Microsoft SideWinder X8 Wireless Gaming Mouse

TestFreaks Data
Galaxy S6 Cases on Amazon


Look around and you’ll find many companies out there producing mice, it seems that a lot of them are trying to get in on the gaming industry, but not all are created equal, or that good for much of anything. When it comes to gaming though most people much rather prefer a wired mouse as there is no lag, many companies have tried to come up with wireless gaming mice, but the results just really weren’t good enough for most gamers. It’s been a long time since I’ve owned or used a wireless mouse, even though I’m not professional gamer, I do like the features that come with gaming style mice and use them often, and even I don’t like wireless mice for gaming.

Microsoft has recently released a new product, it’s a wireless gaming mouse called the SideWinder X8 and it aims to actually be a usable wireless mouse for gaming. It’s got the standard features of gaming mice, adjustable DPI settings, macros management and programmable buttons. It also features an extra button which acts as a quick launch button to the games folder in Vista, it also features replaceable feet as well, and includes two extra sets of them. One of the other features I found unique is the ability to charge while playing, the charging cable clips to the base via a magnetic connection and allows you to continue playing while the mouse is charging. Overall it’s a great mouse and in my time with it I’ve come to like it very much, so read on to learn more about a very adept and adequate wireless gaming mouse.

First up here I’ve got the unboxing video for you, and then a bunch of pictures.

In the video we pretty much saw everything, but let’s take a look again.

The for the SideWinder X8 is a nice presentation style design, it’s red glossy and just has a gamer look and feel to it.

DSCF5135 DSCF5137

Inside we find the mouse itself, charging base, user manual and software disc.


The charging base is the wireless receiver as well, it reminds me of a hockey puck actually, and it’s rather heavy with a rubberized base to make sure it stays where you put it. The charging cord is nice and long, on the very end is where you find the charging contacts, the plug just clips to the bottom of the X8 with a magnet and stays in place nicely. The cord wraps around the base, there’s an indentation in the middle section of the base where the cord fits into.

DSCF5152 DSCF5142 DSCF5141

DSCF5149 DSCF5150

… but the charging base is a bit more than that, the top comes off to reveal two more sets of the feet for the X8, the feet just clip to the X8, and interesting system actually.

DSCF5143 DSCF5147

The SideWinder X8 is a rather large mouse, and it’s really only for right handers, for the last few months I’ve been using the small NZXT Avatar so it took a bit of time for me to get accustomed to the size of the X8.

DSCF5153 DSCF5154 DSCF5155 DSCF5157 DSCF5175 DSCF5180 DSCF5185 DSCF5189

The SideWinder X8 features three buttons on the left side, two of which can be your standard back and forth browser buttons, the other, towards the front is for creating macros for gaming. The stacked buttons on the side are a bit odd as most mice have them side by side or even on either side of the mouse, I’m still not quite accustomed to them yet.

DSCF5161 DSCF5174

On the top of the X8 you’ll find the regular right and left buttons along with four more, three small black buttons are for changing DPI settings, and the square silver one is a quick launch button, in Vista it opens the gaming folder. The scroll where is a buttons as well, and it can tilt from sided to side for side scrolling, it’s a clicky style so it’s audible when you scroll with it.

DSCF5159DSCF5173  DSCF5190

The bottom of the X8 is where you’ll find the charging port on the front, the removable feet, sensor and battery compartment along with the power switch.

DSCF5191 DSCF5192 DSCF5193 DSCF5196 DSCF5200 DSCF5202


Microsoft SideWinder X8 Wireless Gaming Mouse

The Ultimate Gaming Mouse System
Grab hold of the Microsoft® SideWinder™ X8 mouse and experience gaming thrills and performance that will blow you—and your opponents—away! This addition to Microsoft’s award-winning line of SideWinder gaming products is a complete desktop gaming system that features breakthrough Microsoft BlueTrack™ Technology, 2.4 GHz wireless, USB charging while you play, an advanced design for precise handling and fast action, adjustable feet, custom tuning—and much more.

