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Razer Firefly Light-up Mouse Mat review

Serious Windows PC gamers likely own gaming mice and gaming keyboards (such as the Corsair STRAFE), all in the name of enhancing their gaming experience and getting more frags. Seriously, PC guys love their frags. One gaming peripheral that often goes neglected, though, is the actual mouse pad/mat. I mean, your mouse technically works on a cheap mouse pad or maybe even a bare desk, right?

Gaming mouse surfaces do affect mouse performance, though. San Diego-based accessory giant Razer offers some gaming mouse mats for different budgets and needs. One of their two top mats is the Razer Firefly Hard Gaming Mouse Mat. The Firefly boasts Chroma lighting, a generous 14 x 10-inch size, and a hard surface made especially for gaming – all for sixty bucks. Read our full review with video to find out just what a difference this pricey mouse mat makes!

Size matters

The Razer Firefly measures 14 x 10 inches, placing it in the "Medium" category of mouse surface sizes… They go all the way up to Extra Large, yikes! This provides as much horizontal movement range as any typical mouse user is ever likely to need, if not a little more. If horizontal real estate comes at a premium in your desk setup, you can, of course, use the mat in a vertical orientation. That still provides all the X-axis room I could want, so it's perfect for my setup.

The Firefly is made of hard plastic though it does have a minor "give" if you bend it. The top features a micro-textured surface engineered to provide a balance between speed and control play styles. The bottom of the Firefly is coated entirely in textured rubber, ensuring that it won't budge a jot during heavy gaming and/or Windows Central reading sessions.

Razer Firefly Light-up Mouse Mat box contents

Feel

I've always been a cloth mouse pad user, making the Razer Firefly my first hard mouse mat (other than a brief stint with the Mario Paint mouse pad as a wee lad). The Firefly's hard surface feels surprisingly different to use than a soft pad.

This one is engineered partially for speed, and it does have a significant impact on the speed of mouse movement. I used both Razer Mamba TE (review coming soon) and Logitech G500 gaming mice with the Firefly, and both moved noticeably faster than on my previous cheap and soft pad. It's like turning up the mouse's DPI without actually changing the DPI at all. Gamers who crave quick movement will get exactly that here.

Razer Firefly Light-up Mouse Mat micro-textured surface

The actual micro-textured surface provides a couple of benefits. The microscopic crystalline specks used to create the surface actually increase reflectivity to mouse sensors. This boosts the precision of the mouse, making impressively precise movement possible. The surface also feels really good to the touch – way better than cloth mouse pads I've used.

Another welcome advantage of the Firefly: it's super easy to wipe clean. Pet hair won't stick to it, unlike soft mouse pads.

Razer Firefly Light-up Mouse Mat with Razer Mamba TE

Razer Firefly and Mamba TE mouse with Windows Central-colored lighting

Lighting

The Razer Firefly's true claim to fame is its Chroma lighting (Razer's name for its 16.8 million color spectrum lighting technology). The mat features lighting along its left, right, and front edges, as well as a light-up Razer logo on its top-right corner. The only edge without lighting is the back one, which should face away from the player in the default horizontal orientation.

To achieve this lighting, the Firefly must of course draw USB power. A six-foot braided USB cord extends from a raised area at the back of the mat. When plugged in, the Firefly lights up (lighting can also be disabled in software). When not plugged in, you obviously get no lighting.

To customize the Firefly's lighting, you'll have to use the downloadable Razer Synapse software. This requires the creation of an online account with Razer (a minor hassle), after which any lighting changes made will be saved to the user's account on the cloud. Synapse is really easy to use, particularly for the Firefly due to the relative simplicity of a mouse mat. No wading through multiple tabs to set up your colors here.

