Asus ROG Gladius II review: An expensive gaming mouse you probably won’t mind shelling out for

Asus ROG Gladius II

I’d normally balk at the idea of spending over £30 on a mouse. I’ve never been one for owning flashy gizmos or the latest and greatest, so the thought of forking over more than double that for something like the Asus ROG Gladius II (which currently costs just over £70 in the UK and $95 in the US) would, ordinarily, be positively horrifying.

Thankfully, the ROG Gladius II has more than earned its keep over the last couple of weeks, as it’s not only one of the most comfortable mice I’ve ever used, but it also comes with a load of handy extras to help justify its price, such as a pair of spare Omron switches and two detachable USB cables, one braided and one regular rubber.

The extra cable will almost certainly come as a relief for hungry cat owners, and the handy lock on the Gladius II’s underbelly ensures that neither cable will accidentally get pulled out mid-game, either. The braided cable is also twice as long as the rubber one, giving you a nice bit of flexibility depending on your PC setup.

Asus ROG Gladius II underside

The switches are pretty easy to replace as well. The default ones are guaranteed for a sizable 50 million clicks anyway, but just in case they break or you want a ‘different feel’ as Asus say on their website, you get two spare ones in the box. You’ll need something to prize off the four little rubber screw covers on the bottom of the mouse, but once you’ve loosened the screws the top just lifts away from the base, giving you easy access to pop out the old switches and stick in the new ones.

It’s all very considerate, but the thing that really stuck with me was just how comfortable it was to use on a daily basis. Weighing 110g, it’s not particularly heavy, and its lopsided, right-handed design feels like it’s been perfectly sculpted to fit my palm. What’s more, each of its three side buttons are within perfect reach of my thumb, which is more than can be said for the Corsair Scimitar Pro and HyperX Pulsefire FPS.

Asus ROG Gladius II innards

Each button’s function can be customised using Asus’ Armoury software, but out of the box you get forward and backward clicks for web browsing, and what Asus call a DPI Shift button, which switches to a different DPI or sensitivity setting when it’s held down.

There’s another button that does this with a single click just below the scroll wheel, but having one right by your thumb is so much more practical when you’re playing games, particularly in FPSs. The number of times I’ve tried reaching for that top button on other mice and missed or lost concentration trying to find it and died as a result are too many to count, so being able to control it at will without even moving my thumb is rather lovely.

Asus ROG Gladius II buttons

As for other button customisations, these range from keyboard functions and media buttons to Windows shortcuts and your own recordable macros, giving you plenty of flexibility to set up your mouse how you like. Armoury gives you space for three different mouse profiles, too, which you can switch between at will by holding down the DPI button below the scroll wheel and clicking one of the side buttons. Armoury is certainly better than other pieces of mouse software I’ve used in the past, but the less I have to open it, the better.

The ROG Gladius II also supports Asus’ Aura Sync feature, which harmonises all your various Asus-branded RGB devices into one, you guessed it, synchronised light show. Once again, Armoury gives you plenty of breathing, cycle, comet and other such RGB options to deck out your mouse with, but I particularly like how you can tone down the brightness of each of its three distinct LED zones, letting you have a dimmer scroll wheel, for instance, than the base and ROG logo.

I didn’t feel the need to tinker around too much with the ROG Gladius II’s performance settings, but those who like fine-tuning their mouse to the nth degree won’t be disappointed. You’ve got polling rate settings ranging between 125-1000Hz, button response times going from 4ms up to 32ms, plus acceleration and deceleration options and angle snapping.

Asus ROG Gladius II top

It’s a shame you get just two DPI settings on the ROG Gladius II, but when its range extends from a crawling 100 DPI all the way up to a frankly ludicrous, faster than light 12,000 DPI, you’ve certainly got plenty of scope to find something to suit your tastes, especially when each one can be adjusted in increments of 100. Personally, I found their default positions of 400 and 1600 DPI to be just fine for everyday use, so I left them as they were.

All in all, I think I’d be quite happy paying a bit more for the Asus ROG Gladius II. Its sensible buttons, comfy grip and tasteful RGB options make it a pleasure to use, and its bundled extras give it more versatility than its slightly cheaper rivals. Yes, extra Omron switches (D2F and D2FC are the ones you want in this case) can be found for mere pennies on various component websites elsewhere, but sometimes it’s just nice to have them in the box already. If you’re in the market for a new mouse and want something that will stay the course, the ROG Gladius II comes highly recommended.

20 Comments

  1. Horg says:

    This looks like a slightly inferior cousin of the Logitech G502, which can be had discounted on amazon.uk for £57 right now. As a cat owner I do have to admit that the extra cable with the Gladuis should not be discounted as a gimmick.

    • Baines says:

      If so, I guess the premium is what it costs to not look like a prop from a sci-fi movie.

      The Logitech G502 is one of the most pointlessly overdone designs that I’ve seen for a mouse. I’d seriously consider paying more to get the same functionality in a less laughably bad shell.

      Sadly, mice makers don’t seem to agree with my aesthetics, as I have trouble finding a mouse with the functions that I like that doesn’t look awful. (Except for an old Logitech design which uses switches that wear out faster than I’d like.)

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      phuzz says:

      Cats are weird. I’ve lived with many over the years, and none of them have shown the slightest interest in cables. My mums cat does have an irrational hated of the little velcro strap on my charging cables however.

