Twitch gamer swears by Rat mouse

My wife Alice is a retired pro twitch-gamer, and when she gets excited about a new pointing device, I pay attention. Last night she glommed onto Chris DiBona's remarkable Rat Mouse, played with it, and pronounced it good.

Want want want want want! I just used one too, and they're quite remarkable. Easy to use. Kinda heavy - to be expected - but many many benefits. Also, hawt.

Well, that's Christmas sorted.

Mad Catz R.A.T.7 Gaming Mouse for PC and MAC


  1. An increasingly familiar 21st c. dilemma: a lazy writer uses jargon with the public and doesn’t explain it. Am I interested enough to search the term “twitching game” and figure out WTF he means in writing publicly about its influence on his  family life? It doesn’t sound pleasant at all, and that comes from a fellow with a Hx of temporal lobe tremors…

      1. yes the same way an audience member can give a bad performance at a rock concert. 

        Why is it too much to ask of a ‘writer’ (I use that term loosely) to provide ACTUAL content?  This page is no more than an advertisement for this mystery product with a link to amazon. 

        With the gross lack of content this page provides, I can only imagine most of the readers Stumbled here like I did. Since you are so eager for us to ‘keep surfing’, I will be sure to put the request into Stumble upon for your site to be removed from their list.  

        You’re welcome! :)

        1. Well, you’re free to surf yourself elsewhere or start your own blog instead of bitching and moaning.  Since you’re reading boingboing, it would be fair to assume that you’re tech savvy, not a total idiot, and, if you don’t know what twitch gaming is, of looking it up like big boys and girls.
          The alternative is the continual dumbing down of public discourse.  Might I suggest google?  It’s this fantastic search site where you can look things like definitions up.

    1. Am I interested enough to search the term “twitching game” and figure out WTF he means in writing publicly about its influence on his  family life?

      I can’t imagine why you think that anyone would be interested in whether or not you’re interested.  Even your mother is just smiling and nodding to be polite.

      1. WTF are you writing about?
        A public writer HAS to at least try to write In a way public understands (what is wrong with a link or a simple explanation about ‘twich’?)
        If you do not understand or talk shit about Brian Donohue , seems to me You have a strong fault of : fantasy, bigotry, irresponsibility – thus guarding each others back!

        Never expected staff at BoinBoing to go that low! 

        Myself I am sticking my neck out for what I consider important – being true, sincere all around – not only to Your favourites, and loyal to Your beliefs!

    2. Trolly troll is trolling. Dude is familiar with ‘WTF’ and ‘Hx’ but not ‘twitch-game’?

    3. And how the shit is this about the influence of twitch gaming on his family life? Its straight up “my former professional gamer wife likes this gaming mouse”.

    4. You have to look beyond the deep subtext: twitch-gaming is when a person who is “gaming”, “twitches”.

    5.  Ah, for the days when writers never, ever challenged you with unfamiliar terms that you might have to figure out from context, or, heaven forfend, have to haul down a heavy paper dictionary to suss out. Ah, for the return of that halcyon age!

        1. Not that I specified the OED, but have you checked to see if it is? They added “D’oh” several years back.

    6. is he lazy, or does he just know his audience?

        I’ve spent some time looking at gaming mice.  I know i’ve seen this device before, in round ups of new kit.  I game, so i’ve got at least a hazy idea of what twitch gaming is.
       (i forum dwell a lot, so i know twit commenting when i see it as well).  

      therefor the article made complete sense to me, and was somewhat useful, in that i’m likely to give these a second look due to the boingbump.
      you on the other hand have the choice…you can either google a bit, or accept since you didn’t understand any of the jargon, it probably wouldn’t intersect your interests anyway and why the hell should we cater to what you’ve heard of?

