Gaming Mouse Buyer's Guide

Roccat Kova Pure Review

Roccat brings an affordable all-round gaming mouse to the table, how will it compare with other top mice in its price range.

by Charlie Noon

Gaming Mouse Buyer's Guide

Roccat Kova Pure Review

Roccat brings an affordable all-round gaming mouse to the table, how will it compare with other top mice in its price range.

by Charlie Noon

by Charlie Noon

When Roccat bring out a new mouse it usually has a specific gaming style or type in mind. We have the Kone Owl-eye for FPS, the Tyon for MBO’s but nothing that covers all bases. That’s where the Kova Pure comes in. Not only is it designed for all game types in mind, the designers have gone one step further and made this completely ambidextrous catering to literally all consumers. Usually when this happens the brand have to sacrifice the likes of performance or build quality to maintain an affordable price, however Roccat assure us that this isn’t the case. Today we put the RKP through it’s paces to see if it competes with other fully ambidextrous mice in it’s price bracket such as the Razer Lancehead TE and Logitech’s G Pro Wired.

The Kova comes equipped with the Pixart PMW3320 IR LED sensor which has true 3,500 DPI, 1000hz polling rate and a 1ms response time. The guys at Roccat decided to give the Kova 12 strategically, as they call it, placed mouse buttons which can theoretically be double by using the EasySHIFT+ function via the Swarm software. The design is as always quite loud and expressive but has been stripped back for more competitive gamer’s who take practicality over aesthetics. The Kova is fully ambidextrous and could be one of the main reasons why it beats it’s rivals to the consumers hard earned cash.

Pros

  • Under 100g
  • Great Optical Sensor
  • Solid build feel
  • RGB
  • Ambidextrous

Cons

  • Over Complicated Design (Excessive Buttons)
  • Not Great For Ergonomics

Mouse Size & Weight

  • Weight: 99g
  • Size: Small (under 12cm)
  • Length: 13.1 cm -5.15 inches
  • Width: 6.6 cm – 2.59 inches
  • Height: 3.8 cm – 1.6 inches
  • Hand orientation: Ambidextrous

Mouse Tech

  • Sensor: Pro-Optic Sensor R6
  • Buttons: Omron 5  million
  • DPI: 7000 DPI inclusive of overdrive
  • Polling Rate: 125 / 250 / 500 / 1000Hz
  • Connection: Wired

What’s in the box section

The Roccat product packaging seems to get larger with every new product that comes through the Gaming Verdict office and the Kova Pure is no different. The box keeps the same colour theme of predominantly black with accents of blue and white which is all very typical of Roccat’s new range. Inside you will find the Roccat Kova Pure (RKP) housed within 2 layers of thin plastic that, in all honesty, doesn’t feel the most protective. The mouse does however sit tightly inside the 2 layers so I’m not overly concerned for the mouses safety. The cable is tightly bundled and placed behind the mouse and is held in position with the welcome note and user manual.

  • Roccat Kova Pure
  • User Manual
  • Welcome Note

Mouse Design

Size & Weight

If you’re new to the Roccat brand you’re probably thinking the RKP is quite an elaborate design and you’d be quite right. However Roccat have classified the design of the Kova as stripped back and sleek, two words that don’t immediately spring to mind when looking at this mouse. A more appropriate description would be angular and loud. The height and width can be considered average with the hump peaking at 3.8 cm and a width grip of 6.6cm. The length stretches to an impressive 13.1cm, equaling some of the longest mice we have in the GV office (Fnatic Clutch, Logitech MX518 Legendary and Steelseires Rival 600), but lends itself perfectly to palm and claw grip users. Roccat have managed to keep the mouse sub 100g, just, at 99g which gives the mouse the stability some consumers crave but is also agile enough to throw the thing around if necessary. The RKP has clearly been designed with a wide demographic in mind, average weight, width and height, so why not take it one step further and make it a fully functional ambidextrous mouse? Well that’s exactly what Roccat decided to do and have made the design completely symmetrical whilst taking nothing away from it’s functionality.

Shape & Texture

If you’re familiar with the gentle slopes and subtle curves of say, the logitech G203, you’re going to take one look at the Roccat Kova Pure and think, my god! what did they do…. The design is both angular and edgey with no subtleness what so ever. That’s mainly down to the 2 additional front buttons which stick out of the shell quite prominently and the way the side grips and base seem to be layered for aesthetics only. If, like me, you’re into something a little more refined then you’re going to absolutely hate the RKP’s design. However, there is obviously a large market that appreciate the design of this and other similarly looking mice. If you were to remove the top 2 front buttons and smooth the design out it would be quite sleek but Roccat have designed this for hardcore gamer’s and we all know how they love additional functionality. The hump slopes gently down towards the front where the 2 exposed front buttons are raised to create this kind of housing for your 2 fingers. The texture of the shell and side grips has been finished with a smooth, soft touch plastic which feels great but doesn’t provide a tonne of grip. I must say the overall feel of this mouse, for me and my hybrid claw grip, feels quite awkward. The buttons on the right hand side of the mouse just seem to get in the way and I’m constantly clicking them accidentally. I can see how this mouse would be practical for someone with a static palm grip but for me it just feels wrong.

