Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS Mouse Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Aug 25, 2021 at 10:49 am
Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS Picture
8.5
Office/Multimedia
6.7
Video Games (FPS)
8.0
Video Games (MMO)
4.8
Ultra-Light Gaming
8.1
Travel
Connectivity Wireless
Type
Standard

The Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS is one of the more premium models in the R.A.T. lineup, and it's the only wireless option in the series. It feels well-built, but the mouse feet are very thin and feel cheap. It has a moveable palm section that lets you adjust the length of the mouse to your needs, and it comes with alternative right side panels and a pinky rest to change the look and feel. Performance-wise, it has a wide CPI range, a CPI you can adjust in increments of 100, and a very low lift-off distance. It has good click latency via its USB receiver, although it isn't as low as other models. Unfortunately, it's very heavy, and the mouse can only obtain a polling rate of 100Hz when connected via Bluetooth. Also, note that you need to store the receiver in the mouse for the Bluetooth to work.

Our Verdict

8.5 Office/Multimedia

The Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS is excellent for office use. It's universally well-suited for all hand sizes and grip types thanks to its moveable palm section that lets you adjust the length to your needs. Also, it comes with a pinky finger rest, along with two different side panels. There are many programmable buttons, and it has a thumb wheel on its left side, but it's awkwardly placed. Unfortunately, its scroll wheel can't unlock for free scrolling, but it does have L/R tilt buttons, which are rare on most gaming mice.

Pros
  • Can connect via USB receiver and Bluetooth.
  • Adjustable length; suitable for all hand sizes and grip types.
  • Scroll wheel has L/R tilts.
  • Programmable thumb wheel.
Cons
  • Scroll wheel can't unlock for free scrolling.
6.7 Video Games (FPS)

The Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS is okay for FPS gaming. It has low click latency when used with its USB receiver, although it isn't as low as other gaming options. It has a very low lift-off distance, a wide CPI range, and a CPI you can adjust in increments of 100. You can reprogram all of its buttons, and it has a moveable palm section that lets you adjust the length to your hand size. Unfortunately, it's very heavy, and its mouse feet are thin and feel cheap. Note that you can only use the mouse wirelessly.

Pros
  • Good click latency with USB receiver.
  • Very low lift-off distance.
  • Adjustable length; suitable for all hand sizes and grip types.
Cons
  • Very heavy.
  • Can only be used wirelessly.
  • Mouse feet are very thin and feel cheap.
8.0 Video Games (MMO)

The Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS is very good for MMO gaming, but it doesn't have nearly as many side buttons as a dedicated MMO gaming mouse. On the bright side, you can reprogram all of the buttons it does have, including the thumb wheel. It has low click latency, a very low lift-off distance, and a broad CPI range with a CPI you can adjust in increments of 100. It's universally well-suited for all hand sizes and grip types thanks to its moveable palm section that lets you adjust the length to your needs. Also, it comes with a pinky finger rest, along with two different side panels. Note that you can only use the mouse wirelessly.

Pros
  • Good click latency with USB receiver.
  • Very low lift-off distance.
  • Adjustable length; suitable for all hand sizes and grip types.
Cons
  • Doesn't have as many buttons as a dedicated MMO mouse.
  • Can only be used wirelessly.
4.8 Ultra-Light Gaming

The Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS is a poor choice for fans of ultra-light gaming mice because it's very heavy. Also, its mouse feet are very thin and feel cheap. The click latency is somewhat low when used with its USB receiver, but we don't recommend using Bluetooth for gaming since the latency is very high, and the polling rate locks at 100Hz. Note that you can only use the mouse wirelessly.

Pros
  • Good click latency with USB receiver.
  • Very low lift-off distance.
Cons
  • Very heavy.
  • Can only be used wirelessly.
  • Mouse feet are very thin and feel cheap.
8.1 Travel

The Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS is very good for travel, but it's bulky and heavy, and it may not fit in most laptop cases. That said, it feels well-built, and you can use it via its USB receiver or over Bluetooth; however, the receiver needs to be stored in the mouse for the Bluetooth to work. Unfortunately, not all of the buttons work on macOS.

