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In many ways, MadCatz's refreshed RAT 1 has the DNA to be a hardcore gaming mouse. It's nearly weightless, and I found it easy to get my frag on with this rodent. MadCatz baked robust programming features into the RAT 1's solid included software, and I think the relatively low 1600-DPI maximum resolution is more than enough for most people. I didn't have any problems with the mouse's relatively low tracking speed, either.

Having said all that, it's unfortunate that the sensor MadCatz chose for this mouse's eye is decidedly not a gaming-oriented unit. The angle-snapping behavior I observed is a testament to that fact, and MadCatz's software doesn't offer a way to turn off that behavior. A one-to-one relationship between input and output is table stakes for a gaming mouse these days, and even considering the RAT 1's $30 price tag, mice with interference-free sensors and better usability—like EVGA's Torq X5—only cost a few dollars more. Once one has gamed (or done any other work) with a mouse that doesn't meddle with user input, it's hard to play with one that does.

Users who can forgive the RAT 1's sensor shenanigans will be rewarded with a distinctively-styled mouse with plenty of tuning options, but we'd happily trade some of those virtues for a mouse that obeys its owner's commands without fail. The silver lining for MadCatz is that this is the first in a whole family of mice, and the RAT 1's biggest compromises might come from its wallet-friendly nature. Perhaps the finer RATs will hit the mark, but we can't say for sure until we put the RAT 1's bigger brothers to the test.

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