Tom's Hardware Verdict
The Roccat Kain 200 Aimo has a lot of features, a pleasant feel and good gaming performance. But the shape of the mouse won’t mesh well with some palm grippers.
Rechargable, long-lasting battery
Can use wired
White exterior stays clean
Good scroll wheel
Can be uncomfortable for palm grips
Ugly DPI button
Brushed metal looks cheap
Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Just because you want an easier wire-free setup doesn’t mean you’re eager to sacrifice performance from your gaming peripherals. The Roccat Kain 200 Aimo and Kain 202 Aimo, the white version, make plays for the best gaming mouse that cuts the wire by maintaining core gaming features, like high CPI count, plus a crazy amount of performance customization options via software.
But while the Kain 200 has a lot to offer those with long checklists for the best wireless mouse, its unique shape won’t appeal to every hand long-term. At $70 at the time of writing however, the mouse offers more features than expected, including the intriguing Aimo reactive RGB lighting.
Roccat Kain 200 / 202 Aimo Specs
|Sensor Model||Roccat Owl-Eye (custom PixArt PMW3335)|
|Polling Rate||1,000 Hz|
|Lift-off Distance||Adjustable via software|
|LED Zones||2 RGB zones|
|Connectivity||2.4 GHz wireless or USB 2.0 cable|
|Cable||5.9 feet microUSB to USB Type-A (optional)|
|Measurements (LxWxH)||4.88 x 2.56 x 1.69 inches (12.40 x 6.50 x 4.30cm)|
|Weight||3.70 ounces (105g)|
Design of Roccat Kain 200 Aimo
This mouse comes in two styles: the black Roccat Kain 200 Aimo and white Kain 202 Aimo. Our review unit is the white model and looked rather simple at first. From its white, matte hue to the visibly brushed metal between the left and right buttons and starkly stamped DPI button, the mouse’s looks didn’t immediately earn its price tag. The the rubber scroll wheel didn’t instantly feel like anything special either. But I soon began to learn that the mouse’s design is a great effort at comfort, and that white starts looking more premium with some tastefully designed RGB added.
The surface started winning me over first. It’s smooth but not slimy or slick, providing an ideal balance of textures that stands out among other gaming mice. It’s a good thing it feels good too because the Roccat Kain 200 Aimo lacks rubber or textured side grips. Despite feeling nice, it won’t be as sweat resistant as mice that have those features. But overall, the more I held the Kain 202 Aimo in my hand, the more I appreciated its shape, feel and color. Roccat claims that the chassis is dirt-resistant and durable, due to its “hybrid anti-wear coating,” and I have to admit that after about a week and a half of use, its white is still bright.
While I’m frequently a palm gripper, I found myself shifting to a fingertip grip with the Roccat Kain 200 Aimo. It has a good amount of height and the chassis’ smoothness felt good in my palm when it made contact, but the mouse’s hump didn’t align perfectly and fill the cup of my palm like the MSI Clutch GM30. However, the Roccat Kain 200 Aimo is 1.69 inches (4.30cm) at its tallest point, while the MSI’s tallest point is shorter at 1.38 inches. I lined the two mice up together, and the MSI’s hump is further back, making it a better fit for where my palm lands. The Roccat Kain 200 Aimo is also slightly less long and a touch wider than the Clutch GM30 (4.88 x 2.56 x 1.69 inches versus 5.03 x 2.01 x 1.38 inches), affecting the hump’s placement.
The 3.70-ounce Roccat Kain 200 Aimo is comparable in build to similarly specced wireless mice, like the Razer Basilisk x HyperSpeed (5.11 x 2.36 x 1.65 inches, 2.90 ounces) and Corsair Ironclaw RGB Wireless (5.5 x 3 x 1.6 inches, 4.59 ounces), but it can feel a little more portable with its shorter length. The white design of my review unit gave the mouse a lighter vibe too. But more height or shifting its tallest point closer to the back would’ve helped some palm grippers’ comfort during long gaming sessions, giving them a more accessible place for resting those palms. Roccat claims it spent two years developing the mouse’s shape, and I can get my palm resting if I slide my hand closer to the front of the mouse, but the experience isn’t an intuitive one for me. Of course, other users may beg to differ.
