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Is The HyperX Pulsefire Raid Any Good?

Is the HyperX Pulsefire Raid the right gaming weapon for you? Let‘s go in-depth and find out. Released in 2019, the Pulsefire Raid remains a compelling option for gamers, especially those who enjoy MMOs and MOBAs. But with so many quality gaming mice on the market, it can be tricky to figure out which one deserves your hard-earned cash.

As a passionate gamer and computer expert myself, I decided to put the Pulsefire Raid through its paces to see how it really performs. I spent many hours gaming with it in different genres, customizing the buttons and lighting, and evaluating the overall design, features, and value. My hands-on testing, combined with deep research into the specs and extensive comparisons with rival mice, allowed me to form a comprehensive picture of the Pulsefire Raid‘s strengths and weaknesses.

So is it worth buying in 2023? The short answer is…it depends on your specific needs and preferences as a gamer. But I‘m here to arm you with all the facts and insights you need to make an informed decision. I‘ll break down exactly what the Pulsefire Raid offers, how it performs in the real world, and how it stacks up to the competition at this price point.

By the end of this in-depth review, you‘ll know definitively whether the Pulsefire Raid is the ultimate gaming upgrade for you, or if your money is better spent elsewhere. So strap in and let‘s find out if this mouse has the specs and performance chops to earn a prized spot on your desk.

Key Features & Specs:

The highlight feature of the Pulsefire Raid is undoubtedly the 11 fully programmable buttons. This is a huge selling point for MMO and MOBA players who need a slew of hotkeys right at their fingertips to unleash their full arsenal of abilities. The 5 side buttons are positioned for quick access with your thumb, while the main Left and Right click buttons are independent to ensure equal responsiveness no matter where you press them.

In terms of specs, the Pulsefire Raid comes well equipped:

  • PixArt PMW3389 sensor with up to 16,000 DPI
  • 1000 Hz polling rate
  • Omron switches rated for 20 million clicks
  • RGB lighting with 16.7 million color options
  • Ergonomically designed chassis with textured side grips
  • Large PTFE skates for smooth gliding
  • 6 foot braided USB cable

On paper, the Pulsefire Raid seems to tick most of the boxes you‘d want in a quality, full-featured gaming mouse. The high-end optical sensor and independent L/R buttons provide the precision and responsiveness needed for fast-paced gaming, while the abundance of buttons opens up a lot of customization possibilities. The RGB lighting is the icing on the cake for adding some style and personalization to your setup.

But impressive specs alone don‘t make a great mouse. It all comes down to how it performs when you‘re in an intense firefight or raid with your team. To find out, I put the Pulsefire Raid to the test.

Real-World Gaming Performance:

Over several weeks, I used the Pulsefire Raid extensively as my main mouse for gaming sessions. I tested it across a variety of games and genres, from fast-paced FPS titles to complex MMOs. This allowed me to evaluate its all-around performance and see how well it held up to the demands of different playstyles.

Overall, I found the Pulsefire Raid delivered very good gaming performance, especially for the price. The PixArt 3389 sensor tracked accurately and responsively on a variety of surfaces. I had no issues with cursor jitter, acceleration, or losing tracking even during intense flick shots or rapid movements. The DPI button behind the scroll wheel made it easy to adjust sensitivity on the fly, which I found useful for toggling between high DPI for general use and low DPI for precision aiming.

The independent Left/Right buttons also lived up to their billing, providing crisp and consistent clicks no matter where I pressed them. The Omron switches felt great with a nice tactile feel and no perceptible lag or missed inputs in my testing. I also appreciated the large PTFE mouse skates, which allowed the mouse to glide very smoothly with minimal friction on both hard and soft mouse pads.

Where the Pulsefire Raid really shines is for MMO and MOBA gaming. Having all those extra programmable buttons is incredibly handy for assigning your most used abilities, macros, emotes, etc. Within minutes I was zipping around and activating my attacks and items much faster than reaching for the keyboard. The HyperX NGenuity software made it simple to set up my custom bindings and fine-tune the lighting just how I wanted.

That said, while the 11 buttons are this mouse‘s key selling point, they‘re also in some ways its Achilles heel. The reality is that having so many small buttons crammed together introduces some inherent usability compromises. Specifically, I found it difficult to accurately press the side buttons, especially the ones farthest back, without accidentally hitting the other buttons or shifting my grip.

