A lot of gamers used to stay clear of wireless gaming mouse. With good reason, wireless gaming mice tend to have lag issues and even worse, some have connection issues that will suddenly make you lose connection.
I, myself also disliked using wireless mice. Even if they look aesthetically appealing and has seemingly good features, I still tend to go for the wired mice. I never really trusted wireless mice to have no issues and perform as well as their wired counterparts.
The Roccat Leadr, on paper, has a lot of really good features and the tremendous amount of buttons looks especially enticing. Even the dock itself is eye candy. It is an admirable product but looks and added features are not entirely what define a good gaming peripheral. It’s the ability to deliver the peripheral’s core basic uses is what’s truly important, especially to competitive gamers who wants to climb up the ladders.
Will Roccat Leadr be able to convert me to the new movement of wireless gaming mice?
Roccat Leadr Review – Whats in the Box?
The Roccat Leadr comes in a large black packaging and at the front of the packaging we have the image of the Rocct Leadr itself and some of its features. At the side we have the brand’s logo slightly embedded giving it a nice touch.
When you open the box and take out the contents, we see the Roccat Leadr resting underneath a clear plastic cover that protects it from dust and prevents it from moving. Underneath it we have a quick installation guide, some stickers and an information booklet. We also have accessories to go along with the Roccat Leadr. We have the black charging dock stand which we’ll talk about later and a 1.8m braided micro-USB cable. The charging dock doesn’t just charge the mouse; it also doubles as a wireless receiver.
Roccat Leadr Review – A Bold Product That Makes a Statement and Truly Kicks Ass.
When you look at the Roccat Leadr at first glance, it looks like the Roccat Tyon since it has the same body shape and has identical features. The Roccat Leadr has a neat rubberized finish providing good grip and improved durability.
At the front, you’ll see a small opening for the provided USB cable if you ever want to use it for a wired connection. At the back you’ll see the illuminated company logo on a smooth surface.
Most gaming mice usually has about 2-4 added buttons but the Roccat Leadr has a whopping 14 fully programmable buttons thus making the Roccat Leadr really living up to its name. It’s quite amazing on how Roccat was able to perfectly fit all 14 buttons in this mouse in a way that doesn’t feel awkward. Games that have a lot quick action slots or require a lot of macro keys are perfect for the Roccat Leadr because let’s face it, when your hand is small, it feels awkward and bothersome having to reach those other keys on your keyboard. I remember my MMORPG days, having to experiment with my quick slots on my keyboard was time consuming and a nuisance. Having an extra 14 keys at your disposal literally at the palm of your hand gives you an extensive competitive advantage against the competition.
The Roccat Leadr has an ergonomic, right handed design and with the size of the mouse of 5.1 x 3.2 x 1.8 inches, it is able to fit the all the buttons. Palm grip users will especially love the design of the Roccat leader and the claw grip users will still be able to appreciate the ergonomic design with its well-placed buttons.
An Astounding Array of Buttons
The 14 buttons of the Roccat Leadr is astounding. We’ll go through them all one by one. We have the standard left and right click buttons at the top. The 2D Titan scroll wheel which, like most mice is also clickable. Now that we’ve went through the basic buttons, lets head onto the extra buttons.
Perhaps the most unique button placement on a mouse are the buttons at the top that are on the side of the main left and right buttons. The two buttons on the left adjusts your dpi and the two buttons on the right allows you to change profiles. This is quite useful if you’ve gotten used to the buttons and memorized your profiles. Being able to change profiles on the fly gives the player a lot more actions and versatility when playing the game. This is also convenient when changing characters or classes on games like MMORPGs since you won’t have to keep changing your keys or going to the settings to load up your profiles.
Now when we look at the top of the mouse, there’s a paddle that you can move from left to right just below the scroll wheel which Roccat calls the dorsal fin-switch and when we look towards the left side, there’s another paddle that you can move up and down just above where you rest your thumb which is called the X-Celerator. Below that, we have two more buttons on the side which are the forward and backward buttons.
Lastly below the thumb groove, we have the Easy-Shift[+] button which is perfectly placed at the bottom. The Easy-Shift[+] button is Roccat’s own solution to doubling the amount of buttons their peripherals have. Holding the Easy-Shift[+] button allows the user to have a whole set of new keys and commands as long as the button is pressed thus essentially giving you 28 buttons at your arsenal. MMORPG players will especially benefit this feature tremendously having quick access to their hot bars and not having to overpopulate their keyboard with their other skills.
I’ve never seen a mouse charging dock like this. It’s definitely one of the first of its kind. Most mouse docks are usually just as small as its mouse but Roccat builds the Leadr its own throne, a whole pad complete with LED illumination to make it really stand out on your desk. It is easily an eye-catcher.
The dock itself is pretty large for the mouse but I’m not complaining. It has a good aesthetic to it but it does consume more space than your average dock so for people whose desk is cluttered, time to make room for this baby. You can also just place the dock elsewhere since the dock also doubles as a wireless receiver for the Roccat Leadr and has more than 10 feet of range. There’s also no lag and latency from our tests and if there is, you can barely even feel it.
The charging dock has a LED battery indicator at the bottom and small indention to hold the mouse and stop it from falling.
There’s a port for the micro-USB cable that connects to the PC. You can also use this cable to directly connect to the Roccat Leadr to make it a wired connection. Beside the port is a pairing button. It has three rubberized grips at the bottom of the stand to stop it from moving.
The LED battery indicator will immediately light up and display a charging animation once you attach the mouse to the dock. If you want to start using the mouse again, just lightly lift it up from the dock and it will detach itself.
