As a relative newcomer to the button mashing insanity that is a modern PC MMORPG, I had never fully understood why someone needed a dozen buttons on a gaming mouse. It seemed like confusing overkill, like all those clickable surfaces would get in the way.
Then I started playing The Elder Scrolls Online, and it quickly started to make sense. Having all of those mappable attack buttons on a mouse simply makes more sense than having to reach to the numbers on your keyboard, and the customizability and convenience of that accessibility is critical to high level play.
Still though...all of those buttons can be a hindrance when trying to do something that doesn’t involve raiding dungeons, like writing. Having all those options on your mouse is great when you’re gaming...not necessarily so great the rest of the time.
Enter Razer’s Naga Trinity, a gaming mouse that does it all with a swappable plate system that allows you to customize your mouse for whatever you need in that moment. While these swappable plates could have easily been a gimmick, it’s implemented so effectively that it could be a glimpse into the future of gaming mice.
You can pick up the Razer Naga Trinity for $94.90.
Even without the swappable plates, the Naga is a mighty fine looking gaming mouse. It’s fairly large, with plenty of room for your palm grip, and a place to rest your free finger. It has all the standard buttons of course, with a clickable scroll wheel, and DPI control directly underneath.
The Razer logo lights up underneath your palm (more on lighting in a bit), and subtle RGB lights up the scroll wheel as well. It’s not as over-the-top as some gaming mice, because the real focus is on what it can do, not how flashy it is.
The swappable plates are absolutely the star of the show here. The three options provide vastly different experiences, and are easily swapped out by simply pulling on the plate. A powerful magnet keeps the plate in place when you are using it, but changing them out is surprisingly simple and satisfying.
Provided with the Naga Trinity are the fairly standard two buttons, a circular seven button design, and the MMO-friendly twelve button configuration. The two button solution essentially turns the Naga into a standard high performance mouse for when you don't need the extra buttons. I didn’t find that I used the seven button hexpad as much as the other two options, but I could see how it might be useful for something that requires more precision, like an RTS or MOBA.
The twelve button panel works great, and though it takes some time to memorize the layout you’ve programmed, once I did, it became integral to my gameplay with surprising speed.
Being able to customize your mouse for the ideal user experience is a huge deal, especially if you’re a gamer. Kudos to Razer for making it so easy and satisfying to switch on the fly, and for backing it up with excellent software support.
The mouse is well thought out from a design perspective, but that’s only one side of how you’ll use it. Slick physical design doesn’t do you any good if the software to actually program the buttons isn't up to par. Luckily, that is not the case here. Razer’s Synapse technology has grown dramatically, from a simple RGB control software to a fully functional suite that’s polished and easy to use.
Syncing up peripherals is a breeze, and the available lighting options are extensive and attractive. Changing settings was about as simple as could be, and I had very little trouble programming macros. Though there is no indicator on the mouse when you change DPI settings like Corsair’s Glaive, Synapse will pop up on your display and inform you when you change it.
It’s a little irritating that you have to provide your email to use Synapse, but other than that small issue, it’s one of the most accessible and attractive peripheral sync and control suites out there, especially if you’re already in the Razer ecosystem.
Razer’s mechanical switches are light and clicky, and the 6,000 DPI 5G sensor reacts swiftly and accurately with just the right amount of resistance. Jumping from an MMO to a heated Overwatch match was a breeze, and being able to swap out button plates on the fly, even in the middle of a game, was a luxury I quickly came to rely on.
A wireless version would certainly be nice (though that could well be on the way,) and I do always prefer a detachable cable, but despite these minor quibbles, this is an all around excellent mouse. The modular aspect is implemented flawlessly, and has completely shifted my perception of what a gaming mouse is capable of.
Though the Razer Naga Trinity isn't the first mouse to toy with this modular concept, it’s never before been so elegantly implemented.