      • Horg says:

        We’ve just got some new cats and one of them was a serial chewer. Until he moved in with us he was always an indoor cat, but pined for the outside, so seems to have developed a neurotic chewing habit. We kept him in for a month to settle him, during which time he managed to write off a laptop charger, a nice pair of headphones and our landline extension cable. Since he’s been allowed out the chewing has more or less stopped, but he has learned that if he comes over and gently noms any of my computer cables, i’ll be forced to get up and give him attention : |

  2. Alberto says:

    The important question here is: can all the lights be turned off? Or is it one of those mouses that glow in the dark wven when the pc is turned off, just because they keep receiving juice (and you have to pull the cable if you want to sleep)?

    • Don Reba says:

      *mice

    • L3TUC3 says:

      I’m in the market for a new “gaming” mouse, but I absolutely detest the RGB transformer clowncar monstrosities that seem to be hip nowadays (same goes for “gaming” mechanical keyboards, all of them are backlit). I need something that wouldn’t look amiss in a professional work-space setting, doesn’t require separate software for programming and doesn’t light up.

      I’m rocking my Logitech mx518 I purchased about a decade ago. I’m fond of it’s design and ease of but there doesn’t really seem to be a descendant that matches the aesthetic or form. After working with a wireless Microsoft Sculpt at work, I might actually not mind going wireless (input lag wouldn’t matter in the majority of the games I play anyway).

      My current pick for a replacement is a G602 which was released a few years ago, but it has thumb side buttons I’d probably never use and the reviews have me wary of the lmb failure rate. It appears to be dumped at the moment with some hefty discounts, so perhaps a successor is on the way to market. The MX Master 2S also looks enticing, but the price is also up there.

      I browse the peripheral section pretty often to see if there’s anything that catches my eye, but a lot of time it’s some flashy uncomfortable looking angular design that’s easily recognizable on some streamer’s twitch to entice 15yo to drop more money than they need to.

      I just want a nicely designed mouse that doesn’t make me look like a wannabe pro-gamer.

      • Ghostwise says:

        I just want a nicely designed mouse that doesn’t make me look like a wannabe pro-gamer.

        Mionix.

      • Berious says:

        +1 I’m still using a bargain basement Logitech B100 because everything nice looking is infested with LEDs.

        • dam0wned says:

          Most peripherals have software (or even a physical button) that lets you turn the LEDs off.

      • Daymare says:

        What does a mouse even need lights for?

        Like, when you’re out in the woods at night with it to make a wee and it runs around doing mouse things and doesn’t react to your whistles so at least you can see it while it’s out there?

        I’m in the same boat. Been using the MX518 for what feels like my whole life, basically an extension of my hand. No clue what I’ll do when it finally breaks.

        • Ragnar says:

          My current mouse, Logitech G502, has RGB lights and I actually find them useful. I have two profiles set up – one high-DPI for desktop use and RTS/4X, and one low-DPI for FPS. Each has a different color, so I can see at a glance what the mouse is set to.

      • ThTa says:

        Maybe give the Razer Deathadder a shot? (Whichever iteration they’re on now, I’m still using the one from 2009, but the design hasn’t changed.) It’s only got two lights (the scroll wheel and the logo) and you can just turn those off, leaving you with a regular, smooth black mouse without any frills or excess buttons. (It does still have the proprietary software jank that all gaming peripherals come with, though.)

        Not sure I’d recommend the MX Master 2S, though. I’ve got the previous model (just “MX Master”, picked up for 30 euros on sale) and the ergonomics are quite different from “flatter” mice like the MX518 and Deathadder, raising your palm up a lot (and steeply angling down at the front). I only use it with my laptop and to navigate through UIs from the couch, but I wouldn’t want it for any prolonged use, feels like I’d get carpal tunnel that way.

        • Catchcart says:

          The Gladius could certainly pass for the Deathadder from a lot of angles. However, the screws and the option of opening it up would certainly appeal to this Deathadder owner as after four or five years, my wheel seems to have chewed up enough dust to start acting erratic. Also let’s no forget that Razer was the company that introduced such brilliant ideas as cloud storage for mouse profiles, the mouse pad that needs a driver and nagware that pops up whenever you attach your mouse to a new/cleaned up system.

      • fish99 says:

        Zowie are modest looking, regularly shaped, standard 5 button layout and very popular for esports. They also don’t need any software.

        My EC1 has lasted 5+ years at this point.

      • ThTa says:

        It occurs to me that you probably won’t see this, but I can’t believe I forgot to mention the Logitech G603: It’s wireless (more on that below), has no LEDs, and an extremely simple, unassuming design. Relatively inexpensive (60 euros, but I’ve seen it on sale for 40), too.

        Regarding the wireless: it has some proprietary tech to deliver what many reviewers consider to be basically wired performance, as well as a lower-power mode (with a lower report rate) and Bluetooth (when you don’t want to or can’t use the dongle).

    • SquarePeg says:

      If anyone is looking for a good cheap-o gaming mouse where you can turn off the lights then this is the one I use. Red Dragon M601.

      link to amazon.com

      Just install the driver for it and you will have the option to turn off the lights. It also comes with a tuneable weight set. I’ve been using mine for 18 months and have had no problems.

  3. sandineyes says:

    I had a Gladius (I guess this is a newer version), and the switches may have lasted 30 million clicks, but the point of failure that caused me to give it up was that the adhesive holding the rubbery sides on started wearing out, causing them to start detaching.

    According to my Amazon order history, it lasted just over 2 years.

    • Squido says:

      You can usually get replacements for them, same thing happened to my Logitech g502. Only a few quid, they’re called mouse feet :D