Macros and RGB for $39

A wired gaming mouse with 7 programmable buttons and RGB

We’ve previously looked at the top of the HyperX mouse line with our Pulsefire Surge RGB review, and the Core model we're checking out today sits at the entry level in the HyperX lineup, though it still offers full customization for buttons and RGB lighting. Is this $39.99 wired gaming mouse a good value? We will try to answer that here.

First we'll check out the specifications for the full HyperX mouse lineup:

  Pulsefire Core Pulsefire FPS Pulsefire FPS Pro Pulsefire Surge
Shape Symmetrical Ergonomic Ergonomic Symmetrical
Connection Type Wired Wired Wired Wired
Lighting RGB Red RGB RGB – 360
Buttons 7 6 6 6
Switch Reliability 20M Clicks 20M Clicks 20M Clicks 50M Clicks
Optical Sensor Pixart 3327 Pixart 3310 Pixart 3389 Pixart 3389
Max Resolution 6200 DPI 3200 DPI 16000 DPI 16000 DPI
Max Speed 220 IPS 130 IPS 450 IPS 450 IPS
Max Acceleration 30G 30G 50G 50G
Polling Rate 1000 Hz (1 ms) 1000 Hz (1 ms) 1000 Hz (1 ms) 1000 Hz (1 ms)
Cable Type Braided Braided Braided Braided
Weight (without cable) 87g 95g 95g 100g
Product Dimensions
64x119x41mm 71x128x42mm 71x128x42mm 63x120x41mm
NGenuity Software Enabled Yes No Yes Yes

Pricing and Availability: $39.99,

As you can see the Pulsefire Core offers a mix of features between the FPS and FPS Pro models, and still provides NGenuity software control. The first technical difference to point out is the optical sensor (Pixart 3327), which at a max of 6200 DPI sits between the FPS and Surge, and also provides a faster 220 IPS speed than the FPS models. Mouse switches are rated for the same 20 million clicks as the FPS as well, though you will need to move up to the Pulsefire Surge to get the Omron brand switches and their 50 million clicks.

Now we'll take a look at the hardware itself.

A USB mouse with 1000 Hz polling rate (the USB cable is not detachable), the design of the Core is similar to the Pulsefire FPS models, though the shape is symmetrical like the Pulsefire Surge.

The HyperX logo is illuminated and offers customizable RGB effects, or the option to turn it off, using the NGenuity software.

The mouse has a profile that strikes a balance between finger and palm grips, much as we saw with the Pulsefire Surge.

Finally, the skates on the bottom of the mouse are large and promote smooth travel on the mousing surface – be it pad or bare desk/table.

Usage Impressions

The Core has a very light feel, and at just 87g (and with large skates beneath) to say that this is easy to move around on your mousing surface is an understatement. The core does provide a comfortable feel with a size somewhere between a palm and a fingertip form-factor, and as I use a mouse primarily with a fingertip grip I had no complaints about this shape. Really my experience came down to the weight, and this was just a little too easy to move around for my style. This is in keeping with other lower-cost mice such as the Corsair Harpoon, which is a feathery 85g. Still, with no option to customize weight (which makes sense given the price point) you need to be ok with a very light mouse.

Actual mousing accuracy felt very good, with up to the 3200 setting offering precision when I slowed down my movements. I am not brave enough to attempt DPI settings higher than this, particularly with such a light mouse. The mouse also has a nice acceleration, which picks up quickly without throwing the cursor off the side of the display. Ultimately I found the feel to be precise when I needed it, with pixel-accurate movements available at low speed. I used this for both gaming and productivity during testing, and a good mix of both applications can be found here.

Let’s check out the NGenuity software briefly, as this is the place where buttons can be re-mapped, macros created and applied, and logo illumination changed (or turned off).

The buttons below the scroll wheel default to DPI setting, functioning as expected with a click on the upper button raising the sensitivity, the the lower button bringing it back down. Default behavior moves this in 800 DPI increments, from 800 to 3200 DPI, and this can be adjusted all the way up to 6200 DPI.

Final Thoughts

The Pulsefire Core is a very lightweight, responsive mouse with good customization. It offers solid performance for gaming and productivity and feels reasonably sturdy, though less premium than more expensive options (and I can’t fault it for that). Mice in this price range are plentiful, with Logitech's entry level coming in at $10 less and still offering programmable buttons and macro support, but HyperX blends a nice mix of features with the Core to make this a good option in the $30-$40 gaming mouse segment.