Gaming and gamers bring the average (and professional) user all sorts of innovations. A serious gamer is like a hot-rod racer when it comes to tweaking a computer for performance. Even a regular mouse won’t do, gamers use special gaming mice.
There’s a little secret about gaming mice – they don’t have to be used for just gaming…
What Makes a Gaming Mouse Better?
Gaming mice are distinguished from regular mice by having extra control buttons (Usually 5), a higher tracking sensitivity / accuracy, and a smoother, more comfortable design / feel. Besides the obviously better accuracy and feel, a key feature of the gaming mouse is to custom configure the control buttons. Since gaming is a predominantly Windows world, most of these mice have Windows only drivers. What will we do in OS X?
Introducing USB Overdrive:
USB Overdrive is a shareware device driver written by Alessandro Levi Montalcini. It handles any USB or Bluetooth Mouse, Joystick, Trackball, or Gamepad from any manufacturer. You can specially configure multiple devices on either a global or per application basis.
Configurable actions include:
- The standard scrolling and clicking.
- Launching applications.
- Typing, including keyboard shortcuts.
- Opening documents.
Some examples of useful application actions include:
- Controlling iTunes.
- Copy / Paste
- Launching frequently used applications.
- Kicking off Applescripts
- Commonly used Adobe CS functions.
It’s really entirely up to your imagination on what you can configure with USB Overdrive and a 5 button gaming mouse. Here’s how you do it:
How to Trick Out Your Gaming Mouse with USB Overdrive:
1. Install USB Overdrive.
2. Go to System Preferences and choose the USB Overdrive pane.
3. Wait for the nag screen. I recommend purchasing USB Overdrive if you find it useful.
4. The main settings will open up. This is where you configure global actions.
5. Select a button and you can configure the following options:
6. Now to configure on a per-application basis, click “New Duplicate Settings” at the top.
7. Under “Application”, click Choose Application and choose one.
8. Set your mouse’s configuration.
9. Now, USB Overdrive will set your mouse one way for this application, and a different for the rest of your system.
As of this writing, Apple’s new Magic Mouse is not fully supported yet but the developer is working hard on it. Check USB Overdrive’s news page for more updates.
For other devices, please check the Device Support page. Not every Logitech and Razer gaming mouse is fully supported due to the manufacturers creating hidden buttons and vendor specific behavior. I recommend downloading USB Overdrive and trying it out with your device.