There is no complex installation procedure to follow, and the manual – which contains information specifically for the gamer – devotes an entire page on how to insert a USB device, complete with full sized image. Seems a like patronising but did give me a smile.
Once the mouse is plugged in, the installation is complete. The ‘driver’ CD is not a required install, in fact on the whole it’s pretty pointless. All it does is put a pretty front-end on the functionality that the mouse offers without them installed – you’ll see what I mean later. Once installed, you can adjust what each of the buttons do which includes all of them bar the CPI toggle button. For each you can assign a macro, or just a single keypress which includes multiple button chains like Alt+F4 etc. These are saved directly to the mouse itself, meaning that you can take the current profile with you. Strangely though, the FreeMove settings don’t move with it. Only the active profile is saved onto the mouse, which will allow you to setup a couple of macros. You can save additional profiles straight to your harddisc, but only one onto the mouse itself.
It would have been nice to be able to store additional profiles onto the mouse, and have a profile switching button on the bottom, much like Razer mice. However, I personally have never seen the need to flick through several profiles, and I normally leave my mouse at default settings.
Speaking of FreeMove, this is a function that you can adjust depending on your preference. According to SteelSeries, many mice manufacturers include a function that adjusts your movements to allow for straight lines to be drawn. This basically smoothes out your movements to get a straight line drawn, but it can’t differentiate between intentional jumpy movements and the need to draw straight. As most gamers are rarely going to be drawing lines while slaying the opposition, this feature will most likely be turned off. This will then allow for exact replication of on-screen actions rather than your computer guessing at what you are trying to do.
The final screen allows you to adjust the two sensitivity options. There is no faffing around with scroll bars etc. just two text boxes where you input your chosen CPI for the high and low profiles on the mouse itself.
You may be wondering why I call this program pointless… well unless you are setting up macros and button layouts on a daily basis, you’ll find little use for it. The ‘driver’ does not run in the background, does not shrink to the tray and does not use up your RAM and CPU cycles; it’s simply used to set the mouse up, then it’s closed. The mouse can change the CPI for both settings on its own without this profile. This is done using the bottom CPI screen, you have to hold down the CPI toggle button, and wait until the screen shows either high or low. The profile it selects depends on what the mouse is currently set to be using, so if you have it on ‘low’ holding the CPI button brings up the low option and vice versa for ‘high’. Once you’ve done the holding, you then use the scroll wheel to finely adjust what you want the mouse to operate at, and its not just a simple scroll down in 1 CPI steps, but will accelerate if you keep scrolling (i.e. it starts out in 1 CPI steps then increases to 10 etc.) allowing you to choose a CPI quickly. Once your chosen CPI is on the screen, you press the CPI toggle button again, and it’s saved.
The CPI screen shows the current profile name, which is simply the last profile that you used when connected to a computer and ran the ‘driver’ program. As a result, you can make it say anything you like… It works with most standard characters put you can easily confuse it if you try.