I Love Mad Catz’s Bizarre Gaming Mice

I Love Mad Catz’s Bizarre Gaming Mice

Look at this piece of gaming hardware, all panels and buttons and weird pokey bits. This is the Mad Catz R.A.T. 8+ 1,000, a limited edition mouse celebrating the company’s 30 year anniversary. It’s emblematic of the odd but oddly-satisfying design choices made by one of the biggest names in computer peripherals. I love it as if it were my own cyborg son.

To think we nearly lost Mad Catz. Back in 2017, the company closed its doors following a lengthy struggle with not making enough money to exist. Gamers everywhere mourned the loss. Would there ever be a company brave enough to release really weird shit, like the S.T.R.I.K.E. gaming keyboard, or whatever the hell this thing was again? Of course there would! Mad Catz was apparently too big of a name not to be eventually swallowed up by a Chinese holding company and put back into operation.

Less than a year after closing, Mad Catz was back in business as Mad Catz Global Limited, with a whole website filled with characteristically strange products like the revitalized R.A.T. line of kooky gaming mice.

The $US99 ($146) R.A.T. 8+ is the top of the Mad Catz R.A.T. line. The particular model I’ve been using is the R.A.T. 8+ 1,000, a limited edition of the mouse released to celebrate the brand’s anniversary. The company only made 1,000 of these, but don’t worry if you miss out. It’s the same thing as the regular version only with a dark grey and gold deco and a fancy box.

The R.A.T. 8+ has got a Pixart PMW 3389 optical sensor, which features the fastest tracking speed (1,016cm per second) and highest resolution (16,000 counts per inch) of Pixart’s current gaming mouse sensor lineup. It uses Omron switches for its buttons, rated to 50 million clicks during their lifetime.

The R.A.T. 8+ is programmable, with enough onboard memory to store four profiles. Mad Catz’ Flux Interface software allows users to tweak those profiles, adjust mouse lift-off, tweak the RGB lighting and more.

Image The standard R.A.T. 8+ in basic black.

The R.A.T. 8+ has many buttons. Left click. Right click. There’s a button beneath the scroll wheel to adjust the mouse’s CPI. On the thumb rest there are internet back and forward buttons, as well as a precision aim button that slows down the pointer for perfect shots. Along with a clickable scroll wheel, there is a thumb barrel control. Almost all of these buttons are programmable.

It mouses good, which is an important thing for a gaming mouse to do. But the real selling point of the R.A.T. 8+ is its physical versatility, AKA the reason the mouse looks like a prosthetic dog foot from the far future.


The R.A.T. 8+ is built so users can customise the mouse for comfortable and optimal hand positioning. The palm rest, for example, can be slid back with the push of a button, extending to accommodate larger hands. Pulling it out all the way allows the rest to be swapped out for one of two alternate palm rests.


Other adjustments can be performed via a hex driver tucked into the rear of the mouse. Users can remove the pinky support and replace it with a piece more friendly to a claw-style mouse grip.


The thumb rest can also be adjusted so it’s further outward from the main mouse body, as well as higher or lower along the side of the unit. When all the adjusting is done, the hex driver slips back into the underside of the unit, doing double duty as an anchor for a trio of removable weights.


On one hand, especially if that one hand is the only one that will be touching the mouse, all of this adjustability is sort of silly. Once a person finds the optimal position for their R.A.T. 8+, it’s likely they’ll never touch any of the adjustable features again. But me, I like to play and fiddle with my hardware. I have restless hands. Large restless hands that appreciate the extra length and extended thumb room the R.A.T. 8+ provides.

Here’s what my R.A.T. 8+ looks like now.


I’ve got the palm rest as far back as it will go. I swapped out the default pinkie rest for the claw-friendly platform. I’ve pulled the thumb rest away from the side of the mouse so my massive hand can sit in a more natural position. This is what works for me.

That’s what I love so much about Mad Catz’s goofy R.A.T. line of adjustable gaming mice. I could have gone through a dozen other gaming mice to find one with all the features I like. Instead, I made a few adjustments to this one and now I’m good to go. The R.A.T. 8+ looks strange, but it’s a strange thing that suits me perfectly.


  • Owned both a rat9 and the strike 7, was sad to see I couldn’t get a wireless rat9 replacement when mine started to die after 7+ years of use 🙁

    Maybe worth looking at going corded again to get my pinkie grip back….

  • Check out the Mad Catz Lynx 9 controller if you want some beautiful weirdness. One of the products that almost sent them bankrupt, it was made to be the swiss army knife of controllers. Mostly metal body, turned into a mobile phone grip, split in half to become a tablet grip, detachable keyboard, and folded up to fit in your pocket. Original RRP was $500, I picked one up for $100 a few years, it’s a really amazing piece of hardware that was ridiculously overpriced. Beautiful piece of future gaming history though.

      • Your average gamer? Probably not. It’s not going to replace your XBONE controller. But… do you like mobile gaming or using emulators on your phone? Do you have a 6 inch tablet you want to turn into a faux Switch? Do you appreciate style over function? If you answered yes to any of these questions then, like me, this may be your dream controller. 😀
        In all seriousness, I spent a long time trying to find a truly great mobile controller. I owned a couple of Ipega controllers and they weren’t great – big deadzones, cheap manufacturing, too bulky. The Ipega 9087 Red Knight is a $30 alternative that does a good job, but is still quite cheaply made (the analog stick caps fall off regularly on mine). The Lynx 9 is a masterpiece by comparison – sturdy, well made, portable. If you want something that looks like a transformer that you can bust out to play Fortnite or SNES roms with, try and find a Lynx 9 on sale. I love the crap out of mine. 🙂

  • Had the Rat 9 cyborg and within 2 years the scroller basically died.. Have had logitech for years with no quality issues…

    Sorry Mad Catz have great style and design, but quality control for me has always been lacking for this company

  • I had the R.A.T 7 and over a period of just a few years nearly all the buttons stopped working correctly, not recognising clicks or double clicking etc, the scroll wheel was the first to go. Very disappointing, although I didn’t have any problems with the S.T.R.I.K.E 5 keyboard. I now have a G502 Hero because Logitech finally has mice with the features I want, hell I still have my original G5 and G15 from my first PC, they’re 12 years old and work perfectly to this day as a back-up. I’ve also moved on to a mechanical keyboard.

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