The black mamba is one of the world's deadliest snakes, whose venomous bite can incapacitate an adult human in less than an hour. Razer's Mamba Tournament Edition mouse ($90) is not likely to kill anyone, but it's sure to give your digital foes a good scare. Like its namesake, the Mamba is sleek and adaptable, with a shape that complements its skill set perfectly. Not only is the mouse comfortable and colorful, but it also works across a wide variety of genres thanks to smart placement of buttons.
At first, I wasn't sure why Razer needed to release the Mamba when the company's excellent DeathAdder mouse already exists. Like the DeathAdder, the Mamba is an ergonomic gaming mouse for righties that's designed to work across a wide variety of genres. On the surface, the only real difference is that the Mamba has two extra buttons right below the scroll wheel, which are good for adjusting dots-per-inch (DPI) sensitivity up and down.
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Upon actually using the Mamba, though, I found a number of subtle and delightful differences. At 0.29 pounds, the Mamba feels a little more substantial than its DeathAdder cousin (0.23 pounds), although the two are the same size. The Mamba also features a larger padded area by the thumb and for the two outermost fingers, which helped me keep a better grip on the device. A much coarser scroll wheel on the Mamba also aids in the grip.
The button layout on the two devices is similar, too. The Mamba possesses a left button, a right button, a scroll wheel that clicks three ways, two thumb buttons and two DPI buttons. Each one is programmable and easy to reach. I especially liked that the thumb buttons seem a bit larger and more responsive than the DeathAdder's.
I have nothing negative to say about the Mamba's shape, design or functionality. It's an extremely comfortable mouse that feels great for both gaming and everyday scrolling. Just keep in mind that the Razer Mamba Tournament Edition is a strictly wired mouse; the Razer Mamba (with no extra descriptors) is the wireless version.
Like most other Razer products, the Mamba runs on the Synapse 2.0 software, which continues to be an excellent program that combines an intuitive interface, a bevy of features and an attractive design. Through this interface, you can program each one of the buttons, change DPI and other hardware options, and play with the extensive Chroma backlighting.
It's extraordinarily simple to set up profiles for individual games and program different color schemes and buttons for each one. All you have to do is choose the game you want to link, then that game's program will automatically load up your preferred button and color scheme each time you open it. So many companies make this process much more difficult than it has to be, and Razer should be commended for taking the simplest possible approach.
The Mamba's biggest enhancement over other Razer mice is the sheer amount of Chroma-capable areas it has. Colorful LED strips surround the entire mouse. There are 16 total strips, which gives you an incredible wealth of options for what you can do with them. Most mice tend to give you between one and four customizable spots, so for the artistically inclined gamer, the Mamba is the way to go.
However, as excellent as the color scheme is, it keep the mouse just shy of perfection. There is a small patch of darkness between the LED strips, leading to inconsistent lighting where one strip ends and another begins. When you have an animated pattern, this isn't noticeable, but if you (like me) enjoy having one solid color for each strip, it's a noticeable oversight that could have been fixed.
I ran the Mamba through Titanfall, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, Batman: Arkham Knight and Star Trek Online, and found that it worked very well with every game and genre tested. Gunning down futuristic mech pilots in Titanfall was as simple as driving the Batmobile through the streets of Gotham City. The ability to change my DPI on the fly was helpful in faster-paced games, while I was able to repurpose those buttons easily in games where speed was not of the essence.
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I'll give my standard warning for all-purpose mice, which is that they're not ideal for high-level MMO play. You may want to invest in a mouse that has access to more buttons if you need to map an entire skill rotation to your thumb. However, four extra buttons should be more than enough for most players, especially when complemented by a keyboard. You're more likely to use the Mamba for an FPS or a MOBA than an MMO, but there's nothing really wrong with the mouse's performance in the latter category.
The Razer Mamba Tournament Edition is large, comfortable, well-designed, versatile and pretty. There are no special tricks or gimmicks here, just a solid piece of engineering that does exactly what it sets out to do. Even the $90 price tag feels justified, thanks to the Mamba's extremely colorful lighting options and useful extra buttons.
The Mamba won't revolutionize the way you play games, but it just might epitomize it. That alone makes the peripheral well worth a look from any serious PC gamer in the market for a new mouse.