Did this mouse just make me better? Xtrfy MZ1-Zy’s Rail review

Finally, something new.

Photo via Colton Deck

Xtrfy is a brand that takes risks. From retro-inspired colorways to customizable shapes, the Sweden-based brand is always pushing the envelope regarding design. 

Its newest mouse, the MZ1-Zy’s Rail, was designed in collaboration with Zy “Rocket Jump Ninja” Rykoa. Rocket Jump Ninja made his name reviewing hundreds of gaming mice and backs those reviews with over 21 years of first-person shooter experience. He began designing the MZ1-Zy’s Rail in 2019, and Xtrfy was “nice enough to make it into an actual mouse,” as he puts it in a letter to reviewers. 

While the initial learning curve will be steep for some players, the MZ1-Zy’s Rail is a winner if there ever was one once you find the groove. 

Nuts, bolts, and clicks

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The MZ1-Zy’s Rail is a 56-gram ergonomic mouse that takes its simplicity and flexibility seriously, although everything under the hood is relatively standard. 

Xtrfy loads the MZ1-Zy’s Rail with a Pixart 3389 sensor. This sensor pushes up to 16,000 CPI, 1,000Hz polling rate, 50 G acceleration, and 400 IPS tracking speed. Users have the freedom to adjust various sensor settings right on the mouse. 

Photo via Colton Deck

Like Zowie and SteelSeries mice, players adjust CPI and polling rate (PR) in steps. The MZ1 allows users to adjust their CPI between 400, 800, 1,200,1,600, 3,200, 4,000, 7,200, and 16,000. Along with adjusting the CPI, there’s also the option to switch up the mouse’s polling rate between 125Hz, 500Hz, and the industry-standard 1,000Hz. 

Rocket Jump Ninja and Xtrfy also give users the freedom to change up lift-off distance (LOD) and debounce time right on the mouse. The MZ1-Zy’s Rail’s lift-off distance can swap between one and 2.5 millimeters, while the debounce time flexes between two, four, six, eight, and 12 milliseconds. 

Xtrfy ran with Kailh GM 8.0 switches rated for 80 million clicks. Kailh’s GM 8.0 mouse switches last 10 million clicks longer than Razer’s optical mouse switches. Clicks here are sturdy, crisp, and feel a bit weightier than most. To be clear, these aren’t “heavy” switches, but the feedback from them provides that weightiness. They feel similar in response to the Logitech G Pro X Superlight mouse buttons but with more weight behind them.

Small button, massive function

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Everything from the lift-off distance to the RGB lighting is managed through a simple process involving the top button and switch. 

The switch has four settings: RGB, PR, LOD, and F11. When set to RGB, users can customize the onboard lighting’s color, effects, speed, and brightness. All you’ll have to do is tap the top button to cycle through effects. To switch colors, you’ll need to hold the top button and hit the right mouse button to cycle through the options. Likewise, adjusting the speed requires the user to hold down the top button and cycle speeds using the left mouse button. If you need to adjust brightness, hold the top button down and use the side buttons to cycle brightness settings. 

Photo via Colton Deck

To set the polling rate, slide the switch to PR click the top button to cycle between the three presets. Red indicates the polling rate being 125Hz, green for 500Hz, and blue for 1,000Hz. Most gaming mice ship with the industry-standard 1,000Hz polling rate, but there’s always room for experimentation.

Users can select their desired lift-off distance by setting the switch to LOD. Using the top button, you’ll be able to switch between LODs of one millimeter and 2.5 millimeters. 

Changing up the debounce time requires the switch be set to F11. Instead of clicking the top button to cycle through the presets, users need to hold the left and right mouse buttons down along with the side buttons for three seconds. If done correctly, the lights will flash with the corresponding debounce time’s color. Red indicates two milliseconds, blue for four, green for eight, and purple for 12. 

If you take your game seriously, Xtrfy and Rocket Jump Ninja provide one of the easiest ways to test out and dial in your mouse settings. 

Grip

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For the first time in quite a while, the competitive community is getting a completely fresh take on the competitive FPS gaming mouse. Rocket Jump Ninja designed this mouse with the sole purpose of giving players a competitively viable new shape, and the MZ1-Zy’s Rail delivers on that front. 

