Sunday, May 15, 2011

[G] Q&A/Review of the Razer Naga Mouse

NOTE: In the future, I will be doing some non-computer/hardware related posts, if that's OK. Lots of random things I want to talk about :)

This is basically just a review of the Razer Naga wired laser mouse. This is for people who are interested in the mouse and looking to purchase it. I'm not trying to persuade anyone to switch from whatever mouse they currently have. I've seen some places where people are asking decent questions about the mouse and getting answers like "Naga plz that's for noobs." Sigh.

The focus of the article will be mainly around its usability around Starcraft II, as that's what I mainly play at the moment ^^
I'll answer some common questions and clear up a few misconceptions in a Q&A format so it's easier to search through. 

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How long have you had the mouse?
I've had the mouse for 8 months and I've used it with SC2 for 5 of those months. So I have a decent amount of experience with the mouse.

Is it hard to get used to?
The simple answer is that, it depends. For myself I purchased it originally to play WoW and then picked up SC2 later. It took about 3 or 4 days to get accustomed to for WoW. Since I started playing SC2 with the mouse (I never played BW, I know, lol @ me) for the control groups, I never really had to switch from using the keyboard 0-9 as my control groups to the mouse.

Although, for a few days I didn't have the Naga and I went back to my old mouse, the Logitech G5, and it was difficult getting used to the keyboard 0-9 when my muscle memory wanted to use my right thumb for my control groups. It was strange having to stretch my hand to do CTRL+6 and also mircoing 1-3 groups of units in a battle all with my left hand. I don't have small hands or anything, 6' male if that means anything. Though, I'm sure this feeling is normal for all people just starting to play SC2.

Is it hard to reach some of the buttons?
Somewhat. Again, I don't have small hands, but it does feel a little bit awkward pulling my thumb back to reach 10-12. For SC2 though, I don't see many people using 10-12 anyway. When I played WoW and actively used 10-12, it wasn't a problem, so it's just something that takes getting used to.

Do you accidentally press the side buttons/numpad while using the mouse normally?
No. Unless you really spaz out during battles and give your mouse a Hulk grip, you won't accidentally press any of the buttons.

Are the side buttons/numpad hard to press and won't they move your mouse/reduce accuracy when you use them?
Again, no. Maybe for the first 10 minutes or so with the mouse, it may move when you're trying out the side buttons/numpad, but after that you'll likely be used to it. I can spam the side buttons all day without the mouse moving.

Is this mouse banned at tournaments?
I'm no professional player, but from what I've read this mouse isn't banned anywhere. If you use the mouse to perform macros with more than one command, then yes, it is banned. It's no different than keyboards with 'macro' keys like the Logitech G15, G19, Razer BlackWidow etc.
If you use the mouse the normal way, with 0-9 correlating with 0-9 on your keyboard then you're fine.

This mouse looks huge! Sc2 mice are supposed to be small and lightweight.
This mouse is actually smaller than the Razer DeathAdder. I use that as an example because it seems to be TL's favorite Razer mouse, or at least the one that is often used in comparison with the Naga. In terms of LxWxH, the DeathAdder is 128 x 70 x 42.5mm. While the Naga is 116 x 69 x 41.6mm. Razer has a mouse comparison chart on their website if you don't believe me and want to see for yourself.
As far as weight is concerned, the DeathAdder is 133g while the Naga is 143g. And if you're someone who says "Whoa bro, 10g is a huge difference that I would definitely notice and it would totally throw my game off!" Aww, you're cute.

I use the claw grip and it's supposed to be for people who use the palm grip.
That's what Razer's website says but it really doesn't matter. I am someone who uses the 'palm' grip when doing normal things, but when games get intense, I naturally use the claw grip for faster movements. Even then, it doesn't feel awkward. I don't really have any experience using it with the fingertip grip, where people have only their fingertips on the mouse and are lightly gripping it. Maybe then you would find some discomfort since your thumb would be moving around to use the side buttons/numpad.

