Hands-on with the brand-new Razer Naga Pro: As good as it’s ever been

    
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Hands-on with the brand-new Razer Naga Pro: As good as it’s ever been

I have been an advocate for the Razer Naga basically ever since it was a product that you could purchase. Why? Because it turned out to work really well for me. I love having a whole bunch of ability buttons on one side of the mouse, it improves my ability to play notably, and that’s really enough. It’s telling that I have basically been using a Naga in some form since my first one, with any given model getting replaced usually by the next model.

This does not mean I have some particular brand loyalty, though; the Naga is the mouse that I’ve used because it was the first of its kind, and I’ve never seen enough to really convince me to try another side-button mouse. But the new Razer Naga Pro is in many ways an odd beast because it is trying to be everything at once. It’s all the side-button mice you could need, and it’s wireless, and it has Bluetooth options. Does all of this drag the mouse down? Is it a bloated mess?

Having now fully tested the review device Razer kindly shipped me, I’m happy to say that the new model avoids those obvious pitfalls. While I can definitely see people not being as on-board for the price tag when it comes with a lot of bells and whistles you may not want, the points in the Pro’s favor are noteworthy. At the end of the day, it’s what the Naga has always been: a solid mouse with side buttons that makes itself an invaluable tool in a lot of different games. The number of options for the tool in question have expanded, but the core has not changed.

Since so much of what I could write about the Pro is stuff that’s also true about the now long-in-the-tooth models of the Naga, my main focus is on the stuff that’s different: the wireless options, the side plates, and the configuration utility. And, you know, whether it still holds up as an MMO mouse properly.

Mooseouse

Swappable side plates

There was a time when Razer actually had a whole side-line of mice with different numbers of side buttons, but the Naga kind of surpassed that. (After all, with 12 buttons, you can do whatever you would otherwise do with two.) Now, wisely, the mouse comes instead with three side plates for 12 buttons (MMOs and the like), six buttons (MOBAs and the like), or two buttons (FPS games and niche uses).

Rather than locks or clasps, the side plates attach via a few grooves to guide them into place and some tight magnets. That sounds like it could be a bit flimsy, and at first I was worried the plates would slip free in the middle of playing. Thankfully, this was not the case; all the plates attach firmly while being easy to swap between as needed.

I’m very accustomed to the 12-button layout at this point, but I’m also finding the two-button plate useful to swap in when I’m not playing anything; the grip is a bit more comfortable and you can bind some other useful macros to the side buttons. More on the configuration later on, but suffice it to say that the mouse is good about letting you not just use the different side plates to perform the same basic functions if you don’t want.

Bluetooth and wireless

The Pro happily boasts that it can connect to your computer via three means, either using a wire or by wireless USB. It can also use Bluetooth if you’d prefer, and herein I must confess that I’m not sure how well the Bluetooth function connects.

Don’t get me wrong; the pairing process with my desktop was straightforward and easy. Unfortunately, the actual mouse input was somewhat jerky and non-responsive. This might simply be a result of where my desktop sits relative to my mouse (it also doesn’t play nice with wireless stuff sometimes, which I suspect is tied to the wifi support on the motherboard). My hunch is that it will work better if you’re using it on the go for a laptop.

Wireless connection and wired connection, meanwhile, are perfect. The scrolling is smooth, the input is responsive, and I noticed no particular lag or performance gap when comparing the wireless and wired performance. This is a win for anyone who prefers being free of wires, although I’ve never minded them much myself; still, depending on the space you work with, it might be an invaluable addition.

Welcome to Product Placement Desktop.

In-game performance

It’s a Naga. It does what a Naga does. You have your side buttons, it’s responsive, inputs are clean, being able to hit a dozen buttons from the side of your mouse makes gameplay much, much smoother. What else do you want?

All right, you may want one other thing: The layout of the side buttons has changed slightly on the 12-button pad, so if like me you’re used to an older model there will be some additional learning curve for your muscle memory. Not much, but enough that you will definitely feel the difference at first.

Configuration

Like most gaming-oriented computer peripherals cast from black plastic with glowing lights, the Naga Pro requires Razer’s usual configuration utility to be stored on your computer to access its full range of functions. This was mildly annoying to me, since I had apparently been using an older version and needed to replace it with a newer one to configure the mouse correctly. Not a huge deal, though.

Aside from giving you a wide breadth of control over the lights on your mouse if you want to set up a dazzling show, the most notable aspect of the configuration utility (at least to me) is the fact that you can set up different bindings and functions for the different side pads as you choose. If you never want to use the two-button layout for gaming, you can easily set up that layout to open necessary programs with the side button instead of them being bound to other keys – and you can do that without affecting the other pad layouts.