Buttons

Roccat have given the Kova Pure 12 buttons if you include scroll up and down. 3 either side of the 2 main primary buttons, a DPI cycle button and your scroll wheel. Even though I’m not a huge fan of over complicating the design I must say the feel of the buttons is quite decent. To save time, as I menioned earlier the RKP is completely symmetrical so I will only describe one side of it. To start, the 2 primary mouse buttons feel pretty solid and tactile. There is a little bit of travel in the actuation but nothing I would be overly concerned with. The thumb buttons seem to be positioned awkwardly as my thumb, when resting, is half on the grip and half on the buttons. Usually this isn’t an issue but with the soft nature of the Roccat buttons I did find accidental clicks an issue. Further to this, the 2 front buttons as we’ll call them, which sit exposed above both M1 and M2 were a constant issue so I had to unbind them well before I even got to use the mouse in game. All you have to do is move your ring finger slightly to the right and your throwing nades left right and centre. They also create a kind of housing for your fingers which for me just felt restricting and awkward. The scroll wheel has very little travel and feels solid but not massively practical. Below you will find your DPI button which feels nice enough and can be bound to in game commands using swarm and in game settings.

Cable

To touch on the cable briefly, it is comprised of braided fibre and is 1.8m in length. It actually feels really solid and is fairly thick as far as braid goes. The plus to this is obviously longevity and durability. However I did experience quite a lot of braid/mat friction when using my ROG sheath by ASUS. I did eventually pair it with the Razer bungee and this solved a lot of my problems, but for people not wanting to do this expect a lot of cable drag points.

Mouse Performance & Sensor

We waste no time getting to the performance of the RKP and test it against a number of different genres with varied results. I tried the mouse initially on CS:GO to see how it would stand up  to the likes of the Razer Abyssus and Logitech G203 which are in the same price bracket. The first thing that was noticeable with the Kova Pure was the ergonomics, which just felt really awkward. Now initially I wasn’t sure whether this was down to the fact I’d been using the Logitech MX518 Legendary for a while which has excellent ergonomics, or just down to the shape & design of the Kova itself. What was clear however was that after a couple of days the feeling didn’t dissipate unfortunately. My palm did sit on the hump fairly nicely but my thumb was all over the buttons, my 1st finger and ring finger would constantly activate the 2 front buttons and my little finger always felt uncomfortable. There are some positives mind, the sensor is what they call a Pro-Optic Sensor R6 with up to 3500DPI, ultimately it’s the Pixart PMW3320 IR LED sensor, which can be boosted to 7,000 DPI with the overdrive mode. You have an adjustable polling rate of up to 1000hz and the sensor can track 20g of acceleration. The sensor for me is probably the stand out feature of the mouse and had great tracking. There was little to no jittering or smoothing and I couldn’t notice any acceleration. Once I had unbound those pesky extra finger buttons I did have a decent session on some FPS and found my aim was fairly decent in both long and short situations. I especially enjoyed how the mouse felt stable when spraying up close. Sometimes a lighter mouse can feel a bit sensitive to movements in these scenarios but I was relatively pleased with the RKP’s performance here. I also tried playing battlefield and PubG and the same can be said for those. The RKP has however been designed as an all rounder and with the excellent easySHIFT+ feature you can effectively have 22 different functions buttons at your fingertips which will be perfect for MMO’s and MBO’s.

Roccat have equipped the Kova with 2 RGB zones which are fairly basic but for the price what do we expect. It has nothing on the Razer Mamba, but just enough to be customized to your liking. The zones are located on the scroll wheel and at the back of the mouse near the base, which is barely visible to the user. Everything is customizable through Roccat’s Swarm software and you have the usual choice of up to 16.8 million colours. Lift off distance was around 1CD which is fairly regular these days and wasn’t a major issue when I was gaming.

Mouse Testing Section

These are the various tests we can consider doing.

  • Paint Test
  • CPI Divergence
  • Perfect Control Speed
  • Speed Related Accuracy Variance
  • Polling Rate
  • Input Lag
  • Click Latency

Mouse Software Section

Once you’ve connected your Kova Pure you will be asked to download and install Roccat’s peripheral software Swarm. Don’t be too worried though as the software is actually quite decent and has a tonne of features and customary tools. The software will recognise your mouse and update the latest drivers if necessary after which you are a free to tweak, bind and customize most areas of your mouse. Set your DPI, polling rate and response time to whatever you please along with customizing the RGB zones to your desired effect. One of the best features of the software has to be the LOD tool which lets you alter how sensitive the mouse is when being  picked off the mouse mat, especially useful for people with low sense who cover a lot of distance with the mouse. Further to this the Kova comes equipped with it’s own on board memory and can save your desired profile for on the fly usage. Basically Swarm has a tonne of features for total customization.

If you’d like to learn more about Roccat’s product software click here.

Our Verdict

So to sum up, the guys at Roccat have once again created a mouse that looks like it’d fit right into a transformers movie. No surprises there. However what they have done with the RKP is try to cater to all gamers covering all game styles, all hand types and grip styles right down to what hand they play with. The stand out features for me have to be the sensor and the ambidextrous design which doesn’t sacrifice functionality. However it does let itself down with it’s poorly positioned buttons which are really only practical for MMO’s. So to conclude, if you’re looking for a decent gaming mouse at an affordable price which can function across most game types then the RKP might be the one for you. Alternatively, if you want something refined, feels great in your hand and is specifically targeting FPS I would be steering you towards the likes of Logitech G Pro or Razer’s Deathadder Elite.

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