By Jonathan Doyle (Ardua), OnRPG War Correspondent
Some parts of being a gamer sound perfectly normal to other gamers. You have a keyboard with your macros programmed in? I get it. You have a keypad for your favourite FPS? Yeah that’s fine.
When Razer contacted us and asked us to review the Razer Naga 2014 mmo gaming mouse, of course we were more than happy to. Part of doing that is actually getting your hands on the product and well, sometimes shipping is a pain.
How do you explain a gaming mouse to someone who isn’t “one of us”?
As I said to the lovely lady in DHL …. “well…. it has 17 buttons.”
You can imagine the reaction.
After the dealings and disbelief on the part of the shipper, I finally got my hand(s) on the first gaming mouse I personally have ever used. It was just a little daunting truth be told. I know how I play my games. I have already practiced the muscle memory and know where I should be flailing on the keyboard when a pull goes bad. Here on my desk there was a subtly curved faintly glowing new mouse that promised to do all that for me.
For anyone with oh, I’d say medium hands, the feel is fantastic. I’ve oddly huge hands given my day job as an large human but I still found it very comfortable to rest on and use. The top of the mouse is covered in a special anti fingerprint and anti slip grip material that now feels right. I don’t think my brain will ever happily take a step backwards in how my mouse feels, which is an odd thing to say in any venue.
Left handed gamers, it comes in lefty mode if you want. Razer have gone ahead and put those together for you. Feel free to swap everything else I say around.
The 12 button grid on the right hand side sits directly under the thumb and with the keys ever so slightly tilted and raised, it’s a quick matter to tell them apart by feel. Speaking of feel, I’ve not used any of the older Naga mice but the mechanical buttons on the 2014 model give a satisfying sense of feedback. I know when I have hit one of the buttons. It’s the little tactile touch with the ever so slight click sound that sets you at ease.
New Dog New Tricks
My major concern when first trying out the mouse was muscle memory. It was a little effort to get used to the fact that for my chosen game of Guild Wars 2 everything I could want was on the mouse. All of my abilities were sitting pretty under my thumb. Need to swap weapons? A gentle tap on the scroll wheel to the left. Start running? Click the wheel to the right.
Using the Synapse 2.0 software I could remap everything except the left click (presumably to stop you from accidentally screwing up having a mouse at all) to do whatever I wanted. Did I want the two mouse buttons hiding below the scroll wheel to launch a program? That’s an option. Do I want them to swap my profile for another game? I could do that. Easy to assign and set up, out of the box the Naga gave me plenty of customization options.
What happens though if you skipped past those to play a game?
Out of the box and right into the game it was working for me. The thumb grid acts like your number keys and the base profile installed on the mouse does pretty much what you’d expect. Lets say I wanted something more, the in game configurator comes to the rescue. No need to log out, just bring up the program to remap the thumb grid however I might want.
2014 The Year of the Naga
I can say with absolute assurance that I have a new mouse in my life. Will I use it as hard as some might? Probably not. I’ve never personally been a person who uses macros in his MMOs. Even without going that far I’ve learned the new motions. Being able to rest my hand on my movement keys and the other on my mouse and need nothing else is just… right.
I needed to find the mouse before I could review it, back then I had to describe it as a mouse with 17 buttons. All the lady could say in response was “that’s a lot of buttons.”
I think now, anything less is insufficient for my purposes.