Built well and highly customizable.
The Corsair NightSword RGB Tunable FPS/MOBA Gaming Mouse (See it on Amazon) is a gaming mouse that lets you keep close tabs on its weight. With Corsair’s iCUE software, you can monitor the changes to its total weight and center of gravity as you add and remove the six weights to the underside of the mouse. Unless you are insanely sensitive to the feel of your mouse, however, I doubt you’ll find yourself needing or using this level of detail. Still, it’s a cool feature to play around with and clearly illustrated in the software.
While the weight-detection system is the headlining feature of the NightSword, the standout element to my eyes (and thumb) is the huge thumb rest the mouse offers. It could more accurately be described as a thumb shelf. With an excellent overall build quality, highly accurate optical sensor, and four-zone RGB lighting, the NightSword offers good looks and great performance. At $80 it’s pricier than other stellar gaming mice from Corsair, however. Is the software-aided weight detection or generously-proportioned thumb rest worth the extra coin? Let’s dive in and find out.
Corsair NightSword RGB – Ergonomics and Design
The Corsair NightSword RGB features textured, rubberized palm and thumb grips; a whopping 10 programmable buttons; and four customizable RGB light zones. The build quality and ergonomics are first rate. With its huge thumb rest on the left side, the NightSword is unquestionably for right-handers only.
While not as big and bulbous as the Corsair IronClaw RGB, the NightSword is a large, heavy mouse. It’s 5.1 inches long by 3.4 inches wide by 1.7 inches high. At its lightest, it weighs a hefty 119 grams and goes up to 141 grams with its six weights added. By comparison, the IronClaw weighs 105 grams, and the Corsair M65 RGB Elite ranges from 97 to 115 grams with its weight system.
While previous mice from Corsair have featured textured, rubberized size grips, the NightSword goes one step further and adds the grippy surface to the palm rest, too. The rubbery grips are more useful against your thumb and pinky finger on the sides than under your palm, but it does give the NightSword a cool look. The left- and right-mouse buttons are the only large surfaces that don’t feature the textured surface. Even the scroll wheel is textured.
Many gaming mice feature an ergonomic design that features a scooped-out left side that creates a comfortable, cozy perch for your thumb. The NightSword takes this idea and expands it, quite literally. The left side of the mouse extends out below your thumb, providing more than just a concave shape in which you can nestle your thumb. The left side flares out along the bottom to create a wide, horizontal surface for your thumb to rest. I liked the feel of it, but you might not like the added width of the mouse if you pick up and re-center your mouse regularly instead of always gliding it along your mouse pad.
When a gaming mouse advertises multiple RGB light zones, it usually means two – one around the scroll wheel and one for the manufacturer’s logo on the palm rest. The NightSword boasts four RGB lighting zones. In addition to the scroll wheel and logo, it has front and rear lighting zones. There are three cutouts in the front and three in the back that illuminate the color or color pattern of your choosing. There’s actually a fifth lighting zone – three small strips of light on the left side that show you which DPI setting you are currently using. You can customize their color, too, and they also glow a different color when you are in sniper mode.
There are 10 programmable buttons in all – seven on the top surface and three on the left side.
On the top, you get the usual left- and right-mouse buttons and a clickable scroll wheel that counts as a button. There are also the fairly-typical-for-a-gaming-mouse pair of buttons behind the scroll wheel to cycle through the profiles you created. Then there are two extra buttons not typically offered on a gaming mouse that are located on the left edge of the left mouse button that sit just to the left of your pointer finger. By default, these two buttons are programmed to cycle through the mouse’s DPI settings.
On the left side, there are forward and back buttons and a sniper button. The sniper button lowers the DPI setting when it’s held down and is separate from the three DPI settings you can cycle through by using the two DPI buttons next to the scroll wheel. All 10 of the buttons are programmable via Corsair’s iCUE software.
The NightSword glides smoothly, thanks to the five large glide pads on its bottom surface, including a huge pad below the enormous thumb rest. In the center is a hexagonal, removable panel that covers the six spots for adding the mouse’s weights. The weight system comprises six metal weights – three donut-shaped 2.8g weights with a hole in the center and three solid 4.5g weights.
Corsair NightSword RGB – Software
Corsair’s iCUE software works across all the company’s products that support software control. It’s well designed and easy to use. The software lets you program the DPI levels you want for the three settings (plus the separate sniper setting), create macros and other actions, perform surface calibration (to help improve tracking and aiming), enable angle snapping (to help you track in a straight line), and customize the lighting effects in the mouse’s four zones (plus the DPI indicator lights). There is an impressive array of RGB lighting effects, including two that change color based on the temperature of your CPU or GPU. Very cool.
The most unique part of the mouse is its weight-system detection, and there’s a whole page dedicated to it in iCUE. It shows you a diagram of the weights you have added to the mouse, and it changes in real time as you add and remove them. It shows you the total weight of the mouse and how the center of its mass is affected along the X, Y and Z axis. While I commend the execution of the software’s weight-system monitoring, I just don’t know how useful it is in real-world terms. Simple physics and logic tell me that by placing the heavier weights in the back, that the mouse’s center of gravity, for example, will be shifted back from the middle ever so slightly. I don’t need to know how many millimeters from center it is. The total-weight figure is a little more useful if you are moving from another mouse to this one and want to achieve a similar weight with the NightSword as on your old mouse, but that’s about it as far as usefulness I think.
The mouse has onboard storage so you can take three profiles with you when playing on a friend’s PC. And you can save a seemingly endless number of profiles to your PC in iCUE.
Corsair NightSword RGB – Gaming
To test the mouse, I played CS:GO, Fortnite and Overwatch. With its super-high 18,000dpi sensor, the NightSword unsurprisingly felt incredibly accurate and responsive. I enjoyed the big thumb rest, but others may not like its feel. It’s definitely different. And I prefer using a heavy mouse, so I liked the weight and feel of the NightSword, but if you may not if you like a light, flickable mouse.
The placement of the NightSword’s 10 buttons is effective. They are easily accessed but never get in the way. I was initially worried about accidentally hitting the two buttons that carve out a little area of the left mouse button, but I never once pressed them without meaning to. Because the sniper button forced my grip to change a bit to reach it, I ended up programming the back button as my sniper button because it sits directly above my thumb, which allowed me to stay in sniper mode without needing to change from using my natural grip. Other than being right-handed, the NightSword’s ergonomics are fairly neutral and will work for claw and palm grips alike.
The Corsair NightSword RGB Tunable FPS/MOBA Gaming Mouse has an MSRP of $79.99 and it’s usually the same price online.