Gaming mice aren't limited to the five button, scroll wheel layout anymore. Some of the best gaming mice, like the Razer Naga Trinity, come with customizable side panels loaded with extra buttons, which can be great for playing MMOs and MOBAs. Even so, there are still a few other types of PC games that are still cumbersome to play with a regular mouse and keyboard, like flight simulators and city building games. But Lexip's Pu94 gaming mouse fills that niche void with two "joysticks" instead of more buttons: one is a small thumbstick on the left side of the mouse, and the other is the entire shell of the mouse itself—and it's more intuitive to use than I thought it would be.
The Pu94 has come a long way since its Kickstarter days. We previously wrote about its first iteration back in 2018, and while the mouse hasn't changed much ergonomically, it has a much more sleek and modern aesthetic, including some simple RGB flair. The left and right click buttons still don't extend all the way to the top of the mouse, but that "bumper" seems to be slightly smaller than the old prototype. Functionally, you can rest the tips of your fingers on this bumper to move in a forward direction without accidentally clicking down on the left and right mouse buttons.
There's a finesse that comes with using this joystick mouse, though. If you primarily play FPSs, you'll find that the Pu94 isn't made for games that require a firm grip on the mouse. For one, since the entire mouse shell tilts +/- 20 degrees in all directions, that adds some instability to your movements while playing something fast-paced like an FPS. Second, because of that tilting shell, this mouse is better controlled with a claw-like grip rather than a standard mouse grip.
Depending on your sensitivity settings, clicking the left and right mouse button might also push down on that side of the mouse shell, which also might trigger movements you don't want in-game. You'll need to get used to lightly resting your fingertips on top of the mouse and lightly resting your palm on the body.
That light, claw-like grip was easy for me to transition into, though. My hands are small, and the typical gaming mouse is too big for my hand, so I've always had to move my hand from a standard position to a half-claw grip just so my thumb could reach the top mouse button on the side.
The Pu94 isn't an exception to that rule, though. I still have to move my entire hand further up the mouse than I'd like to reach the thumbstick, only this time I also have to slightly angle my hand to the right so I can get a comfortable claw grip while maintaining that necessary light touch. The bottom of the mouse doesn't ergonomically conform to my palm like my Logitech G403 or my Corsair Sabre (and my guess is that's due to however Lexip designed the mouse internally so it could tilt in all directions), but my fingers didn't cramp even after hours of playing games. The Pu94 surprisingly comfortable, regardless that it's not quite the right shape for my hand.
As for game configuration, Lexip's Pu94 shines the most with flight simulators—you can control all 360 degrees of movement in-game with one hand because of the dual joysticks. Using the mouse with House of the Dying Sun, I thought I was going to have a harder time with it than I did. Flight sims are terrible to play with a standard mouse and keyboard, and I'm not fond of controllers and joysticks, either. I've always avoided flight sims for this reason, but the Pu64 actually made my experience with House of the Dying Sun a good one the second time around. I was able to maneuver more accurately and shoot more accurately, while my left hand was free to use the keyboard more efficiently.
The mouse also made playing The Sims 3 and The Sims 4 easier while building and furnishing homes, but Sims 3 especially. While both games have edge scrolling features, Sims 3 doesn't have the option to left-click and drag the camera to where you want like Sims 4, and you can't right-click to rotate the camera or selected objects. All that is done with the keyboard.
With Lexip's software, you can keybind joysticks to the game's controls, so I was able to pan across the screen in all directions with the thumb stick while rotating my view with the mouse shell at the same time. The mouse cursor also stays in one place while you pan, which is slightly more convenient than edge scrolling or using the WASD keys.
I briefly referenced Lexip's software for this mouse already, but what I haven't mentioned is that this software is required to manually set your mouse controls to use them in-game should you want to use one or both joysticks. You also need to know the application path of your game's executable file, or else the mouse and the game won't be able to talk to one another. Once you do that, you can set all directional movement for both joysticks using several of the options in the drop down menus.
There are some slightly wonky things with Lexip's software. Up until the time of writing this review, I was able to delete extra profiles for a single game that were created accidentally, but now when I try to do that, I get a Windows forms error telling me that the file containing the profile data has been deleted, when I don't think that it has. I also seem to have an issue getting the A and D buttons to correctly link to the thumbstick when I'm using that to move the camera in the Sims 3 and 4; setting A to move left and D to move right registers in an inverted setting, even though I don't have that activated in either the Lexip control panel or in the games.
Lexip's customer support is incredible, though, and will remote desktop into your PC to help you fix any issues you might have or answer any questions—like they did for me when I forgot to set the application path and couldn't get the mouse to work at first. (Doh!)
For flight sims, city builders, and maybe even some RTSs, the Pu94 could be a good investment if you play them often enough. (Hell, it got me to enjoy flight sims, the one game genre I have despised for as long as I can remember.) I'm pleasantly surprised by everything it offers and how quickly I adapted to using it. There's a lot of innovative hardware tech out there, but not all of it works practically—and well—for gaming like Lexip's Pu94.