This wasn‘t a dealbreaker by any means and would likely improve with more practice, but it‘s something to be aware of, especially if you have larger hands. It‘s just the reality of squeezing so many buttons onto a conventionally sized mouse. So depending on your hand size and grip style, you may find the side buttons more finicky to use than ideal.

This is really my main criticism of the Pulsefire Raid from a pure performance standpoint. Otherwise, it capably handled everything I threw at it and delivered the precision, speed, and responsiveness I demand in a gaming mouse. Unless you‘re an ultra-competitive esports player, the sensor performance is more than good enough for most gamers.

Design & Comfort:

When it comes to design, the Pulsefire Raid has a fairly conventional "gamer" aesthetic, with a matte black chassis, angular accents, and RGB lighting around the scroll wheel and palm area. It‘s not going to win any beauty contests, but it looks decent enough and should fit right in with most setups.

Comfort-wise, the Pulsefire Raid features an ergonomic right-handed shape with a hump towards the back to support your palm. At 95 grams, it‘s not the lightest mouse out there, but it doesn‘t feel overly heavy either. I found it quite comfortable to use for long sessions without any cramping or fatigue, although this will depend on your hand size and grip style.

One thing I really liked was the textured rubber grips on both sides of the mouse. These made it much easier to lift the mouse and provided a secure hold even when my hands got a bit sweaty. The matte coating on the main buttons also did a good job of preventing any slippage during intensive use.

On the downside, I did find the Pulsefire Raid to be a bit on the smaller side overall. While it should work well for most average-sized hands, those with larger mitts may feel a bit cramped, especially with a palm grip. Claw and fingertip grippers will likely fare better, but it‘s still something to consider if you know you prefer larger, hand-filling mice.

Also, while the RGB lighting is a nice touch, the customization is fairly basic, with just 2 zones and no advanced effects. The HyperX NGenuity software gets the job done for setting up buttons and DPI profiles, but it‘s not the most robust or intuitive software I‘ve used. So while the lighting and software are appreciated extras, they‘re not really standout selling points here.

Overall though, I found the Pulsefire Raid perfectly comfortable and well-built for its price. It may not have the ultra-premium materials or fancy design flourishes of some high-end mice, but everything feels solidly put together with no glaring weak points. I‘d have no concerns about durability or performance degrading over time. The 2-year warranty is also a nice peace of mind.

Alternatives & Value:

With a typical retail price of $60, the Pulsefire Raid is priced at the higher end of HyperX‘s mouse lineup, but still lands in the mid-range of the overall gaming mouse market. You can certainly find cheaper options, but you can also spend significantly more, upwards of $100+, for a true premium flagship mouse.

In this mid-range though, the Pulsefire Raid faces stiff competition from mice like the Razer DeathAdder V2, Logitech G502 HERO, and SteelSeries Rival 5. All of these offer similar core specs and features, often with more advanced software and RGB options. The G502 in particular is an extremely popular alternative with even more buttons and an infinite scroll wheel.

That said, at its regular $60 price I think the Pulsefire Raid provides solid value for MMO/MOBA gamers on a mid-range budget. You‘d be hard pressed to find another quality mouse with this many programmable buttons for less. When on sale for around $50, which it frequently is, it becomes an even more compelling option.

For non-MMO gamers though, I think you can get similar or better overall performance in this price range from mice like the Pulsefire Surge or FPS Pro. These trade some of the extra buttons for a cleaner, more streamlined design that some may prefer. It really comes down to how much you value having all those buttons.

Wrap-Up & Final Verdict:

After extensively testing the HyperX Pulsefire Raid and evaluating how its features, performance, and design stack up to the competition, I can confidently say it‘s a very good mouse for MMO/MOBA gamers in the market for a mid-range option. The 11 programmable buttons, high-quality sensor, and solid all-around performance make it a great weapon of choice for ability-heavy games.

The main caveats are the fairly basic software/RGB lighting and the potential usability issues with the cramped side buttons, especially for larger hands. The design and overall feature set also don‘t really stand out from the crowd, so the Pulsefire Raid isn‘t a must-buy if you don‘t really need all those buttons.

At the end of the day though, I think HyperX delivered a good quality, full-featured mouse for the money with the Pulsefire Raid. It nails the fundamentals and throws in plenty of extras to give you a tactical edge without totally breaking the bank. If you can catch it on sale and know you‘ll put those programmable buttons to good use, the Pulsefire Raid is a great pick.

I hope this in-depth review helped you decide if the HyperX Pulsefire Raid is the right mouse for you and your gaming needs. No matter what you choose, I wish you many clicks of fun and virtual glory ahead!