Fans of mice with configurable hardware and software are probably already aware of the RAT series of gaming mice, since that product family's highly tweakable frame and outer shell is pretty distinctive in the crowded world of gaming mice. We first had a run-in with RATs in 2010, when we were quite taken with the RAT 7 and deemed it worthy of a TR Editor's Choice award. After a long run in the marketplace, MadCatz is now performing a top-to-bottom refresh of its line of RATs. The first four models in a dizzying family of six rodents will arrive in October.
Those six models range from the entry-level RAT 1 at $29.99, to the top-end RAT Pro X+ at $199. All six are wired gaming mice with at least six buttons, LED lighting, and adjustable palm rests. Higher-end models come equipped with up to 11 buttons, 12,000-DPI laser sensors, RGB LEDs, and multiple fully configurable performance profiles (including the RGB LEDs). The top-end Pro X+ model again features interchangeable sensor modules, just like its previous version.
Of course, the big feature of the RAT mice has always been their ability to adapt and conform to the user's hand. Comfort is arguably the most important feature in a mouse, and the strange, broken-apart aesthetics of the RAT mice aren't just for looks. Most of the mice have at least one adjustable part. If you still can't find the right fit, all of the mice—even the RAT 1—are designed to come apart in pieces so that users can more easily customize the fit. MadCatz even has CAD files up for download so that users can 3D print their own mouse parts for the optimal grip.
On the software side, MadCatz says all of the mice can be fully configured using its Flux application. Users can create profiles that include macros, custom key assignments, and settings for sensor resolution, lift-off height, and report rate. On the higher-end models, users can store them directly to the mouse. Macros can be programmed with timing accuracy all the way to the maximum 1 KHz polling rate supported by the mice, and all of these rodents but the basic RAT 1 allow real-time profile switching with a button press.
If you're curious about the differences in the mice, MadCatz has a comparison chart with the full details on its page. These products aren't real yet, so all of those specs could be subject to change. MadCatz has Amazon pre-order pages up for the RAT 1, 4, 6, and 8, while the Pro X+ and Pro S+ say "coming soon."