Assuming direct control
EpicGear's software is straightforward, lightweight, and doesn't have any onerous requirements (like an online login). It isn't the most intuitive thing in the world, but it's easy enough to use—particularly if you are someone who will understand the meaning and purpose behind all the knobs and buttons it presents. Even as someone with a great amount of experience using gaming peripherals, I was actually quite surprised and pleased at how function-dense the utility is.
This is the main page of the "Morpha X GUI", as it calls itself in the Windows Start menu. Down at the bottom there are selectors for the five profiles. You can set each profile to a custom color, which will be displayed on the mouse's RGB LED logo and around the mouse wheel. You can also disable profiles. These selectors remain across this page and the Performance page, and every single setting on those pages is saved on a per-profile basis.
That even includes the four separate DPI settings you can create per-profile, which means that if you were so inclined you could define up to twenty different DPI settings. Over on the right side of the Main Control page you can set those four DPI settings, and then cycle through them using one of the mouse's buttons. Unusually, you can actually define the X and Y resolution separately for each preset. I can't really imagine why someone would want to do this, and it's a little weird that there's no option to lock these sliders to 1:1. I think it's cool that the option to set them separately is there, though.
The DPI settings seem to be stored in the mouse or possibly even in the sensor module itself. Whatever the case, the DPI settings are unique to each sensor and saved when you swap them. That means you can set up however many DPI settings you want on the PMW3360 optical sensor, then swap to the ADNS-9800 laser sensor and create a whole other set. The ADNS-9800 allows you to adjust resolution in 50-DPI increments, while the PMW3360 only allows 100-DPI increments, but I suspect either one is more than sufficient for most purposes.
On the left side of the main page, you can assign each button's functions. The "Profile Select" button right behind the mousewheel is not actually configurable, and you are required to have at least one button set to Left Click. That's reasonable enough, I suppose, although as someone who tends to "set and forget" I would have preferred the ability to re-bind the profile select button. The best you can do for my play-style is to simply disable four of the five profiles, but that still leaves you with a useless button. You also can't re-bind the scroll-up or -down functions at all, although you can adjust their sensitivity.
The available functions for the buttons that you CAN bind include the standard five mouse buttons, DPI control functions, profile switching functions, and a sniper button function. I use the sniper button on my Corsair mouse quite a bit, so I was pleased to see this function available. However, I couldn't get it to work. Moreover, to assign a sniper button, I had to give up one of the mouse's other buttons. I'm someone who uses all of the inputs on my mouse in most games, so giving up, say, Mouse 4 in exchange for a Sniper Button wasn't a particularly appealing prospect.
Stepping over to the Performance page, you once again have some general settings on the left side and then sensor-specific settings on the right side. On the right-side, you can configure the installed sensor's lift-off distance, angle snapping amount (including "off"), acceleration, and "AFM Ambient Lighting." That last option is simply a matter of controlling whether the mouse begins to cycle through colors when idle.
The left side of the page has options to select the USB report rate, the scroll wheel speed, the double-click rate, and "pointer acceleration". To be honest, I'm not completely sure what that last slider does. It isn't true non-linear acceleration. Instead, it seems to be a linear scalar applied to the mouse's sensitivity. Setting it to the minimum setting makes even a 12,000-DPI sensor feel sluggish, while setting it to the maximum setting makes even a 400-DPI mode un-usably fast. I decided to leave this slider alone.
This is sort of a UI nitpick, but I really think EpicGear should have put the left-side settings from the Performance page on the Main Control page. That way, the DPI settings could move over to the Performance page, and that whole page could be sensor-dependent. As it is, having to toggle back and forth between pages while testing various DPI and acceleration settings is a little obnoxious. This is a small complaint compared to the real problems I've had with other companies' configuration utilities, though.
Remember me complaining a couple of paragraphs ago about giving up a button for the sniper function? This problem is compounded yet further when you throw macros into the mix. The macro editor for the Morpha X is actually pretty fantastic. It isn't as easy to use nor as flashy as MadCatz' Flux software, but it's still quite powerful. You can define custom delays between events, manually insert events, and even use keyboard keystrokes in your macros. Unfortunately, the EpicGear software still can't define mouse motions as part of a macro, but that's a rare feature from any mouse.
The extremely high quality of the macro editor makes it all the more frustrating that the mouse has no extra dedicated macro buttons. Assigning a macro on the Morpha X means giving up one or more of your standard buttons. Now, it's true that some games don't support mouse buttons four and five. It's also true that some people simply don't use those buttons, or even mouse button 3. In those cases, you'll be able to take full advantage of the Morpha X's powerful macro editor.
For my part, I've grown quite accustomed to using a number of macros on my Corsair mouse. I decided to make use of the mouse's multi-profile options so I could assign some macros. I configured one profile in the standard layout for browsing and playing games that make use of all five buttons, and then another profile for Phantasy Star Online 2, an MMORPG where I only use three mouse buttons. That allowed me to configure the thumb buttons with macro functions. This was a lot better than forgoing macros entirely, but I normally use five macros in this game and that simply isn't possible on the Morpha X.
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