If you’re a Star Wars fan like me, then The Old Republic was probably a no-brainer for you. Midnight launch pick up, right? Right. Then you also must have exploded into Jawa confetti when Razer announced its line of SWTOR-themed gaming peripherals. I, too, experienced something akin to a seizure, as I feel physically compelled to throw my money at Mr. Lucas whenever somebody slaps an Imperial cog on something. It was bound to be Razer’s turn eventually. I used the mouse and mat in tandem, as it seemed appropriate.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… I opened the box.
As per usual, both items were packaged beautifully and stuffed with welcome materials fitting for the newly-indoctrinated members of Razer’s cult. I removed the mat first, once I was able to peel my eyes away from the complimentary Imperial/Republic stickers Razer included. The mat is comprised of two parts: a black metal frame with a textured, rubber base for stability, and the two-sided, hard mouse mat. The emblems of both factions are emblazoned on either side, and switching from the Empire to the Republic is as easy as pressing the exposed portion of the mat from the bottom of the base, and turning it over. It comes away smoothly and is just as easily replaced. The surface is matte, smooth, and beautifully compatible with the mouse. Its weight and rubber base keep it in place, no matter how much you flail that mouse. I expected this to be covered in trademarks, as is what usually happens when you tango with licensed products, but the Razer, Lucasfilm, and The Old Republic graphics were incredibly subtle and printed on the bottom of the mat, leaving the surface complimented solely by single yellow and black Republic crest. Because good guys are awesome.
With the mat situated, I tackled the mouse. It also offers an interchangeable set of backlit emblems that are easily snapped in and out of place. This isn’t as simple of a set up as the Imperator though, nor did I expect it to be. The mouse boasts dual modes, allowing users to switch from wired to wireless functionality with the flick of a switch. It delivers—boy, does it deliver, but the road to wireless bliss was a little longer than I had anticipated. Getting the mouse to function is as easy as plugging in a USB cable. After that, bam. You’ve got a wired mouse. Awesome. Tell your friends. However, tapping into its wireless capabilities takes a bit more time. The instructions direct you to remove the cable from the mouse and insert it into the charge base. Something about the size of the cable tip prevented me from completing the connection, and I found myself really having to apply some serious pressure to get it in there. Removing it was an entirely different feat. Getting the cable out of the charge dock is not a quick process unless you yank on the cable itself. However, once you’ve paired the dock with the mouse (which is as simple as pressing two buttons), the rest is cake. When you’re out of juice, just plug it in and keep going. There’s no reason to take a charge break. It’ll eventually go to sleep when not in use, but remembering to place it on the charge dock will ultimately be what keeps it operational. Just don’t forget to switch it to charge mode when needed (it has to be in charge mode before you set it on the magnetic dock). I sure as hell didn’t, and thus was forced to abandon Corso Riggs in the middle of a hot mess on Alderaan. Regardless of whether you’re in wired or wireless mode, performance will not falter; both functions are excellent. Just give yourself ample time to transition from one mode to the other—this isn’t going to be an on-the-fly change.
To get the most from your hardware, you really need to install Synapse 2.0, Razer’s multi-device manager, optimized for the SWTOR line of peripherals. You’ll still have full use of your mouse without it, but you want this program. Why? Because you can change the color of the LEDs beneath the mouse wheel and on the charge dock, which is vital to your galactic survival. Well… no, not really. Unfortunately, these color settings only effect the lights behind the scroll wheel and the charge light on the dock, not the programmable macros or faction emblem. If that bothers you enough to warrant a verbal complaint, though, you’re spending way too much time looking at your mouse and not enough time curb stomping the Sith. There mere fact that you can easily change any light to a color within the spectrum is cause for celebration.