MadCatz refreshes its tweakable RAT gaming mouse family

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."

Comments closed
    • cynan
    • 4 years ago

    Why did you guys leave out this part from the press release?

    “…The new RAT takes user customization beyond the next level with the addition of MadScentz. A tiny heated essential oil canister just in front of the scroll wheel is guaranteed to aromatherapeutically enhance your mood and mental prowess, helping you to dominate any gaming situation.

    At launch, oil cartridges will be available in RTS lavender to promote calm and concentration, ARPG bergamot to engergize and invigorate, and FPS Jasmine to steady the most twitchy of nerves, with more performance-enhancing olfactory optimizing options to follow.

    Available now, MadCatz provides savvy gamers the edge they need to win, leaving p0wned, envious opponents whinging vainly that they “smelled a RAT”.

      • Voldenuit
      • 4 years ago

      Actually, that canister is filled with the tears of n00bs slain online by RAT users.

    • Blazex
    • 4 years ago

    still dailying my rat 7, aside from the sometimes jittery sensors, and a sometimes crazy unpredictable middle click, it still works great, to a degree.

    middle click sometimes doesn’t register at all, the scroll wheel is perfectly fine… sometimes the middle click will do the normal 1 click or up to 20, makes opening and closing tabs a big gamble 🙂 makes browsing the net a bag of fun in itself.

    • Anovoca
    • 4 years ago

    (6 years later) …………………oooo, now i get it. lol rat.

    • synthtel2
    • 4 years ago

    Hey, they actually have good sensors in the mix! They’re even finally bringing the PMW3366 outside of Logitech! 😀

    RAT 1: 60 grams cheapo buttons max 1600 CPI the what now? No.

    RAT 4: 90 grams and a PMW3310! …. But no profile memory. I don’t want to run software for it all the time. Meh. It could be pretty good otherwise, though.

    RAT 6: ADNS-9800 YUCK NOPE NOPE NOPE

    RAT 8: FINALLY THE PMW3366 MAKES IT OUTSIDE OF LOGITECH! YISSSSS! Other than being way too heavy for my tastes, this looks like a really good mouse.

    RAT PRO S: I don’t know which sensor this is, but it’s optical and should be fine. At 80 grams, it looks like a better instrument for hard-core gaming than most of these.

    RAT PRO X+: $200 the what now? It does have all the adjustability while only weighing 110g, which is bound to get it a fair number of buyers right there. It also has PMW3310 and 3366 sensor options.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 4 years ago

      Hey, what’s wrong with the ADNS-9800? That’s the sensor in my mouse.

      I heard some crap about nonlinear input but mine is perfect 1:1 (after the MarkC MouseFix) as per the mouse movement recorder.

        • synthtel2
        • 4 years ago

        Then I’ll bet you’re a rather high-sensitivity mouse user and are using a fine mousepad with it, and even then, while it may be close, I’m [i<]very[/i<] skeptical that it's actually perfect. You know how a laser pointer dot tends to have a sparkly kind of look to it? Imagine how much potential that has to confuse tracking. With vanilla optical sensors (non-collimated light), the image the camera sees from a given patch of surface is pretty close to the same regardless of which part of the camera's FOV it's occupying. Therefore, it can be very sure of itself even when close to max speed. Laser sensors (collimated light) create extremely sharp specular highlights[super<]1[/super<] on the surface, and these change drastically depending on which part of the camera's FOV a patch of surface is occupying. Therefore, movement speeds that would be easily within the capabilities of a similar vanilla optical sensor can confuse laser sensors to no end. The [url=http://www.pixart.com.tw/upload/ADNS-9800%20DS_S_V1.0_20130514144352.pdf<]ADNS-9800[/url<] is blazing fast (to the tune of 12,000 frames per second), but it's not magic and can't overcome physics. If you're using a good surface (one with lots of extremely fine detail and the right touch of translucency), and don't move your mouse fast, it's alright. The vast majority of gamers are best at mouse use when moving it far faster than laser sensors find acceptable, though. [super<]1[/super<] On a small enough scale, surfaces tend to have very high specular power. Specular roughness is a surprisingly macro phenomenon, and these sensors are fine enough to get past a lot of it. See also [url=http://blog.selfshadow.com/2011/07/22/specular-showdown/<]toksvig mapping[/url<].

