Razer Viper: The iconic mouse now with optical actuation technology

Razer Viper

The new Razer Viper is a mouse with a minimalistic design aimed at pro players and the most committed players, which stands out for its ergonomic shape, it’s very fast switches and the cable, flexible and easily adjustable even during the most gaming sessions challenging.

The most experienced players will remember it well: Razer Viper in the early 2000s was one of the most widespread and iconic mice for gaming peripherals. Over the years, Razer has greatly improved its technologies and the ergonomics of its mice, which has produced a substantial departure from popular forms in those years. Moreover, all this know-how inevitably ends up in the new version of the Razer Viper, available today.

Razer Viper not only repurposes the latest Razer mice but is also the result of a comparison with pro players in terms of design and technical specifications. We talked about it with Marquis Tan, Razer’s Marketing Manager, who first described the type of collaboration with pro players. Razer turned to the Brazilian player TACO, from MIBR, an expert in CS: GO; and according to Tan, work with TACO started already in 2015. “We showed a series of mice to pro players with different design features and functionalities and we left them free to express their considerations. Based on this feedback we formulated a plan for Razer Viper”.

“As soon as I saw this mouse, I immediately loved it,” said TACO. “The click of the switches is much improved and the cable is excellent and flexible, which is ideal for CS: GO.” These mice then went through a long process of iteration and product testing.

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Razer Viper

Razer Viper is mainly characterized by three elements: its ergonomic shape, it’s very fast switches and the cable, flexible and easily adjustable even during the most demanding gaming sessions. Switches based on optical sensors, in particular, are the distinctive element of the Razer peripherals, also adopted on keyboards as well as in mice such as the Razer Viper. The Razer Opto-Mechanical keys are, in fact, equipped with an optical sensor inside the key. When the button is pressed, the light signal activates a receiver that immediately activates the button, and sends the corresponding signal to the computer to perform the desired action. This setting contrasts with the classic structure where the implementation depends on the contact between two metal parts.

Among other things, this system releases the button of a large number of moving components, allowing implementation and return in the same point. The keys with the Razer optical sensor are characterized by a longer duration in time and by a type of balanced pressure, that is, independently from the point where the key is touched, the implementation requires the exact same strength of 45 g. Actuation force and actuation point, therefore, are lower than the traditional mechanical keys, respectively at 45g and 1.5mm against 50g – 60g and 2mm – 2.2mm.

Moreover, they avoid the phenomenon of rebound caused by the traditional mechanical keys by an electrically noisy input due to the contact between two metal parts that occurs when the key is pressed. The mechanical contact, in other words, can determine various spurious impulses, with the problem that instead is circumvented with the Razer optical system because a light beam is sent by the sensor in the instant in which the key is operated. This type of opto-mechanical switch was first used in the Razer Huntsman keyboard.

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Razer Viper

According to Marquis Tan, Razer studied the weight of the mouse for a long time. He wanted to create a device that was sufficiently light, while avoiding falling into the opposite excess to prevent excessive lightness from becoming a counter-productive factor, reducing the stability of the mouse. Therefore, all the peripheral design has been designed to meet weight requirements. Overall, it is a mouse that is easily moved and agile, especially suitable for those who love the claw grip (although not particularly high).

Furthermore, the peripheral is equipped with a cable that Razer calls Speedflex and that is designed to be as flexible as possible and to marry appropriately with fast and frantic movements, such as those needed in competitive shooters, “as if you were using a wireless mouse “says Tan. The cable is made of a different fabric than those we are used to with gaming mice of this type and is actually very soft, bending more easily than the average.

The surface of the mouse is rough and pleasant to the touch, which makes the peripheral appealing to use even in long gaming sessions. Such a surface also fits better in sweaty hand conditions than smoother surfaces.

Viper is also equipped with a newly designed sensor made in-house at Razer. Let’s talk about a sensor with a resolution of 16,000 dpi. We also have 8 programmable buttons and the dpi profile selector, located on the side of the device in contact with the supporting surface, in order to avoid accidental pressures. Being able to change the sensitivity of the mouse is very important for pro players, because games with different characteristics may require different levels of sensitivity, and the busy player must have the ability to change the configuration of the device quickly.

Razer Viper

By default, 5 levels are configured, respectively at 400, 800, 1800, 2400 and 3200 dpi, which can be customized as usual for Razer peripherals via the Synapse software. With this, in fact, you can customize the sensitivity in steps of 50 dpi. The sensitivity levels, on the lower part of the device, are identified by a small LED, which changes color to indicate the enabled profile.

Like the recent Razer peripherals, Viper also supports the Chroma backlight system, which can be customized where the logo is located. In the part of Synapse dedicated to advanced lighting effects you can choose various presets and color cycles, which can also be synchronized between the various devices with Chroma support. Razer Viper is available from for $79.

We asked the Razer Marketing Manager what kind of correlation there will be between the new Viper and the mouse version that was so popular in the early 2000s, and if somehow Razer will want to take advantage of the reputation among the audience of fans acquired in the over the years from that mouse. “Since we launched the original Razer Viper there have been many iterations of our mice,” replied Marquis Tan. “Everything has changed since the first Viper, from the design to the operation of the buttons. That Razer Viper is a mouse that we still love and that remains in our hearts but given the great technological changes that have occurred over the years, the new Viper is completely different”.

Both Razer Vipers are ambidextrous mice but, as Marquis Tan says, the rest changes pretty much everything. While the two original mouse buttons were separated, here we have a uni body type design.

The new Razer Viper follows the style of the recent Razer peripherals such as Lancehead regarding the hollow profile of the two main buttons, now the trademark of the Singapore Company’s peripherals.

Ultimately, the new Razer Viper confirms the high quality level of Razer peripherals. Beyond this, however, players will not notice substantial differences due to optical actuation technology compared to traditional mechanical switches. As in the case of the latter, it is a functional and reactive system: players who have tried such a reactive system at least once hardly go back. The feedback of the two central buttons and of the rough surface is also excellent, with a peripheral that is well suited to those who love to play with particularly light mice with a claw grip. It also improves Synapse, more stable and responsive in the implementation of software-implemented settings on the physical device than certain releases of the past.