Once the battery is full, all four LED bars will light up on the dock. If you still want to use the mouse even when the battery is depleted, you can take the wire from the back of the charging dock and connect it directly to the Roccat Leadr. This will both charge the mouse and also keep it operational for continuous use.
Sensor: 3361 Optical
Buttons: 14 Omron Switches
Connectivity: wired, wireless
Interface: 2.4 GHz, USB
Movement Resolution: 12000dpi
Polling Rate: 1000Hz
Cable Length: 6ft
Accessories: charging dock
Battery Capacity: 1000mAh
Battery life: approx. 20hrs
Supported OS: Windows 7/8/10
Roccat Owl-Eye Optical Sensor
Equipped with the Roccat Owl-Eye optical sensor, the Roccat Leadr doesn’t compromise despite it being a wireless mouse. This specific sensor has been optimized specifically for the most common DPI range of 400 to 3000 DPI. Most wireless mouse focus on power saving. Not the Roccat Leadr. Its sensor uses full power thus giving the user the feeling that it’s a wired mouse.
You can adjust the mouse to lose contact with the surface with its lift-off sensor. Being able to move your mouse swiftly without disrupting your gameplay has its advantages. A lot of people might not appreciate this but a competitive FPS player will especially benefit from this feature.
Wireless yet lag-free
And perhaps the most important feature and one of the main reasons why most gamers, myself included, opt to use a wired mouse is the lag caused by a wireless connection.
Not the Roccat Leadr. Roccat claims to have zero lag and it delivers. I didn’t feel any lag or at least lag that will disrupt my gameplay during my hours of use.
Using the Product
Before you start gaming, you should first attach everything. Everything is easy to set up and won’t take longer than five minutes. Attach the cable to your PC and attach its other end at the back of the charging dock. Make sure the charging dock is paired up with the mouse. If not, press the button behind the charging dock to pair it. Once it’s paired you can start using the mouse wirelessly. If you want a wired connection, just unplug the cable from the dock and connect it directly to your mouse at its front towards its underside.
To further customize the Roccat Leadr, install the Roccat Swarm software. The software has greatly improved over the years and allows the user to customize all their Roccat peripherals on this software and keep them updated. To further customize the mouse, check the software features where we discussed all its settings.
The Roccat Leadr is accompanied by its amazing and highly customizable software. Like many high end peripheral software, the Roccat Swarm Gaming software is able to manage all of your Roccat gaming peripherals.
The software has a nice black and blue user interface with a ton of customization options. In the first tab which is the settings tab, you are able to create, edit and delete user profiles. It allows you to have up to five separate profiles which store lighting effects, key assignments and many more. You can also adjust the vertical and horizontal scroll speed, the windows pointer speed and the double-click speed of the mouse. This is also where you can set your DPI settings. You can have up to five DPI levels unique with their own settings. The max DPI is 12000 and the lowest is 100. You can adjust the DPI in steps of 100.
Button Assignment Tab
The button assignment tab allows you to assign various functions to each button of the mouse. The functions are macro commands, internet, media, Roccat’s own Easy-Shift[+] and many more. The Easy-Shift[+] allows you to set 28 key functions on each of the mouse’s buttons which greatly adds to the number of keys you can use.
The advanced settings tab allows the user to customize the polling rate, lift-off distance and allows the user to reset everything to default. The Roccat Swarm software also gives the user sound feedback when the user switches DPI, profiles or adjusts the volume. This is a neat addition to have because I frequently find myself testing my other mice to see if I did change the DPI or profile settings. Of course this is not much of an issue most of the time but if you’re in-game, testing your settings if it indeed changed can cost you the game. Having the sound feedback lets you know you did change settings so you can confidently wreck your opponents. I really like this feature, more companies should implement this feature into their products. Lastly, there are five lighting effects on the illumination settings.
The macro manager allows the user to record and edit macros to be assigned onto different buttons.
The Roccat Leadr performed well with fast flicks and was able to deliver a polling rate of 1000Hz on both a wired and wireless connection so if you think that plugging the Roccat Leadr will perform well. Think again. It’s absolutely the same so it’s best to use it as a wireless mouse for the nonintrusive wire.
I don’t really know anyone using dpi settings at 12000dpi and like many gaming mice, this is just a marketing strategy. Roccat recommends using dpi settings within the range of 400 – 3000 although some will probably prefer a bit lower or higher than these but 400 – 3000 is the average and is most likely what you’re used to.
The battery lasts about 20 hours give or take but if you’re using it casually, the mouse will last most likely longer than that.
The Roccat Leadr is an excellent addition to your gaming weaponry. Most gamers prefer a wired mouse because of the lag but the Roccat Leadr has no lag or latency issues from our tests and if there is, you can barely feel it. It has great battery life of about 20 hours and if it does run out, you can always switch to a wired connection and continue your gaming session. The mouse has about 10 feet maximum distance which is a great plus.
The button placement, even though it looks odd it feels incredibly comfortable. I was able to click all of the 14 buttons with ease. The buttons felt responsive and the sound feedback is very much welcome as well. The amount of buttons added with its useful features plus the excellent design of its accessory makes the Roccat Leadr a must have for any MMORPG and FPS gamer.
The charging dock also deserves its own praise. It has excellent aesthetic design but does not compromise on its functions.
Roccat demonstrates its wireless mice technology is not only a viable option for gamers but that it keeps pace and even outperforms some of the top wired mice out there. The Roccat Leadr is an example of what all wireless mice should be.