Meet the MMO Gaming Mouse that looks to Dominate the Competition, the Asus ROG “Spatha”!

Gaming mice is considered a luxury for many consumers out there. While well established brands like Razer and Steelseries have dominated the PC gaming scene for the longest time with quality products that suit every style of play, not everyone is willing to take the plunge.  Other brands have not been too successful in their efforts to make a name for themselves but Asus and Republic of Gamers might have something to say about that. Introducing the Spatha… I swear I sound like Dustin from Stranger Things whenever I say that! Alright let me do that again… Introducing the Spatha, ROG’s entry into the MMO gaming mice scene and while that name is a mouthful, the features that this mice packs in its frame is definitely more than you can handle. I’m personally skeptical of MMO mice because I’m used to making my keyboard do all the work but this may change my mind just yet, read on to find out what we think of this gaming mice from ROG and see if it is enough for you to put out your hard earned cash!

Behold the ROG "Spatha", the gaming mouse that will give you an unfair advantage for your favorite MMO' class=
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Behold the ROG “Spatha”, the gaming mouse that will give you an unfair advantage for your favorite MMO’s!

Before anything else, know that the Spatha is an MMO focused gaming mouse, meaning this is probably might not be your cup of tea if you’re looking for your run of the mill mouse (2/4/6 buttons). The Spatha features a whopping 12 (!) fully programmable buttons specially designed for MMO gaming. What this means it that instead of having your hotkeys configured from 1-0 and from Q-P, you can set some of those on 1 of the 12 buttons available on the Spatha to free your keyboard hand for other miscellaneous tasks. As with almost all gaming mice today, the Spatha also has customizable lighting effects that gives +10 to cool factor, it won’t give you mad skillz though but it’ll certainly make you look good while trying! This mouse is also very solid, stable, and thanks to its magnesium alloy chassis, you’re definitely not going to break or replace this mouse anytime soon. While all of this is well and good, there are 2 features that definitely caught my eye. First, similar to the Strix Headphones we reviewed a while back, this mouse has both a wired and wireless mode. Some mice go pure wireless, some mice don’t allow charging during wired mode, but the Spatha has all bases covered, allowing gamers the flexibility they need depending on their playstyle. It may seem like a small thing but other mice do not offer this convenience for the price that they go for. Second, for the games that are mouse button killers (yes Diablo I’m looking at you), we know all too well that it could spell the end for your mouse if the left and right mouse buttons start malfunctioning. Again, enter the Spatha, which has a special easy swap socket design so that you may easily switch / upgrade switches as needed. To wrap things up, the Spatha boasts an 8200 DPI sensor and a 2000hz polling rate that translates to ultra precise tracking for those intense World of Warcraft raid sessions.

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 Unboxing

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As we unboxed the Spatha, we couldn’t help but admire just how HUGE the box is. Not for anything, but the packaging is particularly big for a mouse but it more than makes up for it as this mouse comes with a LOT of stuff that makes the package that much sweeter. Immediately upon opening the box, you are greeted with an instruction manual along with a certificate of authenticity / purchase, welcoming you the the ROG family. Once you lift the paperwork, the glorious Spatha is laid bare in front of you. You’ll immediately notice that the Spatha is big, way bigger than your usual mouse. As you take it out from the box, you’ll definitely feel the weight of the magnesium alloy chassis on your hand. An ROG trademark, this mouse is built solid and you’ll immediately feel the excellent quality and care put into the product. This (talking about the weight) may be a good thing or a bad thing for most gamers, depends on preference really. As for me, I’m a low sensitivity kind of gamer, and during my Counterstrike days, I would set sensitivity waaaaay low so this mouse may pose problems for me as frantically move and lift the mouse sideways to try to shoot the guy 180 degrees from where I’m facing. Remember what I said though? That this mouse is specialized for MMO’s? So while it may not be ideal for all games, it is still very much usable.

One thing I appreciate from ROG is their attention to certain details and it makes you feel that they listen to comments and suggestions from customers. While this is a wireless mouse, the wires that comes along with the packaging are braided (at least for the mouse cable) and this is definitely one thing I look for when I purchase such products. Braided cables just means that the cables connecting your device to the PC will last longer, unlike certain charger cables *coughapplecough* that we know of very well.

 

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Gamer on the go? ROG has you covered as we see the exact reason why the box was so big! The mouse comes with a snazzy looking carrying case that can hold the miscellaneous items that come along with the package. The case is draped in black and emblazoned on the front with the iconic ROG logo and on the inside, generous amounts of cushioning to protect your investment. The case can hold all the cables and the mouse along with it, also the mini screwdriver that comes along with it (for replacing the button switches).  Rounding up the package is the dock that acts as a charger as well for when the mouse is not in use. It may look weird because it doesn’t look like the dock doesn’t have proper handles to cradle the mouse but once you place the mouse on top of the dock, it sticks together like magic! (or like magnets!) Oh and did we mention that it comes with an ROG logo sticker and extra omron switches for the mouse buttons? Those are great additions to an already stacked product!

