We were lucky enough to receive a Roccat Kova gaming mouse last month to review. I’ve used the mouse extensively, and have several things I like and dislike about it. However, before we even get into the proper review, there’s something very important about this mouse: it’s ambidextrous. I am right handed. This review is going to be biased that way, due to my inability to use my left hand for more than scratching my head and pressing WASD.
The Awkward Stuff
Right off the bat you’ll notice some odd button placements on the Roccat Kova. It has the typical two buttons on the side, except it has them on both sides. As I said, it’s an ambidextrous mouse, so it is symmetrical to allow left-handed players the same functionality as us rightys typically enjoy. The side buttons seem like they might get in the way, but in reality you have to do something wrong or awkward in order to accidentally hit one of them.
Far more cumbersome are the buttons on the top of the mouse. On either side of the mouse buttons is a raised section that functions as another button. These buttons are very strange to press. I’ve used mice with buttons in that location before, in fact, my current mouse has two on the left side. However, having the buttons raised makes it just plain odd. I eventually got onto the left button, hitting it with my pointer finger, but my middle finger is not pleased with the motion to hit the right bumper-button. I understand the functionality of the ambidextrous mouse, but struggled to use it efficiently.
This leads to the final bit of awkwardness: this mouse has six additional buttons that can be programmed. However, one of the buttons can be set to change all the other button functions while you hold it down, similar to the function key on a keyboard. This is great for having more programmable buttons, but my goodness it is difficult to remember. This is mostly a matter of time, and doesn’t really detract from the mouse itself. However, it is very difficult to remember all the two button combos, and hit them while playing fast paced games.
I found myself only using them when I was browsing websites, and even then I had to think about what they did before using them. That said, these buttons can be programmed, so if you don’t like this function you can remove it.
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The Great Stuff
This is a bit of an odd mouse, so I felt that I should cover the awkward stuff first. But there’s a lot of good to this mouse, too. It’s light, which is something that I really love. Despite being ambidextrous, it is very comfortable to hold as well, and I never felt like I had to change my hand position to be comfortable. This surprised me considering it doesn’t have the grooves for your ring finger and pinky that many mice today have.
I also found the buttons on the left side of the mouse to be extremely accessible without moving my natural hand position in any way. This mouse has some odd things about it, but comfort is not one of them; it’s an excellent mouse when it comes to hand comfort.
As I mentioned, all six of the buttons are programmable, with options to use one of them to swap all the other keys’ functions. This leaves you with a shocking 22 programmable buttons, which is incredible for a mouse that is so sleek. I personally discussed my issue with the top buttons, but they are fairly accessible as long as you’ve gotten used to them. Many things about this mouse fall into the odd category, but most can be overcome by simply using the mouse, and once you’ve gotten used to them they are huge benefits. Having access to so many buttons without moving your hand or having a numpad on the side of your mouse is a huge bonus.
It’s impossible not to discuss this mouse being ambidextrous. A lot of the things I find awkward about this mouse boil down to the fact that it’s usable by everyone. The right side buttons are tough for me to reach because they are in the perfect spot for a left handed person. The buttons on the right side are hard because I’m not meant to be hitting them accidentally during normal play. When looking at this mouse through the lens of being left handed, or simply imagining the buttons on the right side were gone, almost all of the awkwardness disappears. The Roccat Kova is a very solid mouse, it just takes a bit of getting used to, particularly regarding which mouse buttons you can incorporate into your active play style.
The Just Plain Bad
The Roccat Kova is a great mouse, but there were two things about it that really bothered me. One is a personal issue, as many things here have been. One of my mouse pads is made of a fabric very similar to that of a pillowcase. I’ve used many mice on it, and none have had issues. The Roccat Kova drifts on this mouse pad, though. I’ll put it down and let go and the mouse cursor will start jiggling and drifting to the left. I thought it might be a calibration issue, but it was perfectly fine on every other surface and mouse pad. This is a very specific issue, and if you don’t have an odd mouse pad you’ll be fine. However, it’s certainly worth mentioning in case anyone else experiences it
The real issue I noticed was the DPI setting. The DPI settings on the Kova go high enough for me, but they are capped a lot lower than some people would like them, and are far lower than most gaming mice on the market today. This isn’t great, but it’s not a huge issue as few people would need a DPI that high.
However, the bigger issue in my opinion is that you cannot easily swap the DPI. Instead, you have to scroll through all five settings. Changing your DPI mid-firefight is basically impossible; you have to pick a DPI and stick to it, unless you have a second to hit your button four times. It also doesn’t have a display showing that you’ve changed your DPI setting, which is something that many newer gaming mice have incorporated. Hitting it accidentally leads to some confusion that could easily be avoided.
Despite how this review started, the Roccat Kova is actually a very solid mouse for anyone. If you’re left-handed, this mouse is a no-brainer. It feels good to use, and there’s a ton of functionality built in, even if it does take some getting used to.
If you want a mouse with access to a lot of macros or secondary functions, but don’t want to use a mouse with a numpad on the side, this is the perfect mouse for you. The only true downside that was not a specific-to-me issue is the DPI setting, which many people never change and would not have issues with.
The Roccat Kova is an affordable and comfortable mouse that has potential to have incredible functionality if you put some time into it.
Esports Edition was provided with a HyperX Cloud Stinger Wireless headset for review by the manufacturer. As with all of our game and hardware reviews, our opinions are our own, and this article truthfully and accurately reflects our experiences with the product. Please review our Ethics Policy for more information about our review process.