While some PC gamers prefer the familiar feel of a gamepad for their adventures, I’m more of a keyboard and mouse person. In fact, that tends to be the best set-up, from my perspective, for shooter-style games.
If you’ll allow me to indulge in a flashback for a few moments, there was a time when I was solely a console gamer and always preferred a controller. Then I wanted to try to play Mass Effect on the PC and, once I started along that path, I never looked back. My mouse is my buddy, my constant companion, on my PC gaming endeavors (unless I end up playing the odd action game on the PC, like Sleeping Dogs, which plays horribly with the mouse/keyboard set-up).
However, I’m not a huge fan of mice with very specific functions and, unfortunately, that seems to be what the A4Tech Multi-Core GUN 3 Gaming Mouse is focused toward. That being the case, I’ll put a disclaimer here – I’m not a fan of shooters, I don’t play them often, I never play them online and don’t own any aside from those that may be different then the rest (which isn’t many, but the likes of BioShock Infinite and Mass Effect come to mind).
This mouse in particular seems geared toward making things easier for trigger-happy players in online matches of Call of Duty or some other such military shooter. While I do think the functionality it has to switch each mouse-key-press to fire off anywhere from one to three shots in series is pretty neat, I can’t see a use for it outside of – you guessed it – the FPS genre. According to their site, the multi-cores that this mouse supposedly has under the hood (and who knows what that means when it comes to mice; this isn’t a PC we’re talking about here), allow for auto-recoil suppression, which, and I quote, “guarantee[s] a high headshot rate”.
I could be wrong here, but that’s a broad statement to make, as is. Along with not being a fan of very specific mouse functions, I’m not a fan of ambiguous tech-talk that means little to the consumer. This “multi-core” thing is all rather suspect. However, like I mentioned, the functionality the mouse has to fire off multiple shots per mouse click is impressive for fans of FPS titles.
During my time with this hardware, I have played a wide variety of titles from many different genres – some to actually test the mouse, some just playing in my free time, but to name a few, they are Mass Effect 3, BioShock Infinite, Guild Wars 2, The Witcher 2, World of Warcraft, Torchlight II, SimCity and Civilization V. While I don’t doubt this multi-shot functionality (which can be adjusted by hitting a button on the palm-side of the mouse wheel) has a use, as far as I can tell, for the vast majority of PC games in general, you won’t need it (or even want it). However, if you’re a huge FPS fan, it’s worth trying out, but not necessarily over more agile mice, such as the Razer Naga or the Roccat Kone+.
The mouse also has a rather small form factor, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the size of your hands, and lacks the mouse-wheel tilt buttons that other gaming mice come equipped with (tilting the mouse wheel left or right), but the mouse wheel is a button in itself if you press it down. Rounding out the list of negatives, in my opinion, is also the light weight of the mouse. While it glides nicely, it feels a bit cheap compared to others in its class.
The positive aspects tend to balance out the negatives, but only to a point. The mouse is very comfortable and has a nice form factor. It actually has an indentation on the right side for your ring-finger. While setting your ring-finger there takes some getting used to (at first I kept wanting to move it off, because it felt awkward), eventually you find that it’s a nice, comfortable position to rest your hand in, and actually shows a great deal of ergonomic awareness on the part of the designer. Unfortunately, this also means that the mouse isn’t ambidextrous, and left-handed users won’t be able to benefit from it. In fact, it will feel rather awkward, since your anatomically thicker thumb will be sitting in that bed and it won’t feel quite right.
The mouse wheel is lightly padded and has a very subtle and inaudible clicking feel when you scroll, which is a nice change of pace from the bigger mice that tend to rattle your bones as you scroll through menus or zoom in and out in a strategy title.
Supplied with the mouse were some “feet” that you could put in the pads on the underside, which I attempted to do and found the mouse itself performed horribly. I promptly removed them. I have no idea what the point of sticking them to your mouse is, as it glides perfectly fine without them on a mousepad.
Finally, I have to mention the price, which is a mere $50. This is a true “the glass is half full/empty” situation, depending on your viewpoint. It is an inexpensive entry into the gaming mouse scene if you want to try one out, however, the old adage applies – you get what you pay for. Take that as you will.
I suppose one of the points of purchasing a nice gaming mouse is to supplement the titles you play frequently, but being quite an eclectic gamer myself, using a mouse geared toward a very specific crowd is nearly pointless. It does have your standard thumb buttons, which I use quite frequently for MMORPGs, but other than that, nothing especially stands out. If you like the functionality to be able to fire off multiple shots with one press of the mouse button (which also, in actuality, also subjects your hand to less stress in itself) then it’s all well and good, but overall, this A4Tech mouse is sort of middle-of-the-road.
Here are the official tech specs from A4Tech’s web site:
- Multi-core system
- Button No.: 7 keys + Wheel
- Direction of wheel: one way direction
- Tracking: HoleLESS HD engine
- Type: Wired
- Mouse connection: USB (2.0/3.0)
- Hardware system requirements: Windows
- Software system requirements: Windows XP / Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8
- Mouse size: 125 x 64 x 39 (mm)
- Cable length: 1.8 m
- Mouse weight: 155 g
- Resolution: 200 Dpi to 3,200Dpi (5 ranges adjustable)
- Image processing: 368 mega pixels / sec
- Acceleration: 30g
- Tracking speed: 75 inches / sec
- Report rate : 1,000 Hz(4 ranges adjustable)
- Key response time: 1ms
- 160K onboard memory