Razer Synapse software for Razer Firefly

The Firefly offers five lighting effects (plus the option of no lighting), each with varying degrees of customization such as brightness and speed. You can see them all in action in our video review. A brief overview:

  • Breathing: All of the mat's lights pulse up and down in intensity. You can't have one light pulse a different color than the others, but you can set the lights to alternate between two different colors.
  • Reactive: This feature requires that you use at least one other Razer Chroma-supported device (a mouse or keyboard) in tandem with the Firefly. When enabled, any keypress or mouse click from the compatible device will cause the Firefly lights to flare up. If you want your mouse mat to flash when you fire in a game or whatever, the Reactive effect will make it happen.
  • Spectrum Cycling: The mat cycles between various colors.
  • Static: The Firefly stays lit up with a single color of the user's choosing.
  • Wave: A series of colors flow around the edges of the mat.

Razer Firefly Light-up Mouse Mat

Razer Firefly rubber-coated bottom side

Minor quibbles

Price aside, only a few small imperfections buzz up around the Firefly's USB cable:

The USB cord is non-removable, so if it ever breaks you'd lose the lighting effects. On the other hand, mouse mats don't get moved around a lot – and the cable is braided. It shouldn't break for most of us.

Mouse mats don't generally require USB ports, but this one does. It would've been nice of Razer to throw in a USB passthrough or hub to free up a port.

Finally, the cord of a wired mouse can potentially bump up against the raised area from which the USB cable extrudes. This doesn't negatively impact my experience at all, but some users might find that little bump annoying.

Razer Firefly Light-up Mouse Mat

The sexiest mouse mat ever to stalk the Earth

Nobody needs a light-up mouse mat. As with light up keyboards, controllers, headsets, and other gaming accessories, the lighting in the Razer Firefly is completely for looks. But oh man, those looks! You get five main effects and millions of colors to choose from with this mouse mat's lighting. All of those effects will dazzle not just the user's eyes, but also onlookers. The Reactive option is particularly rewarding for gamers who have already bought into other Razer Chroma products.

That fancy lighting might be for showing off, but the Firefly has practical purposes too. It's roomy, has a surface that legitimately enhanced speed, precision, and feel, and it's also easy to clean. This one investment, large though it is, should essentially last forever. I can't imagine a mouse mat much nicer than the Razer Firefly.

Still, sixty bucks really is a lot for a mouse mat. I'm sure many PC gamers would rather apply some of that scratch towards a nicer mouse, keyboard, or headset. Razer makes a very similar mouse mat called the Destructor 2 which uses the same hard plastic and micro-textured finish as the Firefly. It retails for $40 and rings up at $34 at Amazon, making it a great choice for serious PC gamers who don't care about lighting.

See ont Amazon ($58.99) (opens in new tab)

