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Roccat Kone Pro review

The Roccat Kone Pro is a pretty gaming mouse, but at a greater cost than its competitors

Roccat Kone Pro review
(Image: © ROCCAT)

Our Verdict

The Roccat Kone Pro is a comfortable and effective gaming mouse, with particularly striking RGB lighting. It's expensive for what it does, though, and the software could be better.

For

  • Comfortable grip
  • Creative lighting options
  • Good performance

Against

  • Fairly expensive
  • Imprecise software
  • Few advantages over competing mice
Roccat Kone Pro review: Specs

Max DPI: 19,000
Buttons: 5
Size: 4.9 x 2.8 x 1.6 inches
Weight: 2.3 ounces

UPDATE, 6/3: We've updated this review to reflect a second wireless unit that we tested, which did not share the connectivity issues of the first.

The Roccat Kone Pro is a very good mouse. It's also a fairly expensive mouse. Does it strike the right balance between functionality and price? That's what our Roccat Kone Pro review hopes to answer.

In general, I have few complaints about the Roccat Kone Pro, or its wireless counterpart, the Roccat Kone Pro Air. (The two are similar enough that this review will cover both; more on that later.) It's comfortable, thanks to its ergonomic design, and incredibly pretty, thanks to its creative RGB lighting. It performs well in any genre of game, and doesn't bog users down with any unnecessary features.

At the same time, for $80, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a few more bells and whistles. There are no tunable weights, no customizable side panels and only two extra buttons. Save for the lighting pattern, it's difficult to find a feature that definitively sets the Kone Pro apart from its competitors.

Still, not every gaming mouse has to reinvent the scroll wheel. What the Kone Pro lacks in innovation, it makes up for with style and utility. If you're searching for the best gaming mouse, the Kone Pro is worth a look — particularly if you can see it when it's all lit up.

Roccat Kone Pro vs. Roccat Kone Pro Air

It's worth noting that the Roccat Kone Pro also comes in a wireless configuration, called the Roccat Kone Pro Air. This mouse costs $130, and offers two types of connectivity: 2.4 GHz USB wireless, or Bluetooth. Roccat claims that the device offers more than 100 hours of battery life, and this may be true on a Bluetooth connection, with all lighting deactivated. Over USB wireless, with lighting at default settings, the mouse lasted for about three full workdays, somewhere between 24 and 30 hours.

Otherwise, the Kone Pro and Kone Pro Air are identical from design and functionality perspectives, so this review covers both mice. The only caveat to keep in mind is that while testing our first Roccat Kone Air, the USB wireless was much less reliable than the Bluetooth option, often lagging terribly and failing to register commands. A Roccat representative sent us a second unit, however, which functioned appropriately. Roccat will examine the first unit, and try to determine whether it was a hardware, firmware or software issue.

Roccat Kone Pro review: Design

The best word to describe the Roccat Kone Pro's design is "straightforward." It's a right-handed, ergonomic mouse with a low profile and a slightly textured, indented thumb rest. There the right side of the mouse also has a slight texture, but it's not really coarse enough to improve grip — or to notice, for the most part.

Roccat Kone Pro review

(Image credit: ROCCAT)

The Kone Pro has a left button, a right button, a clickable scroll wheel, two rectangular thumb buttons, and not much else. On the bottom of the wired mouse, there's a button that can switch profiles. The wireless version has this button, as well as a power button that can also toggle between USB and Bluetooth wireless modes. Both the Kone Pro and the Kone Pro Air come in either black or white colorways.

The only standout feature here is the RGB lighting, which looks quite different from RGB lighting on most other mice. Instead of LED strips on the sides, or a light-up logo, the Kone Pro's lighting is right underneath its right and left buttons. These buttons have subtle honeycomb designs, which shift in intriguing patterns as the Kone Pro cycles through a pulsating rainbow. Being able to actually see RGB lighting when you use a mouse is a surprisingly uncommon feature, and the Kone Pro handles it beautifully.

Roccat Kone Pro review: Features

The Roccat Kone Pro runs on the Roccat Swarm software, about which I've had mixed opinions in the past. I've criticized Swarm for not being very stable, and for not offering as many options as competing peripheral programs, such as Logitech G Hub or Razer Synapse.

First off: Roccat deserves a lot of credit, because Swarm is much more stable than before. Trying to update the program no longer causes it to crash — although I didn't like the fact that it installed software and firmware updates at the same time. An unexpected firmware update meant I lost control of my mouse for a few minutes in the middle of an important assignment; I thought I was just downloading a new version of Swarm.

Roccat Kone Pro review

(Image credit: ROCCAT)

Otherwise, Swarm is functional, albeit imperfect. You can adjust the DPI, modify the (once again, absolutely gorgeous) RGB lighting, program buttons, and set up profiles for individual games, which is unfortunately limited to five of these at a time.

For the Kone Pro Air, you can also manage battery life, although the Swarm software is not very good at this. When I plugged the Kone Pro Air into recharge via USB-C, Swarm told me that the battery life was at 0% for hours, before suddenly jumping up to 90%. It then told me that the battery life was at 90% for the rest of the day, but jumped up to 100% after I restarted the machine. It's not a reliable way to know how much charge you have left.

Otherwise, the Kone Pro doesn't have much in the way of extra features. You don't get tunable weights, an adjustable scroll wheel, or a programmable "sniper" button as in the Logitech G502. You don't get an inventive "clutch" button, as you do in the Razer Basilisk V2. You don't even get the handy DPI buttons below the scroll wheel, as you do in the Razer DeathAdder V2, which is also $10 cheaper.

Roccat Kone Pro review: Performance

One area where the Roccat Kone Pro excels is in its game performance. I ran both the Kone Pro and the Kone Pro Air through Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, Doom Eternal, Baldur's Gate III and Final Fantasy XIV, and both mice performed beautifully. Neither favored  any particular genre; both were equally adept, whether I was commanding colonial armies, gunning down vile demons,exploring fantastical airships or completing quests in the player-filled streets of Ul'dah.

Roccat Kone Pro review

(Image credit: ROCCAT)

Since the Kone Pro has few extra buttons, it might be a tough sell for MMO players who like mapping their entire skill rotations to their gaming mice. Otherwise, I can't think of any major drawbacks. The Kone Pro simply works, and works well.

Roccat Kone Pro review: Verdict

The Roccat Kone Pro is a very good gaming mouse, with a slick design, creative lighting options and solid performance. At the same time, it arguably costs too much for what it does. At $60, the Kone Pro would be an easy recommendation; at $80, both Logitech and Razer make better options in the same price range.

Still, if there's one thing Roccat does well, it's making peripherals that turn heads. If you pair the Kone Pro mouse with a Roccat Vulcan Aimo keyboard, you'll have one of the most gorgeous gaming setups on the market. That may well be worth sacrificing a few extra buttons.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is an editor for Tom's Guide, covering gaming hardware, security and streaming video. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.