-2.4 GHz Wireless connection Reliable wireless connection built for lag-free play.
-BlueTrack Technology World’s most advanced tracking technology for gaming with image processing of 13,000 frames per second.
-Play and Charge Up to 30 hours of active gaming on a single charge, or use the play-and-charge cable for non-stop action.
-Twelve Buttons – Seven are programmable Customize the five programmable main buttons, plus left/right tilt wheel—seven programmable buttons— to customize your gaming experience.
-Scroll Wheel with Tilt Better feel and response with detents for precise control.
-Full-Speed USB Reporting Full-speed, 500 Hz USB reporting is built for lag-free play.
-Engineered for Speed Shape designed for quick, balanced, precision gaming action.
-Vertical side buttons Don’t make mistakes. The top/bottom design makes locating the side buttons easier and reduces the inadvertent actuation risk.
-LCD Display Quickly view DPI settings and macro-recording.
-Quick Launch Button One-touch access to Microsoft PC Gaming features.
-DPI Switching Instantly switch sensitivity between high, medium, and low with one click.
-Replaceable Mouse Feet Choice of three different materials for glide preference.
-Macro Record Easily record macros while in game with the dedicated button.
-3-Year Limited Warranty

Additional Features:
-2.4 GHz Wireless – Built for lag-free play.
-LCD Display – Quickly view DPI settings and macro-recording icons on the mouse.
-DPI Switching – Instantly switch sensitivity between high, medium, and low with one click.
-Replaceable Mouse Feet – Choice of 3 different materials for glide preference.
-7 Programmable Buttons – Customize 5 programmable main buttons, plus left/right tilt, to your preference.
-Macro Record – Easily record macros while in game with the dedicated button.

-Resolution: 250–4000 dpi (BlueTrack™ Technology)
-Image Processing: 13000 frames per second
-Max Acceleration: 75 G
-Max Speed: 120 inches per second
-USB Reporting: Full-speed, 500 Hz
-Feet: 3 sets of different mouse feet (for glide preference)
-Wireless Play: Up to 30 hours

System Requirements:
-Windows Vista®/Windows XP
-100 MB
-USB Port
-CD drive

The user interface, Intellipoint, is pretty basic, only three of the seven tabs really pertain to the SideWinder X8. You can change the button functions, assign DPI to the buttons and change the scrolling, the others are basic stuff for all mice.

1 2 53 4  6 7

Here’s a few shots of the X8 compared to the Avatar that I’ve been using:

DSCF5210 DSCF5213 DSCF5214 DSCF5215

The X8 does have red LEDs in it for highlights, but they don’t stay on all of the time, personally I would have liked if they did, but oh well, they only come on when you change the DPI. There’s a small screen on the left side above the buttons that tells you what DPI you are using and the buttons you pressed also lights up.

DSCF6887DSCF6873 DSCF6875 DSCF6880  DSCF6890

Using the X8 is nice in fact, very nice, as I mentioned though since it’s so large it took me a while to get accustomed to it, but that’s only me as the mouse I was using is rather small in size. I’d forgotten what it’s like really to use a wireless mouse, I very much enjoy the freedom of it.

I used the X8 on cloth and plastic mousepads and even just my desk surface, I had no problems with tracking on any surface at all. Having three monitors it’s nice to be able to run a higher resolution to be able to easily zip across all three, for me I have the DPI buttons set at 4000, 1500 and 750, 1500 being the normal setting for everyday usage. The only complaint I could have is that the DPI settings aren’t as adjustable as I’d like them to be, what I mean is that they go from 500 to 750 then to 1000 etc, I’d like them to be much more adjustable, on other mice 800DPI is usually my lower setting, but with the X8 there’s no option for that. For me though it’s not that big of a deal, but I could see where a professional gamer or even someone who games more than me would like to have better adjustability with the DPI settings.

Some mice out there have adjustable weights as well, the X8 does not, again here, some people like to change the weight of their mice, personally I like a heavier mouse, and the weight of the X8 is fine for me really.

I played several games with the X8, Price of Persia, F.E.A.R. 2 and many others, all of them worked great with the X8, no problems to report in that area.

