If you are looking for the best game mouse, you will be confronted with different schools of thought. There are the RGB tree and mice decorated in tribal designs and more buttons than an ATC tower, apparently built to help us play better, but often adding feature-bloat. There have also been mice encouraged by the growth of eSports that pick feature over form and jettison unnecessary features. This is our Razer Viper Mini Review.
Razer’s Viper and now the Viper Mini are very much part of that no-nonsense approach. This new Viper Mini model is 4mm narrower and 8mm shorter than the full-size Razer Viper, and for one of the smallest gaming mice on the market, those measurements stand out on its spec sheet. But it is also an incredibly light model (61g, to be precise) and one whose singularity of vision successfully achieved its goal: to give first-person shooter (FPS) players a mouse that reduces the barrier between their input and the game.
Razer Viper Mini Review: Design
I love the compact size and weight of Razer Viper Mini (0.13 pounds), measuring 4.66 x 2.11 x 1.51 inches. That tiny body lends itself very well to a fingertip-grip style, where there is clear air between the palm and the palm rest, but the index and middle fingers are not so bent, and the base of the palm is on the mouse pad. The Mini is perfect under smaller hands and large pads with smaller numbers, and as we’ll cover in gaming performance, brilliant for fast, accurate movements over the mouse pad at low CPI settings.
That said, any type of grip is welcome here as the Viper Mini has an asymmetrical design. It’s a lot easier to place larger hands on a small mouse than the other way around.
Razer tends to do well with the aesthetics of his peripherals. The Viper Mini follows the example with the instantly recognizable green Razer branding. Small details like a subtle “Razer” inscription on the USB connection and the green inlay are beautiful accents. But although the Viper Mini is certainly not ugly, I am not entirely charmed by the bigger picture.
Lightweight plastic with a matte black finish covers almost every part of the upper part of the Viper Mini. That plastic is only broken by a thin high-gloss separating line between the buttons and the palm rest of the same material running across both sides of the mouse scroll.
The left and right mouse buttons are lightly sculpted. There was a small sideways movement when I tried to move them, but they felt firm when I was gaming. A CPI cycle button is just below the rubberized mouse wheel, and the front and back buttons are in the usual position, just above your thumb. This is the only part of the design that isn’t two-handed, so if you can live without these buttons, the Viper Mini is also a consideration for southpaws.
Two RGB zones – one under the Razer trio of snake logo and an arch at the lower edge of the backlight up and color a more darkened design. It’s a subdued look and one built around solid building materials, but I’m not a fan of the lines running across it. The horizontal glossy ribbon penetrates an otherwise clean and minimal look. And the buttons on the front and back break the arch of the side panels, making them jump in abruptly at a completely different angle. These two elements together give this mouse an uncomfortable appearance.
The Mini uses Razer’s “Speedflex” cable, which makes a real sweet spot between two designs. On the one hand, there is a traditional braided fabric cable design that repels tangles but tends to buckle when a loop is made. There is the looser cloth design, that doesn’t retain kinks, but has given some users connection stability dramas. The Speedflex sits in the middle and remained kink-free without ever getting stuck to the edge of my desk.
The cable combined with a super lightweight and five DPI presets stored on the Viper Mini’s onboard memory profile make for a powerful combo. However, it’s a bit annoying that the re’s no visual indicator for your current DPI setting, which means you’ll have to keep feeling alone unless you dive into the software.
Features and Software
Razer’s Synapse software is great for choosing your favorite settings and RGB behavior, but feels a little inflated in addition to the offerings of other peripheral companies and forcing an account to be linked to an email address, or social media account is absurd. Still, Razer’s Chroma RGB controllers are leading the market, and although there are only two RGB zones here, they are sharply cut and highly configurable.
Cortex, the third program installed as standard as part of the suite, is a curious combination of a system performance enhancer, a games backup program, and, oddly enough, a dealer tracker. The performance improvements offered will be marginal for most users, but if your game floats at 59 frames per second, it may be the answer to your prayers.
Razer Viper Mini Review: Performance
As always, when a new FPS-oriented mouse arrives, my first port of call with the Viper Mini was the 3D Aim Trainer, a browser-based trainer that uses Windows mouse settings. If there is something wrong with the polling rate or the PixArt 3359 sensor accuracy, this is an excellent way to find out.
Five CPI presets rather than the usual three or four found on other mice came in handy here. Without having to dive into Razer’s software and set an exact preference, with a few taps of the DPI button, you can find a preset that’s probably pretty close.
And while some high-end gaming mouse has sensors that go up to a 16,000 CPI, I don’t mind the Razer Viper Mini’s being turned off up to 8,500 times. As an 800 CPI player, I find it useless to go up to 16,000, and I can’t be alone. But if you’re an avid gamer or need the fastest mouse, you might want to look for something with a more extensive range.
The Viper Mini is twice as suitable for low DPI players for having such generous PTFE feet at the bottom. Flick-aiming or making more significant movements to scan broad areas felt smooth, controlled, and accurate. I was quickly able to calibrate the Razer Viper Mini to my memory and flick shot in CS: GO and other FPS titles.
The button layout (six-buttons) is intended for shooters, so the mouse inevitably has limitations if you use it with other genres. MOBA and MMO players will have to migrate macros to their gaming keyboard and may not feel the benefits of the smooth flick-aiming potential and lightweight design.
Razer Viper Mini Review: Conclusion
Long may the trend for lightweight, small hermaphroditic gaming mice continue. The Razer Viper Mini immediately feels like home to claw and fingertip gamers who mainly play shooters, and the articulated cable makes it many friends.
Compared to the Glorious Model O Minus, which is slightly lighter but slightly more significant, it’s a dead end. Both performed beautifully in shooters and lacked a clear visual DPI indicator. However, they look very different. Which do you prefer: muted matte black with a little under shine or a honeycomb skeleton flooded with RGB? What’s more, the Model O Minus is $50-$60, depending on your design choice, compared to the Viper Mini’s $40.
Small and (almost) two-handed, the Viper Mini is for FPS players looking for a lightweight clicker with a subdued game aesthetics.
- Comfortable for all grip types
- Soft braided cable
- Five adjustable DPI steps
- Large PTFE feet aiding smooth movement
- No DPI indicator
- Plain looks
- Button layout limits it to first-person shooters