Mad Catz R.A.T. 8+ gaming mouse review: Crazy customization that's way overpriced (Update)

Mad Catz is back on the scene, but is the new R.A.T. 8+ Gaming Mouse a good reintroduction?

Mad Catz is a brand with a storied history.

Surviving bankruptcy, the company is now gunning for a return to the gaming accessories space, across both PC and console. Among its most recent products is the R.A.T. 8+ gaming mouse, which is a pricey option for fans of customization. But at $100, is it really worth the price? Let's take a look.

The good stuff about Mad Catz R.A.T. 8+

The Mad Catz R.A.T. 8+ mouse is an interesting product. There is a range of customizable mice on the market, but this is the first I've used that really feels as though it has gone all-out.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ButtonsOMRON switches (50 million clicks)
Inputs11 programmable buttons
PointerPixart PMW 3389 sensor
DPI rangeUp to 16,000
WeightUp to 145g (customizable)
InterfaceUSB 2.0 cable

The R.A.T. 8+ comes with an array of customization options, including palm rests that increase or decrease the incline, as well as the ability to stretch it out further. It includes additional types of grip textures for the sides, and it even allows you to customize the overall weight of the product. Underneath the R.A.T. 8+ are several circular weights that can be removed or added to customize the feel of the cursor motion.

The R.A.T. 8+ also has solid PC software, allowing you to customize the LEDs with RGB options, as well as keybinds and pointer speed, as expected. You can go even deeper, customizing the height at which the laser will continue reporting movement when you lift the mouse off a surface, in addition to macro support, profiles, and fully programmable buttons. It also has onboard memory, ensuring that you can save all of your settings without having the software running (more mice need to do this).

In hand, the R.A.T. 8+ feels nice, as long as you're willing to tailor it to your needs. Out of the box, it feels a little flat and heavy, but removing a couple of the weights and switching up the palm rest made it feel a lot better. Switching the components is simple and easy, without needing extra tools. The R.A.T. 8+ comes with a mini screwdriver baked into the mechanism that houses the weights, making part switching relatively convenient.

The R.A.T. 8+ nails the basics, with solid construction and premium-feeling materials. But I can't help but wonder if all the customization is a little redundant.

The bad stuff about Mad Catz R.A.T. 8+

The R.A.T. 8+ costs more than $100 as of writing, which to me just seems a little silly for a wired mouse. What you're paying for here, essentially, is all of the additional parts and customization mechanisms. However, once you've chosen the parts you want, the extra bits will sit in a drawer gathering dust, making some of the extra costs ultimately pointless.

It doesn't feel like a mouse designed by people who actually use mice.

Design criticisms are always subjective, but despite the fact the R.A.T. 8+ uses premium materials, they still used a tacky-looking "gamer" style that makes it look like a crushed toy. I'm personally not a fan, but if that's your fancy, you might enjoy it. The grooves and parts and other seams make it maddeningly hard to clean, though, and the glossy finish attracts dust with reckless abandon. It doesn't feel like a mouse designed by people who actually use mice, in that sense.

Finally, the distribution isn't that great, with availability on Amazon via only on a couple of storefronts. In the U.S., you'd have to pick it up from MicroCenter or Newegg or have it shipped from the UK.

Should you buy the R.A.T. 8+?

There are more attractive and cheaper mice out there that do most of the same things as the R.A.T. 8+ with similar specs, such as the Razer Naga Trinity, making the R.A.T. 8+ hard to recommend. The customizability is nice, but once you've chosen your preferred weight and elevation, those extra parts will just become a nuisance. The $110 price point is a true headscratcher, and I'm really not sure what you're getting versus more affordable competing product from trusted brands.

That said, it's not a bad mouse. It does exactly the job it says it's going to do, providing quality PC gaming, with high-customizability and premium materials. If you can stomach the way it looks (or maybe even like it), it probably won't disappoint. There are simply more streamlined, cheaper options out there.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!