Roccat Kone XP: Specifications
Max DPI: 19,000
Cut: 5.0 x 2.8 x 1.6 inches
Weight: 3.7 ounces
The Roccat Kone XP demonstrates, once again, that Roccat can make great mice and then overprice them. It happened with the Roccat Koné Pro; it happened with the Roccat Kain Aimo 120; now it happened with the Kone XP. This $90 mouse features an interesting button layout, good in-game performance, and gorgeous RGB lighting. At the same time, it is still quite expensive, given that the device also has some disadvantages.
Although the Kone XP doesn’t have any breakthrough features, its thumb buttons are too small to be very useful, and the Roccat Swarm software still isn’t the most user-friendly program out there. Nor does it offer any tangible advantages over the best gaming mice from competing brands, such as the $80 Logitech G502 or the $70 Razer DeathAdder V2. Read on for our full Roccat Kone XP review.
Roccat Kone XP review: Design
The Roccat Kone XP, at first glance, looks like a pretty standard gaming mouse. It has an ergonomic profile, with a raised palm rest, textured grips on either side, and a small protruding thumb rest. On closer inspection, the Kone XP takes a lot of risks that I’ve never seen in a gaming mouse before.
The button layout on the mouse face is quite simple. There’s a left button, a right button, a clickable three-way scroll wheel, and a profile switch button. There are also two DPI adjustment buttons on the top left. This is a good idea, as many mice clutter the DPI buttons near the center or avoid them altogether.
Where the Kone XP takes a few risks is with its thumb buttons. Instead of the standard two (or possibly two and a larger “sniper” button that temporarily lowers the DPI), the Kone XP has four thumb buttons in close proximity to each other. The only problem here is that each button is tiny, and it’s extremely easy to hit an adjacent one by accident. The bottom buttons in particular are difficult to press accurately.
There’s also a fifth thumb button, though, which I like much better. Roccat has added a button to the thumb rest itself, which means you can press it with the side of your thumb while the rest of your hand is otherwise occupied. By default, this activates the Kone XP Easy-Shift[+] feature, which allows you to use a secondary set of commands on each button. In theory, this means you could replace over 20 keyboard commands with mouse shortcuts. I’d be curious to see how many players adopt this design, but it’s an innovative idea nonetheless.
Roccat Kone XP review: Features
To remap buttons, control RGB lighting, and configure game profiles for the Roccat Kone XP, you will need to use the Roccat Swarm software. I’ve written before about how the Swarm software is a mixed bag, and it’s still not the easiest program to use. It still has a lot of trouble downloading software and firmware updates, especially if you’re using a slower internet connection or aren’t running the program as an administrator from the start. You can also only have five active profiles at a time, unlike competing programs from Razer and Corsair, which automatically sync with an unlimited number of games.
However, once Swarm is up and running, it generally does what it’s supposed to. I was particularly impressed with the Kone XP’s jaw-dropping lighting effects, which light up the entire mouse like a rainbow. Compared to the relatively restrained palm and scroll wheel lights of most gaming mice, this is an inspired design decision, especially since you can get the mouse with a white or black chassis. .
Roccat Kone XP review: Performance
The Roccat Kone XP performs wonderfully in-game, although its preponderance of buttons makes it particularly well suited to massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, or anything that requires a lot of frequent commands. I tested the device with Age of Empires IV, Eternal destiny, Cyberpunk 2077 and Final Fantasy XIV, and found the mouse to be responsive, precise, and easy to handle in all situations. Slaying demons was as easy as commanding medieval armies.
Final Fantasy XIV is where the extra buttons came in handy, as I had the ability to assign my frequently used skills to thumb buttons. As mentioned above, the thumb buttons can be a bit finicky, but eventually you can learn to tell the four apart simply by touch, and the Easy-Shift[+] is an intriguing technology. If you want to offload more than 20 commands from your keyboard, the Kone XP is worth considering for this feature alone.
Roccat Kone XP review: Conclusion
The Roccat Kone XP is a bit overpriced for what it offers, and I have a few minor issues with its thumb buttons and software. Overall, though, this is yet another high-quality mouse from Roccat, and well worth considering if you want comfortable, colorful, and innovative gear.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the Kone XP over the G502 or the DeathAdder V2, both of which are slightly better for general gamers – and both of which make it to our list of best gaming mouse. But if you need a ton of buttons and an entire rainbow under your palm, the Kone XP is probably the way to go.