Accessory, Opinion, PC

We Need More Hotswap Mouse

Chances are, you’ve used a fair number of mice in your lifetime. Now, how many of them were replaced because the buttons were double-clicking? Needless to say, this is a very common issue, and unless you’re willing to disassemble these mice and desolder the faulty micro switches, it’s much easier to just get a new mouse.

Well, this won’t be an issue with a hotswap mouse, such as the Asus ROG Gladius III. But that’s the thing: only Asus has a slew of gaming mice with hotswappable micro switches right now. We need more mice – gaming-centric or not – with hotswap sockets, which would really change the ownership experience of mice in general.

Not convinced? Then read on!

Hotswap Support Improves User Experience

Imagine this: you really like this particular mouse. It has a good shape, its set of features are exactly what you want, but the only problem is…you don’t like the buttons of the mouse. Maybe it’s too loud, maybe you don’t like how it feels, but the bottom line is, the way the mouse clicks is just not for you.

Well, if the mouse had hotswap support, this can be easily addressed. Just pop the mouse open, swap out the micro switches to ones that you actually like – there are quite a number of different options – and voila, the mouse is now perfectly suited to your taste.

If hotswap mice were more widely available in the market, you can easily install any kind of micro switch to customise the sound and feel of a particular mouse to your liking. This brings us to the next point..

It’s a Layer of Customisation

Just like how there are different types of keyboard switches, the same applies to micro switches for mice too. Well, to a certain extent. While micro switches for mice are not as widely available as keyboard switches, there are still enough different options in the market now to suit a wide variety of users. Just give the video below a watch.

Not only do these micro switches have different sound profiles, they have their own unique characteristics too. Some are heavy, some are light, others are very snappy, while certain micro switches are noticeably louder. The point is, these micro switches are distinct enough to appeal to different people.

Chances are, not many are aware that they can swap out the micro switches of a mouse to customise the way the buttons feel and sound. If there are more hotswap mice readily available, I reckon more folks will know that they won’t have to settle for a mouse that doesn’t click (excuse the pun) with them.

Extends the Lifespan of a Mouse

Given that one of the first hardware to break on a mouse is the button (the micro switches, basically), a hotswap mouse can easily outlast a regular mouse with soldered micro switches. If the left or right button starts to double-click, just change to a different micro switch, and it’s essentially good as new.

On top of that, a hotswap mouse is designed to be disassembled without much trouble, so this makes them easy to repair. This is exemplified by the ROG Gladius III: all I need to do is undo two screws under the mouse, and I can then pop the top casing open to pull out the faulty micro switches from the hotswap socket.

Why Not Just Desolder the Micro Switches?

Well, not everyone has the technical know-how or time to do this. Plus, some mice are difficult to disassemble. Take the Logitech G Pro Wireless, which is considered to be one of the best gaming mice in the market. To take it apart, I’ll need to use a hairdryer to pry off the feet to access the screws. I imagine this isn’t something most folks will be comfortable doing.

As I’ve mentioned before, this isn’t a problem with a hotswap mouse; it should be designed for easy disassembly to access the hotswap sockets.

The micro switch of a mouse is just one hardware that can be changed to a user’s liking. There are many more aspects of a mouse with customisation potential, such as the feet, cord, and to a certain extent, even the shape if you have access to a 3D printer.

But unlike the custom keyboard scene, a “custom mouse” is not as mainstream – not yet, anyway. Hopefully, we’ll see the emergence of truly customisable mice in the future, starting with (at the very least) hotswap support. If we can get superior typing experience from a custom keyboard, why not a custom mouse too?