Battery life seems fine with the X8, not that it matters much really as you can play while you’re charging. At first I was a bit leery of the charging system and how it connected, it connects with a magnet so I wasn’t sure if it was going to stay in place, but after using it that way I found it works perfectly fine. The charging cord is very thin, which is good and bad really, being thin it’s lightweight, but it can possibly get damaged easier as well.


The Microsoft SideWinder X8 wireless gaming mouse is an excellent all around mouse, and of course it’s very good for gaming as well. It’s probably the first wireless mouse that I’m happy with for gaming, there seems to be no lag at all. The configurable buttons and interchangeable feet are a nice touch, and the adjustable DPI settings are something that even the most casual gamer can appreciate.

Of course though I’m not a professional gamer, but for me it works very well for all of the games I played, it tracks on every surface style, and it works great for everyday uses.

Being wireless it frees you from cords, it’s quite possibly the best wireless mouse on the market today.
As much as I like my NZXT Avatar, I won’t be going back to it, in my time with the X8 I’ve grown to like it very much, I can easily recommend the SideWinder X8 to anyone looking for a high quality wireless gaming mouse.

9 recommended5

Works well on all surfaces
Easy to use
Nice long charging cord
Play while charging
Wireless that works well for gaming
Adjustable DPI
Interchangeable feet
Nicely made

Large mouse
Only right handed
DPI settings are not fully adjustable in smaller increments
No adjustable weights


  19 comments for “Microsoft SideWinder X8 Wireless Gaming Mouse

  1. Nanogrip
    April 1, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Thanks for the review. I was torn between this, the SideWinder, and SideWinder X5. I went for the Sidewinder (non Xs) because mainly of the metal scroll wheel and the metal (I think they are metal) side buttons and that I don’t like wireless mice because of obvious limitations, but wow, the X8 is a handsome one. My Sidewinder should be in the mail box soon and thanks again for the review.

  2. Russell
    April 21, 2009 at 2:33 am

    I picked one of these up last week. Tracking is amazing. The grip is a little odd…still trying to get used to it. This would be a nearly perfect mouse if you could assign custom functions/keystrokes to the three dpi buttons…it’s such a shame they didn’t allow this…I just don’t get it…

    Hopefully someone will come up with a custom driver, a la setpoint uberoptions…

  3. querry
    June 24, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    i am useing a microsoft 5000 wireless mouse keyboard combo right now. i have worn out the left mouse button playin wo, in 1 year. sometimes it will click real fast, like if trying to move a bag item, or not select at all, does this with files in folders to, i tried a test on paint and held down the button to draw a line, it was like i was letting go of the button and pushing it. i have the reciver right above the mouse on the desk. i can see discoloration where my finger has rubbed the silver off. the keyboad works fine and i would like to get a Microsoft SideWinder X8 Black USB 2.4GHz Wireless 4000 dpi Gaming Mouse but will the two signals interfere with eachother?

  4. marcel_miller
    August 2, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    if its allways conected to charge cable the mouse will still have 4000DPI? or it loses quality Thanks!

  5. Svenji
    August 28, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I own this mouse and the Revolution and, quite frankly, the Revolution makes this mouse look bad.
    First, it is more ergonomically made for the hand, which is a big deal when you play for long periods of time. Second, it has many more options for customization where it counts: buttons. The thumb wheel (3 buttons in one), the regular left / right clicking buttons, the “application” button (top center), the additional front / back thumb buttons, and even the left / right scroll buttons can be customized to basically whatever you want (10 buttons total). By contrast, the sidewinder has limited configuration on a total of 4 buttons. That’s pretty weak by comparison.
    The Revolution does not have DPI change, which is significant, especially if you play shooting games, but this makes no difference in any other type of game.
    I can appreciate the charging method of this mouse (vs the docking method the Revolution uses), but unless you regularly play for 14+ hours at a time, you shouldn’t have any problems keeping the Revolution charged.
    Oh, and after you get used to a “spin” smooth scrolling scroll wheel, you’ll never want to go back.
    Finally, the Revolution works with both my Windows machine and my Macs, whereas the Sidewinder is Windoze only.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like my Sidewinder, which is clearly superior to any other mouse I’ve had — with the exception of the Revolution. Sorry Sidewinder, you lose.

