SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless - Buttons Without Weight
The SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless mouse is a piece of hardware that packs a punch. With so many features crammed into a body that weighs just 89 grams, I went into this review with a healthy dose of scepticism but came out pleasantly surprised.
The Aerox 9 has been manufactured with the MMO or MOBA player in mind. Though I’ve been an MMO fan for a long time now, I’ve never actually felt the need to play with a dedicated MMO mouse, so I was very interested to see if it would actually enhance my gaming experience.
One of the selling points of this mouse is that it boasts a whopping 18 programmable buttons that can be mapped to any key you want using the SteelSeries GG Software. As much as I hate having to download new software for each piece of hardware I own, the GG dashboard is a mere 440MB compared to the whopping 2.14GB of my regular mouse software. I also enjoyed that I didn’t have to sign up to create a SteelSeries account to be able to program my mouse and use all of its features out of the box.
The first thing I did was program the 12 buttons that sit on the side panel of the mouse and map them to my skills and actions in Guild Wars 2 (the MMO I happened to be playing at the time). I jumped straight into battle and swiftly had my ass handed to me because, as it, unfortunately, turns out, this mouse is not made for people with small hands. Being unable to reach half the buttons on the side panel meant I couldn’t access a lot of my skills and so I died a swift and embarrassing death.
My hand is only 14cm from the base of my palm to the tip of my middle finger, and as such only the back two rows of side panel buttons are comfortably within my reach. I reprogrammed the mouse to map my skills to those (which was easy and simple to do) and using them in-game felt great. Whilst I wasn’t able to use all the buttons available to me, the ones I were able to utilise had me hurling spells and kicking ass much easier than using my keyboard alone. I felt no click latency and the tactile feedback across the buttons on the panel was great.
Despite my hand being the size of a small toddler’s, I found the mouse quite comfortable to use. The honeycomb mesh design on the back has no hard edges, so it sits comfortably in your hand. Crafted for long gaming sessions, the perforated design allows for airflow so you don’t get sweaty hands during your raids. This honeycomb design is also what allows for the mouse to be so lightweight. Without the extra body to encumber it, the mouse weighs in at 89 grams, and its matte black exterior offers water protection (from sweaty raid hands) as well as dust and dirt resistance. We haven’t seen the sun in Sydney since 2021 so I never actually ran hot enough to test its sweat resistance, but the mouse casing definitely feels as though it would offer me more protection than other models I’ve used.
Though the mouse is undoubtedly made to shine within the MMO/MOBA world, it can easily double as a great everyday mouse as well. Offering two connectivity types (wireless via USB-C dongle and Bluetooth) the mouse can easily be set up on one PC for gaming, and your work laptop for your 9-5. However, if you connect the mouse to a machine via Bluetooth, you lose all ability to map the buttons and change the illumination – only basic settings are available. Though most people would choose to connect wirelessly for the lag reduction alone, the dongle is quite hefty so if the space around your USB ports is lacking you might find Bluetooth your only option. With 80-150 reported hours of battery life (depending on your connection method), using the mouse all day at work and all night during games won’t have you reaching for the charging cable every day either, and when the time does come to recharge, a mere 15 minutes plugged in will buy you hours of game time.
The Aerox 9 Wireless is a very snazzy looking mouse, but I did find myself wishing that the lights shone through the honeycomb a lot more. You have all this great perforation across the body of the mouse and the RGB is only visible at the base near the palm of your hand. I would have loved for it to shine through more, and be more visible when the mouse was in use as well. This is, of course, purely for aesthetics, but as someone who spent a lot of time getting her gaming set up to look just right, stuff like this often crosses my mind when searching for new hardware.
With its quick response time, lightweight body and whopping 18 programmable buttons, the Aerox 9 Wireless mouse is a dream for an MMO or MOBA player. SteelSeries has crafted a mouse that’s packed with utility whilst remaining light and comfortable for prolonged use. There’s a reason this company won awards for best Lightweight Gaming Mouse and the Aerox 9 continues that tradition in style.
Sensor SteelSeries TrueMove Air
Sensor Type Optical
CPI 100–18,000 in 100 CPI Increments
IPS 400, on SteelSeries QcK surfaces
Polling Rate 1000Hz / 1 ms
Back Cover Material Black Matte Finish
Core Construction ABS Plastic
Shape Ergonomic, Right-Handed
Grip Style Palm
Number of Buttons 18
Switch Type SteelSeries mechanical switches, rated for 80 million clicks
Illumination 3 RGB Zones
Length 128.8mm / 5.07 inches
Width 62.8 mm / 2.47 inches (front), 68.2mm / 2.68 inches (back)
Height 26.7mm / 1.05 inches (front), 42.10mm / 1.65 inches (back)
Connection 2.4GHz / Bluetooth 5.0
Battery Life Up to 80 hours 2.4GHz Up to 180 hours Bluetooth
OS Windows, Mac, Xbox, and Linux. USB port required.
Software SteelSeries GG, Windows 8.1 or newer, MacOS 10.13 or newer