Asus’ ROG Gladius is a right-handed mouse with a six-button design aimed at FPS players. One issue such players might immediately notice is the nonadjustable 116g weight. If you like a heavier mouse, though, there’s plenty to like. The plastic body has a smooth finish that’s pleasant to touch and comfortable to use over long hours, although a soft-touch finish would be preferable. Nonetheless, it’s a well-built, exceptionally solid rodent. It’s also well suited to each grip type – for claw and finger users, the rubber sidegrips really do the trick, while palm users will benefit from the precisely shaped contours that mould well to your hand. The Gladius uses a detachable cable system via its micro- USB connection, with 1m rubber and 2m braided cables both supplied, neither of which drag.
You also get replacement feet and a ROG carry pouch. Coupled with the ability to store settings directly on the mouse, the Gladius is well suited for LAN attendees. The main buttons use Omron switches, which are reliable as well as responsive and lightweight, although thankfully not too light. These buttons are found in many high-end mice, but the Gladius goes a step further with a unique pair of sockets into which you can insert replacement D2F and D2FC switches to customise resistance. An extra pair of switches is provided, and replacing them is easy – remove the feet and the screws beneath them to separate the body, and simply slot them into place. Meanwhile, the two thumb buttons’ location feels natural, making them easy to actuate quickly.
The rubber-coated scroll wheel is also pleasant to use, with well-defined steps. Finally, the dpi-shift button sits behind the scroll wheel, but it would be better positioned further forward, or at the tip of your thumb, like the ‘sniper’ buttons on other mice. The 6,400dpi optical sensor is sensitive enough, says Asus, for you to move across a 4K screen with just 1in of movement. Many favour the smoothness of optical sensors, and indeed the Gladius’ tracking is very pleasant, with no jitter or unwanted acceleration effects. It is, however, more reliant on surface quality than a laser sensor.
The software’s surface analyser helps if you’re forced to use it without a mouse mat, but you’ll want to carry one with you if you’re often on the move. Then there’s the software, which is fast and wonderfully easy to navigate. However, it lacks some features of other mice in this price range. You can only store one profile at a time, for example, and there’s no automatic profile switching, although a single profile will probably suffice for the majority of FPS games. All six buttons and the scroll functions can be customised with basic Windows functions and macros too, and the macro editor can record mouse clicks and delays.
More advanced systems do exist, but the Asus setup will suffice for most users, especially FPS gamers. Elsewhere, you can tweak your two dpi settings (in 50dpi increments) and other performance options, as well as the lighting of the three red LED areas – the scroll wheel, dpi indicator and logo.
There are more fully featured mice available for this price, but the ROG Gladius is comfortable to use in all rips, and has software and features that are focused rather than overly complicated with superfluous gimmicks. For FPS gaming, we couldn’t ask much more of it, but RTS and MMO users have better options.
There’s also the excellent build quality – with detachable cables, replacement feet and switches and a solid body, it’s really built to last. Despite its high price, if you take FPS gaming seriously, the Gladius is a worthwhile long-term investment.