Roccat Burst Pro Review
What makes a mouse perfect for esports? It has to be lightweight for instant response. It needs to feature a proven high-performing optical sensor for precision accuracy. And of course, it needs to be stylish and stand out from the crowd. Well, there is no better example of this than Roccat’s all-new Roccat Burst Pro — A mouse that has been engineered from scratch to deliver an experience that worthy of the main stage.
Backing up this experience is Roccat’s all-new Titan Optical Switch that includes a reaction time of up to 40 times faster than traditional mechanical switches. The Burst Pro is Roccat’s first mouse to feature this technology amongst a host of other impressive features such as Roccat’s Owl-Eye optical sensor, heat-treated PTFE feet, and a lightweight design of just 68 grams. It is clear that the Roccat Burst Pro is a serious option for esports and gaming enthusiast despite its relatively low price of just $99 AUD, but how does the Burst Pro compare to the big boys of esports?
I’ve already written two paragraphs and haven’t even touched on the unique exterior design of the Burst Pro — The hull of the Burst Pro features a honeycomb-like design that not only takes its RGB lighting effects to the next level but also sheds valuable weight and makes it one of the lightest mice available on the market. The Burst Pro is perhaps one of the best examples of how to take full advantage of the honeycomb chassis design by blending RGB illumination through a translucent cover. This not only keeps dust, water, Pepsi Max, or any other debris from entering the mouse but it also creates a mystic, somewhat blur lighting effect that is pleasing on the eye. SteelSeries have used this same design with the Aerox 3 Wireless mouse but instead opted to keep the exposed holes open with no cover at all. Despite this, the Aerox 3 fails to acheive the same quality lighting effects that Roccat have done with the Burst Pro.
Ignoring the beehive exterior, the overall design of the Burst Pro closely resembles that of the Kain family with a split button design that includes both the scroll wheel and DPI buttons located between the main mouse buttons. There is a subtle difference in the overall shape of the mouse as the Burst Pro leans towards a more symmetrical and less aggressive design, one that is similar to the Endgame Gear XM1.
The side buttons of the Burst Pro are similar to what you will find across the Roccat range of mice; they are huge! If you have ever used a Roccat mouse before, then you will know what I mean; this is a compliment! The side buttons are perfectly positioned on the mouse, meaning you won’t be overstretching your thumb to quickly hit either button and cause discomfort. The profile of the side buttons is again, perfect. The buttons are nicely recessed into the mouse to ensure that the aesthetics aren’t compromised, yet somehow stick out enough so you can know exactly where they are all the time — Magic!
When I first read that the Burst Pro was the first mouse to use 100% pure PTFE heat-treated feet I must admit, I thought it was a gimmick… Oh, but how I was wrong! The heat-treated PTFE feet allow the Burst Pro to effortlessly glide over any surface like Steven Bradbury during the 2002 Winter Olympics (after everyone else fell over, of course). Incorporating PTFE feet with a mouse is nothing new for the industry, but Roccat has taken this concept one step further by heat-treating the Burst Pro’s PTFE feet to decrease friction while increasing speed and dexterity straight out of the box.
Roccat has chosen to back up the lightweight with their custom Roccat Owl-Eye optical sensor. The Owl-Eye optical sensor is based on the Pixart PMW3389 optical sensor and is able to provide up to 16,000 DPI, 400 IPS, and 50g acceleration. The reality is that you will never, ever use a sensitivity setting anywhere near this (if you do, then please let me know and I will send you a can of Pepsi Max), but it is a great marketing tool that every manufacturer uses.
Joining the Owl-Eye sensor under the hood is Roccat’s all-new Titan Optical Switch, optical being the keyword. What makes optical technology effectively next-gen is the way the keypress is generated; no longer is the input reliant on mechanical components, instead optical technology replaces the mechanical process, including the metallic contacts. The way the Titan Optical Switch (or any other optical switch) generates the keypress is by using a light beam — When this beam is broken to signal is generated up to 40 times faster than traditional mechanical switches.