    7. Here’s how I take in information: Look. A gaming mouse. I like gaming. As a “gamer” I am familiar with gaming terms such as what a “twitch gamer” is.
      It is reasonable for the author to assume if someone is interested in something, they are probably familiar with it.
      Did the article need to go into what a “gaming mouse” is, and what differentiates it from regular mice? No.
      Did it need to explain what a gamer was? No.

      There are certain things you can assume will be known by a reader, and terms someone interested in a product will know.

      I don’t know how to do woodworking. There are many terms in woodworking I would not know. If I saw an article about the amazing crafmanship of a wooden likeness of the Golden Gate Bridge carved from ancient mahogany, I would expect that there would be terms that would be spelled out to me that woodworkers are familiar with, unless I was reading a “How to do Woodwork” book.

  2. If you don’t already know (or care enough to find out) what twitch gaming is, you will almost certainly not be interested in this story.

    1. the title is horrible so i thought i would make my own that was much better and made more sense… ready ?

      “Mad Cat procures quick Mouse”

      pretty good right? am i right? huh guys?

      1. Honestly Cory, you are far too patient with these folk. You’re a saint. If this was my blog, “this is old/not news/etc” would be an auto-ban. Sheesh it’s irritating.

      2. Hrm. So what is in your mandate? I’ve been reading this thing for ages and never really thought about that…

        1.  Things I have found that interested, delighted, frustrated, or excited me, made public on the grounds that people who share some or all of my tastes will find similar stimulation, and also so that I can have an indexed database of everything that seems of note to me.

      3. I have to agree here, I’m not on the site for new news. Besides, I have this mouse, everything I’ve tried since hasn’t been as good IMO. It may be old, but I still see it as being the best, so if you’re on the market for a gaming mouse, it shouldn’t be the latest stuff out there, it should be what is best suited for you.

  3. Decades old slang is lazy jargon? Especially considering this place’s ‘zine roots? Huh. I disagree.

    As to the mouse, I’d recommend against it. Checked out the Amazon reviews, lots and lots of low reviews, all people who loved the mouse until it stopped working a few months after purchase. Not always a showstopper, except they all complain about no response to RMA or support tickets.

    I’ve owned Mad Catz controllers, they’re pretty much a guaranteed argument because noone ever wants to get stuck being the one using it. Haven’t tried their mice, but the Amazon reviews are a pretty good sign they’re consistent regarding quality regardless of product line.

    1. I’m honestly a trifle surprised: Not that Mad Catz is still mediocre; but that they’d manage to make a mouse that breaks that dramatically…

      Console controllers are one of those things where penny pinching really bites you because most of them have at least a few potentiometer-based analog sensor sticks. Those suckers are conceptually dead simple; but making one that still exhibits proper uniformity and responsiveness after some wear and tear requires actual quality.

      With contemporary mice, by contrast, almost everybody is using very similar optical sensor modules sourced from a fairly small number of vendors and all solid-state. That they work at all is somewhat amazing(Hey, let’s take 1,000+ pictures per second, compute the motion between the frames, and do it all with a module that costs about a dollar-fifty and runs on a 100ma or so…); but you really have to do something unpleasant to them to make them suddenly stop working… Even in the (brutal) world of school PC labs, the cheap pack-in optical mice provided with boring PCs tend to last for several years, until some horrid little kid tears the buttons off for no obvious reason.

    2. yeah. I agree, it looks cool, but my past experience with Mad Catz controllers was about the same: worked for about a month, then stopped. Anger ensued, but there was no recourse, other than realization that I got screwed by the “free market.” I wish there was a socialist hardware manufacturer that was accountable to the people. *sighs*

    3. Funny, mine hasn’t broken after a year of my toddler grabbing and yanking on it.  I did have to replace the teflon pads about three months ago, but when you log a thousand hours of gaming you have to expect some erosion.

  4. Who wants to move their arm/hand around for hours on end?
    That’s why I use a Logitech Trackman..

      1. Why do you find that hard to believe?

        A trackball can be tuned just like a mouse (other than lack of buttons compared to serious “gaming” mice).  Before I had the standard Trackman I had the Trackman FX (which is finger based, not thumb), and going way back I had the mechanical Trackman.

