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It’s a classic, and it continues to be the top-rated gaming mouse on the planet, so it’s probably no surprise that Razer’s Deathadder Elite remains our top pick. First released in 2006, the DeathAdder Elite is an extremely versatile mouse with a simple yet ergonomic design. Razer, feeling that it shouldn’t tinker with success, seems to be finding it hard to improve on perfection.
While there are certainly better gaming mice out there for specific genres, the DeathAdder Elite is well-suited for a wide variety of games, checking all the right boxes in a whole lot of different categories and making it especially hard to go wrong if you have more eclectic gaming tastes. It’s also extremely comfortable under your hand, so it’s just as well-suited to long workdays spent in Microsoft Excel as it is too long nights playing Call of Duty.
It has seven programmable buttons, which should be enough for all but the most hardcore MMO gamers. The Elite also boasts a custom-designed PixArt PMW 3389 sensor tweaked by Razer itself for an uncompromising level of precision with absolutely no lag or jitter. Plus, its 16,000 DPI sensor should be enough to track across even massive 4K displays.
Although it’s certainly possible to find some good deals if you’re willing to shop around a bit, gaming mice can be pretty pricey. So while the Abyssus V2 sits on the higher end of the budget range for gaming mice in general, by Razer’s standards it's a pretty affordable option.
Of course, Razer has cut a few corners to offer it at this price, but we think these are all fairly reasonable compromises. It’s only got four programmable buttons — one less than most of its more expensive siblings — and only sports a maximum of 5,000 DPI, although you can still customize it across five stages, starting with 100 DPI at the bottom end, and the sensor is still extremely accurate and totally up to Razer’s typical standards.
Another small drawback is that while other Razer mice offer millions of colors for the backlighting, the Abyssus V2 limits you to green, royal blue, and teal, although unlike most budget gaming mice, you can choose a different color for the scroll wheel and the logo.
On a more positive side, the Abyssus V2 is a relatively small gaming mouse, making it more portable and more appealing to those with smaller hands. While it lacks side buttons, it sports two in-mold rubber side grips — textured rubber on each side that makes the mouse really easy to hold, and the sort of nice touch that’s rare to see on lower-priced gaming mice. This is also particularly useful if you have average-sized hands, as you’ll likely be more comfortable holding it by the sides rather than resting your palm on it.
At 69 grams, the Razer Viper is an almost impossibly lightweight gaming mouse, and yet something that Razer has been able to pull off without cutting many corners. The Viper is an ambidextrous mouse that still sports six buttons — two on the top and two on each side — along with Chroma lighting under the logo and Razer’s competitive 16,000 DPI sensor on the bottom.
This is also Razer’s first mouse to use optical switches under the two main buttons, which are more reliable and responsive than traditional mechanical switches, and also mean that the Viper is rated for 70 million clicks — 20 million more than Razer’s other mice. A new style of braided “Speedflex” cable maintains the focus on smooth gliding, adding little extra weight and preventing snags and friction.
Of course, lightweight mice aren’t for all gaming genres, and when you consider how many gaming mice let you add weight to make them even heftier, we can see how some gamers will scoff at a featherweight like the Viper, but we think there’s a place for a mouse that you can use to make broad, sweeping gestures at lower DPI settings, and Razer obviously agrees.
Many FPS gamers still swear by the DeathAdder as one of the best gaming mice their preferred genre, and although it’s certainly a strong and well-rounded enough mouse to appeal to that gaming class, hardcore FPS fans should definitely be looking at Razer’s Basilisk. While the DeathAdder is a solid general-purpose mouse that excels in a lot of areas, including FPS gaming, the Basilisk was designed to handle one thing — First-Person Shooters — and handle it exceedingly well.
Most of the Basilisk’s specs mirror those of the DeathAdder Elite: 16,000 DPI sensor? Check. 1000 Hz polling rate? Check. Comfortable design? Check. Accuracy and precision? Check and check. However, the Basilisk offers one key feature that pulls it out well ahead of the pack: A removable DPI clutch that was designed specifically for the needs of FPS gamers.
