Flawless sensors. They seem all the rage, but do they matter?
My Naga 2015 Chroma seems to be slightly on the fritz with more and more frequent sensor issues causing random responsiveness issues, so I decided it was time for a new mouse. I have been a big fan of the Naga mouse since the original one. I love those side buttons to death and my use of them in everything from desktop, to ARPG, to FPS has just become ingrained. But on account of spending so much time with Overwatch of late and upon doing some reading, I was interested in trying out a mouse with a flawless sensor - sensors with no tracking artifacts or interpolation/extrapolation built in. The Nagas don't qualify in this regard, as most of the MMO focused mice don't.
So I went on a journey...
Pouring through that list above as a starting reference I looked for mice that were flawless and heavy on the side button action. The Logitech G502 came out on top (most of the mice the pros use just have a couple of side buttons) and with the generally outstanding reviews, I pulled the trigger.
It is a nice mouse to be sure, but something about the ergonomics and button layout was not right for me and I could not adjust to the side buttons effectively and in some cases to reach the front ones had to alter grip to reach, which is no good in the middle of a firefight. It was just too long for my grip.
So I went looking again, expanded my search by googling for mice with flawless sensor part codes, as opposed to just trawling that list and found the Steelseries Rival 500
Now, that's the business, I thought and pulled the trigger again. Ugh, same problem. It's a deceptively big mouse and my grip does not facilitate reaching some of the forward side buttons. I also could not adjust to the button layout, being so used to grid. That's on me, as I was not really patient enough to spend weeks with it to get used to it - but not being able to reach some of the buttons comfortably precluded that anyway. Otherwise, I quite liked this one. It was comfy and felt nice despite my other issues.
Back to google and looking more specifically for MMO mice with grids. Corsair do the Scimitar, but no flawsless sensor...but wait...recently they released the Scimitar Pro:
Upgraded with top of the wazza flawless sensor, with a button layout similar to Naga. Even better, the local retailer had on on display, so this time I could lay my hands on it before pulling the trigger...which I did.
This one is good. Comfy, lighter than the Naga, good build quality. Adapted to it with much less issues, though the side buttons take a little getting used to as they are mechanical and have a little play on activation which means on occasion you can rock onto another button. Not too much of a drama and something I can adjust to.
If only Corsair's software wasn't the most shitty piece of shit, crappy, bloated crap-ware imaginable... Fuck me why is this so hard. Corsairs Utility Engine 2.x is easily the largest of the four vendors (Razer, Logitech, Steelseries, Corsair) at 150Mb, I have to wonder what the fuck is even in the installer package. And it does not work. Well for me. I am not even convinced it is installing correctly on Win10 as I am not getting a tray icon (it's a blank square) or background splash image when the app loads. Configuring profiles is OK, once you get used to the slightly clunky interface. Don't get me wrong, it is quite feature rich, but I don't bother with macros and crap, I kind of just want to bind the side buttons to the numpad or other keyboard functions. My problem is the software does not want to hold profile and occasionally drops to a default, or the profile holds but the lighting starts doing random shit. Just flaky as fuck really - heck the inbuilt upgrade button returns an error as the functionality has not been built in yet! Maybe it's my machine, maybe not. I don't know, but this stuff should not be all that difficult in 2017. FWIW the drivers seem to install fine on my Win8 laptop, but I have not done any testing yet to see if the other issues are present. In the process now of checking if the older 1.x drivers from Dec 16 work OK with the Scimitar Pro.
So why deal with this shit? Why not just go back to Razer if I have had no issues with them, like their software (stupid online registration requirement aside) and have generally had little issues with their hardware over the years? Let's get back to that flawless sensor...
I have not played competitive FPS for years and in fact never all that much on PC anyway. But I have a local friend that got me into Overwatch and I kind of enjoy it. 12 months of OW and my FPS skills have dramatically improved anyway, but I'll be damned if switching to a mouse with a flawless sensor seems to have had a rather dramatic effect. I am in fact, amazed, being the skeptical kind of fella I am.
Here is a report of my last week of competitive play, which is about the time frame I have been using the Scimitar Pro. I have been maining Zenyatta for the most part for the last few months.
This is from Overbuff, which rates your play across various stats, though keep in mind those ratings are against player similar to my rank, so don't suggest I am really a plat player. I generally feel I should be playing around low gold, which is where my SR is at, more or less. Anyway, it is a handy tool for at least tracking these stats over time, which you can't do in-game.
Anyhoo, since switching my mouse, my accuracy is up nearly 4%! The same report at the start of March:
Both reports represent about 25 or so games. That's...a not insignificant improvement. And I don't think I can really put it down to any particular change in Zenyatta playstyle over the last month or so.
I am rather flabbergasted. Am I imagining this shit? I did not really think it would make a difference. Could a flawless sensor really account for some portion of this improvement? Because at this stage, if you play online FPS, I have to kind of recommend chasing down a mouse with a flawless sensor as it may indeed help your performance.
Note, no mice were harmed in the making of this post. One has found a new home with an eager buyer happy to pick up a bargain and one is back in a box, albeit captive.