While Blizzard’s Diablo series has come a long way since the 1996 original, there’s one thing that will never change: addictive gameplay that revolves around a crazy amount of mouse button-mashing. To make sure those buttons are mashed in the best way possible, gamers are always looking for a competitive advantage, especially with a game this popular. They might get a Diablo III guide or perhaps buy gold, but the best way to maximize clicks might be a new gaming mouse. It’s been a long four years since Diablo III was first announced, but with a relatively short two weeks to wait before the big May 15 launch day, it’s probably time to check if your mouse is up to the task. So take a look at that mouse you’re holding in your hand right now. Is it comfy or dependable enough for multiple hours’ worth of rapid clicking? If not, hit the break for five Diablo III-worthy mice that you can buy before the game arrives.
Logitech G9x Laser Mouse
The Logitech G9x has all the bells and whistles a hardcore gamer would want, including fast, gaming-class laser tracking that can shift from 200 – 5700 dpi, a scroll wheel with a nice tactile feel, and an onboard memory for storing five gaming profiles. But what makes this mouse special is the number of hardware customization it comes bundled with.
The box comes with two interchangeable DryGrip accessories that fits over the regular-shaped mouse: a Wide Load grip for comfort, and the Precision grip for fingertip accuracy. For people looking for a heavier mouse, the box also comes with a pull-out weight cartridge that you can fill with metal weights – up to a max of 28 grams more – to get the right feel that you can be comfortable with. The dual-mode scroll wheel can also be set to give you tactile “click-click” feedback for gaming, or a smooth frictionless scrolling motion for browsing through web pages and documents.
The rest of the features should help contribute to the overall feel: Logitech fits this performance mouse with super-slick polytetrafluoroethylene (or PTFE) feet to help it glide along fast, as well as custom color LEDs up top that you can set to a particular game or profile. The onboard memory will also let you store your settings on the mouse itself, allowing you to use it on another PC without installing any software.
The Bottom Line: While it’s not exactly the newest of this bunch (the Logitech G9x has been around for a few years now), its features and performance are still good enough to get you through today’s newest games. This gamer swears by Logitech’s build quality and premium feel, and you just can’t go wrong with this one for extended Diablo III click-fests (it’s rated to be good for more than 8 million clicks). One advantage to buying a relatively old performance mouse is the reduced pricing. The G9x is currently available from Logitech for $80, but you can also pick up a G9x for $60 on Newegg or around $70 on Amazon. This mouse has also turned up in a number of online offers with rebates that drop the price down to $30-40, so try shopping around. Any way you go, it’s a decent price drop considering that the G9x initially cost $100 back in 2009.
Logitech Wireless Gaming Mouse G700
A relatively newer gaming mouse (but not by much), the Logitech G700 Wireless Gaming Mouse shares some of the good stuff that was on the G9x, but with a few things taken out and added in. The G700 doesn’t come with changeable hand grips or a weight cartridge – the two things we love on the G9x – but it does add some newer tech for gaming. Most notably, the G700 adds a whole lot more buttons as well as a connectivity feature that allows for both wired and wireless use.
Like the G9x, the G700 also features a gaming-grade laser sensor that can shift sensitivity from 200 – 5,700 dpi, an onboard memory for storing profiles and settings, and Diablo-worthy buttons that’srated good for 8 million clicks. Outside, this mouse also features the former’s “super-slick” polytetrafluoroethylene feet and the dual-mode scroll wheel. The scroll wheel on this mouse sits on a rocker for side-scrolling functions though. Probably not as useful for Diablo III, but it’s a bonus when you’re checking out spreadsheets and webpages.
Design-wise, the sculpted shape may give you an odd feel if you were used to regular egg-shaped mice. After some time with it, it gets comfortable enough. Sculpted with right-handed people in mind, the G700 features a comfortable ledge for resting a thumb for comfort during long gaming sessions.
While hardcore gamers don’t usually look for a wireless mouse (and rightly so. The worst thing that can happen when you’re in a melee against dozens of demons is a drained battery), this mouse offers a nice compromise. For wireless use, the G700 comes with a battery that should last you a couple of days’ worth of heavy use, and hooks up with Logitech’s tiny unifying USB receiver that promises gaming-grade responsiveness. Some users have reported issues with both the battery life and slight accuracy issues while in wireless mode though, but it’s not something that can’t be solved by a regular charge and… just use the USB cable for gaming if you run into these issues. It’s what you should do when you’re gaming anyway. It works awesome when it’s plugged in.
