Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE wireless gaming mouse

by John Stapel

The Dark Core is a great all-around wireless gaming mouse with excellent connectivity and great ergonomics, but its heaviness won't work for twitch shooters and the battery life isn't great.

For

  • Excellent build ergonomics
  • Great connectivity
  • Beautiful RGB

Against

  • Very heavy
  • Lackluster battery life

The Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE Wireless Gaming Mouse is the antithesis of modern gaming mice in so many ways that it’s a wonder it exists at all. First off, it’s absurdly heavy. At 142g I even got slight wrist fatigue in the first few days of using it. For context, most gaming mice are now under 80g.

But it doesn't stop there. The Dark Core is so extra. The are nine customizable RGB zones and side wings to make it look like a spaceship from Babylon 5. What about the extra two forefinger buttons embedded into the main mouse button? And the side wing rests for your thumb and pinky—the latter being swappable if you so choose. You get the picture.

Nonetheless, this $90 (opens in new tab) mouse has everything the modern gamer needs. Starting with Corsair's ultra-fast, 2.4Ghz Slipstream wireless connectivity, which delivers a near-instant 1ms response that's indistinguishable from a wired connection. Additionally, you have low-latency Bluetooth and USB Type-C wired connection to charge and play. I never had any problems with the connection or with latency as Slipstream is an established thing by now.

In terms of design, the Dark Core is an oddly attractive mouse. It's all black sturdy plastic with a wart-like textured back that snuggles in your palm. The side wings do give it that extra look I mentioned but also make it seriously comfortable to hold.

Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE Specs

Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE

(Image credit: Future)

DPI: 18,000 Sensor: PixArt PAW3392 Battery: Up to 50 hours Interface: Slipstream Wireless, Bluetooth, USB Type-C Buttons: 8 Ergonomic: Right-handed Weight: 5oz | 142g Price: $90 (opens in new tab) | £110 (opens in new tab)

While it feels big, it actually isn’t much bigger than most other gaming mice. That big feeling is due to its greater weight. In practice though, the Dark Core is extremely comfortable to hold and nimble thanks to its PTFE feet.

The shape and weight of the mouse encourage more of a palm grip, although left-handers should definitely look elsewhere. And while I love the tactile thumb buttons, I’m not convinced by the top finger buttons embedded in the main button. Their position favors slower, more deliberate movements for productivity tasks rather than gaming.

The main buttons are of the Omron mechanical variety and are satisfyingly clicky with great response and a lifetime of 50 million clicks. The scroll wheel is nothing to talk about after Razer's excellent take on the Basilisk V3. The Dark Core has a total of eight programmable buttons which you can manage in the iCUE software. This is also where you manage your RGB and DPI, among other things. The mouse has three save slots for profiles but to my vexation, forces you to use a wired connection to save them otherwise, it won't.

The Dark Core has an 18,000 DPI optical sensor with the rather unique feature of allowing you to change the resolution by 1 DPI steps. That means you can dial in weirdly specific custom resolutions such as 793 DPI for games if you roll like that. It also has a fast polling rate of 2,000Hz that compliments the precise sensor and makes the Dark Core a formidable tool in the right hands—although not mine. 

While some mice like the Roccat Kone XP try to blind us with RGB light, the Dark Core uses a much more subtle and elegant multi-zone lighting setup. This really accentuates the Dark Core vibe and offers an incredible amount of customisation. That said, this is still a wireless mouse so battery life is a concern with all that lighting.

The Dark Core only manages about 50 hours or five, 10-hour days in my specific usage but that's on Bluetooth with lights off. Otherwise, you're looking at just 20 hours with lights on using 2.4Ghz. That’s not great, to be honest, and really makes me wonder why this thing is so damn heavy if the battery doesn't have much juice. Having USB Type-C does make it easy to charge but even better is Qi wireless charging. With a compatible Qi charging pad like Corsair's own MM1000 mat, you can run, gun, and charge continuously. It's almost as if this pad was designed specifically for this mouse? Hmmm.

Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE on a desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Overall, I like the Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro and if you’re a fan of big, comfy gaming mice, then you will too. The Razer Basilisk Ultimate is one of my favorite mice of all time and the main competitor for this mouse. Once you get used to the heft, you quickly find the Dark Core reassuring and precise. It's great for productivity and gaming but if you play a lot of competitive FPS games, this isn't for you. But if you spend hours in Red Dead Redemption 2 or Lost Ark, then this is a great fit.

Corsair Dark Core RGB SE

The Dark Core is a great all-around wireless gaming mouse with excellent connectivity and great ergonomics, but its heaviness won't work for twitch shooters and the battery life isn't great.

Kizito Katawonga

 Kizzy is the consummate geek, with black turtleneck design sensibilities, always on the hunt for the latest, greatest, and sexiest tech. He's played Doom on the OG Pentium and still remembers how to hack a dial-a-phone. After four decades of being crazy about tech, he's literally just getting started. It's the age of the geek, baby!