The R.A.T. 8+ Adv is a brilliant mouse, rammed full of customisable features.
- Manufacturer: Mad Catz
- Model: R.A.T. 8+ Adv
- Type: Wired modular gaming mouse
- Price when reviewed: $109.99 (£TBD)
- Supported platforms: Windows 7/8/10
- Supplied by: Mad Catz
Mad Catz R.A.T. 8+ Adv
I used loads of Mad Catz peripherals when I was younger. They were cheap, cheerful and pretty robust, but never particularly special. That all changed in January 2018, when Mad Catz became Mad Catz Global Limited, with new owners and headquarters based in Hong Kong. Moving their focus from budget accessories to high-end PC peripherals, the new and improved Mad Catz has already impressed us with the R.A.T. 4+.
One of the newest mice in the updated Mad Catz range is the R.A.T. 8+ Adv, which we have been fortunate to receive for testing. Without wanting to spoil the rest of the review, I’m going to say right now, this is easily one of my favourite devices from the past few years.
Unboxing and accessories
When almost every manufacturer is hiding their mice away inside cardboard boxes, Mad Catz has shipped the R.A.T. 8+ Adv inside an angular plastic case, giving you a clear look at the boldly styled mouse.
Pop open the case and underneath the divider that holds the mouse in place is a recess where the cable tucks in, and a sculpted foam insert that contains all of the interchangeable attachments. That’s right, the R.A.T. 8+ Adv is a modular design mouse, and it comes with (including the ones that ship already attached), three palm rests and three pinkie rests.
Two of the palm rests are glossy red, with just a slightly different styling, while the third has a rubberised coating.
The pinkie rests include the pre-fitted rest, which is gloss red with black accents, another with a rubberised coating, and an audacious pinkie rest that extends out to the side, mirroring the one found on the thumb rest.
Design and build
Mad Catz isn’t afraid to show a bit of flair with its devices, and the R.A.T. 8+ Adv is no exception. Finished in a beautiful glossy red, the R.A.T. 8+ Adv’s bold colourway stands out amongst a sea of generic black mice. Sharp angles, elaborate cutaways, numerous protrusions and crisp LED lighting adorn every surface.
Where other manufacturers go to great lengths to hide things like additional weights inside the body of their mice, Mad Catz proudly display all the screws, springs and retaining bolts that give access to the removable panels, and I absolutely love it.
It’s quite a heavy mouse, weighing in at 157 grams with the additional weights, but it’s very well balanced. Access to the removable weights is made by unscrewing a bolt under the palm rest. This bolt has an integrated allen driver, which can then be used to unscrew the removable pinkie rest or thumb rest. It’s such a clever piece of engineering, and it gives the mouse a future-industrial vibe.
The palm rest is adjusted with a spring-loaded push-button on the side of it and can be moved back in four increments. This allows you to adjust the length of the mouse based on how you prefer to hold it and the type of grip you prefer. Slide it back further again, and it slips off cleanly, allowing you to quickly switch between any of the three included rests.
The thumb rest itself, while not having changeable parts, can be customised too. You can adjust the positioning across two axes, sliding it towards the front or rear so you can reach the precision aim button easier. It also hinges outwards, with the front angling away from the chassis, giving you total freedom to customise the grip how you like it.
An unusual feature of the R.A.T. 8+ Adv is the thumb scroll wheel, which replaces the left/right scroll wheel buttons. I have been using it for leaning in FPS games, but it’s taking a while to get accustomed to. It is assignable, so I’m sure it could be used for weapon or ability select in some games. Drop a comment below if you have a unique use for the thumb scroll!
There are a load of LEDs adorning the R.A.T. 8+ Adv, and they are all customisable with the Chameleon RGB settings. The R.A.T. 8+ Adv logo, spiral effect LED inside the cutaway beneath the thumb scroll wheel, and the DPI switch light and settings indicator can all be controlled individually or in tandem, with a range of over 16 million colours.
The R.A.T. 8+ Adv build quality is superb. All of the panels fit tightly together, and it has a very robust and durable feel. The high-gloss finish is pristine, and the interchangeable panels not only fit well but have a high-quality finish, too.
Aside from the physical customisation, within the R.A.T. 8+ Adv settings, you can perform deep customisation of the mouse’s functionality. There are four individually customisable profiles, selected with a switch that protrudes out from beside the left mouse button. Each of these profiles is represented by a different colour, for easy identification.