The mouse also comes with three LED lights along the left side that shows you the battery’s charge level.
The other notable feature – and the one that should work well for Diablo III as well as other RPG games, is the amount of customizable buttons on the mouse. You get 13 in all: the two main (left/ right) buttons, the middle button on the scroll wheel, the left/right scroll, another one behind the wheel, three beside the left mouse button, and four on the left side for your thumb – all of which can be set to perform different functions or a programmed macro-command. While it might sound confusing, this part might help: Logitech designed the buttons with unique shapes and angles so you can identify them by touch.
The Bottom Line: While I have no idea why anyone would need more buttons past the 5-7 buttons usually found on a performance mouse, you could find the extra buttons useful if you’re into micro-managing your game functions… once you get the hang of it. Otherwise, you still get an awesome gaming mouse that features a fast tracker, solid build quality, and comfortable ergonomics out of the box. Just consider the wireless feature a bonus if you want a hassle-free gaming experience. The downside to having more features that you might not even use is the price. At $99 (from Logitech), it’s a bit more pricey than the G9x, but you can have this shipped for less. Right now, it only costs $74 on Amazon.
MadCatz Cyborg R.A.T. 7 Gaming Mouse
If you like a completely customizable mouse – and we’re not just talking about buttons or software here – the Cyborg R.A.T. 7 is something you’re going to want. While the robotic design looks awesome (if you like roboty-type things), it’s not just for show. Almost everything on this mouse can be customized to fit your palm and grip-style, with a means to tweak the mouse’s weight, the palm rest’s height and length, and the pinkie and thumb grips at the side.
Specifically, the mouse features panels that can be moved and set to your liking, as well as extra panels – 3 palm rests and 3 pinkie grips with different shapes and finishes for a customized feel – that you can install or change. The exposed hex screws are used to tweak the panels’ positions, including the palm rest’s length, and the thumb rest’s position, letting you move it forward, back, or outwards. Weight is added by removing a screw and inserting circular weights under the palm rest, letting you add up to 30g more.
While it doesn’t come with a whole lot of buttons, it does give you the usual set of advanced mouse features. A dpi switch will let you toggle sensitivity from 25 – 6,400 dpi in four steps that you can set using the software (a row of LED lights will let you know roughly where you’re at). Unique on this mouse is a horizontal thumb wheel above the thumb rest, as well as a special “Precision Aim” button in the form of a small red button along the left side for your thumb. This special button will slow down the mouse movement to a pre-set speed that you program using the software. It’s a useful feature for first-person shooters (handy for zooming in with a sniper rifle to score a headshot), but probably not much use for a Diablo-style clickfest.
The R.A.T 7 only features six programmable buttons (apart from the standard left and right) that you can set using the software. 3 button modes can be selected on-the-fly though, which should give you a total of 18 custom actions.
The Bottom Line: With the inclusion of the unique Precision Aim button, The Cyborg R.A.T 7 is clearly designed for first-person shooter games. So why are we even considering this for our specific Diablo III-playing purposes? We like it specifically because it offers the potential to give you a perfect grip, regardless of your hand size or grip style. That translates to longer gaming sessions that won’t get ruined by hand fatigue. The price is a bit steep though; the R.A.T. 7 costs $100 from GameShark, but it goes as low as $77 on Amazon.
Razer Naga Hex
If you’re looking for a brand that serves up a specific mouse type for just about every game genre that’s worth playing, you’re going to want to check out Razer’s impressive selection of gaming-grade rodents. From mice for all-around performance, mice designed for shooters, mice designed for MMOs, themed mice for playing specific game titles… they’ve got it. While they don’t have a mouse that’s specifically branded for Diablo III (or at least not yet), we’re guessing that the Razer Naga Hex is as close as you can get to a clicker that’s tailored for Diablo-style mayhem. We’re going to go on a limb here and guess that if they ever announce a Diablo III-branded mouse, it’s going to be based off the Naga Hex.
Why the Naga Hex? Because it’s a fairly new design that they’re going to want to push. And this mouse was specifically designed for MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), MMORPG, and action-RPG games, the biggest of which is due out in a couple of weeks. The new sculpted shape should help lessen hand fatigue as well. Personally, I like mice that feature an elevated palm rest and solid sides. It matches my grip style, but you might want to try it out to see if you’re comfortable with it.
