I never expected to like the new Roccat Kone XP. Especially not as much as I do. With greater concerns over environmental change, pandemics, and rising inflation, news of yet another over-the-top RGB gaming mouse from Roccat is not exactly what I think the world really needs right now.
Gosh darn it though, Roccat has managed to make one of the best gaming mice you can buy and thanks to a few tricks, it's also a great productivity mouse too.
Let’s start with the price—$75 (£80, AU$150) classifies the Kone XP as a mid-range mouse but I can assure you there’s much more to this mouse than its absurdly cool 3D RGB lighting. Roccat has managed to craft one of the most ergonomic rodents I’ve ever used. Granted, that really depends on the size of your mitts and grip style but for me at least, nothing has felt this good in hand for a very long time.
I found that whether I use a claw or palm grip when playing Destiny 2 or mindlessly scrolling Twitter, the Kone XP feels just right. At 102g, it's far from lightweight but the overall feel in hand is light enough for quick flicks but heavy enough for precise movements outside of gaming. The Kone XP's back arches just high enough to fill out the cradle of your palm while the textured thumb well and its flared-out "Easy-Shift" paddle gives the right support.
The Kone Pro has plenty of buttons—15 to be exact and they're all programmable. There are four thumb buttons positioned perfectly where I don’t have to contort my thumb painfully just to use them. The same goes for the two DPI buttons embedded into the left mouse button which are surprisingly easy to use and potentially more so than the thumb buttons.
The brilliantly lit and tactile Krystal 4D Wheel is translucent, which is great for RGB but also allows you to click it left, right, or down for additional functions. Behind the wheel is a profile switch to cycle through the custom profiles you’ve created and saved in the Roccat Swarm software. Lastly, and most importantly, are the main left and right mouse buttons that sit on top of Roccat’s Titan Optical switches. They are crisp, clicky, and responsive with no distracting key wobble.
Roccat says you can map 29 possible functions to the Kone XP and that’s largely thanks to the Easy-Shift functionality. Press your thumb down on the paddle and it acts as a shift key that doubles all the button functions.
It's really up to your imagination how you set this up and the Swarm software makes it very easy to do. I loved having my media controls available on Easy-Shift so that scrolling adjusted volume, clicking skipped tracks, and the DPI buttons on the front made quick work of copy and paste. It’s no Logitech MX Master 3 but with patience, you can get the Kone XP almost there.
Complimenting the versatile button functionality is an excellent 19K DPI Roccat Owl-Eye optical sensor with 50G acceleration. It’s not the highest number in the mouse world today, but let’s be real, can you really tell the difference? I certainly can’t. The PTFE feet on the bottom let the mouse glide effortlessly on most surfaces while the lightweight PhantomFlex cable never gets in the way of speedy flicks and swipes.
But of course, the biggest showstopper of the Kone XP is without a doubt the 3D RGB AIMO Lighting. The whole top of the shell is made of translucent plastic which is perfect for showing off what the insane 22 individual LEDs can do. These are grouped into 8 guidelines, four on each side, allowing for some truly mesmerizing RGB light shows. I’ve seen a lot of gaming mice but nothing comes remotely close.
While the lighting might be a bit much for some, you can always change things up in the Swarm software but you don’t have too many options and you can’t create your own effects from scratch. That said, whatever you choose, the lighting is bold and bright thanks to the never-ending power supply from your PC or laptop.
Putting it all together, the Roccat Kone XP is a fantastic wired gaming mouse and an easy recommendation. It ever so slightly bests the Razer Basilisk V3 but undoubtedly trumps it in the RGB department. It's great for fast-paced shooters or complex MOBA while still being perfect for productivity work.
The build quality is excellent and the 3D RGB lighting looks way better in person than you'd think. There’s only one reason why you shouldn’t buy it and that's the new wireless Kone XP Air. However, if you don’t want the bother of dongles, battery lives, and the added weight, then this wired Kone XP is hard to beat.