HyperX Pulsefire Core review: Entry-level excellence
- Accurate and responsive
- Light and comfortable ambidextrous design
- Affordable price
- Only supports up to 6,200 DPI
There's no shortage of high-quality gaming mice on the market these days. From the meaty Logitech G502 HERO to the sleek HyperX Pulsefire Surge RGB, getting a reliable, responsive and feature-packed mouse is relatively easy – provided you can afford the hefty price tags such mice command.
But what about gamers on a budget? Or non-gamers who want a premium mouse but don't want to spend a small fortune? That's where the HyperX Pulsefire Core comes in. Priced at a reasonable $69, it's an excellent entry-level wired gaming mouse that offers all the key features you'd expect from a high-end device while making a few smart compromises to remain affordable.
HyperX has gone with a simple, subdued look for the Pulsefire Core. Its sleek body is small enough that you don't need Hagrid hands to operate it, and its symmetrical layout means it's equally suited to both right- and left-handed folk. It's quite light too, gliding easily across my mousepad with minimal effort. At the same time, it still feels solid and durable, a key trait for any mouse looking to weather the harsh conditions of competitive gaming.
What I most enjoy about the design of the Pulsefire Core is its textured sides. Resting my thumb and fingers on these sides feels great, and the grip they provide prevents slippage even as you fling the Pulsefire Core around during an intense match of Fortnite or Apex Legends.
The Pulsefire Core wouldn't be much of a gaming mouse if it didn't have a slew of extra buttons for assigning macros and other on-the-fly functions. All told, it packs seven fully programmable buttons: the standard left and right mouse buttons, a clickable scroll wheel, two thumb buttons and two DPI buttons below the scroll wheel. The extra buttons are smartly positioned, with the DPI buttons recessed to avoid accidentally hitting them in the heat of battle. The same goes for the thumb buttons, which are high enough to avoid mispressing while remaining easy to reach at a moment's notice.
RGB lighting can be a deal-breaker when shopping for a gaming mouse: for some it's too gaudy, while others delight in the opportunities for the customisation it affords. HyperX has aimed for a happy middle ground with the Pulsefire Core, relegating the coloured lighting to a single HyperX logo on the Core's palm rest. It's a decent compromise, one that I feel fits well with the Pulsefire Core's subdued aesthetic. That said, folks wanting to stage a disco in their studies might be left wanting.
Despite its lower price, the HyperX Pulsefire Core delivers exactly the kind of top-notch performance required of a high-end gaming mouse. Cursor movement is snappy and responsive, with support for DPI (Dots Per Inch) settings up to 6,200 DPI. That's not quite as high as some mice (16,000 DPI is currently the most common threshold) but it's still plenty sensitive for those who want maximum cursor range with minimal effort.
The Pulsefire Core's buttons are equally impressive. All seven buttons offer firm feedback when clicked, supporting HyperX's claim of a 20-million-click lifespan for the underlying button switches. The mouse wheel in particular deserves a shout-out, as its switch is noticeably softer than you typically see on most gaming mice. This makes it as easy to click as the left and right mouse buttons which I quite appreciate.
Affordability often comes at the expense of features, but HyperX has bucked this trend with the Pulsefire Core. RGB lighting? Check: the HyperX logo on the Core's palm rest supports all 16.8 million colours of the RGB spectrum along with colour cycling, breathing, trigger and static lighting patterns. Macros? Check: each of the Pulsefire Core's seven buttons can be programmed using the HyperX NGenuity app, allowing you to assign commonly-used shortcuts or key combinations for quick access in games or on the desktop.
If you don't feel like diving into the world of macro recording, the Pulsefire Core's standard button configuration remains plenty useful. The two DPI buttons below the scroll wheel allow you to adjust mouse sensitivity on the fly, with the ability to customise and store up to five different DPI settings tailored to your personal preferences. If you're running the HyperX NGenuity app at the same time, changing the DPI settings will trigger a popup in the corner of the screen informing you of the current DPI – handy if you lose track while switching in the middle of a game.
PC hardware rarely comes cheap, but HyperX has managed to strike a compelling balance between price and quality with the Pulsefire Core. It delivers the precision and customisation of a high-end gaming mouse in a sleek and durable package, all for roughly half the price of many of its premium rivals. While you're not getting quite as many extra buttons and the optical sensor isn't as sensitive as those on some flagship mice, you are getting an excellent entry-level gaming mouse that punches far above its price point.
Pricing and availability
The HyperX Pulsefire Core retails for $69 and is available online from Amazon as well as from computer retailers like PLE and Scorptec.
HyperX Pulsefire Core from Amazon AU
HyperX's entry-level Pulsefire Core gaming mouse offers high-end features and excellent performance at an affordable price point.View details