Now, I can imagine there is one question that instantly pops to your head; sound. As the operation of the switch is no longer mechanical, how does the switch provide the audible feedback when the mouse button is pressed? Roccat has included a tactile audible noise that sounds similar to the traditional mechanical clicking noise we are all familiar with. The problem is, other than its different to what we’re used to, is that the audible noise is a bit on the louder and lower-pitch side when compared to a traditional mechanical noise. This may displease some users and I must admit, I wasn’t a huge fan at first, but after a few hours using the Burst Pro, the noise became normal and instead of criticising the sound, I enjoyed the benefits of optical technology.
We have already seen several brands such as Razer and ROG adopt and develop their own optical switch, even Roccat have previously used this switch on the new Vulcan TKL Pro keyboard. While Roccat has only included the Titan Optical Switches for the two main mouse buttons only, it is only a matter of time until optical switches become the norm and we can reminisce of how we grew up in the true mechanical era of switches.
Despite costing under 100 dollars, the Burst Pro features a number of features I wasn’t expecting for this price tag — one being the ability to set the lift-off distance. This is done via the Roccat Swarm software where there are two options, very low (around 2mm) and low (around 4mm). Best of all, there is even an option to calibrate the LOD to a custom distance that ensures you have the optimum set up — I can’t stress how good this is! Simply click calibrate and move your mouse around to simulate how you would be playing and presto, done. Having the option to set the LOD to any distance you require shouldn’t be underestimated, especially given how light the Burst Pro is. This counters any LOD issues you may that are common for games such as FPS where quick flicks and constant actions can cause accidental lift-off. Once you are done calibrating your LOD and any other features in the software (something we will touch on shortly), then this can be saved to one of five onboard profiles.
The combination of its Owl-Eye optical sensor, Titan Optical Switches, lightweight design (68g), and heat-treated PTFE feet all feel like they’re in sync and complement each other perfectly. This is a truly remarkable piece of engineering as I have yet to experience another mouse that can provide the same level of performance and precision accuracy for under $100 AUD.
Like all Roccat peripherals, Roccat Swarm is the one-stop solution for all of the Burst Pro’s software support. The interface can be a little overwhelming at first, but once you become familiar with the layout and the abundance of options then you begin to appreciate the level of support Roccat have included. Roccat Swarm allows you to do everything you would expect from an esports ready mouse including remapping of all 8 button inputs (6 buttons + scroll wheel), firmware updates, DPI settings, scroll/pointer speeds, polling rate, and of course, RGB lighting effects.
Swarm includes the ability to set all your illumination needs, including AIMO Intelligent Lighting. If you are not familiar with AIMO Intelligent Lighting then pull up a chair, my friend — AIMO Intelligent Lighting technology is able to provide real-time lighting effects based on your in-game status. This means that if you die during a game of Dota 2 or CS:GO, your AIMO enabled devices will turn red. What makes AIMO Intelligent Lighting a step above your generic in-game feedback lighting system is that it is constantly gathering data from your games. This eliminates the need for extensive configuration of each game and setting and eventually, uses it to
take over the world to provide even more accurate lighting effects and in some cases, can even anticipate your death action before it happens!
To say I’m impressed with the Roccat Burst Pro is an understatement – From the moment you first look at the mouse and see the AIMO Intelligent Lighting bursting through the honeycomb shell, you know that the Burst Pro is not an ordinary mouse. Thanks to the heated PTFE feet and lightweight design, the level of control and precision that Roccat has provided with the mouse is unmatched, especially when combined with the true 1-to-1 tracking that the Owl-Eye optical sensor and the instant response of the innovative Titan Optical Switches. There is not much Roccat has done wrong with the Burst Pro, except for providing a wireless option. But for under $100 AUD, you simply cannot go wrong with the Roccat Burst Pro.
Roccat Burst Pro Review
- PERFORMANCE - 93%93%
- QUALITY - 89%89%
- DESIGN - 93%93%
- VALUE - 97%97%
The Roccat Burst Pro is a great example of how innovation and engineering can combine to produce a product that is esports ready, yet affordable for the average gamer!
For more on Roccat, check out our previous coverage.