As we noted earlier, the ROCCAT Kone XTD doesn't come with a driver CD. To get the latest ROCCAT driver utility you need to navigate to the Kone XTD's specific support page, and whilst you're there it's worth picking up the ROCCAT™ Talk©/ ROCCAT™ Talk© FX software if you're also sporting an Isku keyboard. We tested the mouse with the latest driver and firmware as of the time of writing: v1.15.
Upon installing the software and plugging in the Kone XTD for the first time, the untility prompts to update the firmware. It is important not to interrupt the updating process, for obvious reasons.
The Main Control tab is the first tab active upon the launch of the utility, and houses controls for standard mouse features such as double-click, DPI and sensitivity options. Although seemingly allowing DPI variation in increments of 1 in the UI, it in fact only allows variation in 200 DPI chunks. That's fine at the high-end of the spectrum, but the difference at <1000 DPI is quite marked; more fine increments would be handy for those after absolute control. Of the five DPI settings per profile one can be used for the EasyAim function, which overrides the current DPI when an assigned button is pressed and held for, as the name suggests, easy aiming.
Those more interested in the productivity side of the Kone XTD will be pleased by the facility to tweak scroll speed (esp. horizontal scroll speed via MWHEEL tilt) and sensitivity (for those who hammer their keyboards).
Just below the main window are the Profile Load/Save/Select tabs. Each profile stores a set of button assignments, DPI and lighting information and can be selected manually or automatically when a particular application is launched. Profiles can also be saved individually, so that even if it's not one of the five available it can be recalled quickly. ROCCAT Kone XTD profiles (.rmp extension files) are by default stored under '\Programs Files (x86)\ROCCAT\Kone XTD Mouse\config'.
The next tab is one for Button Assignment, and is split between two mouse states: normal and with Easy-Shift[+] active. Here you can assign a huge number of default Windows functions to your mouse such as Browser Forward/Back, Volume Up/Down, Windows key etc., or you can create your own Macro's and assign them individually. EasyAim can also be bound to a button in this utility through the same process.
To enable EasyShift[+] you must bind that function to either button 4 or 5 (the thumb buttons), or other keys on a ROCCAT Isku keyboard by activating ROCCAT Talk. The restriction is a little disappointing, though in fairness binding this functionality to another other group of buttons seems quite sub-optimal.
The ROCCAT Macro Manager allows you to record your own macros, edit existing macros or view one of the dozens of preset macros for popular games. All in all it's pretty intuitive, and allows an advanced mode to precisely time key presses to the millisecond.
Advanced Control, the third tab, features a number of advanced options which probably won't be tweaked much on a day-to-day basis. Included are individual X-Y sensitivity biases and Windows pointer speed (which is inherited from Windows control panel settings). The sound feedback board enables or disables event notifications which are played through your speakers; we imagine that in very short order you'll wish to disable DPI notification at least. Although some notification of state changes are great, we would in general prefer a visual rather than audio cue.
USB polling rate and the Tracking + Distance Control Unit settings can also be accessed here. Typically there's no need to change these from the default, but advanced users may want to enable the TDCU if they're having difficulties with lift-off distances or mouse-pad surface tracking is poor.
Colour Control, the fourth tab, is dedicated to controlling the lighting effects of LEDs. It clearly indicates which LED is selected (or allows you to bind to all four LEDs simultaneously) and select a number of effects. Those who really want to personalise their mouse will love these features. Due to lighting being on a per-profile basis, ROCCAT have taken the step of reflect the selected lighting and lighting effect in the profile slots. If you choose to create distinct lighting per profile, this allows you to clearly differentiate between the profiles both in the editor and on the mouse itself.
R.A.D., or ROCCAT Achievement Display, tracks the usage statistics of the mouse such as distance travelled or number of clicks. Reach a set number and you get an achievement. The idea is that they're cool metrics and serve as an entry into the Roccat World social hub. In fairness most users will quickly gloss over this tab, but it's a nice little addition which is well presented and provides information which may be useful at some point (after all, you never know).
The final tab is the Update/Download tab, through which you can check for driver updates or request support; the only requirement is a working mouse and internet connection. This is a great feature which is often understated, allowing you to keep your drivers up-to-date with very little fuss. It could be slightly easier, perhaps through the use of a 'Live-Update' system or simple notification of new drivers being available, but at present the software doesn't seem to allow that.
All in all, the ROCCAT software is excellent: the graphics are crisp and layout is logical without being cluttered. No significant area appears to be lacking, and it seems perfectly tailored to the Kone XTD itself.