Some time ago, I mourned the loss of that ever-present manufacturer responsible for everyone’s “other” controller; Mad Catz. I can’t comment on the commonly held view that their console controllers aren’t up to par because I’ve never owned one, but from a PC gaming viewpoint they did make my R.A.T. 5 gaming mouse that faithfully served me for several years…
… and that’s kind of a weird PC/console divide that’s rarely mentioned. On a console, in general, the official controllers rule supreme; tell me I’m playing an XBox and I’ll instantly know which controller I’ll be handed. Sure there are some pretty snazzy branded or skinned controllers available, but in the most part 90% of players will all use the same hunk of plastic to move their pixel-men around the screen. On a PC, for keyboard & mouse gaming, the same ubiquity doesn’t exist.
Following a few annoying weeks of having my weapon randomly switching mid-game (my Fortnite prowess was not improved by suddenly switching from harvesting materials to blasting walls with a shotgun) and an afternoon spent stripping it down, cleaning the offending rotary switch, and rebuilding it, I finally decided that it had earned retirement in my desk drawer alongside a bizarre array of other tech. I performed a hasty survey of the best value gaming mice (mouses?) on the market and settled on one that I had never heard of before, but that satisfied that delicate balance of specs, review ratings, and price: The “Cooler Master, MasterMouse MM530“…
… and I don’t even know where to begin with that name. I guess “Cooler Master” picked up its name from starting out as a PC cooling specialist company, but why did they decide to include “Master” again in the name for their line of mouses (mice?), and why is the model number always quoted as MM530? presumably again standing for “MasterMouse”. It’d be a bit better just being the “Cooler Master MM530”, or better yet call the range of moose something entirely different… like the ‘Chill’ range… “Cooler Master Chill 530”, or “CMC530″…but back to the story…
So physically it’s a little less showy then the R.A.T.; it’s a functional standard plastic design for palm-grip players. The rubberised honeycomb on the left side is pleasantly tactile under-thumb and elevates it just above feeling cheap for the price. Sadly it doesn’t have the braided cable that I’d grown fond of, instead it has a rubber thing that even after two weeks of movement and rearrangement across my desk still enjoys revisiting the curled up nestled state it had during transit. Aside from the three main buttons and scroll wheel there are two further navigation buttons on the left hand side and a sensitivity adjustment switch which can scroll through 4 user defined levels. Five buttons (+ scroll wheel) seems to be pretty standard now and I don’t think I’ll notice the absence of that extra thumb scroll too often (although I did map it usefully for a few titles).
Most importantly for a gaming mouse it has three different LED illuminated zones that can be programmed in a staggering number of different ways… not that I’m quite sure what I’m telling it to do. Most of the companion app is easy to use, but the LED page seems to be sparsely labelled and clicking on a particular button never quite seems to give the response I was expecting. I think I’ve managed to get it lodged on a colour setting called stars where the three zones seem to randomly “twinkle” between purple and red… it’s not quite what I wanted, but it’s a relief from the default setting of “WAAAAHHH! I’MA SCROLL THROUGH ALL THE COLOURS AS FAST AS I CAN”.
I guess I should probably say something about how it performs, although now that you know it changes colour there’s really little more to say. The sensor is a healthy 12000DPI maximum with a polling rate of 1000Hz which is great and all… bigger numbers tend to be better in this department, although I’ve struggled to set it up. In the past I’ve read that you should set your mouse to the highest DPI and then adjust the sensitivity down in games, but at 12000 even the slightest touch will send the cursor flying across the screen and to get to a usable point I had ingame sensitivity set down at around 0.4. Even then I hadn’t been happy in my Fortnite games so I’ve resorted to dropping the mouse sensitivity to around 7000DPI which seems to be a workable compromise although I’m now slightly annoyed that I’m not using the full capability of the mouse.
… and that’s kind of it really…
… if I’ve come across as more rambley than usual it’s because I struggle to write hardware reviews. By their nature they’re tricky beasts and the CMMMM530… or whatever… is pretty much what I wanted from a mouse. I’m happy that my pickaxe no longer turns into a shotgun unexpectedly, but can’t say that I’m staggered by it. The idea of programming combos and shortcuts to different profiles just makes me feel tired and long for consoles where there is one controller and it works well because everyone is on the same page about what hardware the players will be using. I’ve always craved a simplicity in my interface devices; my keyboard is a compact model (Roccat ARVO) sitting neatly on my desk and is well worn. It tends to surprise people who know me as a PC gamer and expect me to have extra shortcut keys or a sudden rippling lightshow dance across my desk every few minutes. Likewise, the first gaming mouse I bought was also a compact model from the same company and I miss the neat pair that they made… that particular mooorse is now next to my retired R.A.T. and suffered banishment to the drawer for leaking glue across my hands everytime I touched it.
So what about you? Any particular controllers/mice you recommend? Am I missing a trick in my quest for simplicity over all powerful and full of buttons?
4 thoughts on “Cooler Master MasterMouse MM530… is not a good name for a mouse…”
I’m still using the same Logitech G5 from almost 10 years ago. I barely ever use the 2 extra buttons on the side and can’t imagine why I would want more on there.
Never touch the extra programmable buttons on the Logitech keyboard either. Easier to just use Joy2Key to remap keys or do it in-game.
Got one of those Razer Nostromo gaming keypads years ago too and it’s nice in theory, but having to rebind all the controls every single game and switch it out every time I need to type or need more buttons was just a pain in the ass.
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Tbh the side buttons only really get assigned to push to talk when I’m playing with friends. I went through a while phase of mapping profiles to games, but it is just so much work.
… I’d still have my first gaming mouse if I could!
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Well…I wouldn’t go back that far or I’d be using some crusty old mouse with a ball!
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