SteelSeries Aerox 5 wired gaming mouse: A hard lesson in how


  • Lightweight
  • 9 programmable buttons
  • Comfortable for palm and claw grips
  • Adjustable DPI sensitivity

Don’t Like

  • Thumb button format is irritating
  • Button 9 is NOT a DPI throttle
  • No onboard reminiscence for profiles
  • GG Engine is clunky and complicated

You might have already seen our evaluate for the wi-fi model of the Aerox 5 from SteelSeries, and since there actually aren’t many variations between that and the wired model, I’m simply going to present you a fast run-down on my preliminary impressions of the mouse.

See options to think about as a substitute beneath

First, when you additionally noticed my evaluate on the Pulsefire Haste from HyperX, you recognize that I are inclined to favor light-weight gaming mice for his or her long-term consolation and talent to be tremendous twitchy in first-person shooters. 

The SteelSeries Aerox 5 can also be a really light-weight mouse, coming in at simply 66 grams. The honeycomb physique can also be just like the Pulsefire Haste, permitting the mouse to chop weight with out sacrificing energy. 

SteelSeries Aerox 5 next to Corsair K100 keyboard on an Asus mousepad

Taylor Clemons/ZDNet

But in contrast to the Pulsefire Haste, the Aerox 5 does not have its circuitry encased in protecting packing containers to maintain out dust, crumbs, and pet hair. So ensure you preserve a can of compressed air useful to filter something which may have labored its method contained in the mouse earlier than it may possibly trigger any harm.

A close-up of the Aerox 5 honeycomb body. Orange lighting shows through the mouse

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Button format

There are 9 programmable buttons on this mouse, which is nearly overkill for many video games, nevertheless it’s good to have choices for on-mouse controls for issues like quick-reloading, melee assaults, and crouching/going inclined relatively than having to make use of keyboard inputs. 

The thumb button format isn’t superb, and that is being beneficiant. In all, there are 4 buttons close to your thumb, with three of them being clustered so shut collectively that unintended clicks and presses are going to be your new regular. I misplaced rely of what number of instances I’d transfer my thumb to hit the reload button however unintentionally press crouch first, or leap with out which means to and go flying off of a really tall constructing. 

There can also be a button that you just transfer up and down relatively than press inwards, which is sensible for the format, nevertheless it does take some getting used to. It’s additionally surprisingly tough to press downwards as a result of no matter resistance spring SteelSeries opted for. You will not need to wrestle to make a click on, however you’ll have to press a lot more durable than you usually would, which sort of defeats the aim of an ergonomic mouse physique design.

A close-up of the Aerox 5 thumb button layout

Taylor Clemons/ZDNet

And now we attain my essential grievance with the Aerox 5: the silver aspect button. It seems like a DPI clutch, it appears like a DPI clutch, nevertheless it is not a DRI clutch. At the time of writing, there is no such thing as a solution to program the silver thumb button to be any type of DPI sensitivity toggle if you need extra exact aiming. 

Why SteelSeries selected to design an FPS-centric mouse with out a DPI throttle is a thriller and an enormous disadvantage for my part. Everything from the position to the design alerts that the silver button can carry out particular capabilities, nevertheless it’s actually a glorified macro enter. 

While you do not want a DPI throttle, it is a type of issues that after you have used it, you by no means wish to be with out it once more. And coming scorching off the Corsair M65 RGB Ultra, I used to be mightily dissatisfied that SteelSeries appeared to have dropped the ball on a characteristic that’s turning into increasingly more frequent in shooter-specific (and a few cross-genre) gaming mice.

GG Engine app

Another massive grievance I’ve is that the GG desktop app is a clunky, complicated mess. Other controller apps like iCUE, MSI Center, and even Razer’s Synapse are laid out with an intuitive dashboard and easy-to-navigate menus for programming button format profiles and RGB lighting. The GG app is before everything a retailer web page, dropping you right into a dashboard that peddles SteelSeries peripherals that you just both don’t desire or want in addition to that includes a weblog put up feed about video games you do not have time to play. 

Screenshot of the SteelSeries GG Engine app DPI settings and button programming page

Taylor Clemons/ZDNet

Once you discover the Engine tab, which lets you reprogram buttons and customise your RGB lighting, issues do not get a lot better. You’re met with a top-down view of the Aerox 5 with no clear indication of which button is which or what they do in addition to a DPI adjustment space that you could be want an precise physics diploma to correctly determine. 

Not solely are you able to customise 5 totally different DPI ranges, however you may also mess with polling charge, acceleration and deceleration, and even angle snapping. There are additionally virtually no explanations for what every part controls, making the GG Engine a check of endurance and endurance as you undergo a strategy of elimination or trial-and-error to determine what you simply modified (if something in any respect). 

Compared to Corsair’s iCUE and Razer’s synapse, the GG Engine DPI settings are fully too granular for many PC players. I’d have a lot most popular to have a simplified DPI management panel for customizing totally different sensitivity ranges in addition to the polling charge, and possibly a calibration program for resetting your optical sensor if you get a brand new mouse pad or swap from a pad to a naked desk high. 

Screenshot of Corsair iCUE DPI settings page

Taylor Clemons/ZDNet
Screenshot of Razer Synapse DPI settings screen

Taylor Clemons/ZDNet

Bottom line

As it stands, the SteelSeries Aerox 5 has an extended solution to go earlier than it may be worthy of its $79.99 (£79.99, AU$149, €89.99, CA$99.99) price ticket. I’m hoping that within the close to future, the tech wizards over at SteelSeries can replace the GG Engine to permit the silver thumb button to be programmed as a DPI throttle since that is clearly what they’d in thoughts after they designed the mouse. 

It’s an in any other case strong mouse: light-weight and comfy sufficient for all-day use, tactical ratchet scroll, and dependable gold-plated button switches for higher response instances. But I’d await a management app patch or sale earlier than I spent my cash on the Aerox 5 wired gaming mouse.  

Alternatives to think about 

The Razer Basilisk V3 is $10 cheaper than the Aerox 5 and nonetheless manages to offer a top-tier gaming expertise. The thumb buttons are intuitively positioned, and the thumb paddle is definitely a DPI clutch. This signifies that if you want precision aiming, you may press it to instantly drop your DPI sensitivity for pixel-precise placement of your cursor over opponents and enemy monsters. It additionally has onboard reminiscence for as much as 5 layouts and lighting profiles for simpler switching if you wish to change video games or shift from work to gaming.

The Corsair M65 RGB Ultra is one other, cheaper choice than the SteelSeries Aerox 5 with all of the options you need for first-person shooter video games in addition to just a few you did not know you wanted. Along with a clearly labeled DPI clutch, you may also customise the mouse’s weight to fit your preferences and play model. The physique form is a bit odd, however not uncomfortable, and the iCUE desktop app is way simpler to navigate and use than the GG Engine.

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