How do you market a product for a game when you don’t have the official license? Just ask Razer. They’ve done just that with their Naga Hex Gaming Mouse’s new Wraith Red deco. It might not have the Diablo III branding, but there’s no mistake that the gorgeous glowing red aesthetic is inspired by gamers’ latest foray into Hell. It’s isn’t just a pretty peripheral, though. It’s made for players that can’t bear to separate themselves from action RPGs and MOBAs. After giving it an extensive click, click, click, I can assure you that it’s one weapon you’ll want in your arsenal.
Let’s get the technical stuff out of the way before diving into how this mouse can change your game. The first thing you’re going to want to do is download the slick Synapse 2.0 software from Razer’s website. This handy application allows you to customize buttons, set up profiles for different games, and configure macros. The mouse features 11 programmable buttons (standard left and right, mouse wheel button, two low profile top buttons and the six numerical, mechanical thumb triggers). The mouse comes standard with two default configurations for the side. A bottom toggle allows you to switch between assigning the 1-6 mouse keys to the number bar or the number pad.
When you open the Synapse 2.0 software, you’ll have easy access to all of the functionality through two main categories, Mouse and Macros, along with tabs for button configuration, performance (sensitivity, acceleration and polling), and lighting. You can even tie profiles to different executables, automatically changing when that program is loaded. The mouse is compatible with PC and Mac, and with Synapse 2.0 linking profiles to a Razer account, it’s ideal for those that use a Mac’s Bootcamp feature or for use on multiple systems without having to reconfigure on each.
The sensitivity options should be fiddled with until you are comfortable with how fast your mouse moves and accelerates across the screen. The Naga Hex supports up to 5600dpi (how proportion of your hand movement to how the cursor moves on the screen) and polls at up to 1000Hz (how often the mouse receives information). At 1000Hz, the mouse receives updates every 1 millisecond. This provides for the smoothest, most precise glide of the cursor across the screen… if you can handle it.
As any action RPG or MOBA player knows, your mouse buttons are going to get a workout, and inferior technology is going to mean broken springs and wasted money. Razer has built this one to last at least 10 million clicks. It’ll be with you for a good, long time.
You also need to a mouse that is ultra responsive and can keep up with your clicking. The Naga Hex is designed to support up to 250 clicks per minute. As a frame of reference, top Starcraft players shoot for mid-200s to low-300s (keyboard actions included). Chances are, if you are reading this, you can’t move your hands fast enough to beat the Naga Hex.
OK, now onto the fun stuff. You want to know if the $79.99 price tag is going to improve your action RPG or MOBA experience. For me, I had no problem adjusting from the keyboard hotkeys, shifting a large number of functions over to the Naga Hex. For Diablo III, I configured the four action buttons usually assigned 1-4 on the number bar to the same numbers on the hex grid. I put health potions at the 6 spot and my banner drop at 5. Inventory is on the top button (behind the mouse wheel) with Skills just below that. Primary/Secondary skills are in the standard left/right button positions. Since I play a Demon Hunter, the Shift button is important for me (it plants my ranged character in place). Right now, with the exception of a couple of rarely used keys, it’s the only button I need on the keyboard.
From a comfort perspective, it was extremely easy to get into a rhythm with the Naga Hex. The mouse has a very comfortable shape and my unused ring and pinkie fingers rest comfortably on the side of the peripheral. The scroll wheel, which has 24 positions has a nice, rubberized center section bordered by two lit rings. I rarely like to use the mouse wheel button because most other mice slip and trigger the wheel, also. This one has just the right tension, making it a viable option. The mouse glides with the perfect amount of friction against my micro thin pad, without ever getting away from me or getting caught. Additionally, the 14 foot braided cable is tough and long enough for most setups.
The hex grid has a center, rubberized rest, of which there are three sizes. It comes installed with the largest, but after trying all three sizes, I prefer the lowest profile option. It allows me to press the 5 button with the lower part of my thumb rather than having to bend it back and press with the tip of that digit. Changing the center rests is easy. Simply use your fingernail to lift up and edge and pull. They rest securely when inserted, so you won’t likely have it fall out.
The buttons below the mouse wheel are also a bit challenging to press in the heat of battle, which is why I assigned them functions that I typically wouldn’t use in the thick of combat. You’ll need to likely move your finger off your left mouse button to trigger them, so pick their utility wisely.
The only drawback to the Naga Hex is that it’s very easy to accidentally press one of the grid buttons when using the peripheral for day to day use. You might choose to view this like a gamepad, and only plug it in for gaming (of any genre) and use a different mouse for word processing or other functions. If you are less clumsy than I, though, you may not have this issue.
As mentioned earlier, the deco on the Wraith Red version of the Naga Hex is impressive. The red glow in darkness reminds you that evil lurks in the dungeons of Sanctuary (or other fantasy lands) just waiting to meet your axe, sword, bow or spell. The pearlized top piece cleverly hides the glowing logo when the pulsation dims. All told, it is a fine looking complement to any gaming setup.
Ultimately, if you are a big MOBA or action RPG fan, this is worthy addition to your gaming gear. It’s an extremely comfortable device that allows you to use your keyboard for the most vital functions, moving attacks and skills to your nimble right hand. As a Demon Hunter in Diablo III, it changed the way I approached the game for the better. The Naga Hex Wraith Red Edition is a fantastic addition to Razer’s already stellar lineup.
Here’s the Rundown:
+ Perfect for Diablo III, League of Legends and other action RPGs and MOBAs
+ Interchangeable thumb rests allow you to customize your fit
+ Responsive buttons, good tension on the mouse wheel
+ Synapse 2.0 allows you to customize profiles once and carry them with you
+ Easy to setup profiles and macros or customize buttons and sensitivity
- Might not be ideal for non-gaming activities depending on your clumsiness with hex buttons
9 and 9.5 represent the pinnacle of design. These scores are for hardware that you not only feel would be worth your purchase, but you would actually try to convince your friends to buy them as well.
The Razer Naga Hex Wraith Red Edition retails for $79.99. A unit was provided by the manufacturer to RipTen for the purposes of review.