        Personally I’ve never understood the aversion to moving a few digits rather than your whole hand/arm.  As long as Logitech (cause really they are about the only people left making a decent trackball) keeps making one I’m going to keep using it.

        And yes I’m serious I’ve played and beat all the Half-Life series using a trackball in one form or another.

        Some people play FPS games on consoles…no mouse, no keyboard, that’s fucking bullshit.

        1. I find it hard to believe because I’ve used one of those exact track balls to play games. And Jesus man, you must have some strong thumbs.

          1. If you used one that wasn’t yours or wasn’t new out of box I’d bet that it hadn’t been cleaned in a while.

            I can tell after a week or two when the ball begins to drag that it need to popped out and the little nubs that it sits on need to be wiped off.  As soon as you do that it glides pretty effortlessly.

            My wife uses it as well and she has never complained about the force required to move the ball.  Now I will say the original mechanical design was harder because the ball was smaller and you were actually moving the rollers (but again clean rollers made a huge difference).

          2. Not talking about force required to move the ball. The constant, precise movements cause a nice solid ache in the joint.

      2. Oh those things rock at FPS but there is a bit of a learning curve.  It allows you to cover more of a radius but with the same precision.  The one downside is that it gave me some kind of repetitive motion thing in my thumb.

        1.  One reason I prefer PC-gaming to console gaming is the thumb is the primary digit for a controller, but a mouse/keyboard combo tends to use the entire hand more, leading to a greater spread of stress-impacted points, with less overall use of one part of the hand.

          I’ve tried using a trackball for work and for gaming, I just prefer a really large mouse (big hands problem)

      3.  A friend of mine uses a trackball for all of her gaming. She was competitive in UT for quite a while and a pretty solid shot.

  5. Cyborg is overpriced crap. I’ll stick with the G9x. Wait till your wife finds the RAZR Naga.

  6. I like mine, but the scroll wheel doesn’t play well with everything. In particular it seems to not like the Steam client. Never really had any trouble with it in games, though.

  7. I admit, I had no idea what a “twitch gamer” was either. Thing is, there’s this AMAZING tool out there called the INTERWEBS. Or maybe it’s INTARWARBS. 

    I can’t remember, but anyway, it’s got everything!


    Nope, that ain’t it either. Anyway, it’s out there!

  8. I like the design and adjustment features, but every time I buy a MadCatz product, it craps out before too long.   And at 100$, I’ll pass.

  9. My Rat 7 has been in heavy daily use for at least 9 months and never had a moment’s trouble apart from the occasional cat hair between desk and laser. In these days of astroturfing you can’t trust Amazon reviews for shit. My G9 is now happy on the server PC. 

  10. I’ve been using the Rat-9 (the wireless version) for about a year now and the performance is impressive. 5600dpi performance from a wireless makes it as good as any cabled mouse out there.
    The drawback with the wireless – and why you’d do well to stick with the wired version- is that after 7 or 8 months, battery performance deteriorated quickly.  It comes with two batteries which you can hot-swap as needed, but after a while you find yourself swapping them almost every day. 

  11. This is a great mouse. I’ve been using the R.A.T. 7 for about 3 months now and have noticed a big difference. The custom profile editor is easy to use, and they have a ton of premade profiles for lots of games on their site. A bit pricey, but it increased the fun for me.

  12. ” Twitch gamer”  is  “decades old slang”?

    How many decades? Two? Five?

    What is a twitch gamer?

    1. twitch gaming refers to games that are built around reaction time and thus “fast twitch reactions”. Its a term about as old as arcade video games, and its meaning is pretty obvious from the words “twitch” and “game”. 

