When it comes to extended and advanced play in MMOs, Razer’s Naga has the reputation of being the obvious choice of gaming peripheral. The signature design with its 12-button number pad attached to the side first launched in 2009 and is now synonymous with online play. The Naga series has retained its position as the top-selling MMO mouse in the world as a result.
The latest iteration of the wired Razer Naga is now available worldwide, but are its new features and software support worth the upgrade? Read on for our review.
Out of the package the three most glaring observations on the physical design side for Naga newcomers are the trademark 12-button thumb grid, the wider berth compared to standard gaming mice and the light weight.
For the Naga 2014, the thumb grid has been augmented significantly with mechanical switches, meaning more defined, cleaner thumb clicks. It also features more pronounced, redesigned individual buttons, allowing for easier recognition and more precise button presses for players. Much like the Razer BlackWidow keyboards, once you go Razer mechanical, it’s hard to go back, and the improvement is a welcome one.
- Total of 19 MMO optimized programmable buttons
- 12-button mechanical thumb grid
- Tilt-click scroll wheel
- 8200 dpi 4G laser sensor
- Razer Synapse 2.0 enabled
- Green LED backlighting
- 1000 Hz Ultrapolling
- Up to 200 inches per second / 50 g max acceleration
- Zero-acoustic Ultraslick mouse feet
- 2.1 m / 7 ft. braided fibre cable
- Product dimensions:
- Length: 119 mm / 4.68 inches
- Width: 75 mm / 2.95 inches
- Height: 43 mm / 1.69 inches
- Product weight: 135 g / 0.30 lbs
Another highlight addition to the Naga design is the tilt-click scroll wheel where players can not only click the wheel as a third ‘main’ button, and scroll up and down, but players can click it left and right. It feels surprisingly natural, and has since become a staple part of this reviewer’s browsing the internet and documentation in a more efficient fashion. Holding the tilt one way or the other lets users very quickly scroll through long pages.
The weight and wider, more sloped design of the Naga make it a more comfortable resting place for the player hand (fits everything except the pinky on top) during extended periods of online play – and that’s what it’s built for. The Naga series is plan and simple, designed for MMO players and that’s where the abundance of extra switches comes in. Much like the Razer Ouroboros is built with Razer’s Synapse 2.0 proprietary software in mind, the Naga takes the software support to the next level.
Windows will automatically recognize the Naga upon plugging into a USB port (cord is a durable 7-foot braided fiber cable) and users will be good to go on the basics. The 12-button thumb grid acts by default the same as a keyboard’s number keys (the action bar in most MMOs) with 0, – and + serving as 10, 11, and 12 on the Naga, respectively. The first thing users should do after plugging in is to download the Razer Synapse 2.0 software – much like we recommend for the Ouroboros.
- PC / Mac with USB port
- Windows® 8/ Windows® 7 / Windows Vista® / Windows® XP (32-bit)/ Mac OS X (v10.6-10.7 and above)
- Internet connection
- 100MB of free hard disk space
- Razer Synapse 2.0 registration (requiring a valid e-mail), software download, license acceptance, and internet connection needed to activate full features of product and for software updates. After activation, full features are available in optional offline mode.
Synapose 2 offers standard features including calibration based on mouse mats/surfaces and can configure sensitivity based on DPI and acceleration rates. By default the mouse was very sensitive upon plugging in so we increased the acceleration for our main profile and it worked well. Synapse can also be used for advanced players to create macros, but to get to the unique feature to the Naga, they can click the ADD ON tab to enable the In-Game Configurator. More on that in a moment…
The most important feature is the ability to customize button mapping since different games (and player preferences) will dictate differing optimal layouts. Toggling between Top View and Side View will provide users a layout of the buttons where they can simple click and alter what each does. It’s easy, quick and it works.
The new feature – and a big selling point for the 2014 edition of the Naga – in this regard is the In-Game Configurator (add-on only works for Windows Vista, 7 and 8) which lets users customize the Naga’s layout, sensitivity, macros, etc. all while in-game. By default, the player simply has to hit the left tilt on the scroll wheel and the small interface will pop-up. It even lets players assign custom images for each of the 12 thumb grid switches. While the feature is wonderful, we found that the pop-up doesn’t always display (in Neverwinter for example). In this case, we had to alt-tab out to do it which defeats the purpose. Still, when it works (like in MechWarrior Online), it’s a game-changer.
As a show of force and good will, The latest Naga is also available for left-handed gamers for the first time ever – Razer was quick to point out that it’s expected to lose financially on the left-handed edition, but are doing it because, “like to do fiscally irresponsible acts for the betterment of gamers worldwide,” according to Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder, CEO and creative director.
The all-new Razer Naga has better buttons, more user-friendly features on both the hardware and software side and is more ergonomic than previous iterations. While we wish there were some options to customize the light colors (like on the Roccat Savu), The new Naga is quite simply the best MMO mouse from Razer yet, even if the In-Game Configurator Add-On needs some room to grow.
It’s an easily recommendable upgrades for users of previous iterations and for newcomers to the Naga design. The 2014 edition is a great way to get in and begin mastering more efficient control schemes for your favorite MMOs.
The Razer Naga is available now (left and right-handed) for $79.99. Find out more from the official site here.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.