To the average user, a mouse is a mouse. When it has a two buttons or several, it's just a device you use to interact with a computer. To the discerning connoisseur, there are different types of mice, each of them suitable for a specific purpose. While some have called specialist mice gimmicky and unnecessary, there will always be hardcore users who will find multi-buttoned mice useful, just like the 14-buttoned Roccat Tyon. Impressive as Roccat Tyon may be, that's nothing when compared to Roccat's latest product, the Roccat Nyth.
At a very basic level, the Roccat Nyth is a wired, USB 2.0 right handed mouse with up to 17 buttons. We say "up to" because unlike other mice, you can actually dictate how many extra buttons there are on your personalized version of the Roccat Nyth. You can max it out with all possible buttons or just stick to a normal 5-button configuration.
Like all mice, the Roccat Nyth has your usual left and right click buttons. It also has a clickable mouse wheel, an Easy Shift [+] key and the Dorsal Fin, which we last saw on the Roccat Tyon. These are the fixed buttons that you don't have control over.
The biggest draw of the Nyth though is its modular panel of buttons on the left side of the mouse. Called the Modular Thumb Zone, all of the buttons can be removed and each individual socket customized to either be used as a button or be covered if you don't plan on using them. Even its sidegrips can be changed, with the default Nyth coming with two different grip types; a smaller grip and a bigger one with a finger rest.
Apart from its modular design, the mouse is also notable for having a Twin-Tech Laser Sensor R1 with up to 12,000 DPI resolution. There's only one other mouse in the world with a sensor that precise and that's the Logitech G502 Proteus Core. A higher DPI (dots per inch) scanning resolution means the mouse can detect and react to the subtlest of movements. In FPS games, particularly if you're sniping, this is incredibly helpful in adjusting your aim minutely. These's no dedicated DPI button on the Roccat Nyth, so you'll have to use the customizable buttons to set up your own.
The mouse also boasts a 1,000Hz polling rate (polling rates dictate how regularly the mouse reports its position to the computer with a higher figure corresponding to a more responsive mouse), zero angle prediction (the mouse doesn't predict where you're going to point) and a 72MHz Turbo Core V2 32-bit ARM based MCU with 512KB of on-board memory for saving profiles, similar to the Roccat Tyon. Normally, we'd tell you the size and how much the mouse weighs but since everything is dependent on how many buttons and sidegrip you're using, it's pretty much up to the user how large and heavy the Nyth can potentially be, or how compact and lightweight it is.
Still, at its lightest, it was around 150 grams with the entire configurable section covered and the small sidegrip attached. On the other hand, it can go up to 175 grams at its heaviest with all possible buttons slotted in and the larger sidegrip attached.
The Roccat Nyth's mouse wheel is stepped and it also registers as a button if you click it in. Unfortunately, it doesn't register if you push it to the left or right. Just beside it is Roccat's vaunted Easy Shift [+] button. For the uninitiated, Roccat's Easy Shift [+] system is a modifier button that allows you to assign alternate functions to nearly every button on a device. For example, a right click might bring up iron sights in an FPS. However, if you right click with the Easy Shift [+] key pressed, you could assign any command you want to it. It's a simple and elegant way to multiply your existing buttons without depending too much on physical buttons, though that's certainly not an issue here.
While we love the Easy Shift [+] functionality, we initially felt that the Nyth's Easy Shift [+] button is placed a bit too close to the mouse wheel. The more we got used to the mouse though, we grew to accomodate its button layout. In fact, Roccat's probably chosen the lesser of two evils by placing the Easy Shift [+] key where it is. As it stands, only the left and right buttons on the Dorsal Fin are awkward to press with the Easy Shift [+] depressed. Other than that, you have easy access to nearly every button on the mouse. While on first pass the placement of the Easy Shift [+] might seem illogical, upon further consideration, we acknowledge that it's actually positioned in a spot that affords easy access to most of the buttons on the mouse.
The Dorsal Fin that was once one of the unique points of the Roccat Tyon makes another appearance on the Roccat Nyth. Like on the Roccat Tyon, the Dorsal Fin is placed nearly smack dab in the middle of the Roccat Nyth. You're supposed to align it in the gap present between your index and middle finger, pushing it to left with the side of your middle finger and to the right with your index finger.
In practice, the Dorsal Fin is nearly useless. If you're using any other mouse grip other than a Palm Grip, the Dorsal Fin is completely inaccessible as users who adopt the Claw or Fingertip grips have no way to trigger the button with the sides of their fingers.
No matter what type of grip your prefer though, the Roccat Nyth is a great mouse to have in your hand. The mouse is covered with smooth matte plastic and feels great to the touch. Depending on your palm size, you can even adjust the mouse's sidegrip to find the one that suits you best.
The two included side grips actually change the mouse significantly. The bigger one is more suited for users with big hands or those who use the Palm grip. The extra space allows you to comfortably rest your fingers on the mouse. The smaller one on the other hand, is ideal for those who hate the fingertip grip and prefer mice with a smaller profile.
Both of them are solidly made and secure well to the mouse via magnets.
