In PC gaming, hardware isn't everything – but it's no doubt a factor. Take inputs, for instance: better tools won't make a bad player good, but they might make a skilled one better. Cue the Roccat Kone Pure Military gaming mouse, a $69 (£59, about AU$74), no-nonsense pointer aimed at upping your game.
The Pure Military is essentially an armed forces-themed revision of the German peripheral maker's more compact Kone Pure series of gaming mice. Available in Camo Charge, Naval Storm and Desert Strike color schemes, it's clear that Roccat is after the Call of Duty crowd.
Roccat stuffed the Pure Military with a 5,000 dpi pro-optic sensor, a 32-bit Turbo Core v2 processor and 576KB of memory inside. The latter two features, of course, are for storing and quickly calling up macros stored through the company's KonePureMilitaryOption software. (But more on that later.)
This control-shape – or as it's generally known, palm style – mouse comes housing seven buttons total, including two option buttons on the left beside the two standard clickers. In the middle rests Roccat's heavily-marketed Titan Wheel scroll wheel and two dpi control buttons. The whole unit is tethered to a 5.9-foot (1.8m) braided USB cable.
At the base of the mouse is a fierce Roccat logo that either emits a solid bright light or pulsates, which you can change with up 16.8 million color options in the aforementioned app. (Seriously, the Thundercats people might want to take a look at that logo.)
Overall, the mouse's smooth plastic surface and grooved sides, namely its thumb grip, make for quite the comfortable tracking experience. That said, this mouse is for right-handed players only – move along, lefty heathens.
Aside from the 3kg push force and 24 steps per cycle Titan Wheel – really, guys? It's a scroll wheel – Roccat really wants you to know about the Pure Military's Easy-Shift[+] button duplicator feature. Essentially, the rear side button on the mouse operates like a Shift key on a keyboard, enabling completely different functions when held before pressing other buttons.
Frankly, I find it to be rather cumbersome, and not all the useful. But then again, I generally don't rely on the mouse for much more than pointing and clicking in games. (For those who look to escape their 16-button MMO mouse, this might be a godsend.) Thankfully, you can disable this feature through the included software just by enabling a different function on that button.
Despite what I consider a goofy feature, the Pure Military gaming mouse fits my hand like a glove – it's incredibly comfortable. And while I won't ever use the Easy-Shift[+] feature, I can appreciate its versatility for those who prefer to use their mouse for more control.
Setup and software
One area in which Roccat needs work on is its setup experience. Sure, the Pure Military works right out of the box – even on a Mac! – but you're only getting half of what you paid for. That is, if you're none the wiser to look up whether a driver is available, tucked away on Roccat's website. (Not to mention described in Deutsch.)
Once I finally found the driver and downloaded the compressed folder, I installed the updated driver and the management software, which are different executables, mind you. After that, nothing happened – at least nothing visible. What did happen was that the installation created a folder and essentially hid the app away. No shortcut was made. Nothing.
After finally finding the file path and opening the software did I finally unlock the power behind this little tracker. Within the app, you can tweak everything from the mouse's sensitivity to the five levels of dpi that the center buttons switch between when pressed. You can even set it to play a stereotypically "epic" voice, telling you exactly what dpi you're set to.
Users can set up to a maximum of five profiles, and everything is tweaked with simple sliders, even the choice of color for the light-up Roccat logo. There are also options to determine with buttons do what in default and Easy-Shift[+] modes, not to mention write a number of macros.
If you want to get really deep into the settings, you can tweak angle snapping (which auto-corrects cursor trajectory), sensor alignment (this adjusts the sensor's X and Y axis orientation) and lift-off distance (the distance from the surface at which the sensor stops working).
For 10 bucks less than the 12,000 dpi (!!!) Logitech G502 Proteus Core, the Roccat Kone Pure Military might not offer the same hardware-level customization, but it's far more comfortable. Not to mention that the mouse is way simpler, and offers much of the same software features.
Then again, this isn't an ambidextrous mouse, so that writes a portion of the PC gaming population right out of the Pure Military's potential audience. Another minor complaint: installing Roccat's software takes a bit of ingenuity that the company shouldn't expect from its users – not to mention a glaring lack of Mac support.
Regardless, the Roccat Kone Pure Military is one of the comfiest gaming mice that I've used in a long time, and 5,000 dpi is plenty. Sure, some of this mouse's marquee features might range from cumbersome to superfluous, but they're easily avoided. Turn the goofy-sounding Easy-Shift[+] right off, and the result is a straight up gaming mouse that doesn't cost much more than a brand new game.