Roccat AIMO RGB Lighting System Review
Featuring bonus thoughts on the Sense AIMO XXL mouse pad
NOTE: Roccat graciously sent me a collection of AIMO peripherals to review at my discretion alongside marketing assets and technical information. I don’t receive a kickback if you decide to buy one, and none of the links in this article are affiliate links. I wasn’t sponsored to write this, and I had full editorial control over this article.
Five years ago, RGB lighting was a fun bonus perk for computer gaming peripherals, but now it’s a must-have standard feature. Many companies rushed to put it into everything from mouse mats and keyboards to headsets and mice.
Sometimes, these lighting systems have basic built-in controls, allowing users to toggle through a few presets with a quick keystroke or shortcut button. Other times they go all-in with full software customization. This means you’ll have to install a software package and fiddle with individual keys and colors until you get the setup just the way you want it.
On the surface, Roccat’s AIMO lineup is no different. It offers fully addressable, customizable RGB settings across all of Roccat’s peripherals thanks to their easy-to-use Swarm software. However, there’s something special right there in that name: the AIMO system. Turn on AIMO, and Roccat does all of the lighting work for you.
With one click of one setting, you get instant reactive RGB effects across all of your supported Roccat devices. Your peripherals come to life in real-time, reacting to things like mouse clicks and scrolling, typing, volume adjustments, and more. It’s not flashy or aggressive, but subtle and beautiful, with waves of color-balanced light that gently pulse across different devices, seamlessly transitioning from one product to another.
Roccat sent me a bunch of review samples so I could try this system out, and I plugged them all in at once because I wanted to see how easy it was to get AIMO up and running. In no time at all, I had nice lighting effects across the mouse mat, keyboards, and mice…without having to fiddle with settings or choose a color scheme I wanted to use.
The Sense AIMO XXL mouse surface is the first full-size desk mat I’ve ever used. It has a smooth, responsive cloth surface that’s great for mouse movement and also keeps my keyboards completely stable. There’s a smaller version available as well (official site for both here) if you don’t want to cover your whole desktop with a mouse pad. Roccat makes a big deal about how they stitched the edges to feel more comfy against your wrist, and surprisingly I’ve found that to be true compared to the basic mat on my normal keyboard tray.
If you decide you don’t want the Sense’s LEDs lit at all times, rather than having to open the Swarm software, a quick press of the shortcut button on the upper left of the device turns them off. This is a great feature. The mat itself is also much more flexible than I was expecting, and while I wasn’t sure if I would like it at first since it’s so huge, it’s now a permanent fixture on my desk.
Let’s say you’re not fully invested in the Roccat ecosystem, but you want to dip your toe in with an RGB mouse mat or keyboard. Does AIMO still work well enough to warrant turning on? Yes it does! I had to swap out mice during the production of this article because I’m reviewing a competitor’s product, but the Vulcan keyboard and mouse mat still react to my clicks and scrolls on that non-Roccat mouse. So that’s wonderful! AIMO works best if you’re fully entrenched in the ecosystem of course, but even if you have just one or two peripherals I still think the effects look great.
AIMO has some limited third-party compatibility and game reactivity as well. In the Roccat Swarm software, you can allow it to hook into Alienware’s Alien FX system for supported games. Or, you can try out Roccat’s older Talk FX system, which provides games with more direct control over AIMO lighting. Finally, on that same page in the software you can also see your “AIMO level,” a rating corresponding to the number of Roccat peripherals currently connected which reflects the intensity of effects overall. It seems partly designed to nudge you into buying more Roccat gear so that the bar will fill up, but again I think the effects look great even without a full complement of gear.
While I’ve enjoyed setting up RGB devices from many different companies in the past…realistically, after playing around with the effects for a day or two, I end up picking one solid color and forgetting about it. With AIMO, I get to enjoy nicely reactive lighting that isn’t overdone and uses the whole spectrum of color, and I don’t have to think about it at all.
If you’ve tried other RGB systems and found them either too complex or frustrating, then AIMO might be a great solution for you too. And if you’re someone that loves to tweak the color of every key and light, you don’t actually lose that with Roccat’s system either. It’s the best of both worlds, and sets the standard for what RGB lighting in a gaming peripheral can be. It’s tasteful, effective, and actually configurable with just one quick setting.