttons to push
In case you didn’t guess, The Cyborg MMO 7 was designed with MMO players in mind. And that means it needs buttons. Lots of buttons. Your thumb ends up having access to 5 regular buttons, the “5d” button which can be moved in four directions or pushed to temporarily lower your sensitivity. The side scroll wheel can also be programmed for each direction, though I found it was often hard to scroll to the side.
On top of that, the mouse can switch between three modes, with a different set of macros for each. And finally, on the right side is the “MMO Shift” button, which is exactly what it sounds like – a shift button for your mouse. It’s way more awesome than it sounds.
To put in context the ridiculous amount of shit you can map to this mouse, let me share some examples from my experience in World of Warcraft (you may have heard of it). I was able to put my mage’s entire spell book, two mounts, professions, and a few macros on this mouse and still have slots to spare. More realistically what this ends up being is a solo mode, raid mode, and PvP mode with twelve slots, plus alternates for each. The only downside? Realizing that warlocks could use this same tech against me. I cried myself to sleep from terror that night.
The Cyborg MMO 7 also has an interesting function for the main 2 mouse buttons. Pressing the small orange button inside the left or right mouse button changes that button into toggle mode. Clicking the button then causes it to be held down until you click it again. The button itself changes the color of its LEDs to indicate which state it’s in (and those colors are customizable). It’s a neat function in theory, but I never really found a good use for it. Supposedly it’s helpful for managing the camera; I’m sure there’s some hardcore PvPers who will find it much more useful than I did.
I did end up with a couple of nitpicks with the buttons. The profile switching button changes colors based on which profile is currently active, but it’s tilted to the right. For most people that ends up meaning you can’t actually see it without having to adjust your position. So while it’s great for switching from solo mode to PvP mode, you won’t really be able to use it much for rapid changes. I also ended up finding the shift button difficult to use. I couldn’t reach it with my pinkie, and using my ring finger meant losing quick access to the scroll wheel. Maybe the button toggle would have been a solution to this, but really it just seemed poorly placed.
Neither of these prevented me from using the mouse effectively, however, and the thumb buttons were an absolute dream to use. Unlike the Razer Naga, which simply tries to shove as many buttons in a grid as possible, I could actually tell which button I was pressing without looking. They were all easy to reach, and felt responsive when clicked. On that factor, this mouse tops any other hardware I’ve used before.
It’s also worth mentioning that the mouse has four programmable DPI settings. The sensor is 6400 DPI, which you will immediately turn down because 95% of games do not allow you to set the sensitivity low enough to comfortably use anything about 3200ish.
Dear mouse makers: Give me a crappier sensor and charge me less money, or give me more other stuff. Having a bigger number prefacing the word DPI is not going to make me buy your product.
MMO 7: Software
World of Warcraft pwnage
If you’re a regular World of Warcraft player, stop reading and buy this now. You’re not going to find anything better for your game, and this mouse will legitimately make you so overpowered that you will likely be banned. Subsequently, you can kill GMs before they’re able to hit you with the ban-hammer because you’re just that over powered.
As we all know, every MMO that isn’t WoW is terrible. Nobody plays them. Especially that one you really love. Yes that one (you can leave your death threat in the comments section below). So for WoW (and nothing else, because WoW is the only MMO anybody ever plays ever) you can download an add-on giving you drag and drop cast bars for all the various buttons on the mouse. While you could also take advantage of the macro programming to do things that the in game macros can not, I’d advise against it. This is technically against the EULA and could potentially trigger the bot detection systems.
For the one guy out there who plays that other terrible MMO, you’ll be stuck with the same functionality as the rest of us. You’ll end up programming the mouse through the included software, and possibly using one of the pre-made profiles that you can download from their website. It still works fine, it’s just not nearly as convenient or cool. But clearly you don’t care about being cool since you play something other than WoW.
Getting a handle on other genres
I don’t know about you, but I’m sure as hell not changing mice depending on the type of game I’m playing. So let’s talk about how this mouse performs in other genres. The cyborg downloads page has dozens of different premade profiles for all kinds of games. Many of them clearly had no thought into actual use, while others actually worked pretty well. I had to think outside of the box for ways to take advantage of the hardware, since most non-MMOs simply don’t have that many buttons to press, and those that do are designed to be hit with the left hand alone.
Strategy games, for example, offered nothing exciting to do. I ended up using the 5d button as a d-pad, allowing me to use the arrow keys without moving my hand, but that was about it. Games like Starcraft are too well designed to be played with the keyboard, and games like Civilization just required too much memorizing for me to put anything on the mouse.
First person shooters worked as well as anything else, but again most of them just don’t have that many buttons to press. You can get pretty complex with the macros, going as far as one combination of keystrokes for when you press the mouse, one set for while you’re holding it, and one set for when you release it. You can also separate keyup and keydown sequences, allowing you to get extremely precise.
Given that I’m just so damn skilled without macros, I never thought of anything especially creative, but you can do neat things like assign one button that switches to melee and auto-attacks, switching back when you release it. I’m sure some scrubs will think of better applications.
One thing that never gets talked about in these sorts of reviews is how well a mouse works for non-gaming tasks. This was a bit tougher for me, given that I write a whole blog about working with programs that use the mouse as little as humanly possible. But I forced myself to do some tasks that required a mouse for a few days to see how it worked out.
The results were unexpectedly good. I ended up finding all kinds of little annoyances that went away when I could bind them to the mouse button. 5d for switching between, opening, and closing tabs in a browser felt awesome. Writing a little macro to run a common set of filters in photoshop was a dream. Clearly MadCatz agrees, since they even have a whole set of profiles specifically for non-gaming software. They neglected, however, to include any profiles for Mac users other than Adobe CS5.
Unfortunately this leads to a major issue that I encountered with this mouse: using it with a Mac. The software works pretty well on the PC, but trying to use it on a Mac was a nightmare. The menus were sluggish to the point I would often think it had crashed. I would need to recreate my profiles 2-3 times per day, as some tweak would suddenly cause it to save in a way it could no longer read. And for certain games, it would actually send the wrong button. It was certainly still usable for WoW, but if you do much gaming on the Mac beyond that, you should probably avoid this product. It’s unfortunate, given how stellar the hardware is.
MMO 7 review wrap-up
While I definitely felt that it could have done certain things better, most of my issues with this mouse only existed because it pushes the potential of what these input devices can do. It’s very easily one of the best mice I’ve ever owned.
For $130 (or less on Amazon), non MMO players might want to look towards the cheaper RAT 7. However, if you’re looking to gain an edge in your game (especially World of Warcraft), and don’t want to deal with any of that “practice” bullshit, this is definitely a great place to start.