Roccat boasts of the Kain 200 Aimo left and right buttons’ “Titan click” that’s supposed to have a 50 million click life cycle and uses Omron switches. The buttons do produce a satisfying click, but my fingers have felt more powerful clicking with other pointers that offered a slightly louder click and a springier response. However, the mouse’s left and right mouse buttons are decently flat, making them easy to press with almost no effort, and the click is still a premium feeling one, even if it’s not my favorite. The buttons are also programmed via firmware for aggressive speed when gaming.
The Roccat Kain 200 Aimo’s two side programmable buttons are easy to access. The left and right mouse buttons, left and right buttons, DPI switch and scroll wheel in are also programmable. You’ll definitely want to program that scroll wheel to its full potential. Its rubber is slightly softer than others, but its steeped movements offer audible sound and a reassuring click in make it a reliable component of the mouse.
Peeking at the Roccat Kain 200 Aimo’s underside reveals the wireless pairing button and flat on and off switch that’s difficult to toggle. There’s also a MicroUSB port for attaching the included cable and recharging the mouse, which thankfully means there’s no need to ever carry around batteries.
Reactive RGB Lighting on Roccat Kain 200 Aimo
Helpful to jazzing up that white build is the Roccat Kain 200 Aimo’s RGB scroll wheel and Roccat logo. But this isn’t just any RGB lighting; this is Roccat’s Aimo tech that uses RGB that reacts to how you use the mouse. Allegedly, the more you use it, the better the tech gets. After about a week of using Aimo, I reached 15% of its max ability, and I’ve yet to notice it truly “react” to what I’m doing on my PC. In fact, the lighting will often keep changing colors even if I’m idle, like reading an article online. It’s possible Aimo will get more impressive as I get past 15%, but at first glance it’s not a game-changer.
In addition to its Aimo reactive lighting feature, the Roccat Kain 200 Aimo’s RGB zones’ color is controllable via software, and you also get a choice of six themes: Aimo, wave, fully lit, heartbeat, breathing, blinking and battery indicator, plus control over each theme’s speed and brightness.
When not using Aimo, I went for a pink scroll wheel and yellow cat that especially stood out with my review unit’s white shell. The mouse has two individually controllable RGB zones, but with the DPI button being transparent rubber makes me think it should light up, making me dislike the button’s design even more.
Gaming Performance on Roccat Kain 200 Aimo
The Roccat Kain 200 Aimo uses a PixArt PMW3335 customized for wireless performance driving low-power consumption without hurting precision. According to Roccat, this Owl-Eye sensor is optimized for accuracy and responsiveness from 400-3,000 DPI. DPI goes up to 16,000 and is controllable on the fly (five profiles) or via software in 50 count increments. That max CPI is on par with many gaming mice, like the Razer Basilisk x HyperSpeed, but Corsair’s Ironclaw RGB Wireless goes up to 18,000, and the wired Razer Basilisk V2 goes up to 20,000 CPI. The typical gamer will be fine with the Roccat Kain 200 Aimo, but if you’re a very competitive gamer or demand the highest CPI counts for flick-shotting, you might want to look elsewhere.
In Battlefield V, the max CPI of 16,000 was sufficient for me, and movements were smooth regardless of CPI setting. At higher CPI settings I felt accurate and in control of my weapon. The Owl-Eye sensor also has 40G acceleration and a maximum speed of 400 IPS. The mouse had no problem keeping up with fast flinging and stopping at the drop of a dime to target a soldier’s head.
Less effortless was accessing the Roccat Kain 200 Aimo’s two side buttons while gaming. As mentioned, the mouse’s shape often forced me out of a palm grip and into a fingertip grip to the point where the forward button became impossible to reach without a longer thumb, and even the back button was occasionally hard to hit. On the other hand, the mouse’s reliable steeped scroll wheel movements were handy in this game, allowing me to easily tick through my weapons arsenal one by one.