At first glance, it’s reasonable to be both excited and skeptical of the MZ1-Zy’s Rail. The aggressively angled slope toward the front of the mouse combined with the large hump at the rear doesn’t scream “comfort.” After settling in with the mouse throughout a few rough matches, the MZ1-Zy’s Rail provided a comfortable experience across several grip styles. 

Photo via Colton Deck

The grip width of 52.5 millimeters seems small at first but gives the player a high level of control. The experience reminded our reviewer of how the Razer Viper Mini offered a similar level of control with a grip width of 53.5 millimeters. But the MZ1-Zy’s Rail beats out the Viper Mini, thanks to its unique shape. 

Photo via Colton Deck

A few factors of the shape contribute to its superior comfort over other small gaming mice. The hump at the back hits perfectly in the center of the palm and provides the same great support when using a claw grip. Thanks to the small size, the rails atop the mouse, and the lower button positioning, the MZ1-Zy’s Rail feels most comfortable using a fingertip grip. 

For reference, our reviewer’s right hand measures 7.7 inches (195.58 mm) in length and 4.1 inches (104.14mm) in width, categorizing their hand within the medium to large range. 

Wait, I’m cracked?

When using a fingertip grip, our reviewer felt like this mouse actually made their aim better. This isn’t a statement that’s taken lightly—it’s the first time a mouse has improved our reviewer’s aim in first-person shooters like Overwatch and Rainbow Six Siege

Performance is far more consistent and controlled than with any other mouse, which is likely the combination of fingertip grip and the easily controllable shape. Tracking enemies is where the MZ1-Zy’s Rail feels most like an extension of the body, thanks to the added control. Transitioning from tracking targets to flicking on aggressors trying to get a flank off feels nearly effortless. Gaming with the MZ1-Zy’s Rail made the entire FPS experience feel superior to any other mouse. 

Just because one reviewer jells with a product doesn’t mean these results are typical. If anything, the MZ1-Zy’s Rail will be polarizing considering its outrageous shape. It will likely be a love-hate relationship for most users since the shape doesn’t transfer well from genre to genre. 

Feather cable and glides

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The shape of the MZ1-Zy’s Rail is the main attraction, but great feet and a free-flowing cable provide a near wireless feel. Weighing just 56 grams, excluding the cable, the MZ1-Zy’s Rail is already ahead of most lightweight gaming mice regarding its weight. The thick mouse feet and breezy cable help highlight the mouse’s feather-light weight. 

Xtrfy and Rocket Jump Ninja include three small but thick mouse feet and a replacement set in the box. While these feet are much smaller than our reviewer is used to, they still offer surprisingly ample glide. There doesn’t seem to be a compromise between speed and control. Instead, the shape and feet provide a blend of speed and control while the cable ensures that the experience doesn’t hit any snags. 

Every brand has a proprietary cable, but Xtrfy’s new EZcord Pro hangs with the best. The EZcord Pro combines the smoothness of ROCCAT’s PhantomFlex cable and the flexibility of Corsair’s cable. Angling the cable upward to prevent drag is another detail that goes a long way in creating a near wireless feel. Not every company goes out of its way to do this, but it always makes a difference when included in the design. 

Is this for you?

Our reviewer can’t say enough about the MZ1-Zy’s Rail. For them, it actually felt like it improved their game. Hitting shots across multiple titles felt more reliable overall. From shutting down Pharah ultimates at the last second in Overwatch to snapping onto enemies in Siege, the experience felt consistent no matter the FPS or competitive environment.  

That’s not to say that this is the mouse for everyone, though. The shape will likely be polarizing, but it worked exceedingly well for our reviewer when playing first-person shooters. Because Rocket Jump Ninja designed the MZ1-Zy’s Rail for FPS titles, it doesn’t work very well in other scenarios. Trying to play something like Death Stranding or any other non-FPS won’t go over as well. 

If you’ve been looking for the right shape but haven’t had any luck, the MZ1-Zy’s Rail might be what you’ve been missing. Our reviewer was never an avid fingertip grip user, but after spending time with the MZ1-Zy’s Rail, they’ve converted and will be picking up their own copy upon release later this month, even if it is on the pricey side.

Pros

  • Finally, a new shape
  • Easy customization
  • No software
  • 56-gram weight 
  • EZcord Pro 
  • Thick mouse feet/extra feet

Cons

  • Not very comfortable outside of FPS titles
  • On the pricey side