          • RAGEPRO
          • 4 years ago

          Hey, good response. Yeah, I am a high-sensitivity mouse user (~6000 DPI and 1:1, 6/11 and all that) and I use a custom mouse mat that is essentially a clipboard with non-slip rubber on the bottom and a sheet of watercolor paper on it, which I replace every other week or so. The watercolor paper has an extremely textured surface to it and it’s super-matte; it’s the best mousepad I’ve ever used. 🙂

          So yeah, fair enough. I knew optical sensors were better but there aren’t a lot of optical-sensor mice with a whole pile of configurable buttons. At least, there weren’t until recently. [i<]stares at RAT Pro X+ intently[/i<]

            • synthtel2
            • 4 years ago

            Cool – it sounds like if any gamer is going to not mind a laser sensor, it’d be you. 🙂

            PS, forgot to mention, the PRO X+ looks likely to be overkill. Its main advantage over the RAT8 looks to be lighter weight, but if you’re using sensitivity like that, you probably don’t mind weight much.

    • tanker27
    • 4 years ago

    I loved how customizable my RAT7 was. I could adjust it to perfectly fit my hand. I loved it so much that I bought two.

    My first one died to bad sensor.

    The second one died because it couldn’t handle the left click fest in Diablo III.

    Both died within a year of purchase.

    I would buy again but not if they are only going to last a year. I would hope they refreshed its durability because that’s where the RAT line fails for me.

      • Convert
      • 4 years ago

      I got mine when they came out, so I think around 6 ish years? It has survived many clickfests and is still working. I think they changed their manufacturing to reduce cost as time went on, such a shame because this is the longest lasting mouse I’ve had.

      • DoomGuy64
      • 4 years ago

      Same with razer, which is a good reason to consider logitech. Been rocking my g700s ever since it came out, and the only noticeable issue is the wheel is slightly less resistant when scrolling, and the mouse sometimes forgets what dpi I set it to when waking up wirelessly. Other than that, works fine.

      Expensive mice shouldn’t be using cheap switches. Otherwise, there’s no reason to buy a name brand over something generic. The extra cost is just being spent on marketing with a lot of these brands.

        • etana
        • 4 years ago

        My logitech G9X failed within a year because the left switch started registering multiple clicks.

          • synthtel2
          • 4 years ago

          Logitech’s issue looks to be that they use extremely light debounce for the sake of response time – they respond to clicks a few (~5, IIRC) milliseconds faster than everything else, but they have that particular reliability issue.

            • DoomGuy64
            • 4 years ago

            Which has been fixed ever since the “s” series came out. Any of their mice that say things like, “Upgraded primary mechanical microswitches are rated to a 20 million-click lifespan” are not affected.

            I previously had a first gen g500 that had the switch issue, but technically speaking it wasn’t unusable. The mouse worked fine, other than occasionally double-clicking when you wanted to single click. The 700s doesn’t have that problem, and neither does any of the other “s” models.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      Same here; Tried a RAT7 for about six months, sensor fault meant it completely stopped tracking. The replacement started to jitter in the y-axis within weeks and some quick Googling told me that was a precursor to sensor failure.

      Not wanting to play the RMA game until the end of the warranty period I went back to Logitech with my tail between my legs, so to speak.

      Saitek’s other lines (HOTAS and wheel/pedal combos) have always been excellent on paper but ‘egg and amazon reviews prove that quality went super turbo downhill after Madcatz acquired them.

      I’m going to sit this round out, even though those mice look damn good. If reports are very positive still in six months from now, I’ll be willing to give them another chance. I mean, it [i<]can't[/i<] be as bad as my Razer experience, can it? That would take some doing....

    • Terra_Nocuus
    • 4 years ago

    I have a R.A.T. 7 that’s been slowly getting worse by registering multiple clicks on the left / middle buttons (I really only notice it when managing tabs in Firefox, so it [i<]could[/i<] be a Firefox-only issue), so I'm looking forward to the line refresh. Last year's refresh wasn't anything spectacular, especially with that black-and-vomit-green color scheme for everything other than the $200 version.

    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    My R.A.T.7 was a well-made, good-looking, ergonomic mouse let down by an iffy sensor that was prone to jitter through overinflated dpi ratings and some pretty dire non-linear tracking.

    You had one job, mouse. ONE JOB.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 4 years ago

    “Flux CAPACITOR application”–There, FTFY.

    • christos_thski
    • 4 years ago

    For some reason I was hoping for an embedded win10 compliant fingerprint reader . A thermaltake mouse with this was doing the rounds as a concept/preview, supposedly to be released soon, earlier this year. Was it cancelled?

      • slowriot
      • 4 years ago

      That seems a bit akin to storing your password on the underside of your keyboard.

        • VincentHanna
        • 4 years ago

        Only because you store the severed finger you use to avoid the CIA in your desk drawer.

        Most people take their fingerprints with them when they leave their desk.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 4 years ago

      Fingerprints aren’t passwords!

        • DoomGuy64
        • 4 years ago

        Technically correct, and Mythbusters proved that you can fool fingerprint readers.

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 4 years ago

          I know I’m technically correct. Thanks for your confirmation, bro.

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