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

67 Comments
  • Need this for the office. "Need"
  • Sure~~~~~~~~
  • I expect to see it in the #askdanwindows video in about 3 weeks then ;) :D
  • "office"
  • LOL
  • I'm sincerely sorry for having read your name as Paul Avocado for the longest time.
  • It's been happening to me since kindergarten...
  • It's OK, I deliberately read it as Avocado, despite being fully aware I'm being a butthead in the process.
  • That's how I pronounce it
  • You're not alone
  • Count me in.
  • How do we actually pronounce it? I pronounce it as A-Chi-Vedo
  • He pronounce it as "A-Se-Vedo" go watch a gaming/game review from windows central @YouTube to hear it!
  • Nearly every article I write has a video, so there's little excuse for not knowing the pronunciation... But yeah, what Codad said!
  • LOL... No offence but I only noticed this after your comment or I was always reading this Avocado :P
  • Not a Razer fan, had a few bad experiences with some of their products. However this mouse mat, does look stupidly beautiful, I am seriously considering it. My desk being white would really make those colours pop too. Nice article.
  • OMRON switches killed your Deathadder prematurely?
  • using a Razer eXact Mat for years now, and it makes such a difference compared to some random mouse pads
  • Which side do you use? The Speed side or the Control side?
  • control side, but only since one of the rubber thing on that side broke and i cant use the other side without the pad wobbling around. i dont really remember which side is better. for fps games the speed side i suppose and for everything else control.
  • Good review, and it's intriguing. However, I can't convince myself to spend $60 on a mouse pad. On top of that, I can't convince myself to worry about a cable for my mouse pad. If it ran on a battery and could be charged with the cable, sure. If the pad had wireless charging for the matching mouse (and it were wireless, I didn't pay attention to see if it is), that'd overall mean no ADDED cables (add one for the pad, subtract one for the mouse), and I could live with it. Since my desktop isn't on a desk, and I don't use my PC at a comptuer desk as a result (use it from a bed, mostly, with a TV for a monitor), stringing more cables across the floor isn't a good thing for me. Still, it's cool, and you wrote yet another good review.
  • If you used these setups for "serious" gaming, wouldn't wireless (mouse or keyboard) sort of beat the purpose?
  • I don't, though. I play the occasional game on my PC, but 99% of my gaming is on a console of some kind. I mostly play console-exclusive games, so PC doesn't appeal much to me. It's mostly for playing older games I missed out on (most recently, Dishonored), and I do that with a controller anyway. My PC's job is primarily a bunch of media consumption and reading.
  • Fair enough. But in that case I'd find it difficult to justify $60 for some fancy leds which, if I've understood correctly, are mostly supposed to "sync" with your games. Unless you want the pad to do it's thing next to you while using a controller. Sure, you said you wouldn't but one but the only rationale you provided was the cable issue.
  • I'm really not sure what you're saying. I'll spend the money on something nice, even if it's not the biggest deal in the universe. Getting rid of the cable wouldn't make that worth $60 for me, I'm not saying that. However, I don't need to be gaming on my PC to not want my general use experience to be bad.
  • Razer just sells some overpriced stuff to fools that think that razer devices will enhance their skills on games by providing quick answer high end products (that will be broken after 6 months)
  • I have both keyboard and mouse for 2 years now and they work just fine.
  • 2 people I know had their Deathadders dead after 6 months. In both cases, 6 months.
    One guy even bought another one (the Chroma edition and it looks beautiful) soon afterwards and he's pretty filthy rich.
    This personal experience has me thinking like Max. I know, the sample space to judge this was pretty small, but the internet is full of dead Razer mice. You'll see if you gave it 5 mins or less of Google searching. You should count yourself lucky.
    Sure, they're great mice and they look cool, but.... :/ This is why I bought the Steelseries Rival. Hope it lasts.
  • Razer offers 1 year warranties on its mice, so those people would at least be covered in the event of a 6-month mouse failure.
  • The friend had bought it from an online store, and hence was exempt from availing the warranty (by some obscure lop-hole) even though the device was within warranty. He contacted Razer international customer care and they just told him there's nothing that could be done. Was a sad day.... And they hr bough the Chroma Edition Deathadder. And I repeat; it is BEAUTIFUL!
  • You must be one of them peasant console gamers
  • Master race nonsense aside, Razer also sells controllers for Xbox One and 360.
  • Yea I was replying in kind. Not very constructive on my part, sorry about that
  • No worries! :)
  • Let me know how the last Batman game worked out on your Master Race PC. But speak loud, I cant hear you over playing Batman faultless on my cheap peasant console.
  • No idea, haven't tried it.
  • Not sure if ignorant or trying to troll but I'll take a bite. A nibble, rather.
    The fault is on the developer's side for not testing it properly before release. Don't be a moron. And don't hijack the comment stream unnecessarily. Also, wash your hands after you go to the toilet and don't reproduce. Thanks.
