The Pulsefire Surge (announced this year at CES 2018,) is HyperX’s successor to their first ever gaming mouse, the Pulsefire. Not content to slap some RGB lighting and a fresh coat of paint on an old model and call it a day, HyperX has also upgraded the internal components, outfitting the Pulsefire Surge with a Pixart 3389 sensor and bumping up the max DPI to 16,000.

Let’s see how the Pulsefire fares the second time around.

Classical design

The Pulsefire Surge, much like its older brother the Pulsefire, isn’t trying to make waves with its design. HyperX has stuck with a very traditional look, as opposed to some of the more out there looks you see on other more “extreme” mice. If you took away the RGB lighting, the Pulsefire Surge looks a lot like any other mouse you’d find around the office. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’re looking to use the Pulsefire Surge for work and play.

The Pulsefire Surge may have a simple design, but doesn’t mean it’s not pretty. It features some of the best looking RGB lighting I’ve seen on a mouse. The Pulsefire Surge has two RGB lighting sections – one on the HyperX logo and one strip running around the entire base of the mouse – and it makes the most out of them.

The lighting is bright, vibrant, and colorful without being too garish or drawing the eye away from in-game action. I only have two minor critiques. First, there’s very little in the way of customization. You can adjust the brightness, change between 3 different lighting patterns, and turn off the RGB lighting entirely, but that’s all. You can’t even choose your own color to match the rest of your peripherals.

Second, while I liked the fact you can make the RGB lighting adjustments on the mouse, I would have also liked to see some software support. The manual seemed to indicate you can adjust things in HyperX’s Ngenuity software,  but as of this writing, the mouse isn’t detected inside Ngenuity. Perhaps everything will work once the Pulsefire Surge officially hits the market, but I can’t confirm this to be the case.

Don’t let the Pulsefire Surge’s basic aesthetic fool you – what it lacks in style and flash, it more than makes up for in comfort. The high arch is great for both palm and fingertip grips, and the wider left and right buttons allow for easy presses. There’s a good amount of weight behind the Pulsefire Surge, too, preventing the mouse from flying around all over your desk, but it’s not heavy enough to make lifting the mouse a chore. If I’m splitting hairs, I would have liked the Pulsefire Surge to be a tad bit longer and wider, but overall, this is one comfortable mouse that didn’t give me hand cramps, even after extended gaming sessions.

Killer sensors

A gaming mouse needs to be fast, smooth, and accurate, and I’m happy to report that Pulsefire Surge scores high on all three marks, thanks in huge part to Pixart’s new 3389 sensor. I absolutely adore Pixart sensors, and this one is buttery-smooth, with phenomenal tracking and glide. It starts and stops on a dime, and moving the Pulsefire Surge around feels effortless. In-game performance is off the charts, with tight, pixel-perfect accuracy, and even the smallest movements registering on-screen. I had a blast using the Pulsefire Surge in FPS, RTS, and MMO games, so much so that it’s hard to go back to gaming with my old mouse.

Beyond the 3389 sensor, the side buttons feel great to click, as do the main left and right buttons, which use top-of-the-line Omron switches. The left and right buttons have the perfect sensitivity, and I experienced zero errant clicks in my time with the Pulsefire Surge. I also love HyperX’s decision to use two big teflon feet. In my experience, more feet mean more potential for gunk and crud to stick to the bottom of the mouse, and that can restrict movement. Larger, bigger feet are easier to clean, and easier to replace.

There are no extra macro buttons, no pre-made profiles for popular games, and as of this writing, no software support. For me, this isn’t that big of a deal – I’d rather get to gaming than fiddle around with a bunch of macros, anyway, but gamers used to sixteen easily accessible macro buttons might be a little disappointed.

Surging ahead

It feels like HyperX has designed a mouse almost exactly to my specifications. With beautiful RGB lighting, a simple, traditional look, and unbeatable performance, I can’t think of a mouse in this price range I like more than the Pulsefire Surge.

If you like your gaming mice to be ultra-customizable and full of extra buttons, the Pulsefire Surge might not be quite what you’re looking for. But if you put a premium on performance and comfort, the Pulsefire Surge hits it out of the park.