Roccat claims the left and right mouse buttons process a button press in just 1ms, thanks to an advanced algorithm in the mouse’s firmware, claiming a 16ms advantage of other mice for faster competition You’ll have to be a very competitive gamer to be able to notice or confirm such a claim. However, with the light amount of force needed to actuate and flat buttons making the work even easier, firing machine guns as fast as possible was easy and without fatigue using the Roccat Kain 200 Aimo.
Features and Software on Roccat Kain 200 Aimo
You can set profiles to automatically engage when you launch a certain program, and also a macro manager for 41 different games and apps, including Apex Legends CS:Go, Photoshop and Skype. Overall, you get some functions that evoke capabilities of an expensive productivity mouse, like the Logitech MX Master 3 wireless, which costs $100 as of this writing and also lets you have profiles automatically launch based on the app you’re using.
Powered by an Arm Cortex-M0 at a clock speed of 48 MHz and with 512kB of onboard memory, the Roccat Kain 200 Aimo packs a lot of features beyond its Aimo RGB lighting. The mouse works with Roccat’s free Swarm software that takes up just 152MB of space and offers fine control over the Kain 200 Aimo. You can change five onboard profiles and countless others stored in the software with settings for DPI profiles and sniper drop, polling rates, angle snapping, activating zero debounce, setting lift-off distance (low or very low), pointer speed, mouse acceleration and much more. Advanced button programming includes the ability to add alternate functions powered by your keyboard’s Alt key.
Swarm also has a calibration function, which has you repeatedly click on moving targets as quickly as possible. The calibrator is not a mind reader though. When I tried using calibrating at the max CPI of 16,000 (second picture above), way faster than the 3,200 I ended up settling on for general use, the calibration process took longer than previous attempts because I struggled to hit the targets before time ran out. After, the software recommended that I take things down by just a few dozen CPI, instead of the thousands that would be more suitable.
Battery Life of Roccat Kain 200 Aimo
The Roccat Kain 200 Aimo uses a 1000mAh battery that’s rechargeable with the included MicroUSB to USB Type-A cable. Roccat claims it can last up to 50 hours, and mine lasted about 45.5 hours, which is impressive considering I always had RGB on. The software was automatically set to dim RGB at 40% battery, which I hit on about the fourth day of using it for approximately 8 hours. The software has additional battery-friendly features, like turning off the sensor after the mouse is idle for a certain amount of time.
The Roccat Kain 200 Aimo (black) and the Kain 202 Aimo (white) are good options for wireless gamers, coming in at a lower price point than many rivals. With other tether-free pointers, such as the Razer Viper Ultimate, passing the $100 mark, a $70 wireless mouse with RGB, a wired option and detailed software is a good deal.
The Roccat Kain 200 Aimo isn’t your only wireless option at this price, however. The Razer Basilisk x HyperSpeed, for example, is currently at $60, and Corsair’s Ironclaw RGB Wireless is $70. But the Razer has fewer programmable buttons and no options for going wired, plus it isn’t rechargeable, and the Corsair also has less programmability and isn’t as accommodating to claw and fingertip grippers.
But while our reviews praised those Razer and Corsair mice’s ergonomics, we don’t think Roccat nailed the Kain 200 AImo’s shape perfectly, particularly for long-term palm gripping with effortless access to side buttons. I even had someone with larger hands give it a go, and they couldn’t see gaming with the Kain 200 Aimo for hours and lamented how the shape made their ring and pinky fingers crash into each other.
But for a feature-laden mouse that games well wirelessly out of the box with plenty of ways to tweak performance and a chassis with a pleasing feel, the Roccat Kain 200 Aimo is a good value.
Scharon Harding has a special affinity for gaming peripherals (especially monitors), laptops and virtual reality. Previously, she covered business technology, including hardware, software, cyber security, cloud and other IT happenings, at Channelnomics, with bylines at CRN UK.