Past that, the configuration utility lets you bind a whole mess of functions as always. Each individual button can be bound to mouse functions, opening program, combinations of inputs, macros, and so forth. You can even use buttons on the mouse as modifiers if you want, so if in a given situation you want to be able to hit Shift by holding the scroll wheel left, it’ll do that. And yes, you can also bind that to specific software.

The down side here is that talking about the Naga Pro feels a bit like damning with faint praise. After all, there’s not much you can say about many parts of it beyond “it is a Naga, it is new, it works like the Naga always has worked.” But that’s what it’s supposed to do. It does the same things the Naga has always done, and this is exactly what I love.

Aside from minor quibbles here and there, I love this product line. The Pro will run you about $150, which is about twice the cost of the older and more basic wired model, but it’s well worth the price tag just for how versatile the dang thing can be. It’s a great tool with extra functions that never reduce the usefulness of that core tool, and I’m glad to have it.

Are you a left-handed MMO player? Check out our hands-on with Razer’s new lefty MMO mouse from a few weeks ago!

Massively Overpowered skips scored reviews; they’re outdated in a genre whose games evolve daily. Instead, our veteran reporters immerse themselves in MMOs to present their experiences as hands-on articles, impressions pieces, and previews of games yet to come. First impressions matter, but MMOs change, so why shouldn’t our opinions?

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IronSalamander8 .

I have a Razer Naga and I love it. The first one suffered from a common button issue that iteration had but the new one has been fine, and the thumb buttons are amazing for so many games.

I do wish it were larger though, it’s a bit rough to use with its smaller size.

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firithnorm

Got a Naga Hex back in 2015. Never quite got the hang of the side buttons. Used it a little bit for LoTRO, but it never really impressed me that it was a significant upgrade from my old Logitech. Last year it started skipping and hanging. Not sure if that was related to the Synapse bloatware or just the mouse. Once it cleared, it generally worked fine for the rest of the session. It also probably contributed to my carpal problems, as it was a little small for my hands.

I really love my Corsair Ironclaw. It’s a big mouse that really fits my hand and is really responsive. I hardly ever have any wrist fatigue after long play sessions.

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Annoyed badger

avoid razer like the plague, poorly made crap thats way overpriced. I’ve tried a couple of them, and they have both had the same problems, works fine to begin with, then shortly buttons become unresponsive, or click several times rather than once per press, and the tracking becomes jumpy for no reason. Had replacements, same thing happened.

Just avoid this poorly made crap.

micedicetwice
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micedicetwice

Came here to say this. Had three Nagas (I like side buttons, what can I do), all three of them had the same issues. Switched to another brand this time, there are options now.

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Dug From The Earth

The naga is one of the few mice that is big enough for my hand.. most other gaming mice just feel too small.

I always go for the corded version however. Wireless for me have always had some problems.

Andy Turner
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Andy Turner

You will need less than 30 ms of latency to shoot someone in a doorway running at normal human simulated speed on a 360 hz monitor. This means that at 20,000 DPI if a doorway is a standard 36 inch that is 720,000 dots or rather pixels, at 1080p that is 667 or 333 at 4k worth of screens, or approximately the amount of time it takes Dr. Disrespect to pass a Ferrari in the Lambo.

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Paragon Lost

My wife loves her Naga. I’m not such a fan, don’t like the software at all. I do love my Logitech G600, so much so that I bought two back ups. I love the third mouse button, I keep it set for Control set keystrokes. Plus I prefer their software over the Naga’s.

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traja

I went through 3 Nagas and all of them developed the double click issue where the mouse registers single clicks as a double clicks, and two of them had a broken middle click by then already. Luckily the last one was still under warranty so I got my money back and bought a Corsair Scimitar instead. It has now lasted me 3 years without issues.

Razer gets credit for introducing the Naga style MMO mouse but I would not recommend actually buying one from them.

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Dragon Whimsy

I used the Razer Naga back with the original version, when it still had the useful extra button for the index finger (which I use for jumping). They moved that button to the center making it useless and I switched to the RedDragon equivalent instead which still has that very useful extra button for the index finger. It’s cheaper and was just as good as the original Naga and definitely better than the later versions of the Naga.

It’s not wireless or bluetooth enabled but honestly given the price savings I don’t care. Plus I have a glowy dragon logo on the palm rest.

Oceas
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Oceas

Meh – I switched to RedDragon for my keyboard and mouse and I never looked back. Way cheaper, awesome looking and I’ve had no problems. I’ve been gaming online since the 90’s, so I’m pretty picky. My Nagas always failed (click bounce) inside of a year. Sometimes WAYYY inside of a year. I code all day long on my RedDragon mechanical keyboard too and it takes a beating.

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Utakata

Would Queen Azshara be offended if I touched one of those? o.O