Razer Naga 2014 review
- 19 total buttons; 12 button thumb grid
- mechanical switches
- 8200 DPI laser sensor
- scroll wheel moves left and right
The original Razer Naga is well known in the PC gaming community for starting the MMO gaming mouse niche. These are gaming mice that feature a vast amount of buttons to map your various abilities and macros to. Razer now seeks to improve the iconic mouse with the Razer Naga 2014. Most of the changes will be found in the ergonomics, as it is now easier to differentiate between all the buttons on the thumb grid due to the fact that each button has a unique feel. Not only that, the Razer Naga 2014 offers the first configuration software that can be accessed in-game as opposed to being forced to tab out.
It is obvious that the default Naga 2014 is intended for right-handed gamers but fear not, for they have made a separate left-hand edition, Razer being one of the few companies to think of the lefties. They set out to make the 2014 version more user-friendly than its previous iteration. One problem was that the side buttons were hard to tell apart, which resulted in the user only using a few of them. The new version remedies this issue by giving the buttons their own feel by changing the angle. Not only that, but they added mechanical switches which will improve durability and offer a better tactile feel.
It’s not just the thumb grid that underwent a makeover, the entire mouse, especially the thumb grid has less extreme curves than its predecessor, fitting comfortably within your hand. A noticeable omission is the three interchangeable side panels from the older version. The philosophy behind this decision is that they intended to make the Razer Naga 2014 a one-size-fits-all type of solution, which they did by making it significantly broader and flatter.
Like with most improved versions of older gaming mice one of the first thing to be updated is the sensor. The 2012 version was outfitted with a 5600 3.5G laser sensor whereas the Razer Naga 2014 version has a vastly superior 8200 4G laser sensor. While 100% accurate tracking isn’t as necessary for MMOs as opposed to FPS’s, the sensor is still extremely precise, perfectly recording your every movement.
Another improvement can be found in the scroll wheel, it now tilts left and right too as opposed to just up and down. This not only adds more total buttons for you to program, it’s just a fantastic feature that will benefit all games, not just MMOs. You’ll also be happy to find out that the mouse wheel scrolls in notches as opposed to one continuous motion. Just like with the mechanical buttons this lets you know how many “units” you’ve scrolled through as opposed to it being slippery.
The last big improvement was made in their proprietary software: the Razer Synapse 2.0. As you would expect this is where you can change what each buttons does, change the DPI, polling rate etc. The software will come with 15 profiles that each support a different game if you don’t want to configure the buttons on your own, they are planning to add even more in the future. Naturally there is also a section dedicated to macros which you can use to record repetitive keystrokes and play them back later with just a single click.
Another nice detail is that your settings will be saved in the cloud, which means that you can use a different computer, log into your Synapse 2.0 account and keep all of your settings. This is a feature that you probably won’t get to use all that often, but it’s still nice for those who switch between PCs a lot.
But the coolest thing about the software isn’t the software itself, it’s how you can access it. In the past you would have to configure your settings outside of the game, meaning you would have to tab out if you wanted to change something. What they did is make is so you can access the settings through an in-game configuration tool, so that you don’t have to tab out anymore. It’s kind of surprising that it took someone this long to add such a simple function, but it makes changing profiles or button layouts so much easier.
The Razer Naga 2014 improves usability and performance dramatically, the only arguable downside being the fact that they no longer have interchangeable side grips. If you’re looking for the definitive MMO gaming mouse, you can’t go wrong with the Naga 2014.