SteelSeries is a brand that has been synonymous with innovation over the years. Even back to their earlier days, the goal of creating innovative, functional peripherals for gamers has been a staple of the company. I still pine over the discontinued Merc Stealth keyboard as it was such a functional and unique board to use(seriously SteelSeries, it needs a comeback tour).
Their latest venture in innovation takes the form of the Aerox 9 Wireless MMO Mouse. Loaded with 18 programmable buttons, a tried and true software suite, and carrying no extra weight, this mouse is fighting for the championship. When compared to other mice in its class the Aerox 9 aims to come out leaner and meaner than the competition giving MMO players a new peripheral to consider for their setup. How well does the Aerox 9 hold up to the hype though? Grab that coffee, kick back and find out in our review of the Aerox 9 Wireless MMO Mouse graciously provided by the good folks over at SteelSeries.
- Current Price: $149.99 (https://amzn.to/3w7anZf)
- Sensor: SteelSeries True Move Air
- CPI: 100-18,000 in 100 CPI Increments
- Acceleration: 40G
- Poll Rate: 1000Hz/1ms
- Grip Style: Palm
- Button Count: 18
- Switch Type: SteelSeries Mechanical Switches, rated for 80 million clicks
- Illumination: 3 RGB Zones
- Weight: 89g
- Connectivity: 2.4GHz/Bluetooth 5.0
- Battery Life: Up to 80 Hours 2.4GHz/Up to 180 hours on Bluetooth
The Aerox 9 Wireless is a slick-looking mouse. Using the same design philosophy as the rest of the Aerox lineup, this MMO mouse features the iconic grill design that the series is known for. Its long, narrow body and palm grip make it exceptionally comfortable to hold in your hand. With its slim profile, the Aerox 9’s side buttons also take on an elongated horizontal design making everything tuck in nicely along the side of the mouse.
Due to its slim profile, you won’t find any type of ring finger rest which might feel a bit odd with modern MMO mice but it didn’t take away from the overall comfort of the mouse. Both the left and right mouse buttons feel quick and responsive and have a very satisfying click when engaged. The scroll wheels have a rubberized finish and are easy to use with a firm, tactile response when used. A single DPI button sits just behind the scroll wheel and allows you to easily swap between settings.
The Aerox boasts 3 zones of 16.8 million RGB colors to work with, all customized from the GG Engine software (more on this in a bit). Most impressive though is the actual weight of the Aerox 9. Coming in at only 89g it is actually the lightest MMO mouse I’ve ever worked with. The overall quality and feel of the Aerox 9 wireless is right in line with all of the SteelSeries products I’ve used. It's solid, smartly designed, and manages to find a great balance between function and features.
Function and Features
The Aerox 9 Wireless comes stacked with a pretty impressive list of features. 18 programmable buttons are available, each completely customizable to your needs. With profile saving, it's easy to quickly swap out settings in between games allowing the mouse to easily adapt to your needs. The DPI button can also be programmed to swap between pre-saved profiles(or configs) meaning that you can essentially hot-swap your profile on the fly.
As much as I appreciate the look and design of the side buttons I did notice that I struggled a bit with their placement. As mentioned the Aerox 9 has a long, slim body that looks great and fits well in my hand. However, the cost of this design is that the side buttons themselves are also elongated making the reach from button one to ten an uncomfortable stretch, even for my long thumbs. It is by far the furthest I’ve had to reach on an MMO mouse. It is something I’ve learned to adapt to and now doesn’t feel too awkward but it isn’t as comfortable as some of the other MMO mice I’ve tested and used.
The Aerox 9 also sports IP54- rated protection. This means that things like dust, dirt, and last night's pizza grease won’t mess up your perfect K/D ratio in Apex. It also makes the mouse easy to wipe down if you do happen to get debris on your one through six buttons. I’ve noticed that despite the last three weeks of use the Aerox 9 still looks shiny and new without any major smudges or dust build-up.
I was also impressed with the battery life. The Aerox 9 is capable of a wireless connection over both 2.4GHz via USB receiver or Bluetooth 5.0. When running via traditional 2.4GHz wireless you can expect to get around 80 hours of active use before recharge. Bluetooth more than doubles that clocking in at around 180 hours.
Despite my best efforts I’ve yet to completely drain the battery. After three weeks of use as my main driver both at home on my gaming PC(connected via 2.4GHz) and at work(connected via Bluetooth 5.0) I’m still at 15 percent battery life. This ability to switch on the fly between wireless and Bluetooth really eliminates the need for multiple mice which is something I have traditionally wrestled with.
Using it as my main mouse all day and into the evening, I’ve been impressed with just how smooth the 9 glides across various surfaces. The bottom of the Aerox is equipped with 100% PTFE Glide Skates that make everything move buttery smooth. This material excels at creating a low friction contact point that improves not only movement but the smoothness of that movement. It sounds great on paper and I’m actually impressed at how well it works in real life.
The Aerox 9 also features Steelseries' new TrueMove Air Sensor that is intended to create the most precise reflection of hand movement possible. Every movement is registered and translated to the screen creating a very natural fluid movement. In practice, it works exceptionally well. When compared to another top branded MMO mouse that I have here for testing I did note a difference in the translated movement response. Essentially the TrueMove Air Sensor was more responsive to the movement of my hand meaning that I actually had to move my hand less to get the same result as with the other mouse.
This does present a bit of a learning curve for gamers but once I dialed into the sensitivity it became surprisingly natural to use. For those concerned about the sensor being overly zealous, all of those settings along with a host of others can be customized and tweaked to your desired feel.
GG… GG Engine
I am pretty critical of software for gaming peripherals. There seem to really only be two philosophies when it comes to their design. It's either a carbon copy of a generic software package or it's the most robust, feature-heavy software suite you can install. Thankfully GG Engine leans towards the latter offering an exceptional amount of control over what you can customize and save on the Aerox 9 wireless.
The GG Engine has no problem picking up a new SteelSeries peripheral that it supports. In the case of the Aerox 9 Wireless, I simply plugged in the wifi adapter and turned it on. Within a few seconds, I was navigating the settings of the Aerox without an additional setup. It was that simple and made getting everything up and running a breeze.
Each button is completely editable allowing for some serious customization. With what SteelSeries calls Configs (profiles) you really can customize to your heart's desire. Customization goes beyond button tweaking though. Everything from CPI (counts per inch) adjustments to poll rating can all be tweaked. It really is an impressive set of virtual knobs and dials that allow the mouse to feel personalized.
Despite the number of options available GG Engine doesn’t feel overwhelming to use as you can adjust as much or as little as you want. The only interesting note I had when testing out DPI switching was that there was a bit of a sync issue between the DPI switching which is instant and the RGB color change. In all of my tests, the color change was delayed by about a second. This absolutely does not impact gameplay but it can get a bit confusing if you have a lot of DPI profiles saved and are swapping quickly. Overall though the GG Engine is one of the best software suites I’ve used to customize a mouse.
The Aerox 9 Wireless holds true to Steelseries standard of innovative, creative peripheral design. It's packed with features and functions that make it a heavy contender for those looking at MMO mice. From excellent software support to smart design the Aerox 9 has a lot going for it. Some minor design decisions like elongated side buttons and no ring finger rest might be a slight drawback for some. However, when compared to all that the Aerox 9 has going for it, it's hard to find many other mice that can stand against it. Not to mention that it's priced well ($149.99 MSRP), when compared to other MMO mice with the same features and functions. Hands down the Aerox 9 Wireless MMO mouse is one of the best mice in its class.
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. Items purchased through our affiliate links will result in a small commission to support the site.