  6. iZian
    October 24, 2009 at 1:36 am

    Just got one of these; replacing my old Revolution…
    Much better! Accuracy is superb; signal is amazing; could practially use macros from it while downstairs.
    My revolution was 1200 DPI; this is 4000; go figure.
    I don’t need a spin smooth scrolling wheel for games; as you’ll end up cylcing through about 400 weapons at a time!
    There are only really 5 program buttons; as one is left click and one is right click.
    The stupidest thing on it is that the “Game” button on the top of the mouse is restricted and cannot be changed to something at all useful.
    The magnetic clip charger cable is a dream; so is the nigty LCD display.

  7. Zac
    March 10, 2010 at 12:49 am

    I just wanted to address some concerns that Svenji mentioned, and something iZian missed. I, like them, also have the MX Revolution. I was on my second MX Revolution when the battery started failing. So, just over a year, and 2 issues, one of which, Logitech replaced completely at their cost (including shipping). I was able to take the 1st MX Revolution I had apart, and swap out the batteries, creating a good MX Revolution once again. However, I also decided it was time to consider an alternate mouse vendor, and Microsoft is really the only big name one out there besides Logitech. Yes, I’m aware of NZXT, Razer and some others, but they just don’t appeal to me.

    So, some issues with the MX Revolution – Battery is encased, and not easily swappable, you basically have to ruin the glide pads to get at it. I think this is fixed in the newer version, the Performance MX. The Performance MX also adds charge and play but loses the thumb wheel (which I won’t miss myself). I absolutely love the look, feel and Free Spin wheel on the Revolution, however, it’s not enough to be paying $80 for a new mouse every year or so, I need a mouse that can last quite a few year for the price that’s being asked for these.

    There are 7 mappable buttons on the X8. You have the Left, Right and Middle (scroll wheel) buttons, as well as the thumb buttons. You can also map the left and right tilt to whatever you want as well, including Macros.

    The play and charge deal, is what got me excited about the X8 mouse in the first place, the puck is a fantastic design for desktop use (not so much for Laptops). However, when I first started using the Revolution MX, the mouse was very easy to use and get accustomed to. The X8, is not like that. I’ve accidently hit the thumb button a couple times now, and holding is will indeed take some getting used to, but I’ve only been using it for a few hours now.

    Svenji, I have no idea what you mean by limited configuration either, you can set the buttons to Macro’s and to act as any keystroke, AND you can EASILY set it to a modifier key, like Alt, Ctrl, and Shift (very useful to me in WoW).

    I say easily, because in order to set a Thumb button to act as the Alt key in WoW for the MX Revolution, I had to setup a profile for WoW by manually finding the exe. Then setting the key for that Application as Alt+. However, doing this has some conflict in the application, and breaks the Generic Button functionality for other programs. So, what I had to do was then to set a profile for Firefox and IE to set the key to Alt+Left Arrow (which commands the browsers to go back). Also, by default, the back thumb button doesn’t work in Firefox with the Logitech SetPoint software installed.

    With the X8 mouse, all I had to do was run WoW. After it was run once (after the Setpoint software was installed), then it appeared in a list of applications I could customize settings for, and I selected it and set it to Alt. No fuss, no muss. The program has a configuration setting for all other programs (not configured specifically), and with the software installed, the Forward and Back buttons work without any extra adjustments needed in Firefox.

    Now, all of that may of not been true when Svenji posted his response, but that’s the state of both Logitech and Microsoft drivers as of now.

    The X8 feels a bit weird in my hand right now, but I’ll give it some breaking in time. Also, the scroll wheel on the X8 is too stiff, and all metal, so, it’s not as grippy on my finger as I’d like, and just doesn’t compare to Free Spin… at all.