So let’s get down to specifics: like the Logitech G700, this mouse gives you a number of programmable buttons, most of which come in the form of a hexagonal cluster along the thumbrest. For our Diablo III purposes, the extra buttons can be used to call up 6 spells or abilities in a pinch – it’s initially mapped to the keyboard’s number row, which is where these games usually map their abilities to. The layout is also pretty intuitive, and the hotkeys should be fairly easy to remember when all hell breaks loose. It’s a way better solution compared to the confusing 12-button cluster on the Naga.
The mouse features a total of 11 programmable buttons; all mechanical, and all built specifically to handle hack n’ slash games that require crazy amounts of clicking — they’re rated to accurately register 250 clicks per minute (that’s around 4 clicks per second), and built to last up to 10 million clicks.
For general performance, the Naga Hex also features a fast 5600 dpi sensor with 1,000MHz polling. Never mind the numbers – simply put, the mouse’s tracking is good enough to give you the accuracy that you should expect from a performance mouse. The Naga Hex also works with Razer’s Synapse 2.0 software for customizing the settings and button-mapping. Unlike Logitech’s built-in memory that can store profiles, the software hooks up with an online server, and pulls your settings online in case you want to use the mouse on a different computer – Synapse needs to be running on the new computer as well.
As a side note, the generic Naga Hex comes with green graphics that won’t work with the Diablo III theme we’re aiming for. This bit of news came just in time, though: Razer just released the Naga Hex – Wraith Red Edition that comes with a red paint job (with red LED lights to match). Still no word on a Diablo III edition, though. Maybe this is as close as they’ll get without having to pay Blizzard for using the Diablo brand. The timing certainly makes sense.
The Bottom Line: The Razer Naga Hex won’t give you the physical customizations that you’d get from the G9x or the R.A.T. 7, but you get a mouse that’s specifically tailored for use with action-RPG’s, which is exactly what we’re shopping for. The six programmable buttons on the thumbrest is pretty intuitive, and accuracy/performance won’t be an issue on this mouse. It all boils down to design and ergonomics on this one. Some people might like the shape, while some people might prefer the way Logitech sculpted the G700 – provided you’re looking for a performance mouse with more buttons than your phone. Razer is selling the Naga Hex (and the Red edition) for $80.
SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse
At last, a gaming mouse on this list that’s designed with “simple” in mind. It’s also the only one here that specifically comes with Diablo III branding, so it’s definitely worth a look. Let’s tackle “simple” first. Unlike the rest of the mice on this list, the SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse does away with physical customization and sculpted ergonomics and goes for versatility. Basically, it’s designed with an ambidextrous shape and asymmetrical button layout that works for left- and right-handed players, a rather generic form factor that won’t feel weird for people who have never laid hands on an often-sculpted gaming mouse before, and a theme that isn’t loud or unnecessarily showy.
The mouse itself rocks seven programmable buttons, a switch behind the scroll wheel will let you toggle sensitivity settings, and a sensor under it that maxes out at 5,000 cpi (counts per inch). And because it was designed for Diablo III, it’s built for durability. The mouse is listed to be good for a “guaranteed” lifespan of 10 million clicks, while the double-braided nylon cord and gold-plated USB connection should be good to last you a long time (until Blizzard dreams up a Diablo IV, perhaps?).
As mentioned before, the seven mouse buttons are spread asymmetrically for left- and right-handed use. Aside from the regular left, right and middle button (on the scroll wheel), the Diablo III Mouse features four more buttons split along the left and right edges.
The mouse’s overall aesthetic might be a bit too simple for some, but we feel that it’s just right if you’re looking for a themed mouse done tastefully. While we can probably do without the silver goth lines on top, we think the illumination – a nice hellish glow under the scroll wheel, CPI button and Diablo III logo on the palm rest – matches the theme perfectly.
The Bottom Line: “A themed mouse done tastefully” is the most apt description we can think of for this one. If you just want to click like crazy – the way Diablo-players have done since 1996 – and you don’t need all the bells and whistles found on the other options on this list, well, here’s your mouse. If you happen to be left-handed, here’s a solid option as well. Of course, there are literally thousands of other mice you can pick up to play the game, but how many of those come with Diablo III branding and hellfire-type lighting? The Diablo III Mouse costs $70 from SteelSeries’ online store, and goes for $65 on Amazon.