Anyone who knows me knows that I’m pretty picky about mice. I have large hands and tend to grip the mouse with something that falls between a palm and a claw grip, often moving the mouse with my pinkie and thumb. Recently, the feet on my SteelSeries Sensei finally wore down again. Rather than order yet another set of replacement feet, I set out to find another mouse. While I loved my Sensei I missed having access to a ton of buttons. I asked around and someone recommended I check out Roccat. Another friend of mine had recommended Roccat in the past as well so I figured I would give them a shot.
Roccat is a company that is quickly making a name for itself and spreading to global markets after being founded in Germany in 2007. Roccat specializes in innovative, high quality accessories such as gaming mice, keyboards and headsets. The Roccat Kone, released in various forms since 2010 has been a steadfast favorite for many, receiving critical praise for it’s high quality sensor and innovative Easy-Shift[+] button which allows for additional key binds to be bound to the mouse using a modifier key.
The Roccat Tyon Gaming Mouse
One of the newest mice in Roccat’s lineup is the Roccat Tyon. While there are many versions of their previous flagship mouse, The Kone, there is currently just one version of the Tyon. The Tyon does come in two colors though, it is available with either a matte black or white upper shell. The Tyon has a very unusual design, possessing an analog flipper on it’s left side that they call the “X-CELERATOR Analog Paddle” as well as a “Dorsal Fin Switch” below it’s middle mouse button. There is also a conveniently placed Easy-Shift[+] key below where your thumb would rest. The Easy-Shift[+] button can be used as a modifier to bind a second command to any button on the mouse. The rest of the Roccat Tyon’s specs are as follows:
Roccat Tyon (€99.99 MRSP, $99.00 on Amazon at time of writing)
- Model Number ROC-11-85x
- 8200 DPI “R3” Laser Sensor
- 1000hz Polling Rate (Adjustable)
- 30g Acceleration
- 1-5mm Lift-Off Distance
- 1.8m Cord (Braided)
- Mouse Dimensions: 5.3 Inches x 3 Inches x 1.5 Inches, 4.4oz
- 14 Programmable Buttons (16 including mouse wheel up / down)
- 32 Bit On-Board Processor @ 72mhz with 576kb Memory
- 16.8 Million Color Illumination (Wheel and Base)
- Windows XP through Windows 8
- USB 2.0
What would a review be without a sweet look at the packaging? The Roccat comes in a uniquely shaped box with a large glossy image of the mouse on the front indicating it’s features. The front of the box swings open to reveal the mouse inside, contained in a form fitting layer of plastic packaging. The inside of the front panel contains a run down of more features. The thick cardboard, form fitting packaging and glossy images drive home the point that this is a premium product. Two tabs secure the top of the box. When opened, the plastic casing can be slid out and you will find a fold out quick start / features guide. The mouse’s braided cable is secured behind the mouse packaging. There are no drivers included in the package.