      1.  Is this a localized slang? sort of how in some areas of the states it’s “the Joker learned ballet” while the rest of the world recognizes only “the Joker ran away”

        1. no, twitch gamer is not used by anybody. sometimes when you write a lot you have to make shit up. a faux pas amongst the 1337 this author has made.

          “what kind of games do you like?” nobody has ever responded with “i like twitch games”.

          i think this is an instance of the outside looking in and us on the inside asking WTF are they talking about.

          also the “Rat Pad” has been around for years and i clicked on this post thinking they finally made a mouse. the people at ratpad are pro, mad cats? not so much…

          1. Its not used so much anymore, but it was pretty standard language in game criticism/journalism up until the end of the 90’s.  I assume Cory used the term because it was commonly use to describe the sort of multiplayer first person shooters his wife played professionally. 

          2. “outside looking in”?

            You should look up Alice Taylor (or Alice Doctorow?  Not sure if she was in cahoots with Cory when I met her, or if she decided to take his name etc.); the wife Cory refers to as using this mouse.

            When it comes to gaming she’s very much on the inside.

  13. I’ve had one for a year now and its great – took a day or two to tweak the settings to my hand (I have large hands and find many mice a bit on the small side) but once you find the right setup its great. Not just for games either, mapping copy and paste to mouse buttons work much more intuitively than the keyboard when you’re editing. 

  14. You are all dumbasses. I roll old school with my MS serial ball mouse. It kicks ass and I can nearly beat Doom with it!! Suckers.

  15. I love mine – customizable as hell, solid, works great, and is much less painful than it looks (it /looks/ like it should pinch and cut things, but it’s extremely comfortable).

  16. Even though I had a bad experience with a Mad Catz ps2 controller eons ago, I must say this thing looks almost badass enough to give them a second chance and drop the $100 on it. And I’m not even a gamer. I’m a digital artist who never got into using a wacom tablet… Judging from what I’ve read upthread, their customer service might still not be all that awesome enough to take that chance though.

  17. I love my R.A.T.  I’ve got some serious hand/wrist problems (two plates, 16 bolts, etc. etc.) and my surgeon said I could either order a $400+ custom mouse that has two buttons,  no scroll wheel, nothing else, or get one of these darlings.  I’ve had it for a year and I’m sold.

  18. What do all the little knobs do? Is there a diagram that explains? Or are they just hot-glued on to look cool?

    1. near as i can figure from the amazon page, they adjust the size of the mouse to fit the user’s hand.

      1. Like the things for adjusting chairs. At first I thought they were additional controls, like maybe you could use the one knob to play Arkanoid, but I guess the size adjustment makes more sense.

  19. Interesting that the v7 is out of stock, but Amazon won’t ship the v9 to Australia (though it looks like they will sell me the v5 and v3).
    It must be something to do with not shipping the latest military technology to unstable countries…

    1. Does ship to Australia? Their prices are better and their excellent RMA policy might make up for Mad Katz shitty customer service.

  20. Rat 7 is an excellent controller.  Most of the nerdaliscious Twitchers I have talked to that have tried it (mostly TF2 community) have agreed.  It’s incredibly comfortable and extremely responsive.  It has the most options to adjust the comfort of the mouse (most of the surfaces are adjustable and the weight is adjustable).  It also has a great thumb rest.  If you are an MMO player, I recommend the MMO7 because it has more programmables. 

    Also, if you do not understand basic gaming jargon like “twitch gamer” I highly recommend you either a) get younger or b) learn to use the Urban Dictionary

  21. I did like the look of this mouse and the claims that it was ‘adjustable’ – unfortunately I do have very big hands and this device just didn’t suit me at all.

    My current game ‘pointy thing’ is the CM Storm Inferno – but even then I do wish for something a bit bigger sometimes.

    It’s also a very good point about wireless mice and I have seen a situation where a team mate has had his wireless mouse crap out on him during a competition! Panic ensued!

