PC gamers and esports aspirants know that a gaming mouse is a critical part of their setup. The right mouse offers a wide range of advantages, including faster response times, greater accuracy, programmable buttons for shortcuts, and ergonomics. With the right mouse, a gamer has real advantages over someone with less capable equipment, and they are able to play longer and more comfortably. Razer knows something about computer gaming mice. The company has been perfecting them since its first was released in 1998. With the help of my son (who is an avid PC gamer), I’ve been evaluating two of the company’s latest releases: the Viper 8K and the Naga X.
Both are light, comfortable, cabled, high-performance gaming mice. Both are well-equipped with programmable buttons—a whopping 16 on the Naga X. Both are equipped with Razer Chroma RGB lighting. Each is aimed at a different type of PC gamer.
Designed for first-person shooters, the traditionally-shaped Viper 8K features a true 8000Hz polling rate, giving it the fastest speed and lowest latency available. The Naga X is optimized for MMOs and features a unique 12-button keypad mounted to its side.
Programmable buttons using Synapse 3
Both of these mice include a variety of programmable buttons and employ Razer’s second generation optical switches for improved tactile feedback and faster response time. Programming the keys is done with Razer Synapse 3 software (available for Windows). Razer includes recommended button mappings for specific games, like World of Warcraft, but you’re free to completely customize the layout to suit your own preferences.
Razer Chroma RGB
Both the Viper 8K and Naga X support Razer Chroma RBG lighting. These LED lighting effects are always popular. You can go for game or team-themed colours, or even configure the mice to pulse with light to the beat of music. I have to say, after seeing the light show on these mice, my own is looking extremely dull.
PTFE mouse feet + Speedflex cable
One of the more overlooked features in a mouse is its “feet.” These are the strips and pads on the bottom of the mouse that allow it to glide smoothly over the mouse pad. Not all mouse feet are created equal. Both of these Razer mice are equipped with PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) feet. Often trademarked under the Teflon brand name, PTFE is as smooth as it gets.
They also feature extra-long Speedflex USB Type-A cables. While many people are willing to spend extra to get rid of all cables, PC gamers are different. A cabled mouse offers a more reliable connection than Bluetooth, and it eliminates any wireless lag. That may be small enough that most people would never notice it, but any lag during gaming is a bad thing. Razer’s Speedflex cable is wrapped in a woven jacket that minimizes drag. And at 1.8 metres long, these cables give you plenty of length for routing through your desk setup as needed.
Razer Viper 8K key specs:
Razer Naga X key specs:
Hands-on report from Aidan
I can comment on the overall look, feel and features of these gaming mice, but I do most of my gaming on a console. My son Aidan, on the other hand, games across all platforms. He spends a considerable amount of time PC gaming using a gaming laptop. He unplugged his own mouse and spent several weeks putting the new Razer mice through their paces for me. His personal favourite was the Razer Viper 8K because it is better-suited to the first-person shooter games he favours. I asked him to keep notes on his hands-on experience with both mice.
Here are his thoughts on the Razer Viper 8K:
“The Razer Viper 8K was made to play first person shooter games like Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. The Viper 8K has very smooth and fluid motion that make it very easy to aim at targets. It makes playing the game a lot easier because of the four programmable buttons on the sides; you can program them to give you an upper hand in combat such as programming it to melee, or throw a grenade. What makes this a good mouse is its ergonomic design. It is very comfortable in the hand and you can have long gaming sessions without your hand cramping. My favourite part of the mouse was the clickers. They feel really solid and can give a very fast click, which is crucial in shooter games.”
And his experience with the Razer Naga X:
“The mouse has the buttons on the side which make it great for MMOs and battle royales. It’s very customizable, its buttons can be programmed to do anything in games, and it can be used to switch weapons fast, reload, or use any special abilities very fast. This mouse has 12 programmable buttons on the side which is perfect for playing a game like Smite where you have one hand on the keyboard to move, and the other on the mouse. That can be a problem when you have abilities that involve the numbers on the keyboard and that is where this mouse shines—with the 12 buttons on the mouse your hands will stay in one place. The amount of customization with the mouses lights is incredible, including a light visualizer that can go along with music. Be aware that it is easy to accidentally press one of the side numbered buttons if your hand is big enough.”
Razer has a high-performance gaming mouse for whatever you play
The bottom line after spending time with the Viper 8K and the Naga X is that Razer has you covered if you want a mouse that ups your PC gaming. Whether you prefer FPS or MMO games, there’s a Razer mouse that will improve your experience—and your results.