  • Don't slam it or beat it when you're a frustrated gamer. Sometimes the people who use it, abused it hardcore.
  • Razer is to PC as Beats by Dre is to audio. Shitty, overpriced products designed for the simple minded "oooooh shiny lights" PC builder.
  • Two years and counting. Not bad for a shitty products.
  • 3 mice and 4 years.  Hardly a good run at all.  The Lachesis was a lovely mouse until the driver died a mere month after warranty was up.  My Deathadder faired better thanks only to failing within warranty.  Replacement lasted as long.  Gonna see how well Steelseries treats me. 
  • Stopped myself buying one of these when I visited the Razer Store in Taipei. It's totally unnecessary but holy crap it looks amazing with the lights down and the LEDs doing their thing.
  • pritty nifty.  I like the colors. But i have a comfy Fellowes Microban gell palm rest mousepad. I would never give up a palm rest for anything. If it had an optional stick on gell palm rest then i would surly like this pad. It is impressive. compared to 10 years ago...the products companies make are just awesome.
  • Razer makes a nice mouse mat with wrist pad, but unfortunately it doesn't light up. I'd love to try that one too.
  • What an incredible waste of money.
  • How is it possible that $58 becomes £64? (Amazon v Amazon UK prices) I'm not up to date with the exchange rate these days and I know UK prices are always a bit higher than US prices in tech like this but that is truly ridiculous.
  • Yea that sucks big time. And that affects all hardware pricing =/
  • One factor is the VAT. In the US, we don't have tax factored into product pricing.
  • Oh yeah,I always forget that. That's a weird way to go about things, isn't it? Or is there some logic that escapes me?
  • Taxes vary from state to state, so retailers can't publish a price that includes tax because it would be different for different people.
  • I going to be grabbing the Glorious XL heavy pad as I want thick, simple and stitched edging that is big but not what's called a deskmat as my desk is curved and those rectangles don't really fit curved desks.
  • I use a Corsair mousing surface for design work. It's not "necessary" but it's nice. This looks like something similar plus the lights. Having the colors would be fun, but the effects being limited to razer mice is a dealbreaker for me. Oh well.
  • Only a single effect requires other Razer products. Is that the one effect you'd want to use?
  • Ooh, shiny lights....Must fight the urge.....
  • Did you try comparing a razer mouse which had been adjusted to various surfaces against this mat? In my experience, I can get just as good of performance out of my deathadder I bought recently with or without my cloth mousepad (Steel series one). I just need to tune the surface the mouse is on appropriately through the Synapse utility. I really dislike the requirement that is Synapse, I'd like to be able to adjust my mouse and have it stored on the mouse so that I can use it with other computers. The reliance upon software for it to be fully featured is stupid. Razer's hardware is excellent however.
  • I agree that requiring Synapse for mice profiles is not good, but it's not like anyone expects a mouse mat to store data. You wouldn't travel with a big expensive mat like this either. I just compared the two mice between this mat and my previous cloth pad. Not especially scientific, but good enough for our purposes.
  • Wasn't he talking about storing that info in the mouse, not mouse pad?
  • The review is about the mat, so I try to steer discussion closer to the specific topic when I can. Who knows though, I don't get enough sleep most days!
  • I need to buy one before I get married.
  • Seriously.. While I like these reviews, saying "PC guys love their frags" is kind of annoying. I play lots of FPSs but I much more prefer co-op games such as borderlands. And there's tons or other genres where PC is also the king or even the only option.
    If I was a "competitive fps gamer" I would definitely go for one of the more expensive options, but even now I've noticed significant improvement also in desktop use with my cheap-ass gaming mat due to increased accuracy
  • You mustn't take it too seriously. ;)
  • Might be =) it's just the mindset you quite often run into.
  • It's a light up mousepad... At 60 dollars it's painful, but with Synapses it's unbearable.  Seriously... Synapses caused me more pain than it was worth, and the fact I lost 3 of their mice in a relatively short span of time is just pathetic.  
  • I mean, you can't expect to change settings in the product without the use of a program. It's not like Windows has built in mouse pad lighting controls.
  • While a program can be expected, I continue to question the cloud powered aspect of this thing.  Synapses 2.0 to me felt far inferior to previous iterations that came before that were not cloud enabled.  Frankly I don't think Razer considers it too highly themselves since they've recommended I roll back to the older version when trying to diagnose my deathadder issues.  Needless to say I consider SteelSeries Engine 3 to be far nicer in usage, and it didn't even require an account to use. 
  • Cool idea. Not $60 cool though.  Not only that, but having an extra USB plugged in would be espically painfull for laptop users like myself so I going to stick with my current razor mousepad.
  • Love the pretty lights! Might be something I put on my Christmas wish list!