|Mad Catz Cyborg RAT 9 Wireless Gaming Mouse|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 22 November 2010|
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Cyborg Profile Editor Software
The included Profile Editor software is where you'll define how the mouse operates. The version I tested was 184.108.40.206 with mouse driver version 220.127.116.11. Once the software is installed, you invoke it from your system tray.
The Profile Editor has two functional parts: in the first part, under "Settings", you can define four different mouse resolutions, easily selectable at any time with the rocker switch just under the scroll wheel. You can even set different resolutions for the X and Y axes! Four LEDs on the left of the mouse (as shown below) illuminate in sequence to show which resolution setting you've selected. One real innovation here that any FPS fan will appreciate is the red "sniper mode" button on the thumb grip: as long as this is held down, resolution will be what's set in the "Precision Mode" slider at the bottom of the Settings window. This allows you to set a high resolution for quick action, and instantly drop it when precise motion (such as, say, sighting through a rifle scope at a distant target) is desired. The top of the Profile Editor also has a battery gauge; unfortunately, invoking the Profile Editor is the only way to check the state of your battery.
The second part is the Programming window, which is where the real work takes place. You can program the main and thumb scroll wheels as well as the forward and back thumb buttons (the main left and right buttons and the Precision Aim button cannot be redefined) to emit anything from simple clicks to character strings to advanced macros that combine both. A collection of these settings is called a "Mode", and each profile can have three of them. For example, in a Crysis Warhead profile, you could have a mode for on-foot action and a separate mode for in-vehicle play, with different button definitions for each. Although you can define actions for the thumb scroller, oddly enough "scroll horizontally" isn't one of them. Granted, this is a gaming mouse, but it still would have been nice to have this function.
Although you can set any profile as the "Startup profile" that will load automatically at boot time, other profiles must be selected manually by clicking on the mouse icon in the system tray and selecting a profile from the list that appears. Some competitive mice will automatically load the appropriate button definitions when a given application is opened, and I was surprised to see this feature missing in the R.A.T. driver.
As with the resolution setting, the mode you're using is indicated by an external LED on the mouse, just to the left of the left mouse button. Mode 1 is indicated by red, mode 2 by blue, and mode 3 by purple. Mad Catz allegedly has a collection of sample game profiles, which you can download by clicking the "Support" link at the top of the Profile Editor, then clicking the "Download Game Profiles" button. However, during the duration of this review, this led only to a screen informing me that game profiles were being updated. The Support link also has a button that will display a programming manual for the Profile Editor. It's brief but adequate, especially since no documentation on this utility is included with the mouse, either printed or on the driver CD.
Although the resolution settings are stored in the mouse (they'll stick around if you use the mouse on a Mac or Linux system), the settings you make in the Programming section of the Profile Editor are kept in the driver, so they only apply to the computer you defined them on.