We do have a small problem regarding the bigger one though, as the finger rest sometimes confuses us while gaming as we'd think our finger is resting on the right mouse button, only to realize it's the finger rest instead. It isn't a problem with the smaller sidegrip as it doesn't have the finger rest.
The idea behind the modular thumb zone is sound - let the users determine how many buttons they're rather have on their mouse. FPS users who mainly play Battlefield or Call of Duty may not want the extra buttons clogging up the modular thumb zone, so they can easily remove as many as they want. On the other hand, MMO gamers might want every hotbar or shortcut mapped to as many buttons as possible, which means they can easily fill up all 12 slots to customize their experience.
We love the flexibility the Roccat mouse affords us. You can even hotswap the buttons on the fly and the mouse will still register (or ignore if chose to cover the slots) the new configuration. The thing that bugs us is that the buttons can be hard to remove, even when they're released from their individual slots. We've encountered numerous times where a single button (or a few buttons) won't be released cleanly. We've the same issue when we're slotting them in too even when we know they're the right ones meant for that specific slot.
If you don't really like the default buttons, Roccat has a 3D Library website where you can buy new buttons. Roccat's even offering a customizable sideplate that covers up all the side buttons with the ability to add in your own letters. Have a clan name you'd love to see plastered on the side? Roccat can get it done for you. Of course, if you have a 3D printer, Roccat's also providing the files needed to create custom buttons on your own. Roccat's going all out to really make the Nyth be as customizable as they claim.
To manage all the buttons and functions that the Nyth can do, Roccat's moved on from its older Roccat Driver utility that was used on most of its devices to the new Roccat Swarm. Like it or not, if you're Roccat user, Swarm will be your constant companion as it's the only utility that Roccat will be supporting from the Nyth on out.
Luckily, the utility isn't that hard to figure out. Assigning custom commands to the buttons is easy as you simply need to select what function you want to assign to a particular key. There's a wide range of shortcuts you can select, ranging from a DPI setting selector to browser based ones. It's nice to see Roccat didn't just focus on gaming when they made the Swarm utility.
While new, Roccat's Swarm utility is so intuitively designed that anybody who's ever used a configuration program will have no trouble with it at all. Except for Illumination being under the Advanced Setting (we reckon it would've been better had it received a specific section or at least placed in the main settings tab), everything is intelligently placed and right where you'd expect them to be. Even assigning commands to the multitudes of buttons on the Nyth is painless. Just click and select what you desire a particular button to do and you're done.
Also, note that the Nyth has on-board memory, which means that your button bindings will carry over to any computer you plug your Nyth into, even if the machine doesn't have Roccat's Swarm installed.
There hasn't been anything like the Roccat Nyth before. While we've seen our fair share of mice over the years, the Roccat Nyth is truly the first of its kind. It's customization options are nearly limitless, especially if you have the capability to design and print your own buttons, which puts it in a totally different class. The Roccat Nyth isn't just a mouse that caters to a specific genre, it's the first mouse that caters to all of them. Of course, at S$229, the Roccat Nyth isn't for everybody but the hardcore (which is a shame) but it's acceptable seeing as how versatile the mouse is.
Of course, there are other options if you think the Roccat Nyth is a bit too expensive. The Razer Naga Epic for example, is S$199 and has most of the features the Nyth has. If you want the massive number of buttons and a similar look, the Razer Naga is a good choice. While it can't be customized by removing its buttons or sidegrip, the Naga is a bit cheaper and if you're only looking for an MMO mouse, it should suffice.
On the other hand, if you're looking for an FPS mouse with a lot of buttons, we suggest you take a look at the Roccat Tyon too. It might not look like your typical mouse and it's a bit costly too, but the analog paddle makes up for it. It's great for sniping as you can manually adjust your zoom rate and it's much cheaper at S$149. While it doesn't use Roccat's new Swarm utility, Roccat's Driver is still a pretty decent piece of customization software and using it with the Tyon shouldn't take too much practice.
While we might love the Roccat Nyth, there are a few minor issues that we feel can be improved upon. The main one being of course the Dorsal Fin. We tried to like it but ultimately found it's still as cumbersome as it was on the Roccat Tyon. It's still hard to use even when you're a Palm grip user and a chore to access if you're playing with a fingertip or claw grip. Perhaps it could serve as a browser based shortcut function, but as a button for gaming, it's too awkward to use.
The other issue we have with the Roccat Nyth is how the removable buttons tend to get stuck in their sockets, even when we've pulled the release slider to free them. As we noted earlier, some of them fall out with no problem but a few of them (usually the ones in the corners) take a lot of coaxing to remove.
Other than those admittedly minor issues, the Roccat Nyth is a great choice for a mouse, no matter the genre. Roccat's Swarm utility complements the Roccat Nyth well, with its intuitive and easy to use menus. It's just a shame Roccat's Swarm Connect isn't available yet but even without it, the Roccat Nyth and the Swarm utility go together hand in hand very well. If you're looking for the best all-purpose gaming mouse and money is not an issue, there's nothing else that even comes close to the Roccat Nyth.