HyperX’s Pulsefire Raid is not positioned as a high-end mouse, but for $60 (Windows PCs, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One). The refore, it offers many adaptabilities and several well-considered touches, including a well-functioning braided cable and RGB lighting. However, some quality issues still prevent it from being the best gaming mouse, and the sub software does nothing to improve the mediocre mouse to the category of the supreme. Even with its gold positioning, there are reasons to consider alternatives. This is our HyperX Pulsefire Raid Review.
HyperX Pulsefire Raid Review: Design
The Pulsefire Raid looks precisely like a mouse. It has a matte black plastic housing with a profiled scroll wheel, a textured grip, and the necessary RGB lighting. If these are not enough to give away the intended target, then the buttons on the side should be. There are five on the left.
Everything about HyperX‘s newest mouse (which debuted in January) immediately looks familiar. That’s not a bad thing; the industries settle on specific standards for a reason. However, it also means nothing helps distinguish the Pulsefire Raid from its competition. It could easily be confused for Logitech, Razer, SteelSeries, or Corsair mice if it weren’t for the RGB-backlit HyperX’s logo on the mouse’s palm rest. Both the scroll and HyperX logo feature RGB illumination with support for 16.8 million colors. The scroll wheel’s illumination also projects (presumably accidentally) onto a nearby wall.
The HyperX Pulsefire Raid is 5.03 inches (127.8 mm) long, 2.8-inches (71 mm) wide, and 1.63 inches (41.5 mm) high. Without the non-removable, 1.8 meters (1.8 m) cable, the mouse weighs 3.35 ounces (95 g). I was surprised by the size of the Pulsefire Raid. The mouse is only a bit thinner and shorter – and slightly longer – than the Razer’s DeathAdder V2 (5 x 2.4 x 1.7-inches). However, the Pulsefire Raid felt much smaller and was more comfortable to use for more extended periods than the DeathAdder V2. The smoother texture on the inside probably helps a little with that too. Note that the Razer DeathAdder V2 is lighter than our review unit, weighing 2.89 ounces (without the cable).
Software and Features
Let’s not bury the shit: HyperX Ngenuity feels like beta software. And that’s because it does. HyperX recognizes just as much on its website – where it doesn’t even mention the Pulsefire Raid as a compatible product – and on the app’s Microsoft Store page. If your mouse software needs to be stable, look elsewhere. The first “I” is not the only thing skipped from HyperX Ngenuity.
The app crashed for the first time I launched it. Then it crashed again when I clicked the Pulsefire Raid, which just appears as “Mouse” in the sidebar of the app to update the firmware. Fortunately, it updated the mouse firmware without any problems, but it has since crashed.
Assuming the app feels like it’s working, it looks a lot like any other manufacturer’s custom software. A section provides control over the mouse’s RGB illumination with different effects and 16.8 million color options. Another section can be used to reassign the function of a mouse button. The last section contains the CPI settings, as well as the polling rate and the like.
Oddly enough, opening HyperX Ngenuity occasionally, but not always, switches the Pulsefire Raid to the first CPI setting (my colleague also experienced this with their unit). The only indication that this has happened is a brief change in the RGB illumination of the scroll wheel, but if you don’t look at the mouse at that moment, it can be challenging to figure out why it suddenly feels like the cursor is in molasses.
HyperX Pulsefire Raid Review: Performance
HyperX has equipped the HyperX Pulsefire Raid with a PixArt PMW3389 sensor that allows up to 16,000 CPI. A button under the scroll can switch between five different CPI settings. This can be useful when switching between different game genres – for example, some prefer a lower CPI in first-person shooters (FPS), but a higher CPI in MOBAs. For help in finding the mid-game, it’s a smoother texture than the rest of the mouse, though, your finger will still have to travel a bit.
I didn’t encounter any significant problems with the Pulsefire Raid in the game, but there were times when the CPI setting seemed to change randomly. It is not clear if I accidentally pressed the button in a heated moment or if something else caused the problem. Either way, that’s the last thing you want to happen in an FPS, and I was worried about those changes while playing. That doesn’t give much confidence.
However, the Pulsefire Raid should be the many customizable buttons, and that’s where it gets tricky. Four of those buttons are easily accessible from the inside of the grip. However, I haven’t been able to reach the fifth button while playing a game while using my usual palm grip. I also accidentally pressed two buttons a couple of times because of the relatively thin separation between the rows of buttons on the side.
Moreover, it is not clear how well the side buttons will hold over time. The plastic feels a bit thin and light, and there is a small movement when you try to move them. The fact that HyperX has rated the primary mouse buttons, which use the industry-standard Omron switches, for only 20 million clicks, hasn’t been able to dispel that fear. Many of today’s switches are capable of 50 or 60 million clicks. The fact that the Pulsefire Raid’s primary mouse buttons are expected to last a third longer than some of its rivals is disappointing.
This mouse does not have as many buttons on the side as an MMO mouse. And many games do not benefit much from having more than two buttons on the side. When I played League of Legends with the Pulsefire Raid, it still felt like those three extra side buttons were an excellent idea instead of a must-have. Those who are considering buying this mouse should make sure that they need 11 programmable buttons and no more or fewer inputs.
HyperX Pulsefire Raid Review: Conclusion
The Pulsefire Raid seems to be built to please everyone. It is comfortable to use for hours; it has the shape of a real game mouse and is even adaptable. Unfortunately, the beta software is far from ready to justify the $60 price tag, especially when compared to the competition of the Pulsefire Raid. Think of the SteelSeries Rival 3. Sure, it has fewer buttons and no braided cable. But it has better RGB lighting, feels more durable, and doesn’t rely on beta software for customization. For more options, check our list of Best Gaming Mouse
The HyperX Pulsefire Raid has an abundance of customization options and lightweight construction, but the average durability and sub software are compromises that limit its appeal.
- 11 programmable buttons
- Braided USB cable resists drag and crimping
- Limited durability
- Customizable buttons are not easy to use