While my usual focus is on software, I’ve been pushing to write about more tech lately. The devices you use to experience a game are just as important as the game itself; for instance, anyone who used the remarkably shoddy Nintendo DS Lite back in the day can attest to how the awful d-pad made gaming a chore. Today we’re going to talk about the Mionix Castor Ergonomic Optical Gaming Mouse, a rugged mouse that certainly doesn’t make gaming a chore thanks to its solid build quality and excellent grasp on the fundamentals.
The Castor’s claim to fame is “craftsmanship,” which essentially means it forgoes the hundreds of macro buttons and bizarre cyberpunk styling of other mice in favor of a solid, well-built peripheral that feels good to use. The only concession to the gamer aesthetic is the RGB lighting on the top edge of the mouse, which is easily disabled if one feels the need. Some might consider this a breath of fresh air; I wouldn’t feel bad about bringing the Castor into the workplace, for instance, since it’s just a really nice mouse instead of a chromed-out monstrosity.
The Castor’s layout is typical for this sort of mouse; there’s two main buttons on top, a mousewheel and button between those and a DPI adjustment button right beneath that. On the left side you’ve got another two buttons which are commonly used for forward and back actions while browsing. Unlike the usual gamer mouse, well, that’s pretty much it! There’s no crazy swivels or levers here, it’s Just A Mouse. Despite this, it feels extremely nice and it’s highly accurate once you’ve gotten used to it.
In terms of performance, the Castor stands up with other high-end mice. It’s extremely responsive and glides easily along whatever surface you choose. I had no issues playing, for instance, Dirty Bomb with this one, though as mentioned it does lack the macro functionality of some other devices like Bloody Gaming’s ZL5 Sniper Lazer Gaming Mouse. If you place a lot of stock in that sort of thing, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
In particular, the Castor isn’t a great choice for MMORPGs, where additional buttons (and lots of ’em) can be amazingly helpful; instead, it’s good for first-person shooters and for everyday web browsing and non-gaming use. Incidentally, one other complaint I keep seeing about the Castor is that it’s fairly small. This is accurate; I didn’t have any issues using it, but if you’ve got gigantic ham-hands, you might want to look into a different mouse.
Mionix’s software isn’t anything too out of the ordinary, offering the usual array of options. It’s possible to adjust the device’s lighting, various DPI settings and run a scan on the surface that you’re using for further sensitivity adjustments. Being able to fine-tune the mouse’s sensitivity to such a degree is useful, but it runs well right out of the box so there’s no pressing need to mess with it.
The minimalist nature of the Castor Ergonomic Optical Gaming Mouse means that’s pretty much all there is to say! It’s a sleek, nice-looking device that’s well-made, highly accurate and very sensitive. If you need a mouse for everyday use or games that don’t require a lot of macro buttons, you can’t really go wrong here. Mionix’s focus on craftsmanship has paid off.