Pros
  • Can connect via USB receiver and Bluetooth.
  • Adjustable length; suitable for all hand sizes and grip types.
Cons
  • Very heavy.
  • 8.5 Office/Multimedia
  • 6.7 Video Games (FPS)
  • 8.0 Video Games (MMO)
  • 4.8 Ultra-Light Gaming
  • 8.1 Travel
  1. Updated Aug 25, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Aug 13, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Lighting Color No Lighting
Design
Shape
Length 5.0" (126 mm)
Height 1.5" (39 mm)
Width 3.5" (88 mm)
Grip Width
59 mm

The Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS has an adjustable palm rest that changes the length of the mouse. With the palm rest fully extended, the mouse is 5.0" (125.8mm), but you can adjust it to be as short as 4.4" (112.1mm). It also comes with alternate right side panels that change the width of the mouse. With the winged pinky rest, the mouse is 4.3" (108.7mm), and with the smooth or textured plastic cover, it's 3.4" (87.7mm).

7.3
Design
Portability
Volume
26.06 in³ (427 cm³)
Cable/Receiver Storing
Yes
Design
Weight
Maximum Weight With Wire
N/A
Maximum Weight Without Wire
142 g
Minimum Weight Without Wire
140 g
Weight Distribution
Centered
Extra Weights
No

This mouse comes with a GP Alkaline AA battery that weighs 23.33g. However, we perform our tests using our own generic batteries as per our methodology. The battery we used is an Amazon Basics rechargeable AA battery that weighs 27.51g.

8.5
Design
Build Quality
8.5
Design
Comfort Of Use
Right-handed
Yes
Left-handed
No
Ambidextrous
No
Coating
Matte
Finger Rest
Thumb and Pinky
Design
Palm Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
Yes
Design
Claw Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
Yes
Design
Fingertip Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
Yes
9.4
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
Yes
Receiver
Yes
Battery Type
1x AA
Use When Charging
No ( Single use batteries)
On/Off Activation
Auto Off And On/Off Switch
Receiver Extender
No
Battery Indicator Yes

While this isn't written in the manual, we discovered that you need to store the USB receiver inside the Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS to activate the Bluetooth. Mad Catz claims the battery on a single charge can last about 200 hours when using the receiver and 300 hours when using Bluetooth, but we don't test this.

0
Design
Cable
Cable Length N/A
Cable Type
No Cable
Permanent Kink
No
Port Type: Mouse End
No Port
Port Type: PC End
No Port
7.0
Design
Mouse Feet
Gliding Experience
Ok
Material
PTFE
Extra Included
No
Design
In The Box

  • Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS
  • User documentation and stickers
  • Alternate palm rest
  • 2x Alternative right side panels
  • GP Alkaline AA battery
  • USB receiver
  • Mini dusting brush
  • Hex key

Control
Control
Sensor Specifications
Sensor Technology
Optical (LED)
Sensor Model
PixArt PAW3335DB
Works On Glass
No
Minimum CPI (DPI)
100 CPI
Maximum CPI (DPI)
16,000 CPI
CPI (DPI) Adjustment Steps
100 CPI
CPI (DPI) Variation
3%
Minimum Lift Off Distance
1.2 mm
Maximum Polling Rate
1000 Hz

The polling rates available on the Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS are 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, and 1000Hz. However, it can only obtain a polling rate of 100Hz when connected via Bluetooth.

8.2
Control
Buttons
Buttons Activation
Mechanical
Total Number Of Buttons
10
Number Of Side Buttons
3
Number Of Programmable Inputs
14
Profile Switching Button
Yes
CPI (DPI) Switching Button
Yes
Gesture Support
No

You can reprogram all buttons on the Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS, including the top right side button, the up/down inputs of both wheels, and the L/R buttons in the top scroll wheel.

Control
Mouse Wheel
Scroll Wheel
Notched Wheel
Scroll Wheel Steps
30 Steps
Scroll Wheel Tilt
Yes
Thumb Wheel
Notched Wheel
Thumb Wheel Steps
12 Steps
Control
Noise
Click Noise
Quiet
7.7
Control
Click Latency
Click Latency: Receiver
15 ms
Click Latency: Bluetooth
57 ms
Click Latency: Wired
N/A
Operating System And Software
7.8
Operating System And Software
Compatible Software Option
Software Name MADCATZ R.A.T. DWS
Software Windows Compatibility
Yes
Software macOS Compatibility
No
Account Needed
No
On-Board Memory
Yes
CPI (DPI) Adjustment
Yes
Polling Rate Adjustment
Yes
Profile Configuration
Yes
RGB On/Off
No
8.3
Operating System And Software
Mouse Compatibility
Windows Compatibility Fully
macOS Compatibility Partially

The Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS's top side button next to the left click cycles through four custom profiles by default, but since the software isn't available on macOS, you can't create profiles, rendering the button useless.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS in black, and there are no other color variants. You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Mice

The Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS is one of Mad Catz' more premium models in the R.A.T. lineup, and it's the only wireless model in this series. It has an adjustable palm section that shortens or lengthens the size of the mouse, as well as swappable right side panels for a pinky rest or different grip textures. Like other mice in its lineup, it has an angular design with plastic plates that form the mouse's body instead of the usual solid shell you see on typical mice. Unfortunately, it's very heavy, and its click latency isn't as low as other gaming mice.

For other options, see our recommendations for the best mice, the best gaming mice, and the best wireless gaming mice.

Mad Catz R.A.T. 8+

The Mad Catz R.A.T. 8+ and the Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS are more premium models in the R.A.T. lineup, but the DWS is the only wireless model. The 8+ is lighter, and it has a lower minimum CPI, and you can adjust the set CPI more precisely in increments of 50 instead of the DWS' 100. Also, its maximum polling rate is higher. On the other hand, you can use the DWS over a USB receiver or Bluetooth, and its click latency over the receiver is lower than the 8+'s wired latency. Both come with interchangeable parts to modify the feel and look of the mouse, making them suitable for all hand sizes regardless of grip type.

Mad Catz R.A.T. 4+

The Mad Catz R.A.T. 4+ is a mid-range mouse in the Mad Catz R.A.T. lineup, while the Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS is the only wireless model in the lineup. The R.A.T. 4+ is wired-only and significantly lighter. It also has a more precisely adjustable CPI. On the other hand, the R.A.T. DWS feels sturdier and connects wirelessly either with its USB receiver or via Bluetooth. Additionally, it has several interchangeable pieces that alter the look and feel of the mouse, a mouse wheel with L/R tilt buttons, and a thumb wheel. Performance-wise, it has lower click latency when connected with its USB receiver. However, It has extremely high click latency when connected via Bluetooth.

Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED

The Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED and the Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS are both wireless gaming mice, but the Logitech performs better overall. The Logitech has a wider CPI range, with a CPI that you can adjust more precisely, and its click latency is lower. The Logitech's scroll wheel can unlock for free scrolling, great if you intend to use it for office work. On the other hand, the Mad Catz has Bluetooth support, which the Logitech lacks, and it has a thumb wheel for side-scrolling. Also, it has many moveable and interchangeable parts to adjust the look and size of the mouse, making it suitable for any hand size regardless of grip type.

Logitech G502 HERO

The Logitech G502 HERO is a good wired gaming mouse, while the Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS is a decent wireless-only gaming mouse. Overall, the Logitech is better thanks to its wider CPI range, more precisely adjustable CPI, and much lower latency. It has more programmable inputs, and you can set a HyperShift button for more layers. Also, its customization software is available on both Windows and macOS, while the Mad Catz software is available on Windows only. On the other hand, you can use the Mad Catz via USB receiver or Bluetooth, but the Bluetooth latency is too high for gaming. The Mad Catz has a thumb wheel, and it comes with both adjustable and interchangeable parts to better fit your hand size.

Razer Viper Mini

The Razer Viper Mini is an incredible ultra-light wired gaming mouse, while the Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS is a decent wireless-only gaming mouse. The Razer is much lighter, its mouse feet glide significantly more smoothly, and its click latency is much lower. Comparatively, the Mad Catz has a wider CPI range, a lower lift-off distance, and a more consistent sensor. Also, it has many interchangeable and adjustable parts to better fit your hand size, regardless of grip type. You can use it via USB receiver and Bluetooth, but the latency over Bluetooth is much too high for gaming.

Logitech MX Anywhere 2S

The Logitech MX Anywhere 2S and Mad Catz R.A.T. DWS are wireless mice designed for different purposes. The Logitech is a travel-friendly office mouse that's lightweight and low-profile, and its scroll wheel can unlock for free scrolling. On the other hand, the Mad Catz is a wireless gaming mouse with interchangeable parts that change the look and feel of the mouse. Since it's geared towards gaming, it has more programmable buttons, a lower lift-off distance, and a much higher polling rate. It uses an AA battery while the Logitech uses an internal rechargeable one.

+ Show more

Discussions