Short answer: Yes.
Long Answer: Depends on the situation.
Don’t get me wrong, we have come a long way since the days of a balled mouse where you would have to pick fluff out in order to keep it working and to stick to a thick pad. Then came the Lazer mouse which, in gaming terms, was essential to have the darkest mat finish to a pad to ensure the higher DPI.
However these days, mice seem to have an optical lens which, in theory, should perform on any surface…. but do they?
If you have a non-reflective surface which, even after lots of mouse usage, doesn’t hurt your hand, then you’re pretty much good to go. However, if you have a shiny desk like myself which can often cause the mouse to skip and use a low DPI and sensitivity in games that require a lot of mouse movement, then this is where you are going to need a mousepad.
With the massive choice of mousepads that are available, how do you decide which type to use? Luckily, this week I had a chance to review 2 new different styles of mousepads that ROCCAT has on offer: The ROCCAT Taito XXL Wide and ROCCAT Sense XXL. As I had an opportunity to have a full weeks evenings to test these, I split it up in 2. The first part of the week I would game on the ROCCAT Taito XXL Wide and use the ROCCAT Sense XXL at work before swapping them around halfway. This way I could get a feel for both of them in 2 different situations.
Before testing both mousepads, I will be comparing them against my current home pad which is the Glorious PC Gaming Race XXL mousepad measuring a whopping 914x457mm and 3mm thick. The stitched edges on it do rub a little while gaming and need to raise my arm a little which can cause, after a few hours, some discomfort.
The test was run for 7 days and while at home the mats were used to play Apex Legends with a DPI of 400, Mouse Sensitivity of 3 and an ADS of 1. While at work, the settings are set to default when plugged into the PC as it’s not used in the same way as playing games.
The first part of the week the ROCCAT Taito XXL Wide was used at home while the ROCCAT Sense XXL was at work. Then on Wednesday, they were swapped around so that the ROCCAT Sense XXL was at home while I used the ROCCAT Taito XXL Wide at work. Let’s see how these mousepads got on.
ROCCAT Taito XXL Wide
I started off using the ROCCAT Taito XXL Wide at home to try a nice bit of gameplay on it. The mousepad measures at 900x330mm and 3mm thick with a stitched edge. It’s a little smaller than my usual mousepad but also a lot shorter in height with a hope that the stitching doesn’t cause too much annoyance when gaming. Its also noticeably “dense” compared to the Sense XXL as the top seems rugged.
As soon as I sat down to play some games with the mousepad, already I could tell it was higher than my normal pad and it was very sturdy on the desk. However, after about 4 hours of play and with my arm raised a little, it did start to get a little annoying with stitching rubbing against my arm while playing the Apex Legends. So I switched it up to an RTS (Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2) with the thinking that I would do less rapid movements. Again, after a while it was fine but then I started to feel the rubbing against my arm. I played with the mousepad for the first half of the week and even though it’s a solid mat, it seemed too tough and high to play games.
When it was time to switch it up, I then took it to work and see how it went there as the mouse tends to be used in a slower manner. Within the first hours the mousepad already feels suited to the office rather than at home gaming as the lower, less frequent movements suit it. As it is thick and not very moveable, I could gain the little extra accuracy that I didn’t get with my old mousemat. It’s also very comfortable and after a full days work it didn’t rub compared to playing with low DPI.
Overall, it has been nice mousepad to use but it is a little too thick compared to my normal pad and the rubbing is a little bit annoying on my arm while playing games but for work, it feels better. I think that pad is good for lesser movements but keeping that higher accuracy.
ROCCAT Sense XXL
The first part of the week I used the ROCCAT Sense XXL mousepad while at work. It has a very smooth surface and is thinner compared to the dense more rugged feeling of the Taito XXL Wide. It measures at 850x330mm and just 2mm thick. While using it for work, the mouse felt smooth and just as high accuracy as expected but I couldn’t help think, will the mousepad be better suited for gaming than work? The main reason that with a thinner mat, a very smooth and slick service along with no rubbing of the arm would make for a good surface to play my low DPS FPS games. I continued on the rest of the testing with work, and overall it was a very good mousepad for work.
The second part of the week I swapped it around with the ROCCAT Taito XXL mousepad and used the ROCCAT Sense XXL for gaming at home. With it’s silky smooth surface and a thinner profile, without even touching a game and similar to what I was experiencing in work, the mouse moves so much nicer than my original mousepad and the ROCCAT Sense XXL mousepad.
Having the low DPI on the mouse, 3.0 sensitivity and 1.0 ADS settings for Apex Legends, The mousemat is perfect for rapid mouse movement. It felt that the accuracy was higher too compared to my original mousepad and seemed to be able to take those crucial shots when facing the enemies.
With the mousepad being thinner, I had no rubbing of my arm off the pad and in a good few hours I used the mousepad on the game, not once did it ever bother me, including not slipping too as it kept in place quite nicely.
If you’re in the market for a new or updated mousepad, without a doubt, between the 2 mousepads the ROCCAT Sense XXL is perfect for gaming especially if you are like me and use a low DPI. If you’re in the UK it’s currently priced at £27.99 which, in my opinion, is the nice sweet spot for a quality mousepad. The ONLY thing that I would complain about this pad is the “Cloud-like” pattern. It would be absolutely perfect if it was all black. Regardless, the ROCCAT Sense XXL still deserves the Thumb Culture Platinum Award!
As for the ROCCAT Taito XXL Wide I thought, on paper, it would be the winner however it fitted perfectly for being used for work but not for gaming and it just wasn’t as good as the ROCCAT Sense XXL. With a £34.99 price tag, I wouldn’t even consider it. Unfortunately, I would have to give the ROCCAT Taito XXL Wide the Thumb Culture Bronze Award.
Disclaimer: Samples were received in order to write this article.