    If I could choose, I’d love a combination of the two. Microsoft hardware (I don’t recall seeing a Microsoft mouse fail, however, I’ve had many Logitech mice fail), and it’s IntelliPoint control panel, with the MX’s Revolution Wheel, the 3 bar battery indicator (although Microsoft’s LED could be more useful if it came on every so often to show me battery status, or I could hit a button to see it), MX’s Ergonomics, and the X8’s Puck and swappable skid plates and ability to do Macro’s. While the Performance MX does have a useful charging cable, that’s useful for other devices as well (cell phones), and easy to replace, the magnetic wrap-uppable cable does have an element of coolness to it that I like.

  8. Ai
    March 24, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    After reading this review, and having liked the original Sidewinder and X5, I decided to take a shot in the dark and pick one of these up for about $45 new on eBay. Over the past year I’ve gone through a G5-G500 warranty replacement, G9x, SteelSeries MMO mouse, and a G7, that I keep as a back up. The review was spot on, and I’ve noticed several things about this mouse.

    + Since it only uses 1 AA NiMH battery, it charges incredibly fast. Microsoft recommends 5 minutes for every hour of game play, but I let it charge for an hour and it goes all day.
    + The battery can be replaced with another AA NiMH battery. This is a big plus, especially coming from a G7’s battery packs.
    + I read on other reviews where people were having tracking issues and wheel issues. Both seem to be fixed in the version that I have.
    + Covered by Microsoft’s 3 year warranty. If you’ve ever had to use it, this is a big plus. MS is very easy to work with for warranty replacement. For reference, Logitech is 3-5 years, Steel Series 1 year, Razer 6 months – 2 years.
    + The charging cable is fast. I leave it flat on my mousepad and just slide the mouse over it, takes all of 1 second.
    + I like the design / functionality of the puck.

    – It does take some getting used to the shape of the mouse. Some people may never get used to it.
    – LEDs are red, which is fine, but I’d prefer an RGB system like the Steel Series MMO mouse had. It was cool that you could set that mouse to pulse speed / etc. It would be nice if you could set that on this mouse.
    – No weights. I find the weight fine, but some might argue that.

    One thing I see a lot of people commenting on is the LCD not coming on unless you change the DPI. On mine, if you have it connected to the USB charging cable then it pulses along with the LEDs.

    Overall 93%. Really wonderful mouse.

  9. Nick
    April 24, 2010 at 8:39 am

    For the past 4-5 years I have been using an MX-518, and it was a wonderful mouse. I upgraded to the X8 on a whim, and have not regretted it at all.

    I play a lot of games, and never used all the buttons on my 518, mostly because they weren’t that easily accessible. However, the placement of the “forward and back” buttons on the sidewinder is significantly better and made me want to use these buttons.

    The mouse is comfortable in my hand, and was easy to adjust from the 518. If anything it could even be slightly larger and I wouldn’t have a problem.

    The location and style of the DPI buttons is far better as well. While there is one less profile, i have not found myself accidentally pressing the buttons while scrolling. This was a problem for me with the 518, and having dedicated buttons for each DPI is also a huge bonus.

    I have noticed no lag, and I play in some Counterstrike tournaments, this is a great mouse and I recommend it to anyone.