After unpacking the Roccat Tyon, you are technically ready to rock. You can just plug the mouse in and play. However, to access some of the Tyon’s best features you will need to install the drivers. If you head to Roccat’s website you can download the drivers quickly and install them. After they are installed you have access to a multitude of features:
- Support for 5 Hot-Swappable Profiles
- Support for 5 Hot-Swappable DPI Settings
- Mouse Sensitivity, Mouse Wheel Scroll Speed and Double Click Adjustment
- Visual Button Mapping Software with Advanced and Basic Macro Creation (Some Presets Included)
- Support for Binding Both DirectInput and XInput Functions to Mouse Buttons
- Advanced Sensitivity Tweaking (X and Y Axis)
- Tracking and Lift-Off Distance Control
- Surface Calibration (Tune the Sensor for Your Surface)
- Adjustable Polling Rate (125hz, 250hz, 500hz, 1000hz)
- Audio Feedback Settings for DPI, Sensitivity, Profile, Volume
- Windows Pointer Speed Adjustment
- X-CELERATOR Analog Thumb Paddle Calibration
- In Depth Lighting Control (Pick Pre-Defined or Custom Color Combinations for Wheel and Base Illumination)
- Toggle Alienware FX Lighting (Lights Flash Based on Game Feedback)
- Adjust Lighting Style (Fully Lit, Blinking, Heartbeat, Breathing, All Lights Off)
- Adjust Color Flow Effect and Speed (Have Lights Shift Color in Patterns)
- Mouse Statistics Tracking (Track Clicks, Distance and Button Usage)
As you can see there are a ton of options to play with. Luckily the default options work great, so if you’re not the kind of person who loves tweaking stuff you are good to go. That said, I am very pleased with the multitude of options offered and the overall quality of the software. Everything is laid out clearly and mousing over any of the options will display a tooltip in the bottom left of the program that provides further explanation of the feature. A mouse with this many features is only as good as it’s software and luckily, the software seems to be great. The other thing that I love about the driver software is unlike some of it’s competition, you are not required to keep the software running in the background. You simply open it up, make changes, save and exit. I am not sure if the statistics tracking requires the software to be running, but everything else such as profile and DPI switching can be done without it running.
As far as Macro editing is concerned, there is both an advanced and basic editor that allows you to record custom macros and bind them to keys. You can record timings between key presses, set macro loops and save them to different profiles. The driver software comes with macros for many games such as StarCraft 2, Left4Dead and World of Warcraft. I did notice that most of the preset macros were for older games from 2007-2011. There are also preset macros for commonly used programs such as Firefox, Internet Explorer and Photoshop.
I really enjoy the Easy-Shift[+] button customization. They provide you with a visual guide to the buttons where you select what you want them to do via a drop down menu. The button mapping section of the software is split into two sides. There is the normal mapping on the left, on the right is a mapping showing what function will execute when pressing the indicated buttons along with the Easy-Shift[+] button. It may not necessarily be comfortable to hold the Easy-Shift[+] button and press some of the other buttons at the same time because of the mouse layout, but it’s great to have the option regardless. Also, you can designate any of the thumb buttons (minus the analog paddle) to function as your Easy-Shift[+] modifier.
As far as mouse lighting is concerned, you have a ton of options. I will let a screenshot of the lighting options speak for itself:
It is immediately clear when you pick up the Roccat Tyon that you are dealing with a serious piece of gaming hardware. The mouse is a bit on the heavier side weighing in at just under 5 ounces. It is ergonomically shaped for a right handed grip with a deep indent for your thumb and a slight indent where your ring finger would rest while palming the mouse. The indents make it easy to grip the mouse when lifting it for maneuvering and re-positioning. The lower half of the mouse consists of a grippy textured plastic and the upper shell and mouse buttons are made of matte plastic. I do wish the sides of the mouse were a bit more textured or had some sort of rubber grips, but the textured plastic does the job admirably. The mouse sports a two-tone color scheme, the version I have has a black base and matte black upper section. The mouse wheel is illuminated and there is a light running around the base of the mouse as well.
The Roccat Tyon feels solid and well put together. It does not feel flimsy or hollow like some of Razer’s mice. That said, the weight is not adjustable in the Tyon like it is in Roccat’s Kone mouse. I personally think it has a good weight, but it may be a tad heavy for some who are used to lighter mice. The bottom of the mouse features two slick feet at the front and rear, which aid the mouse in gliding across any surface you throw at it. Overall it is a bit on the larger and heavier side, but I find it comfortable to use with both a palm and claw grip.
There are plenty of buttons on the Tyon, some I find more comfortable to use than others. This is a great mouse for people with large hands, some of the buttons may require adjusting your grip if you have smaller hands though. I was skeptical of the “Dorsal Fin” button that lies below the mouse wheel, but I found I can activate it quite easily by shifting my knuckle into it to the left or right. The two thumb buttons below the “X-CELERATOR” paddle are made of a raised hard plastic and I don’t really like the shape and feel of them that much, but they are easy to press and located well. The 4 raised buttons flanking the left and right mouse buttons require a bit of dexterity to use while maintaining your grip on the mouse, but are all accessible. The mouse buttons feature Omron switches which are known for their high quality and longevity. Pressing each of the buttons emits a nice audible “click” and provides a crisp tactile feedback, nothing feels flimsy or muddled. The mouse wheel is sturdy, scrolls notch by notch accurately and gets the job done.