 

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Build quality and size comparison

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As we had mentioned earlier, this mouse is quite big, at least bigger than usual. I consider my hands to be quite big and I can only barely properly palm grip the mouse. As I used the mouse, I immediately felt the difference from the previous one I was using. It was definitely heavier, but not necessarily harder to move around. For the times when you have to lift the mouse to look around during FPS gaming sessions, you’ll know what I mean when I say that it definitely takes getting used to. The weight and size makes for one good thing, it makes accidental movement almost non existent. For high sensitivity gamers who are very much used to precise tracking with very little movement, this is very much welcome.

Another small detail that I like? I like how the mouse surface is not made of / covered in rubber. Most mice wrap a coat of rubber around the top to enhance grip and make the mouse sweat resistant. While that is great, I personally like it without the coat. Why? Hand sweat and the humid temperature in the Philippines is a recipe for disaster. Soon enough, the rubber coating will start to “melt” and peel off, leaving you with a sticky trail of dirt and dust. The Spatha totally removes that occurrence and despite the relatively slippery and smoother feel of the surface, I think I can get used to it as long as I don’t worry about it being sticky in the long run.

Overall, the build quality on this product is excellent, very solid and game worthy. Peep a few size comparisons we have with similar gaming mice below:

 

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Game tests with wired and wireless mode

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I’m no pro gamer by any means so I cannot personally tell the difference in the response times between wired and wireless mode unless it was blatantly obvious but as we tried both modes across a number of games (Overwatch, Dota 2, LoL, and Final Fantasy 14), we noticed no lag across these games amidst various circumstances (during an Overwatch 6v6 clash, a Dota 2 Roshan fight, a LoL base push, and an FF14 raid).

As you would expect, I had a bit of trouble moving around and aiming in Overwatch. I tried using Widowmaker and Hanzo but to no avail. To be fair, those were not my main characters but it would be a bit safe to assume that even pro players would have a bit of adjustment to perform at 100%, especially low sensitivity players. Dota 2 and LoL proved to be a bit more of a positive experience for me, as I got to use the side buttons (with some getting used to) properly after a few games. I could easily access the bottle and town portal items with a few flicks from my thumb but as mentioned, it took a lot of getting used to. Since there are multiple side buttons, you have to learn to discipline your thumb to not move around so much as it is easy to lose track of what button you were trying to press.

The ROG Armoury is where you can fiddle with the countless settings for your Spatha, it may look intimidating but it' class=
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The ROG Armoury is where you can fiddle with the countless settings for your Spatha, it may look intimidating but it’s very easy to pick up and use!

I tweaked the settings around via the ROG Armoury program and while it looks complicated to use, it was the exact opposite. You can manage the button functions, change lighting, increase or decrease DPS, and so much more with just a few clicks from the mouse and you can save each setting under a different profile so that you don’t have to keep changing button functions as you play a different game.

The mouse, as expected, shone bright during a quick Final Fantasy 14 raid. After fiddling with the side buttons so much that I eventually got used to the placement, I could easily pull off skill after skill with my keyboard hand focusing on moving my character around the screen. It’s most probably going to be a love it / hate it scenario across gamers, as some would still prefer using the keyboard for all of their shortcuts (as most gaming keyboards also have programmable buttons) but for the people who would give a product like this a chance, then there is a big possibility that you would appreciate it for the function it provides.

A small complaint of mine was that the side buttons could use a bit of a redesign. I personally do not like that they are shaped differently and I would have appreciated a more uniform layout but it really depends on preference at the end of the day.

 

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What would an ROG mouse be without a mouse pad to match it with? This behemoth of a mousepad right here is the ROG Sheath and as the name suggests, it’ll protect your weapon from… well, long story short, not only will it maximize the performance from the mouse, it’ll again add +10 coolness factor points! That’s +20 all in all along with the lights! The mousepad is HUGE but it rocks an awesome design that goes hand in hand with the Spatha and other ROG items that you may have.

Huge plus points for the mousepad? Stitched edges. This small attention to detail makes so much sense, I can’t understand why most mousepad manufacturers don’t do it. Given that most mousepads really don’t unravel at the edges but why not prevent it from happening at all? Good job ROG!

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Verdict

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality
  • Very stable
  • Responsive buttons
  • Great wire quality
  • Wired + wireless mode
  • No rubber coating (I’m not a fan)

Cons:

  • A bit heavy
  • Side button design could use a bit of work
  • A tad too big, even my big hands had a bit of trouble
  • Might take a bit of getting used to, not optimal for certain game types (first person shooters)

The Asus ROG Spatha retails for Php 6,910.00 while the Asus ROG Sheath retails for Php 1650.00 and is available at your nearest official Asus ROG retail stores!

Author: Chris Garcia

Chris has been part of the Philippine eGaming scene ever since his Level Up! days working on Ragnarok. This Dota 2-talking, Yeezy-wearing and technical-gaming proficient geek, enjoys eSports on an international and local level. He's doing his bit for the industry as well as he continues to work with wonderfully talented local game devs at Altitude Games.

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