More is better, right? Not always. While MMO gamers may require a big, floaty mouse decked out with as many buttons as the shell can handle, the FPS crowd will scoff at the added weight and resulting fatigue those extra buttons create. Premium peripheral maker Pwnage knows this, and it's gone all-in with its design of the StormBreaker, its latest entry into the ultralight FPS mouse category. From its magnesium alloy shell to its movable sensor, the StormBreaker is designed to provide that extra edge that every competitive gamer seeks. I’ve been hands-on with the StormBreaker for the last couple of weeks, and it’s a lean, mean, FPSing machine. But at what price?
- Price: $179.99 (Pwnage)
- Size (L/W/H): 122mm x 64mm x 42mm (4.80in x 2.52in x 1.65in)
- Weight: 51g
- Form Factor: Right Handed
- Buttons: 5
- Sensor: PixArt PAW 3395
- Maximum DPI: 26000
- Switches: Omrom mechanical
- Feet: 100% PTFE (optional glass feet available)
- Connectivity: 2.4GHz Wireless, USB Type-C
- Battery Life: Up to 120 hours
Pwnage StormBreaker: What Is It?
The StormBreaker is a premium five-button FPS mouse from Pwnage. Unlike standard plastic mice, the StormBreaker has a magnesium alloy shell. Stronger than plastic, magnesium’s low density makes for a stronger shell without the added weight of other metals. As such, the StormBreaker weighs in at a mere 51g, making it one of the lightest mice on the market.
Underneath its lightweight shell, the StormBreaker uses a PixArt PAW 3395 optical sensor for a maximum resolution of 26000 DPI. Its Omron switches are rated for 20 million clicks to provide smooth movement and accurate aiming. Wireless connectivity is handled through a large pyramid-shaped base that connects to your PC through a USB-A port. The StormBreaker’s internal rechargeable battery (via a USB-A to USB-C cord) can last up to 120 hours.
The StormBreaker has a standard five-button setup - primary and secondary buttons extend almost to the midpoint of the shell, a clickable scroll wheel, and two thumb buttons. Button functionality can be adjusted through a minimalist software package that includes button mapping, DPI settings, polling rate, and macro creation.
The mouse sits on four 100% PTFE skates for effortless movement on any smooth surface, and optional glass feet are also available. To further enhance the precision of your movements, the optical sensor can be repositioned forward or backward from the mouse's center.
Pwnage StormBreaker: Aesthetics and Ergonomics
With weight being a primary focus of the FPS crowd, the StormBreaker foregoes the extra baggage required for RGB lighting. To compensate for the lack of bling, Pwnage has put a lot of thought into the physical appearance of the StormBreaker. Instead of using a uniform geometric pattern for the “holey” cutouts on the shell, the top of the StormBreaker is covered in a forward-expanding field of diamonds, while the side cutouts create a tiger stripe effect. There are additional etchings along the length of the mouse.
The standard edition of the StormBreaker comes in either black or white. To further accent the design of the mouse, there are five limited edition colorways - red, olive, mint, blue, and gray. Each colorway has additional graphics highlighting the etching to give the StormBreaker a futuristic-looking aesthetic straight out of your favorite sci-fi game, such as Warframe or Destiny 2. Black grip tape is included with the mouse for those wanting a more textured feel
The StormBreaker is crafted with an asymmetrical shape ergonomically fitted for right-hand use only. The left side of the mouse is concave, and my thumb fits naturally within the curved surface. As for the top of the mouse, the slight height difference between the left and right sides felt comfortable and also naturally conformed to my hand’s resting shape, but without any pinky rest, I often found my finger sliding down the convex right side of the mouse and sliding across my desk’s surface. And although the mouse felt good while holding it with a claw and palm grip, the placement of the two thumb buttons made it difficult to press them and maintain control of the mouse’s movement.
Pwnage StormBreaker: Functionality
Like most ultralight mice, the StormBreaker’s weight and ergonomic design make for accurate and precise movement. The two main selling points of the StormBreaker - a magnesium alloy shell and adjustable sensor position - up the ante in both feel and performance. The alloy shell is noticeably firmer than most plastic mice but isn’t perfect. Put enough pressure on the top of the mouse, and you can feel and see the flex. However, since it’s so lightweight, you’ll probably never have to grip it tight enough to notice.
I honestly expected the adjustable sensor to be more of a gimmick than a functional advantage. I was wrong. After trying several different positions, I quickly noticed that moving the sensor actually improved tracking, especially during horizontal movement. I also found repositioning the sensor to be most effective when using a palm grip, and it also affected tracking to a lesser degree with a fingertip and claw grip.
I found it extremely easy to handle the mouse, even during intense action sequences that required rapid and erratic movement. The lightweight nature of the mouse allows for a softer grip, which significantly increases the time before finger and hand fatigue sets in.
Button presses result in quick and accurate responses, and competitive gamers will notice the difference that the 2000Hz polling rates provide. The 2000Hz polling rate greatly diminishes the StormBreaker’s battery life, though, so expect the need to recharge in 80-90 hours at that setting.
Pwnage has created a capable and aesthetically striking mouse that shines without the need for RGB lighting to lure in gamers. Thanks to its ultra-lightweight shell and adjustable sensor, the StormBreaker is a joy to handle. Even with a soft grip, the mouse is easy to control, and the extra polling rate and premium sensor will keep your aim true. While the software included with the StormBreaker is simplistic, it provides all the functionality needed to customize the mouse to your needs.
Is the StormBreaker worth its premium price? That really depends on the user. Are you a hardcore gamer who focuses primarily on competitive first-person shooters and little else, is right-handed, and cares more about weight than you do RGB? Then, yes, the feel and precision of the magnesium alloy shell and adjustable sensor are worth the hefty price tag. But a casual shooter fan who enjoys other genres that rely more on a large number of buttons than weight and accurate mousing, you may be paying a premium for features that don’t quite fit your wheelhouse.The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.