Having previously used the terribly buggy Razer Basilisk Essential Mouse and the very good Logitech G502, I needed a Corsair gaming mouse to compliment my new Corsair K68 Gaming Keyboard. I could continue to use the G502 but that would involve using separate software for the keyboard and mouse, configuring each separately and not having any lighting sync between them. I decided to get the Corsair NIGHTSWORD Gaming Mouse as this has a similar feel to the other gaming mice I like, it has the customisable buttons and macros which are essential and it also has an improved sensor to the G502.
The mouse is a large mouse and very comfortable to use, about the same size as the G502 and a little larger than the Razer Basilisk Essential. For me it fits my hand shape and grip perfectly.
The Corsair NIGHTSWORD has 10 buttons which can all be configured, either as keystrokes, macros, hotkeys or pretty much any other action. There are various different lighting effects to chose from and they can sync to other Corsair devices using Lighting Link profiles. DPI can be adjusted from 100 DPI to 18,000 DPI with three stages and one "sniper" being saved into the onboard memory allowing quick change in game between the stages and holding in the sniper button enables a different DPI whilst its held in.
There are four lighting zones - the front grille, scroll wheel, Corsair logo and the rear grille. These can be set individually or you can create a profile to cycle, rainbow or create animations. They also can sync with other Corsair devices such as the K68 keyboard. A ripple effect, for example, can start on the left of the keyboard move across the keys and jump to the mouse lighting.
The left and right mouse buttons feature a scalloped shape into which your fingers naturally sit and this feels very comfortable. The scallop shape also helps prevent accidental click of the two buttons just to the left of the left button - DPI switching by default but you can bind these to any key or action. The mouse wheel is rubberised and has a nice feel to it. There is no clutch switch for free flow, nor is there any tilt switches, just a plain old scroll wheel with subtle notches. The two buttons on the top act as quick profile switching between the three hardware profiles and the profile currently set in iCUE.
The surface of the mouse has a textured top which adds a little grip but I suspect may attract dust and dirt. The thumb rest is rubberised for grip. The sniper button is easy to access just to the front and above the thumb rest, although unlike the Razer Basilisk it does not protrude so can take a little while to get used to its position.
Under the mouse is a little compartment where you can fit extra weights to customise the weight feel and balance. This part of the mouse does not feel as refined as the G502 from Logitech and the weights come in two sizes, three of each - 4.5g and 2.7g.
Early Problems with Corsair NIGHTSWORD
Within a few minutes of using the Corsair NIGHTSWORD I encountered my first problem. The mouse stopped responding every 10-15 minutes or so. The lights are on but the cursor does not move. The only way to get it running again is to unplug and plug back in. At this stage I'm not sure if this is a hardware or software error as the problem only started once I had iCUE installed. Changing the polling rate from 1000ms to 500ms did initially resolve the problem, only for it to return a few days later. It could be a timeout or sleep mode issue as I notice it having taken a break or stepping away from the computer for a while.
Update 31st May 2021: This mouse has been constantly plagued with issues where the mouse stops responding randomly. Sometimes during gaming, sometimes just using Windows. Tried many, many things to fix including disabling lighting, setting USB ports to not sleep, clean installation of iCue 3 and 4, forcing firmware updates, clearing all my profiles and resetting defaults, resetting the mouse. Nothing worked. Contacted Corsair support who basically gave a copy and paste reply that the device has to be returned. Replacement arrived and had same problem.
Around this time I had some Windows corruption and had to factory reset my laptop. I chose not to install any Corsair iCue applications for a while and during that time I experienced no problems. I had two weeks with the mouse functioning perfectly. Then I decided to install iCue and the problem came back within an hour. To me this kinda proves that iCue or the drivers it installs are faulty. When I contacted Corsair again they just said return the mouse for replacement.
Summary: Great mouse, very very poor drivers and applications. Do not install Corsair drivers or iCue applications. They are buggy and leave your hardware useless.