    But from my point of view a lot of it is about cost – I am known for my game rage tossing of mice and I go through them pretty regularly (I know, what a kid!) and so I tend not to buy the most expensive just because I know they have to put up with my MacEnroe-esque fits of pique when I lose a round.

    Something in cast iron would be my preference for gaming mice! (And a rivets to satisfy my Steampunk side!)

  22. I would buy the wireless version and, in between games, run it all over the desk pretending it’s the Batmobile.

  23. Loving my Corsair M60 at the moment. Isn’t adjustable to the same extent, but does glide well on a decent surface and has similar programmable features. I can’t find if the R.A.T 7 can be programmed such that it works without the software, but retains the profile you have given it – this is very useful for me because I set up the M60 so one of the thumb buttons works as the middle mouse button and this continues to work under Linux, where I spend my days hacking and it irritates the old carpel tunnel a lot less working with a thumb.

  24.  I am also a RAT user, i bought it because i was feeling frivolous, the damn thing is just so comfortable i have recently upgraded from the 3 to the 5. And i am using the 3 in work.

  25. this mouse right here is plenty for me I’ll never need another mouse for the rest of my life. I can’t even fathom using it at the full 5000DPI (I’ve tried) but i do only use 1 monitor Not sure if the amount of area would increase or stay the same over 2 to 3 monitors. but as it is I hardly move my wrist and I can cover the entire area of my desktop on the monitorProviding precision at any hand speed (up to 150 inches per second on most popular gaming-mousepad surfaces), the G9x extends the promise of the award-winning Logitech G9 Laser Mouse with its next-generation laser sensor. Featuring on-the-fly adjustable dpi from 200 to 5000 dpi, the G9x makes it easy to go from pixel-precise targeting to lightning-fast maneuvers without pausing the action. Get the gear to suit your gameplay. Play with the best.

    Key Features

    2 interchangeable grips
    The G9x comes with Wide Load and Precision grips that let you choose the fit and feel that’s best for your playing style. The Wide Load grip’s satin feel and fuller shape offer extra comfort. The Precision grip’s DryGrip technology and compact shape give you exceptional fingertip control.

    Next-generation gaming laser
    Gives you game-changing precision at any hand speed.* On-the-fly adjustable dpi to go from pixel-precise targeting (200 dpi) to lightning-fast maneuvers (up to 5000 dpi) without pausing the action. And Full-Speed USB (for up to 1000 reports/sec).
    * Up to 150 inches per second on most popular gaming-mousepad surfaces.

    Onboard memory
    Lets you program up to five ready-to-play profiles (for keyboard macros, dpi settings, and LED colors), so you can take your personalized settings when you’re on the go. Profiles are stored directly in onboard memory.*
    * Download of Logitech SetPoint software required for initial profile setup.

    Weight-tuning system
    Prefer a heavier or lighter mouse? The G9x gives you up to 28 grams of extra weights that you can mix-and-match for personalized feel and control.*
    * Contains small parts which may pose a choking hazard to children.

    Custom-color LED display
    Lets you match your mouse to your PC, your game, your style. LEDs light up to show your mouse dpi and profile settings. Choose the color of your LEDs from a wide color spectrum.

  26.    click the little image at the bottom of my post to have it show you the video with out going to youtube.
    Product Tour: Logitech G9x Videothis shows you all the cool extras like the 30 or so diffrent colors you can set the LED to, how the scroll wheel unlocks for continual scrolling, where the weights are stored, also you can scroll left and right with the mouse wheel by pushing it to the left or right. Also comes with a 2 or 3 year warentee and they don’t require you to ship back the old one if its broken. I had to replace mine because the cord frayed I was contacted 2 hours after I emailed support and they set up a replacement the next day. Lastly the on board memory means you can set it up and never worry about it again just unplug it plug it into a school pc or friends laptop and all your settings are there on the mouse it self. game anywhere any how.

  27. I have own the R.A.T. 9 for about a year and it is amazing.  If you are a gamer, you will definitely enjoy it.

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