If you follow the world of gaming accessories you may have heard that Turtle Beach, best known for high-quality gaming headsets, recently purchased Roccat, best known for high-quality gaming accessories like keyboards, mice and – yes – headsets as well. These are huge markets, ones that will only continue to grow as competitive gaming expands into the mainstream. What, you think professional e-gamers want chopped liver when they can have filet mignon?
Unlike the recent trend to reappropriate generic Chinese-made (i.e. cheap) accessories for budget-minded western enthusiasts, the Turtle Beach/Roccat pairing translates to considerably nicer looking peripherals, and certainly not cheap in any sense of the word. This means a higher quality product as a higher price, yet still desperate to compete with fire and fury while looking good in promo shots.
A simple gaming mouse is something of an antithesis. We (including myself) are conditioned to associate a proper gaming mouse with broad angles, exotic materials and a stratospheric asking price to justify it all. Roccat’s Kain 120 AIMO Mouse is a lower=budgeted counterpoint to the stereotype that bolder = better. It won’t set your world on fire, but it’s still a good mix between practical and flashy.
Looks and Design
Weighing in at just 89g (just 3.1oz), the Kain 120 is almost featherweight with a laser-cut outer shell that manages to look very industrial and matte coated. Roccat says that the mouse is engineered to prevent or resist dust and other nasty bits of debris from penetrating the nooks and crannies, and I can’t see any reason to disbelieve them.
Another piece of uniqueness is the brushed aluminum strip where the clickable scroll wheel and DPI button sit, it does tie the styling together if you ignore the obvious RGB lighting eye candy. Overall, the Kain doesn’t really stand out upon first glance, which is really surprising given how much of a showstopper the Vulcan 121 keyboard is.
But criticisms on appearance means little if the mouse performs and feels solid, which the Kain effortlessly does under your palm for rapid speed and hyperactive clicking sessions. Due to its symmetrical design and minimal heft, the Kain 120 has better ergonomics than most mice in its class.
A lot of the performance comes from the proprietary technologies such as the “Titan Click” mechanism, which overhauls everything related to registered button presses by utilizing an algorithm that boosts signal processing of each click the response time allegedly “up to 16ms faster”. That’s a bold claim further complemented by Roccat’s Owl-Eye optical sensor, boosting an impressive 16,000 DPI level that can be manually adjusted by the labeled button.
Get The Swarm
I usually groan whenever I have to download yet another driver or software package, but for a mouse like the Kain 120, it’s warranted. To really get the most from this mouse you’ll need to download and install Roccat’s propriety Swarm software, but you probably knew that already. This opens up all kinds of possibilities to improve, tweak, and customize the Kain as you see fit for a number of popular games and software. You can even slightly adjust its lighting strip for a more colorful experience.
The DPI sensitivity is self-explanatory, just push the button for preselected levels or use Swarm software to fine tune your ideal setup. From here, you can assign values to each increment that fits your personal preference or make use of the Easy+Shift features, which lets you to add secondary values to any specific button. It’s a micro-managers dream come true, and I appreciated how easily the software pairs with other Roccat devices.
Others may not be as enamored with using Swarm as much as I was, but keep in mind customizing a gaming mouse is far less complex than something like a gaming keyboard. I suspect hardcore Roccat users will likely adjust to the software’s nuances – even if it takes a little time.
Conclusion: Flashy Enough
It’s hard to hype up a gaming mouse as the segment becomes further crowded, but Roccat did a great job making the Kain 120 AIMO Gaming Mouse a real standout, especially with its very budget-friendly sub-$100 price point. Things only look better with noteworthy features like the adaptive Titan Click buttons and Owl-Eye sensor that allow for an absurd configurable sense of freedom and silky-smooth precision movements, all customizable via the Swarm software. Next time you’re hunting for a competitive gaming mouse check out what Roccat has on display; looks may not kill, but they come awfully close.