Rude Gameware’s Fierce 3500 Wireless gaming mouse, the successor to the nicely reviewed v.2 gaming mouse, tries to match the quality of its predecessor while adding wireless to the mix of features. Wireless is always convenient, if more expensive, and the technology and engineering is at a point where manufacturers don’t have to sacrifice quality for a wireless receiver anymore. We were big fans of the v.2, and the addition of wireless was definitely something to get excited about. While the mouse is still a quality product, we felt like it sacrificed a lot to get a wireless gaming mouse to market at a competitive price, in an industry that doesn’t take feature sacrifices lightly.
Release Date: Mid-August, 2011 (open for pre-order)
- 3500 DPI Engine
- 2.4 GHz Wireless w/ Nano Receiver
- Ultra-fast polling and response time
- Onboard memory to save your modifications
- 8 independently programmable buttons and macro support
- Zero-Acoustic Ultra-smooth Teflon feet
- Low power architecture
- On-the-Fly Sensitivity DPI adjustment (no driver needed)
- LED DPI Indicator
- Smart Surface Analyzer
- Included customization software
The Fierce 3500 mouse is identical to the v.2 as far as the exterior design and button layout goes. It’s a recycled design, sure, but it’s still just as comfortable and efficient as before, and we’re happy Rude Gameware stuck to it. The thumb well has a nice contour to it and the side buttons are raised enough that you don’t hit them accidentally while still keeping them within easy reach. The unit has a good heft to it, but this is the first noticeable place where the 3500 took a step backwards; the v.2 had a slide-out tray that housed customizable weights to tweak the heft of the device to suit your personal preference. We thought that was a great touch, and we wish that we had it again this time.
The wireless receiver is your typical tiny USB dongle, measuring at about ¼”. It’s definitely small enough to be out of the way, but the mouse doesn’t have any kind of storage on it to hold the receiver when not in use. With a receiver that small, storage is a must; otherwise, it’s just way too susceptible to loss.
3500 DPI is a pretty big step down from the 5000 DPI of the Fierce v.2. Considering that there are wireless mice out there from various manufacturers that can pull off 5000+ DPI on a wireless setup, we’re pretty sure Ruse Gameware decided on 3500 as a cost-cutting measure. However, like we mentioned before, this isn’t an industry that looks fondly on cost cutting measures at the expense of features, so we’re not sure if this was such a great idea.
The wireless works like it should. We couldn’t tell the difference in overall response time relative to the wired v.2, and the device connects and wakes quickly. The middle DPI switch works a little differently than before. It still flashes different colors to show you which DPI setting you are using, but now the LED turns off after a few seconds to conserve battery life.
The new mouse also comes with a new version of the Fierce configuration software. It features everything we’re used to, from sensitivity settings and customizable DPI settings to macro recording and support for multiple profiles for different games. However, it seems like the developers opted for form over function this time around. There are a lot more garish red and black graphical flourishes, and less functionality. A stark example of this decision is in the DPI toggles. In the previous version of the software, each DPI setting was customizable on both axes instead of only one toggle now, and there were also four possible settings instead of the three offered now. The new software does include some new customization options as far as buttons go, and seems more integrated with the OS (it’s easier to map buttons to specific applications, for example) than before.
Versions 2 and 3 of the configuration software
Don’t get us wrong, the Fierce 3500 is a great mouse, especially for those gamers looking to get a quality wireless gaming mouse at a competitive price. It has all the basic features of a quality gaming mouse, and we couldn’t find any glaring issues when looked at on its own. However, given the quality of its predecessor, the Fierce v.2, it’s hard to recommend this mouse to anyone that isn’t desperate for a wireless option and willing to spend more money ($20 more) for less features. While it keeps the comfortable form factor and quality build of the Fierce brand in place, it takes a significant step back in every other way to make room for wireless connectivity.
If you absolutely need wireless, this mouse offers some good features at a good price. If wireless is just icing on the cake for you, the Fierce v.2 might still be the better option.