Not too fancy, but no slouch, either.
In the world of gaming peripherals, nothing screams “cool” like a barrage of rainbow colors burning your retinas throughout a midnight session of League or Apex. Looking to take RGB lighting to the next level, ROCCAT revisited its ambidextrous Kova mouse and said, “No, we can do better than basic LED lighting.” ROCCAT upgraded the mouse with the company’s new AIMO lighting system and raised the retail price from the Kova’s $49.99 to the Kova AIMO’s $59.99. So, what is AIMO, and does it live up to Roccat’s hype? Is this the gaming mouse you need to win friends through functionality and influence people with dazzling spectacle?
ROCCAT Kova AIMO – Design and Features
Like most gaming mice, the Kova AIMO is matte-black (or white). The illuminated scroll wheel and lighting zones by the mouse’s heel (which are powered by the AIMO lighting engine) add some color. A printed ROCCAT Kova logo adorns the top.
While not a stunning physical design, the Kova AIMO has a contoured, comfortable shape that blends a bulbous, sloping body with the angular edging of its buttons. If a Honda Civic Type R and a VW Beetle got busy and made an embryo, it might look like the Kova AIMO…by candlelight.
Advertised for its ambidextrous grip, the Kova has a symmetrical design and buttons on both sides of the mouse. Two “quick-fire” buttons sit to the sides of the left and right buttons. The left and right mouse buttons have an ergonomic, concave curvature. Beneath the mouse wheel lies the DPI switcher button, which lets you rotate through five different DPI profiles.
Flip the mouse over and you’ll find five smooth plastic mouse feet. While not quite as smooth as Teflon, we found the mouse’s moderate weight glided smoothly during use. ROCCAT’s uses a 7200DPI Pro-Optic Sensor R6 for tracking. The Kova AIMO also has a braided USB cable for greater durability
ROCCAT Kova AIMO – Software
The Kova AIMO runs on ROCCAT’s Swarm software. Several tabs cover different setting areas, the first of which is the pinned settings. If there’s any particular settings you find yourself using the most, you can choose to pin that setting so that it can be accessed from the program’s first screen.
The settings tab contains the basics one would expect. You can adjust the vertical scroll speed, horizontal tilt speed (for horizontal scrolling on larger pages), double-click speed (complete with a button to test it), the DPI for each of the five settings on the DPI switcher, and the pointer speed as measured by Windows. (The device defaults to 400, 800, 1600, 3500, and 7000 DPI.) Additionally, you can enable/disable mouse acceleration and mouse trails without having to work through Windows’ native settings.
The button assignment tab allows you to configure 12 different “buttons” (these include the DPI switcher and scroll wheel) as well as switch between a right or left handed orientation.
The most interesting feature here is the EasyShift[+] option, which, when set to a button, allows you to access other functions of buttons that are already assigned in a similar manner to the FN key found on most keyboards.There’s also the Easy-Aim 200 DPI function, which slows your mouse down to 200 DPI as long as the button is held, a useful feature for FPS games.
You can let the software decide your mouse lighting with the AIMO Intelligent Lighting System.
There isn’t much in the advanced settings tab. You can choose between a polling rate of 125, 250, 500, or 1000 Hz. There’s an option to enable sound feedback for when you change DPI or profiles, or when you turn the volume up or down. Finally, you can reset all settings to their defaults.
The illumination tab lets you choose between a slow pulsing, a fast blinking, or a constant illumination setting with over 16 million different colors. If the fairly boring lighting presets don’t strike your fancy and you’d prefer something more interesting, you can let the software decide your mouse lighting with the AIMO Intelligent Lighting System.
This system changes your lighting whenever you interact with the mouse or play a game. If you have AIMO supported keyboards and headsets, the three peripherals will form one connected system, so you might have, for example, a green pulse that starts on the left edge of your AIMO keyboard, flows across to the right, then extends out to pulse on the mouse. It’s a slick idea…if you have multiple AIMO peripherals.
My biggest nitpick with the software is the “apply” button.
The macro editor contains several existing macros based on fairly popular games such as Fortnite, Overwatch, and League of Legends. You can, of course, create your own macros. Apart from the game-based presets, there’s nothing special about this macro editor.
My biggest nitpick with the software is the “apply” button. Your changes aren’t automatically saved. You have to hit the apply button to retain changes. Manually saving stuff might work in an old school Pokemon game, but it’s a pain to remember when configuring macros.
ROCCAT Kova AIMO – Gaming
Trying out the Kova AIMO for the first time in a game of Apex Legends, the first thing that struck me was the mouse’s weight. It’s quite light, which some gamers prefer. I’m not one to fuss over the weight of mice, but the Kova AIMO’s light build is complemented by its plastic feet, letting it glide smoothly and easily across my mousepad.
Another feature I got some great mileage out of in Apex was the Easy-Aim 200 DPI button. I’m not the best at FPS or battle royale games, and my aim can certainly use some work. So, when I’m panicking trying to clutch a team fight, having a button to slow down my DPI and help steady my aim is incredibly useful.
One of the things I absolutely love about the Kova is the two quick-fire buttons. Having two macro buttons right next to your fingers is great, but use the Easy-Shift[+] button and suddenly you have four different possible macros. I made the best use of this in League of Legends, macroing Ahri’s foxfire-stun-orb combo among others.
Finally, let’s answer the big question: What’s up with AIMO? Well, the whole idea of an interactive lighting system sounds cool, but it suffers from a fatal flaw. You need to buy other peripherals you might not want or need in order to get the full experience. On its own, the Kova will use AIMO to change colors when you press any mouse buttons, and that’s pretty much it.
This limited lighting is made even more underwhelming by the fact that my hand completely covers both lighting zones. RGB lighting in mice has never been as useful as on a keyboard, so I wasn’t expecting much, but this certainly wasn’t the deep experience ROCCAT made it out to be. But, all said, the mouse changing colors when you click is kinda cool.
The ROCCAT Kova AIMO has an MSRP of $49.99 but it’s usually a bit less expensive online.