Ok, I know when you first saw the “X-CELERATOR” paddle you may have thought it seemed a bit gimicky. Guess what? It’s actually pretty sweet! It can be used as an analog throttle in games such as Elite Dangerous or tied to any other sort of analog function such as zooming a scope or tilting around corners. You can also bind it to act as a digital button of sorts, binding any key you want to the up and down positions. For example, I bound it to cycle through my inventory in Dying Light. Holding it up cycles my inventory forward, down cycles it backwards. It’s placement is well out of the way of my grip and it’s comfortable to toggle with my thumb. It’s always risky to break from the norm and try new things but I think Roccat got it right. In my opinion the “X-CELERATOR” paddle is a great innovation.
The sensor on the Tyon is very similar if not identical to the widely praised Avago 9800 laser. Roccat calls it a “Pro-Aim Laser Sensor R3” and it is capable of up to 8200dpi. As mentioned earlier the driver software gives you a great amount of control over the laser’s settings and I highly recommend you tweak it to your liking and calibrate it. Out of the box, the laser was decent but it really shines when you go into the driver and enable the “Tracking Control Unit” and hit the “Re-Calibrate” button and let it adjust itself to your desk or mouse pad’s surface. For me personally, the SteelSeries Sensei feels like it has a slightly more accurate laser but the Roccat Tyon is the only mouse I have ever used that came anywhere near being as smooth and accurate as the Sensei…and I’ve used a lot of high end mice. Given the choice between the Tyon or the Sensei though, I would pick the Tyon because of it’s other great features and superior software. The Tyon also allows you to pick your ideal lift-off distance, so you can choose the height at which the laser stops tracking when you lift your mouse up.
Overall, I am super impressed with the Roccat Tyon. I think they took some risks with the design and those risks paid off. It’s well built, supported by great software and offers crazy amounts of customization to suit your style and needs. Even if the thumb paddle isn’t to your liking, the rest of the mouse is great and offers phenomenal control and ease of use. One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is Talk FX. Talk FX is a feature built into some of Roccat’s mice (Tyon included) that allows Roccat devices to “talk” to each other. If you had the Tyon and the RYOS TKL Pro, Roccat’s mechanical keyboard, you could use the Easy-Shift[+] key on the keyboard as a modifier for the mouse and vice-versa. Owning both products opens up a whole new level of key binding and macro creation.
One thing that may be of concern to some people is the price. At $90 to $100 depending where you purchase it, the Tyon is a steep investment. Is it worth the money? That’s a tough question to answer depending on your preferences. What do you get with the Tyon that you don’t with other mice? You get solid software and innovations like the analog paddle and dorsal fin switch. If all you care about is a solidly built mouse with a good laser, you may be better off with something like the SteelSeries Sensei which can be had for as low as $60 depending on the model. However, if you want beaucoup buttons I think you’d be hard pressed to find a mouse as feature rich and well built as the Tyon right now.
- Solid Build Quality
- Plenty of Buttons
- Innovative Analog Paddle and Dorsal Fin Button
- Easy-Shift[+] Offers Great Customization
- Ergonomic Grip
- Plenty of LED Lighting Options
- Good Software
- Smooth and Accurate Laser
- Great Mouse Wheel
- A Bit Pricey
- Could Use Better Grips on the Sides
- People with Small Hands May Have Problems Reaching Some Buttons
- Oddly Shaped Thumb Buttons
- No Weight Adjustment
Final Verdict: A premium mouse for a premium price. Lift Gaming Editor’s Choice for Premium Gaming Mice.