Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Product Review: SteelSeries Guild Wars 2 Gaming Mouse

Disclaimer #1: I bought this mouse because it was about time to get rid of my 5-year-old behemoth of a wireless laser mouse. I didn't get anything for free, nor did SteelSeries so much as suggest that I do anything. I'm just a guy who bought a mouse and figured he'd write something about it.

Disclaimer #2: I've never reviewed a physical object before, and I've never owned a gaming mouse before. So some of the stuff I go over may seem obvious or standard for a gaming mouse, but whatever, it's my first one. 

All right, with the fine print out of the way, here we go. This is the SteelSeries Guild Wars 2 gaming mouse (available here for $70 US). The GW2 mouse is a slightly stripped-down version of SteelSeries' Sensei mouse, which has a few more features but costs $20 more.

Here are some numbers. I found them on the website, maybe they're important.

Frames per second: 12000
Inches per second: 150
Mega pixels per second: 10.8
Counts per inch: 90 – 5670
Maximum acceleration: 30 G
Sensor data path: True 16 bit
Lift distance: ~2 mm
Maximum polling: 1000 Hz

The Good

Looks Great
The simple symmetrical body combined with the Guild Wars 2 logo and colours make this mouse look pretty snazzy. It's got red LEDs in the scroll wheel and illuminating the "Guild Wars 2" text beneath the logo. It's got a matte finish that almost makes it look textured.

Feels Good
The mouse is pretty light and glides well. The side buttons feel a little awkward initially, but they're not too hard to access, though I'm not sure I'd recommend using them too frequently.

SteelSeries Engine
You have to download the software from the website - the mouse doesn't come with a driver CD, which is slightly inconvenient - but the Engine is pretty slick. The nicest thing is that there's a whole panel dedicated to telling you what your cursor's pointing at, so it's very easy for a first-time user to figure out what settings they're looking at. 
You can re-assign buttons, as you'd expect. You can set up a macro for each button, and you can save several profiles to use with various games. You can even tell a profile to activate when you launch a certain specific program by linking it to the .exe. You can have two different DPI (sensitivity) settings and swap between them with a push of the triangle button beneath the scroll wheel.
And of course, since this is a Guild Wars 2 mouse, it comes with a preloaded profile for that game, assigning your skills 6-10 to mouse buttons.

If you're a data nerd, the Engine offers an option to track time and button presses separately for each profile. It'll show you how much you used each button and allow you to calculate your actions per time unit.

Lefty Support
Since the mouse body is symmetrical, it's kind of a no-brainer to include a "lefty mode" to mirror the button functions for left-handed players. And so it was done.

The Bad

Can't Rebind DPI Button
I can think of a few great uses for a DPI button - altering sensitivity while scoped in a FPS game for example - but I don't want to use it for every game. Unfortunately the Engine doesn't even offer that button as an option on the customization screen. It's kind of disappointing because it's in a very convenient spot, and I'd rather use that button than having the scroll wheel click count as one of my 7 buttons.

You'll spend a lot of time with your fingers on the mouse buttons. No matter how clean your hands are, you're inevitably going to get some skin oils on there, and you will probably get some visible spots over time. Not too bad, but just enough to be noticeable.

The Verdict

Recommendation: buy it if you don't have a gaming mouse yet (and you like Guild Wars).
The Guild Wars 2 mouse is a solid choice for someone buying their first gaming mouse. It's priced quite reasonably for a gaming-branded mouse, and offers fairly robust customization options. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles that a more hardcore player might look for (adjustable weights/glides for example) but it is an excellent introductory product. 


  1. is there some way to clean the fingerprints? I tried everything, the only way is a rubber (like for erasing pencil) but its not as white as new... any suggestions? im pretty mad about them :( thanks

    1. I've had some success with a mild spray cleaner but the spots are still visible. Don't use anything too harsh. And if you use a spray, spray it on a cloth or paper towel, not directly on the mouse.