  10. June 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I happened to come across this review and just had to put my……5 cents in! I have been an online (FPS) gamer for “quit a few years” now..lets just say I remember tearing up “Delta Force” on a 56k connection back in the day. Gentlemen the mouse I used back then(like everyone else) was a wired ball mouse(mine was an H-P Model-P13I..Had to look that up! LOL). Of course things progress and I remember buying a Microsoft Wireless Intellimouse Explorer which i used for a year or so before giving it to one of my sons and buying….”the same mouse” just the “newer model”. Around that time I bought Counter-Strike “off the shelf” (My Steam I.D. is in the low 5 digits for anyone wondering ;), My experience with FPS’s is broad,my CS/CS:S EXP. broader from the defunct CAL to TWL to ECO. All you CS players know it’s practice,tactics,eye/hand,prefire,etc. but near the top is having half decent hardware and that definatly includes your mouse! The worst thing that ever happened to me in-game was “Losing my Battery” near the end a CAL final(which we lost partly due to me scrambling around my house “looking for a battery”!!) I swore that wouldn’t happen again!! After much research I went with the razer copperhead…(2000 dpi laser engine(with on-the-fly- DPI presets),32Kb memory,7 programmable buttons,hi-speed motion detection ,7080 frames per second,and it had an “always on” state that then was new and sounded sweet,but what sounded sweeter was that 90% of reviewers(though it was as close at could be) chose the copperhead over the G-5 back then!! So once again ,same thing, my son needs a new mouse, he gets the razer gain…after a very happy and successful gaming year+plus using this mouse i then heard the X-8 was coming out and knew I had to have it!!!(even though i took a blood oath to “NEVER” buy another wireless mouse for tournament/game play) Performance gentlemen..,thats the reason I did it!!…Ok..Ok..for myself their are a couple other reasons….I have large hands and the S.W. is a perfect fit for me,the ramped up DPI,the “single” battery W/ “charge and play” capability(that sold me)… sons all have S.Winders now and all 3 play WoW and other RPG’s and use/love the S.W.’s on-the-fly Macro capabilities…myself i don’t use it and that wasn’t the main selling point…If you throw everything together it “I.M.O.” makes the X-8 one of the top all-around gaming mice out there and worth everypenny(So far also mine is going on 1.5 years old and i’ve tore it down once for a good cleaning and it still works flawlessly) so I have to mention Quality!!! .Maybe I am a little prejudice..but i have some friends that have a couple different G-Series mice and i have had the opportunity to actually sit down and play with them..I know a couple hours on a couple logitech mice is far from me being able to pass a non-biased opinion..but with my years of gaming/sampling with a wide variety of “Performance” mice ,I’ll stick with the X-8……at least till the next “X-Mouse” comes out…when that happens their won’t be a second thought as to what mouse i’ll trust my Kill to Death Ratio to,If I don’t pre-but it i’ll be at the door the day it hits the shelves. And Thats All I Have To Say About That!!! Brad “DangerfulMan” O’Shell

  11. Johann "Ginger_Ninja" Wolfaardt
    July 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Well to be honest, I’ve had my eye on the X8 for a while now. Only thing holding me back was the sturdy performance of my “old” trusty mouse called, the G7. I’ve had my G7 for almost 5 years now and won’t ever look back on the awesome things I’ve accomplished with it. 🙂

    I’ve been going over almost every article there is on the internet, (kk, more like 2000 or so articles) searching for my next mouse and finally after some dissapointing and rather poor reviews, articles etc. I FOUND this life saving article!!!! :]

    That brings me to the actual point I’d be compelled to make. After reading this article, watching the well constructed video and having a look at some awesome pics of the X8, I’d have to be a fool not to buy this mouse…..

    I just wanna say, thanks to all of you for your inputs and discussions on the pros and cons of the X8. This really helped me decide which allroud gaming mouse I’d be buying next, since my Logitech G7 mouse started giving some problems. (The right click works 8 out of 10 times, not that nice whilst playing FPS games anymore.)

    If it weren’t for your inputs I wouldn’t have bought myself this awesome mouse…
    After using it for a while, one becomes attached too it as if it’s become part of you. This was the best bang for buck ever. Trust in MS and they won’t dissapoint.

    Wireless is the way of the future, you could either accept it or live a life full of pointless and useless issues with wired “stuff”.
    Going wireless = Absolute Freedom!!!!!!

    Haaahahahahaa, hope you guys enjoyed the article as much as I did!!!
    Thanx again

    Johann “Ginger_Ninja” Wolfaardt

  12. September 11, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Honestly, I tried this mouse out and really was not a fan at all. I love microsoft mice, I personally favor the mx518. I’ve had plenty of wireless mice in the past, and this one honestly just didn’t do it for me unfortunately.

  13. X8Hater
    September 21, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Not a fan, have had constant charging issues with mine. Went back to my G7 now my X* just sits on my desk unused

  14. Violator
    January 5, 2013 at 10:03 am

    I had my X5 and X8 for quite some years now, and they just don’t seem to break.
    Before that I had like every flavor of Logitech gaming mice, none of these ever lasted more than ½ a year, the switches just got worn out.
    Shame that Microsoft stopped making gaming mice now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *