At a glanceExpert’s Rating
ProsInnovative controlsQuick-strike buttons and optical switchesFast 2.4 GHz radio and BluetoothMultiple programmable buttonsConsTilt controls take some getting used toExpensiveSo-so battery lifeOur Verdict
The Corsair Darkstar Wireless mouse offers a range of controls and features that will suit even the most demanding gamers. However, it has a mediocre battery life and a high price tag.
In the world of gaming mice, where many models are almost indistinguishable from each other, the Corsair Darkstar Wireless stands out with its striking design and impressive technical specifications. But how does it compare to the competition?
The Corsair Darkstar Wireless has a futuristic look, reminiscent of the universe of the game Cyberpunk 2077. RGB lighting is integrated with the Corsair logo on the bottom half, whilst the LED strips in the middle and the mouse wheel bring it to life.
Especially the central RGB strip is reminiscent of Cyberpunk.
Measuring 13 x 7 x 4cm (L x W x H), the Corsair Darkstar Wireless is a similar size to many competitors, but its much lighter at 96g. This weight difference can make a significant impact in fast-paced games like Counter-Strike. Smooth handling is supported by mouse skates made of 100 per cent PTFE.
The USB dongle can also be stowed in the Darstar itself.
A technological powerhouse
The Corsair Darkstar Wireless’s technical specs are just as impressive as its design. Its customised “Corsair Marksman” sensor offers a maximum resolution of 26,000 DPI and lightning-fast signal transmission thanks to a 2.4 GHz wireless connection via a USB nano dongle, which enables a latency of less than 1 millisecond.
Corsair calls this wireless technology Slipstream. Thanks to smart frequency changes and prioritisation of data traffic, the connection should be more stable and faster than conventional 2.4 GHz solutions – I found this to be true. Bluetooth connectivity is also supported, which means the gaming mouse can also be used with many other devices.
15 programmable switches and 6-button cluster
The Corsair Darkstar has a cleverly conceived ergonomic design with a six-part side button cluster that is optimally positioned to minimise hand strain, and a textured thumb grip that makes longer gaming sessions comfortable.
Additionally, with 15 fully programmable buttons, including a tilting scroll wheel, the mouse offers extensive customisation options, making all essential gaming commands and actions easily accessible.
The 6-button cluster is especially interesting for MMO gamers.
Precision and speed
The Corsair Darkstar Wireless offers two very impressive controls: the Quickstrike feature and optical switches. Quickstrike, a method of biasing the left and right mouse buttons, minimises the distance between the buttons and the actual switches, resulting in almost instant feedback when pressed. Spring tension reduces resistance when clicking, delivering a smoother, more efficient clicking experience.
The left and right buttons of the Darkstar Wireless are also equipped with the latest optical switches from Omron. These switches rely on infrared light to detect clicks instead of traditional metal contacts. This results in very fast triggering and minimal latency.
At the same time, the optical switches are said to ensure remarkable durability and reliability. In combination, these two features create exceptional responsiveness to clicks, which prove to be an advantage in intense gaming situations.
The striking design of the Corsair Darkstar Wireless.
Automatic lift-off detection
The Corsair Darkstar Wireless has a remarkable feature – it immediately recognises when it is lifted (lift-off). This is especially interesting for FPS gamers who often need to reposition their mouse and don’t want the lift-off from the mouse pad to result in movement on the screen. The traditional method is to measure the distance from the sensor to the surface and then stop scanning.
However, the Darkstar Wireless goes a step further and implements a gyroscope that detects the minimal rotational movement that occurs when repositioning starts. This stops tracking immediately and the crosshairs remain unchanged, resulting in greater in-game precision.
Tilt gestures for more commands
The Corsair Darkstar Wireless uses its 6-axis gyroscope not only for lift-off detection, but also for tilt gestures. With these gestures, the user can trigger additional commands by tilting the mouse to the left, right, front or back.
Charging takes place via USB-C.
These gestures can be programmed to perform any action, from in-game movements to everyday tasks like taking screenshots or switching between windows. This opens up a wealth of possibilities for customising the mouse and encourages experimentation with new control methods.
Powerful, but power-hungry
One of the downsides of the Corsair Darkstar Wireless is its battery life. With RGB on, it only lasts about 20 hours, while without lighting it stays operational for up to 65 hours.
If you leave the RGB lighting deactivated and only use the mouse via Bluetooth, the battery life increases to up to 80 hours. But compared to rivals, some of which offer up to 300 hours of battery life, it falls well short of expectations here.
Easy customisation, high versatility
Thanks to Corsair’s iCUE software, customising the Corsair Darkstar Wireless is a breeze. It allows you to remap the 15 programmable buttons, adjust the RGB lighting and fine-tune the DPI sensitivity for five different onboard profiles.
Price, availability and verdict
The Corsair Darkstar Wireless MMO costs $169.99/£149.99, and is available from Corsair in the US and the same site in the UK.
This is on the more premium end of gaming mice, and whilst it offers a range of customisable buttons and impressive features, the battery life isn’t the best. However, if you’re a serious gamer, then you should consider adding this to your setup – especially if you’re a fan of the futuristic look.
This review has been translated and localised. You can read the original over on PC Welt.