You can never have too many buttons, apparently
When I made my first awkward steps into the world of MMOs, my mouse had a ball in it. Every now and then, I'd need to twist the bottom a little bit, take out the ball, and clean out all the grime and dust that had somehow been picked up. It had two buttons and a scroll wheel which constantly got stuck. It was an awful peripheral.
Now I find myself with a 20-button, multiple gaming profile-holding, precise-as-hell mouse specifically built for MMO players. The G600 is one of several MMO mice on the market, but it manages to stand out thanks to its logical button layout, excellent customization options, and an understated but aesthetically pleasing design.
Product: Logitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse
Upon unboxing the G600, I was pleasantly surprised to find it lacking the gaudiness or design quirks one often sees in its contemporariness. Its curves mimicked indentations made by palm and fingers, and it is rather wide to accommodate the ring finger, which rests on the third button, but otherwise it looked rather conservative, though sleek.
While it's a wired mouse, the cord is braided and thus far has not become tangled on my desk, despite the massive clutter. The cord is flexible, yet stays in place, and I find it to be a much better alternative to the rubber cord. It's far from light, and the surface is plastic, not rubber, so those who intend to play the MMO of their choice for an extended period and suffer the terrible affliction known as sweaty palms may find that the grip could be better. It never once got away from me, but it's something to consider.
Twenty buttons might seem like a lot for a mouse, but managing spells, attacks, potions and items can require a hell of a lot more. It's rather handy, then, that the G600's "G-Shift" button -- the one on the far right -- doubles the number of commands of the 12 thumb buttons, once pressed. That's 24 commands under your thumb.
The thumb buttons themselves may be squashed into a small space, but it didn't take long for me to get used to them. They are split into two sets of six, with each row of three feeling distinct from the row next to it. The shape of the buttons means that unless you have the thick, calloused hands of rope maker, it's not difficult to tell what button you are attempting to press. The buttons are also quite resistant, so firing off a spell by mistake shouldn't be a concern.
Under the rubber tilt scroll wheel, itself of competent design, are the final two buttons; G7 and G8. Like all of the buttons, these can be customized, but the latter switches the mouse mode by default. This allows users to change the profile -- which can be saved on the mouse's onboard memory -- they are currently using. Profiles can be edited and saved using Logitech Gaming Software that can be downloaded from their site.
Using the software, commands can be reassigned to any button, the lights on the thumb buttons can be customized, even to denote what profile you are using, and DPI sensitivity can be tweaked. As this can all be saved on the mouse, one doesn't have to worry about faffing around fixing profiles should they use the mouse with another PC.
While the DPI can be fiddled around with, the G600 lacks a dedicated DPI adjusting button -- altering it requires interacting with the downloadable software. In MMOs, this isn't a great concern, but if you plan on using this mouse in an FPS, it might become a mild annoyance. However, the DPI does range from 200 to 8,600, allowing for great control over pointer sensitivity.
Using the G600 in an MMO is a delight, though one that took me a couple of hours to get used to. The back row of thumb buttons can be a bit tricky to reach, requiring one to move their thumb down slightly, which is a tad awkward, but I barely notice it now. In games like Guild Wars 2, Champions Online, or The Secret World it really proves its worth, freeing the left hand up to focus entirely on movement. With kinetic or more action-based MMOs, this was a massive boon.
$79.99 for a mouse you just use for MMOs is pretty steep, though, so it is fortunate that it can be employed more generally. The considerable customization lends itself well to other games, if not quite as well as it does to MMOs, and I found it perfectly serviceable when playing RTS titles, shooters, and even using programs or just browsing online. The device's weight hampers it somewhat, but unless you're lifting it off the mat frequently, you'll find it hard to notice, thanks to the anti-friction pads that assist it in sliding across mouse mats in satisfyingly smooth fashion.
As an all-purpose mouse it's good, if not quite great, though when compared to other dedicated, programmable gaming mice, it's a bit on the expensive side, heavy, and somewhat specialized. The Logitech G9X, for instance, has changeable grips, customizable weight, and more profiles; though it lacks the vast array of programmable buttons of the G600. For MMOs, however, few mice compare. It features more buttons, better software, and, at least for my hand, a far more comfortable layout than the popular Razer Naga MMO mouse, while costing the same.
So, if you're willing to drop a not insignificant amount of cash for the sake of taking the strain off your dainty little left hand, the G600 is more than worthy of your attention.
reviewed by Fraser Brown