A sort of “greatest hits” of gaming mice.
Cloud II Gaming Headset, Alloy FPS Mechanical Keyboard, and Fury Series mousepads. Today the company is expanding its lineup a bit by entering the competitive FPS mouse market with its first offering, the $50 HyperX Pulsefire (See it on Amazon). It was designed with input from professional gamers and features a claw-or-palm grip design, light weight, and is designed to go head-to-head with the most popular FPS mice available.
Design and Features
The Pulsefire’s design is rather standard, maybe even “safe” or “classic” if you’re charitable, so if you’re looking for sharp angles that seem inspired by alien technology or crazy lighting, look elsewhere. This is a mouse that your anyone will recognize as a mouse, and you can plug into your work PC without someone from HR suspecting you’re the leader of an international hacking syndicate (yes, I’m looking at YOU, MadCatz and Thermaltake.) To my mind it sort of looks like a blend of the Razer DeathAdder and the Steel Series Rival 300.
This isn’t to say that the Pulsefire is boring or ugly, it’s just traditionally designed and seems to borrow some design cues from the current top mice, which isn’t a bad thing. It features six buttons along with a high arch that allows for comfortable claw-gripping, but not so high than you can’t just rest your hand on it too if you prefer to use your palm for control. Both sides of the mouse feature a textured finish to improve traction without sacrificing comfort.
Red LEDs illuminate the mouse wheel and the HyperX logo on the rear, and the DPI selection button behind the mouse wheel is color-coded, so it glows white at 400 dpi, red at 800 dpi, blue at 1600 dpi, or yellow at 3200 dpi. Besides the DPI selection indicator, the LED colors are not changeable via software. In fact, The Pulsefire is completely plug-and-play, and has no included drivers or software to install. On the one hand this is awesome as it makes using it quite simple, but on the other hand it would also be helpful to be able to customize the lighting a bit. This also means you can’t reprogram any of the buttons, which is a bummer.
The Pulsefire weighs in at 95 grams (3.35 ounces,) which is even lighter than the feathery Corsair M65 Pro. While it’s certainly light, it doesn’t feel cheap or poorly made in the slightest, and I think the biggest contributor to its quality feel is the textured side grips, which are similar to those on the Steel Series Rival 300. Both sides are draped in patterned rubber that feels soft and luxurious, with more than enough room for my fingers so they never dangled off the edge or felt uncomfortable. It really helped improve my grip and control during long sessions. Under the mouse, two fairly large skates help the mouse glide effortlessly, but stop quickly when released.
Like the Zowie FK2 and older Corsair Raptor M45, the pulsefire uses Pixart’s 3310 sensor. This is a popular and well-known sensor, and it allows for up to 3,200 DPI as well as precise control and quick response. The Pulsefire also uses Omron switches which click satisfyingly, and have been respected for some time for their effectiveness in gaming mice. They are good for up to 20 million clicks, which should be more than enough.
The braided black and red cord is almost 6 feet long, so I had no trouble snaking it to the back of my PC, which is on the opposite side of my desk as the mouse. It does feel as if it might fray easily though, which is typical of braided cords, but I didn’t experience any tangling issues in my short time with it. It looks slick though since its red/black motif matches the Pulsefire’s.
Finally, this is a mouse designed for right-handed gamers only, and it features a two-year warranty.
I’m generally a wrist aimer, so I use a fairly high DPI setting, and lower sensitivity, so I attempted overwatch and BF1 on all settings, and after some experimentation settled on 1600 dpi on each game, with 1 sensitivity for CS:GO, 2.5 sensitivity for Overwatch, and 20% sensitivity on BF1.
The Pulsefire’s buttons felt crisp and responsive, so I suffered no missed clicks, and each click was satisfying. While I was still fairly terrible at CS:GO and BF1, I did notice a slight improvement in my game, with fewer missed shots, and I was able to turn and run away from my more skilled peers fairly quickly.
While far from a pro, I consider myself much better at Overwatch than the other games, and so I played Overwatch with the Pulsefire for many hours. I tried the Pulsefire with every hero (except Hanzo and Genji,) and I feel like I did much better than I typically do with my ancient Logitech MX518 (or my cheap-o Redragon M601,) particularly with respect to tracking and precision. I also noticed that the mouse was not nearly as sweaty feeling as usual, almost as if the Pulsefire somehow absorbed moisture. Overall it felt very precise and comfortable.
As far as complaints go I don’t have any major ones, though I did feel like the thumb buttons could have been placed slightly farther back on the mouse, as it was a bit of a stretch to click the forward-most button, but this “issue” depends on the size of your hands and mine are a bit on the larger end of the spectrum. Easily the biggest drawback is that you can’t customize the function of any of its buttons due to the lack of software, but at least you don’t have to deal with any confusing software.
The Kingston HyperX Pulsefire has an MSRP of $49.99, and since it’s brand new that’s the price it’s going for on Amazon:
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