Is this mouse good for FPS? It's an MMO mouse and isn't for SC2.
At the end of the day a mouse is a mouse. You can use it for whatever you want. Just because it's advertised for MMOs doesn't mean that it is 'bad' for RTS or any other type of game. Using that logic, I could say that since it's advertised as being made for MMOs then that means it would be bad at flash games or surfing the web. It's a bit of a stretch, but you can see what I mean.

Will it make me better? Will it increase my APM?
This mouse won't make you better. It can be used as a tool to get better, but it won't throw you into Master's league as soon as you plug it in. Think of it in terms of efficiency. In theory, if you changed all of your hotkeys to be on the left side of the keyboard where your hands are resting, then you could get faster because the keys are closer and it takes less time than moving your hand out of place to the right side of the keyboard. It's the same idea with this mouse. Since 0-9 is on your right thumb, you don't have to stretch you pinky and index finger to press Ctrl+9. I don't really care how fast you are or what league you're in, a practiced person stretching to press Ctrl+9 will always be slower than a person practiced in using Ctrl with their left pinky and 9 on their right thumb.

As far as key bindings go, I haven't bound anything to the side buttons/numpad. The biggest advantage I see to using this mouse is that the control groups are all in one, easy to reach place. The only button I have bound on the mouse is the key I use to toggle speaking in Ventrilo which I have on one of the two buttons that is found near M1 or the left mouse button.

Do you have anything bad to say about this mouse?!?
Sure. It has a glossy finish on the sides of the mouse. This can annoy some people and for me it's easy to get dirty. I used to have hyperhidrosis and I play in hoodies almost exclusively, so my sweating is most likely the cause of the dirt or whatever. Maybe if it had a different surface I wouldn't sweat as much, I don't know.
Also, the first Razer Naga I had broke because of static shock. I often generate a good amount of electricity when getting up and down from the computer chair while playing. One day I got a very strong zap from the mouse and it no longer continued to work after that. Some say it's a problem with Razer's quality. Maybe. I don't really expect anything to hold up after a shock like that, though. I purchased the mouse from Best Buy and paid $15 for 2 years of protection through the "Geek Squad Black Tie Protection Plan." I just drove to the Best Buy that I purchased it from and walked out with a brand new one. 
There are some qualities that many people might not like as well. It's not wireless, it's not under $50, it has blue LEDs in it (I turned mine off in the settings so it wouldn't keep me awake), etc.

Should I buy this mouse? Is it worth the money?

I would say for some people that yes, the mouse will most likely help you improve. But for people who have been playing since BW, or use the standard keyboard hotkeys and are generally set in their ways with the keyboard control groups, it will most likely be much harder for you to make the switch than it was for me. I had no previous muscle memory built up before I started using it, as I said before, I started playing SC2 with it. If you have tons of time and maybe even years of SC2 experience under your belt, I could see switching to be quite difficult. I say this from having to use a normal mouse for a few days and getting used to the 0-9 on the keyboard for my control groups.
If you are pretty new to SC2 and are just getting used to using the hotkeys and control groups, I would recommend it. Or if you're a veteran and you think that the increased efficiency is worth the switch then I would recommend it as well. But if you're well set in your ways and comfortable with the 0-9 control groups on the keyboard, it would probably be harder to make the switch and set you back a good amount of practice time. 

Finally, as you would expect with other 'high end gaming mice', it's accurate, it's as fast or as slow as you want it to be. It has really nice software and updates from Razer. I haven't had any driver problems or anything of that nature. Yadda yadda, it does everything a gaming mouse is supposed to do.


  1. Wow that is one sick device.

  2. It'd be sweet to have, but like he said, I don't think it's for me.

  3. I just can't get over the look of it, it looks like some kind of freak!

  4. my friend has this mouse and it's really good fro rts.

  5. nice mouse, but I rather have a usb one :)

  6. that is one sick looking mouse, i love the symbol

  7. I'm sticking with a laptop and a cheap microsoft mouse, it's working magic

  8. i was going to get this mouse, but got astro a30's instead, i needed a headset more i guess

  9. @technocater: nice, I remember super wanting one of those when I aspired to be a halo 3 pro :P

  10. It would be nice to play some DotA with it.