We had extremely positive things to say about the previous-gen Corsair M65 mouse, from its comfortable grip to its innovative (at the time) sniper button. Four years of refinement have resulted in the Corsair M65 RGB Elite ($60): an FPS-centric gaming mouse with colorful lights, tunable weights and a rich software suite.
While the weights are a little harder to adjust than they should be, that’s the only major criticism I can muster of the M65 RGB Elite. Four years later, it’s still a superlative mouse, particularly for FPS players, and it’s available at a lower price than some comparable models from other manufacturers. If you’re in the market for a mouse that will help you excel on the multiplayer scene (and you’re right-handed), the M65 RGB Elite should be right near the top of your list.
The M65 RGB Elite is a little too overdesigned to pass for an office mouse, but every extra angle and surface is there for a reason. A black plastic chassis covers a gray plastic body, with a short thumb rest on the left, an elevated palm rest in the middle (great for claw grips) and nothing much on the right. Having gotten used to mice with a little more support for the outermost two fingers, I found the M65’s short body jarring at first, but dedicated FPS players probably don’t want the extra material, or the associated drag.
Otherwise, it’s comfortable to hold and has an intelligent button layout. There are left- and right-click buttons, a clickable, textured scroll wheel, buttons to adjust dots-per-inch (DPI) sensitivity up and down, two thumb buttons and a “sniper” button just below those.
If you’ve never used a mouse with a sniper button before, it’s a useful feature, particularly for FPS gamers. When you hold it down with your thumb, it lowers the DPI (usually to 500, although you can adjust this) in order to help you aim more carefully for shots with low margins of error. If you don’t need sniper functionality, of course, you can reprogram the button with whatever you want.
One of the most interesting features the M65 offers is its tunable weights. By removing screws on the bottom of the mouse, you can dislodge between one and three 6-gram weights, giving the mouse an overall mass that’s between 97 g and 115 g. As FPS players tend to like mice that are light and fast, this is a useful feature, especially considering they might want to make the mouse a little heftier when transitioning back to more relaxed single-player titles.
At the same time, the weights are a pain to use. Competing mice with tunable weights, like the Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum and the SteelSeries Rival 600, generally just let you pop off a panel, add or remove some weights and snap the panel right back on. For the M65 RGB Elite, you have to use a flathead screwdriver to remove one screw at a time, then jimmy the weight out, then screw the cover back in.
That’s up to six adjustments with a screwdriver per session, depending on how much you like tuning — and the weights are jammed in there pretty tightly, too. It’s nice to know that they’re not going anywhere, but it was unwieldy in the previous version of the M65, and it hasn’t improved in the current model.
One area in which the M65 RGB Elite has gotten considerably better is its software. The modern Corsair Utility Engine is a deep, nuanced, robust program that gives experienced users endless room to play. At the same time, the company has implemented a lot of newbie-friendly features that let users simply set a color or reprogram a button, and get back to the game.
The Corsair Utility Engine can create profiles for the M65, link those profiles with specific games or programs, reprogram any button, set DPI levels and play with the RGB lighting. While the program requires a little more investment than similar programs from Logitech and Razer, that’s only because the number of options it gives you is much greater. In addition to simply tweaking the mouse, you can also use the program’s Dashboard feature to monitor your CPU temperature, fan speed, DPI levels and more. There are advantages to having a mouse designed by a company that’s known for its internal components.
The Corsair Utility Engine is a deep, nuanced, robust program that gives experienced users endless room to play.
I also can’t stress enough that the Corsair Utility Engine lets you do very cool things with color profiles, if you’re so inclined and have a little bit of time on your hands. For StarCraft: Remastered, I made a custom gradient that cycled between light blue, dark blue and purple over the course of 30 seconds, representing the three playable races in the game. If you really want to, you can also tweak brightness, effects and more ambitious color patterns. If you sync the mouse with a Corsair keyboard, you can do even more.
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Of course, the measure of a good FPS mouse is how it handles FPS games. I put the M65 RBG Elite through its paces with Destiny 2 and was extremely impressed with how fluid the whole experience felt. The thumb grip made it easy to adjust the mouse slightly to aim, while the sniper button gave me further precision. Even though my hand sweated, I never lost my grip on the chassis.
The thumb grip made it easy to adjust the mouse slightly to aim, while the sniper button gave me further precision.
The mouse performed similarly well with other genres, as I discovered when I used it to play through StarCraft: Remastered, World of Warcraft and Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales. It doesn’t have any special features to enhance other game genres, but at the same time, the M65 is a comfortable, precise, accurate mouse, and you can use it for pretty much anything.
The original M65 was a fantastic FPS mouse. Now, with RGB lighting and better software, the M65 RGB Elite represents a marked improvement. The weights are still a pain to manage, and the grip is not quite as comfortable as it could be. But these are minor annoyances in the face of what is, overall, a beautiful mouse. Pick it up for competitive play, and don’t be surprised if it has a thing or two to offer your single-player library, too.