FPS, or first person shooter, is the most popular genre of PC games. No console controller has surpassed the mouse as the weapon of choice among FPS enthusiasts. Zalman, a company known as a maker of coolers, is trying to woo FPS players with a gun shaped mouse, the FG1000. Since we are card carrying fans of the genre, we tested the new toy. Let the (digital) bullets fly.
Figure 1: The FPSGun FG1000 mouse.
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Zalman intended for the FG1000 to look like a gun but instead it looks like a basketball sneaker. The gadget has the body of a buttonless mouse with a gun attachment protruding from it. The main trigger functions as left click, and the secondary one is right click. Near the thumb two arrow buttons do back/forward Internet navigation. An illuminated scroll wheel indicates the current DPI setting (violet: 100, 600 DPI; blue: 800, 1,000, 1,200 DPI; red: 1,400, 1,600, 2,000 DPI). The DPI switch is located on the mouse nose itself to avoid accidental pressing during gameplay.
Figure 2: The back of the mouse.
The FG1000 is a plug-and-play device but it’s recommended to run the installation CD. The FPSGun Software allows the user to reprogram the five buttons and also manually adjust X/Y axis sensitivity and maximum DPI range. The mouse has a gold-plated USB connector.
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As tennis players use to say, it’s all in the wrist. That’s the secret of the whole new (but not necessarily great) experience behind playing with the FG1000 – there’s no need to horizontally drag the device, only some wrist bending to direct your aim. But there’s not much precision behind that, even though we tried several different adjustments. We could never get the same experience as the one provided from our Logitech G9 gaming mouse, of instance.
At first we blamed our lack of experience with the new gadget and tried to get used to this unorthodox approach to FPS gaming. Some games later and we were pretty much getting along fine with the FG1000. What wasn’t fine was the overall lack of precision to our shooting. We tweaked the X/Y axis speed response and tried varying the DPI resolution but our performance during some Team Fortress 2 deathmatches still came up short. We played the sniper class but the headshots were few and far between our usual 5 kills per spawn. Aiming with the wrist is a bit intuitive but the mouse lacks the spatial mobility of a real gun or a gun shaped controller like the one used in consoles for the Time Crisis series. Several times we lifted the FG1000 off the table to aim higher – a move that spoiled our aim, of course. At least the trigger action brought a degree of authenticity to our FPS gaming session.
In conclusion, the FG1000 is more like a gimmick for lame FPS players than a real choice for casual gamers and enthusiasts of the genre. After some hours of testing, we had difficulties going back to our regular mouse to work (and type this review). Zalman’s idea is laudable but everyone knows the way to gaming hell is paved with good intentions.
Zalman FPGGun FG1000 main specifications are:
- Five reprogrammable buttons
- Tracking Resolution: Programmable up to 2,000 dpi
- Default Presets: 1,600/800/400 dpi
- Image Processing: 6400 FPS (frames per second)
- Maximum Acceleration: 15 g
- Maximum Speed: 40 ips (inches per second)
- USB Data Format: 16 bit
- USB Report Rate: 1000 Hz
- Weight: 6.38 oz (181 g)
- Dimensions: 6 21/32" x 3 61/64" x 3 11/32" (169 x 75 x 85 mm) (L x W x H)
- More information: https://www.zalman.com
- Average price in the US*: USD 33.00
* Researched at Shopping.com on the day we published this review.
- Good button set up
- Trigger shooting enhances gaming experience
- Intuitive wrist movement
- Getting used to it takes time
- Non-versatile: not suitable to other PC applications
- Lacks precision even after adjustments
- Requires large table space to play
- Looks like a basketball sneaker and not a gun
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