The Search for a Microsoft Sidewinder x5 Replacement and the Roccat Nyth

For the longest time, I have gamed with a Microsoft Sidewinder x5 Mouse. And by longest time I mean about 7 years. The Microsoft Sidewinder x5 was discontinued years ago. For me, the Sidewinder x5 was able to support my awkward mix of a palm/claw grip and long fingers. The main reason I loved the Sidewinder was because of the 2 vertical thumb buttons. Vertical side buttons are much more comfortable to me for gaming because of my long, straight thumbs (that’s right – no hitchhikers thumb here). With the side button set up, I never had to worry about bending my thumb to reach the side buttons or make uncomfortable movements with my thumb to press a thumb button quickly. Normally I use the thumb buttons for voice chat and crouching or melee depending on the game.

Unfortunately my trusty Sidewinder x5 left mouse button stopped consistently responding when clicked or held down. The lack of response from the left mouse button made FPS and senseless M1 + W incredibly difficult, especially in Overwatch with heroes such as Mei, Winston, Symmetra, Mercy, etc. After 4 months of watching the Sidewinder x5 slowly die, it was time to look for a replacement. While researching an acceptable Sidewinder replacement, I came across many forum threads where others also requested the same mouse replacement advise. It is shocking that there is not one mouse available for sale that has 2 vertical thumb buttons.

After countless hours of stressing out and researching gaming mice comparable to the Sidewinder x5 or even the Sidewinder x8, I decided to test out mice at the electronics store near me (approximately 55 miles “near” me). There were 2 mice that passed the awkward grip test: The Razer Naga Epic Chroma and the Roccat Nyth Custom Gaming Mouse (ROC-11-900-AM). The Naga Epic Chroma weight feels perfect when sliding the mouse around but there are more buttons than I need for any of the games I play. The Naga Epic Chroma is a little heavier than the Sidewinder x5 but I really liked the way it felt. After reading multiple reviews regarding numerous replacements due to button failure after a little wear, I hesitated on purchasing the Razer mouse and moved on the the Roccat Nyth. The Roccat Nyth is a bit lightweight in comparison to the Naga Epic Chroma but feels close to the weight of the Sidewinder x5. The thumb zone of the Nyth is completely modular and the side-grip is swappable. The size of the Nyth mouse is close to the Sidewinder. Due to the customization options and comfort, I decided to purchase the Roccat Nyth mouse.

Roccat Nyth – Front view

Mouse Size Comparison

The first customizations I made to the Nyth mouse were swapping the sidegrip and modifying the thumb buttons. The thumb buttons were removed with the exception of buttons 1 & 5; close to the vertical setup of the Sidewinder. The remaining 10 thumb buttons were replaced with the flat button replacements to “disable” the buttons. Modifying the buttons was not difficult at all and only required sliding the release slider under the mouse and holding the slider while removing the buttons. It is possible to remove all buttons at once and have a modular button party on the floor. On that note, I would not recommend holding the mouse in a position that the buttons can fall on the floor while holding the release slider. The sidegrip is magnetic and effortless to change when needed. This mouse also comes with a case to store the buttons and sidegrip.

Storage Case

The Roccat Nyth mouse does work without the Swarm Software however to make any DPI or other customizations to the mouse, the software must be installed. After the software install, there was a firmware update. While it is nice to know that the software is updated, I was eager to start using the new mouse. In comparison to the Sidewinder, it is not as easy as pressing a button to change the DPI on the fly – or at least prior to the software installation. The buttons can be assigned to many different functions and seem to be extremely versatile. The button layout is a straightforward drag and drop interface; drag the buttons currently used to the mouse and buttons currently not in use from the mouse to the trash can. There are also some preset layouts in Swarm available for use. Overall, the software is a bit overkill for what I normally use the mouse for but includes features that I can’t wait to explore for use at a later time.

Thumb button customization


Presets and Assignments


After configuring the software and mouse to be closer to the settings formerly used with the Sidewinder, I started updating the buttons to games and programs that normally use M4 and M5. Fortunately, I did not have to re-register the keys in the controls of other programs. This is probably how the process is supposed to work when changing mice but it was surprising and nice to have a seamless transition. DPI changes in Swarm also update immediately, even while in game.

The Roccat Nyth does advertise as more of a MMO or MOBA mouse. Of course there are mentions of FPS as well but the focus of MMO did make me shy away from the mouse at first. I am ecstatic that I did not pass over the Nyth. Once I used this mouse, there was no adjustment or “getting used to” the new mouse. Plus, it feels great to have a mouse that is not antiquated.

Here are the technical specs for the Roccat Nyth Mouse:

  • Twin-Tech Laser Sensor R1 with up to 12000dpi
  • 1000Hz polling rate
  • 1ms response time
  • 50G acceleration
  • 3.8m/s (150ips) single axis / 5.4m/s (212ips) both axis
  • 16-bit data channel
  • Adjustable lift-off distance
  • Adjustable click accuracy to mitigate against minuscule movements
  • Tracking & Distance Control Unit
  • 72MHz Turbo Core V2 32-bit Arm based MCU
  • 576kB onboard memory
  • Zero angle snapping/prediction
  • 1.8m braided USB cable

Dimensions and weight:

Width 7.8 cm , Height 4.4 cm , Length 12.9 cm , Weight 120 g

System Requirements:

  • Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7
  • USB 2.0 Port
  • Internet connection for driver installation

Package Contains:

  • ROCCAT Nyth Modular MMO Gaming Mouse
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • Accessory Carry Case
  • 2 Sidegrips; 33 Buttons
  • ROCCAT Sticker

Written by: Ice

Internet lover. Infuriatingly humble music aficionado. Subtly charming introvert. Devoted Sims buff. Wannabe fitness and travel fanatic. Proud gamer.

3 Comments Added

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  1. Joe May 26, 2017 | Reply

    Have you tested the mouse with a MMO game? Is the grid layout better than ergonomic layout?

    • Wiggin August 18, 2017 | Reply

      She hasn’t tested the mouse with an MMO game. Sorry for the delayed response.

  2. Toni November 23, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks for the post, im also a sidewinder x5 user and yep, after 8years of heavy gaming it still works(had to fix a few pieces inside.

    Thing is i didnt know where to find a propper replacement, so thank you for suggesting this option i will try to find one of this and give it a try

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