November 28, 2017
Gaming is not what it once was. What first started as nothing more than a few pixels bouncing a virtual ball back and forth has spurred a full scale industry filled with pro level sporting competition, advances in technology, and maybe the birth of micro-transactions.
In today’s world, gaming is literally everywhere, but outside of the causal types that are often just shy of gambling, first person shooters or FPS and strategy games are still king. There are several brands that really back this type of gamer, and HyperX, a sub-brand of mega tech giant Kingston Technology, is certainly among the most popular.
For console gamers it’s not easy to get a competitive edge outside of a fast internet connection and at times a slightly improved controller. For PC games you can constantly tweak, improve your tech specs, jam as much internet bandwidth, sprinkle in some LED lights, and of course use low-latency wired accessories. A single key stroke, a click of the mouse, or the lack of pin-point accuracy in a sensor can turn a game against even the most professional of players, which is why each year we get new technology to gain a competitive edge. For this, we’re taking a look at HyperX’s FPS line starting with the Alloy Mechanical Keyboard and Pulsefire Mouse.
HyperX Pulsefire FPS Gaming Mouse
If you devote your time to FPS games, you know that there is no better weapon than your trusty mouse. Forget USB 3.0, what you need is an adjustable, highly accurate, and comfortable mouse that lets you balance between the needs of a sharpshooter and the quick reaction times of close-quarter shotguns. Much like the HyperX FPS keyboards, the Pulsefire is custom built for right-handed gamers.
Getting started, all you need to do with the Pulsefire is to plug it in. No firmware or software, it just works. This can also be seen as a bit of a negative if you want to fully tweak how your mouse responds though, so keep that in mind.
It’s all built right into the mouse, and you can easily bind the additional buttons to meet your needs as well. Comparing this to my previous wired mouse, there wasn’t a crazy shift in accuracy; however, everything felt incredibly smooth and comfortable. I did notice though that without the use of a mousepad that it doesn’t slide as smoothly on my wood desk, so I would recommend that. I also have pretty large hands, so this felt extremely comfortable, but if you have smaller hands this may feel a bit oversized, especially in the arch.
- Sensor: Pixart 3310
- DPI presets: 4 (400/800/1600/3200)
- Speed: 130ips
- Acceleration: 30g
- Polling rate: 1000Hz
- USB: 2.0
- Grip: Slip resistant
- Hand: Right
- Mouse Skates: Extra large
- Backlight: Red
- Weight: 95g (120g with cable)
- Buttons: 6
- Length: 127.54mm
- Height: 41.91mm
- Width: 71.07mm
- Cable Length: 1.8m
Pros and Cons
- No software needed
- Fast when needed, smooth otherwise
- Works better on mousepad
- No software to fully customize mouse
Should you buy the HyperX Pulsefire FPS mouse? Between the lightweight, comfortable design, and it’s plug-and-play features, this makes it a great option for your traveling gaming sessions. If you have smaller hands or don’t prefer mousepads, it may not be the best fit for you though.
HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – Cherry MX Brown
The HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is compact and designed for the fast, rapid keystrokes that come along with first person shooters. There are three particular versions, MX Cherry Brown, Blue, and Red, each catering to your preferences in how the keyboard feels when in use. For this particular review, we’re digging into the Cherry MX Brown that is a middle-ground switch, or in other words not to heavy and not too light when pressing keys. If you want a decent primer on the different keyboard switch types, this PC Gamer guide will likely do the trick.
It also features several brightness levels, LED effects, anti-ghosting, N-key rollover, game mode (disables Windows key), and a generally compact design. There is also a USB-port on the backside, but it’s only for charging devices. Now I guess one could argue that they purposefully do not allow for USB-passthrough so you don’t attempt to plug your mouse directly into it and potentially cause latency issues of some kind, but it still feels a bit short-sighted to only be used for charging. It’s also worth noting that due to the compact design and standard 104 keys you’re not going to be able to setup much as far as macros; however, this is an FPS keyboard after all.
Features and Specs
- Game Mode: Disables Windows key
- Anti-Ghosting: 100 percent
- N-Key Rollover: Yes
- Lightning Effects: Yes, 6 options
- Additional Keycaps: Yes, colored and textured
- Polling rate: 1000Hz
- Frame: Solid steel
- Switches: Cherry MX Brown
- USB: Detachable
- Port: USB, charging only
- Bezel: Practically none
- Carrying Pouch: Yes
- Brightness settings: 5
- Width: 17.3 inches
- Depth: 5.1 inches
- Height: 1.4 inches
To test out how well the MX Cherry Brown version works in gaming I put it through some of the basics: CS:Go, Battlefield 1942, StarCraft 2, and a few others that have been sitting in my Steam library.
From an experience level, I used to be big into PC gaming, and have been a bit rusty, but between the Alloy keyboard and Pulsefire mouse it was easy to jump back in. For a terrible comparison I previously used a standard wired mouse and mechanical keyboard designed more for typing, and the switch went from sloppy torso shots in CS:Go to well placed headshots (occasionally). For Battlefield 1942, perhaps my favorite FPS, piloting the plane was just as easy as it was switching between the spray and pray guns and rifles. Also, I still generally suck, but at least there was a noticeable difference here.
Using a mechanical keyboard when typing is definitely a preference versus functionality thing as it’s likely the speed of your writing doesn’t quite need to keep up like a FPS game. Not only do you not need the keyboard anti-aliasing, but it also makes that satisfying click, which in an office environment may annoy everyone else around you. Personally I feel like the clicks are the sound of productivity, so there are some trade offs here. Rambling aside, the MX Cherry Brown is definitely overkill for your basic computing and typing needs, but it does produce a well balanced feel when compared to my well-worked in Macbook pro keyboard. So yes, it will look out of place in an office environment (especially if you leave the LEDs on), but it just feels so right.
Pros and Cons
- Sweet, sweet clicky sounds
- Detachable USB
- No USB passthrough
So should you buy the HyperX FPS Allow Keyboard in MX Cherry Brown? If you’re a gamer, then hell yeah. I personally never understood the excessive LED lighting that comes from other brands, and this uses the perfect red glow so you’re not going to have a unicorn induced seizure. In FPS games it’s clear that the anti-aliasing and rollover ensure your key presses are all in play as intended, so failure is all on you, and for general typing it’s over kill but still great. The only negative I found with the keyboard was the lack of USB passthrough with the built in port, otherwise it works as intended.
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