The Razer Viper ($80) is yet another addition to the company’s overcrowded gambling mouse roster, this time aimed at fans with sporting tendencies in mind. Given the fact that Razer already makes several peripherals that work fine for competitive multiplayer, the Viper isn’t exactly stepping into an empty niche. But as a sophisticated, comfortable peripheral with a few exciting modifications, he gets the job done. This is our Razer Viper Review.
Despite my initial skepticism, I enjoyed working with the Viper. The mouse has a smart, sleek design I’ve never seen before in a Razer mouse, and it works well with any competitive game you find worth throwing away. I wasn’t a big fan of the Viper’s stiff scroll wheel, and the asking price is a bit high, given the supply of competing brands for the same price. But if you think you’ve got what it takes to compete in big-league gaming, and you don’t have the right tools for the job right now, then the Viper might be just what you’re looking for.
Razer Viper Review: Design
The design of the Viper is so minimalistic that it took me a few days to discover that it’s full of subtle touches. The Viper is an asymmetrical, ambiguous mouse, and it’s quite easy to use for both right- and left-handed people. There are slight curves and texture grips on both sides for a simple-but-ergonomic feel.
My favorite part of the mouse, however, is the odd-looking ledge where the palm rest meets the buttons. I was sure this little piece of shiny plastic would squeeze into my palm, but it is positioned to support the top of my palm while my fingers gently bend down on the buttons. It’s hard to describe, but you know what I mean when you get the chance to hold one for yourself.
The layout of the buttons is also very sensible. There is a right button, a left button, a clickable scroll wheel, and two programmable thumb buttons on either side. At first, I missed the two dots-per-inch (DPI) sensitivity adjustment buttons on the face of the mouse, as the DeathAdder Elite offers, but I soon found a single DPI button on the bottom of the mouse. This makes a lot of sense; adjusting DPI in the middle of a round is not very common, so getting rid of it helps to avoid wrong clicks that could derail a match.
While the Viper usually felt good, the scroll wheel was a pain to use in everyday situations. I know that in the middle of a multiplayer game, the scroll wheel is usually one of the least essential tools available to a player. But if you’re going to spend $80 on a mouse, chances are you’ll want to use it for more than just gaming, and the small, slow scroll wheel makes productivity a chore. The re’s also nothing you can do to adjust the resistance or program the speed.
The Viper runs on Razer‘s Mercurial Synapse software. Depending on the product, I found the Synapse to be superior, unusable, and just about everything in between. This time, however, the software worked fine, so I was able to reprogram all buttons with ease (except for the left click, which is set in stone). You can adjust the RGB lighting with many beautiful patterns, or calibrate your mouse on the surface you use as a mouse pad.
You can also create unique profiles with different color, button, and calibration options and then link them to specific games. You can use an onboard profile, in case the Synapse software cannot run in the background, or you can save the profiles to your PC if you are just experimenting at home with different settings. It’s all admirably simple, including the “right” or “left” selection at the bottom of the screen, which automatically disables one set of thumb buttons.
Razer Viper Review: Performance
Since the Viper is intended for an esports crowd, I shunned my usual eclectic mix of games for testing, focusing exclusively on RTS, MOBA and FPS titles. I wasn’t surprised that the Viper performed well across the board, mainly since it uses the same 5G optical sensor as the equally excellent DeathAdder Elite.
Whether fighting enemy soldiers in Heroes of the Swarm, attacking enemies with my Ultimate Ability in Overwatch or simultaneously building bases and repelling hordes in StarCraft, the Viper responded quickly and accurately to my commands. I can’t foresee any problems for sports professionals – unless you need a DPI-lowering “sniper” button. But even then, you could program one of the thumb buttons to serve that purpose.
Razer Viper Review: Conclusion
The Viper is a simple, well-designed mouse that should fit comfortably in the palm of any novice sports enthusiast’s hand. Admittedly, I am not a competitive whizkid, but I have had a lot of fun with it. And, surprisingly enough, I even think the Viper has managed to cut a pleasant little niche in a bustling gaming mouse market.
My biggest concern with the device is that $80 is a lot to ask for what is ultimately a pretty no-frills mouse. A DeathAdder Elite with the same sensor goes for about $50, just like Logitech’s streamlined G Pro mouse. But an $80 mouse should last a few years, so if $30 is a viable upsell for you, go ahead and throw your hat in the virtual ring.
Pick up the Razer Viper if you're a sports fan with $80 to spare. If you're a more casual player, a cheaper mouse with a more ergonomic design will be a better fit.
- Smart, comfortable design
- Excellent performance
- Convenient button layout
- Robust software
- Slow scroll wheel