With a single press, you can instantly drop the DPI level of the mouse, making it a cinch to quickly line up those precise headshots when a split second counts. What’s even more unique, however, is that you can remove the DPI paddle to swap it out for a smaller one, or just leave it off completely if you’d rather not risk accidentally hitting it during aggressive gameplay.
The Basilisk also sports a comfortable rubber thumb rest, and if you’re coming at it from a more traditional design like the DeathAdder, it will probably take a bit of getting used to, but we think you’ll eventually wonder how you ever lived without it, especially for marathon FPS gaming sessions. Another great feature that FPS gamers will appreciate is the ability to easily dial the resistance for the scroll wheel up or down from very clicky to pretty smooth, depending on the amount of tactile feedback you want, whether you’re swapping through your weapon load or scrolling through your spreadsheets.
Serious MMO and RTS gamers are a more sophisticated breed, demanding that their mouse meet the criteria of often complex gaming titles. The Razer Naga line has always been designed specifically for this genre, but the Naga Trinity takes this commitment to another level entirely, embracing a variety of RTS, MMO, and even MOBA gaming needs and gracing your desk with three different mice for the price of one.
Like most MMO gaming mice, the Naga Trinity has a lot of buttons, but the real magic lies in its three unconnected side plates, which you can use to quickly adjust the button configuration for your preferred gaming style. A standard 12-button array is designed for traditional MMOs, a MOBA array lays out seven buttons in a circular pattern around your thumb, and a traditional two-button panel is in place so the Naga can shed its kitschy aesthetics in favor of something a little more pared down.
Otherwise, the Naga Trinity is still, evidently, a member of the Naga family. Its bulky chassis, which is wider and touts a higher profile than most competing gaming mice, marks its return to form. But its primo features — RGB lighting, a DPI ceiling of 16,000, and fast and precise tracking, to name a few — are in line with those of Razer's other, similarly priced gaming mice.
While there's no denying that most Razer mice are bulky, you could make a strong argument that gamers prefer it that way. However, there are also gamers on the go who need a good mouse that can provide a mix of productivity and gaming features. Enter the Atheris. This fairly no-frills mouse is available in just one shade (black) and offers no lighting at all, but it gets the job done and is small enough to tuck inside your laptop bag.
Naturally, Atheris is much smaller than your typical gaming mouse, measuring 3.9 x 2.5 x 1.3 inches, so unless you have smaller hands, it’s probably not going to be ideal for long gaming sessions. That said, we don't mind the tradeoff since you’re unlikely to take a premium gaming rig on the go. Though Atheris does support Bluetooth, it still has too much latency for serious gaming. For that reason, Razer also supplies a 2.4GHz USB dongle you can stow inside the mouse when it’s not in use. The Atheris is powered by two AA batteries, and Razer has managed to squeeze 350 hours from a single set.
While it’s a far cry from the DeathAdder Elite, you still get a pretty impressive 7200 DPI optical sensor and 1000Hz polling rate, so it’s highly responsive with no lag. Unlike most portable wireless mice, you’re not going to want to throw it across the room when you get taken out in CoD. There are two side buttons you can customize using the same Synapse 3 software as all of Razer’s other mice. You can even set up macros and take advantage of Hypershift for dynamic button reassignments on the fly.
Most hardcore gamers scoff at the idea of a wireless gaming mouse, and historically they’ve had good reason to do so. Wireless latency is an ongoing problem in the first-person shooter genre, where a split second can make all the difference between life and death and you are always at risk of a lost connection, wireless interference, or dead battery inhibiting a critical moment.
However, if anybody can do a wireless gaming mouse right, it’s Razer. When it debuted the Lancehead, it stood up with a startling claim of 100 percent transmission stability, thanks to its dynamic 2.4GHz USB receiver. The Lancehead also uses what the company claims is the world's most precise laser sensor, with a 16,000 DPI threshold.
Its ambidextrous design is unassuming. Though less ergonomic than some, it still exhibits four-zone LED lighting. However, as a battery-powered mouse, embellishments like these come at a cost: You’ll get about 24 hours of operation with the lights on or double that if you leave them off. Fortunately, it’s rechargeable, and there’s a sleep mode that engages when you're not using it. With the Lancehead, Razer has proven that gamers need not the wireless mouse.