Within these profiles, there are loads of options for customisation:
You can adjust the four-step DPI settings, all the way up to a ridiculously fast 20,000 DPI. I use a much more modest range, with steps set to 1500, 2500, 3200 and 4000 DPI. This gives me quick control over my DPI depending on the in-game situation I find myself in. Moving into a tight, built-up area I can knock it up to 4000 and have a faster response if I need to snap to a target quickly. If it’s a ranged encounter, I can knock it down and have more finite control of my aim.
The precision aim button, located by the tip of your thumb, can be set from 50 to 20,000 DPI. Commonly referred to as a sniper button, it’s a very handy button if your fine-aim control is a little lacking, but it is also useful for applications outside of gaming, providing minute control if you are editing or making minor adjustments to performance sliders, for example.
All of the buttons are assignable, too, so if you want to swap precision aim to the forwards or scroll wheel button, you can. Depending on your preferences, you can assign each button to activate a custom macro, replicate a keypress or even launch an application. It goes without saying this is useful for gaming, but it’s also hugely helpful for productivity.
With four profiles to customise, it’s a cinch to set one up for FPS games, one with macros for any MOBAs you play, and another with productivity shortcuts. In my case, when I’m reviewing games it’s a pain having to try to sprout extra arms to allow me to keep playing and capture a meaningful screenshot. Using the “Win 10 Screenshot” shortcut assigned to the precision aim button allows me to effortlessly capture dynamic scenes. I’ve also set one of the profiles as a media controller, swapping some of the buttons for volume control, playing/pausing videos or music and switching to the next track in a playlist.
Additional customisation options include lift-off height calibration (I found the 2mm default perfect), and Rotax adjustment. This was a new one on me, but Rotax is an adjustment that compensates for the angle you hold your mouse at. If you ever notice when using your mouse that what you perceive as a level horizontal movement introduces vertical movement as well, this can offset it.
If you love to tinker with settings, you’re going to love the R.A.T. 8+ Adv.
A mouse can have all the customisation in the world, but it means nothing if the performance isn’t up to snuff. Thankfully, the R.A.T. 8+ Adv is at the top of its game.
A polling rate of 2000Hz (0.5ms) gives the mouse fantastic responsiveness. Paired with the phenomenal PixArt PWM3389 optical sensor, it makes for a superb feeling mouse. Super smooth, jitter-free slow speed movement works in tandem with a 400 inch-per-second movement tolerance and an acceleration rating of 50G. Sure, it sounds like jargon, but in layman’s terms, this mouse responds accurately to everything from the tiniest correction to the fastest sweeping movement. It’s totally flawless.
The Mad Catz R.A.T. 8+ Adv is fitted with Zippy switches, rated for 60 million presses. I haven’t come across these before, but I’ve been very impressed with their balance of resistance and responsiveness. Every button on the mouse provides a satisfying click, and the smart positioning and well-measured activation pressure meant I very rarely had a misclick.
I would have preferred a slightly more tactile feel to the notching on the scroll wheel but that’s a very minor complaint. The thumb scroll wheel has a much more satisfying notch feel, though, and despite any misgivings about the feel, they both work perfectly anyway.
The Mad Catz R.A.T. 8+ Adv is a wired mouse, and it comes with a high-quality 1.8m braided USB cable. It’s a simple Plug’n’Play connection to get up and running on Windows PCs, however, to customise the lighting and myriad other options, you’ll need to download the software from the website.
The R.A.T. 8+ Adv hasn’t hit the shelves in the UK yet, so the price hasn’t been announced. We do know the US has an MSRP of $109.99, so it seems likely that the UK price will be around £99.99, which puts it on par with the existing R.A.T. 8+. At that price, this is an extremely appealing mouse. It’s priced on the premium end of the scale, but this is a premium mouse.
The Mad Catz R.A.T. 8+ Adv is perfect if you love tinkering with and customising your tech. Almost every facet of the mouse can be adjusted or refined until it perfectly suits your playstyle. Sturdy construction and class-leading performance are combined with true innovation and beautifully engineered design.
Suited for any type of grip, with a massive DPi range, the adaptability makes the R.A.T. 8+ Adv just as good for fast-paced, twitchy FPS games as it is for RTS or MOBAs. This is easily one of the best gaming mice on the market today.
Check out the official Mad Catz R.A.T. 8+ Page