Razer Mamba Tournament Edition - Light-up gaming mouse review

Not long ago we reviewed the Razer Firefly, an amazing (and expensive) light-up mouse mat. Razer is in the business of high-quality gaming peripherals, and you won't find a nicer mat than the Firefly. Of course, while mouse surfaces certainly play a part in the PC gaming (and work) experience, nobody can argue that the surface is more important than the mouse itself. With a limited budget, you'll want to think about your gaming mouse before anything else.

Razer produces an impressive array of mice for serious PC gamers. One of their flagship mice this year is the Razer Mamba Tournament Edition. Clocking in at $90 (less on Amazon), the Mamba TE offers the world's most accurate mouse sensor, customizable Chroma RGB lighting, and an extremely comfortable design. Is this the one device that all other gaming mice aspire to be? Read our detailed review with video to find out!

Mamba TE v Mamba: Dawn of buttons

Before we talk about anything else, let's clarify the differences between the $90 Razer Mamba TE and the $150 Razer Mamba (2015 version). Both share identical physical shape and many of the same features. The Mamba has two features that the Mamba TE doesn't, though.

First off, the Mamba can be used wirelessly or wired, whereas the Mamba TE is wired-only. Second, the Mamba features patent-pending "Adjustable Click Force Technology." This allows users to adjust the actuation force of the primary mouse buttons, making them require more or less force to activate. That's a clever feature, but the Mamba TE doesn't suffer for the lack of it.

Razer Mamba TE

Shape, shape senora

Comfort is one of the most important aspects of any mouse, whether you'll be using it for games, work, or browsing awesome websites like Windows Central. Part of that comfort comes from the orientation of the mouse itself. Some mice feature ambidextrous designs, many have right-handed designs, and a few like the Razer DeathAdder 3500 even come in Left-Handed Editions (opens in new tab). The Razer Mamba TE currently comes only in a right-handed design.

The Mamba TE measures 28 mm / 5 in (Length) x 70 mm / 2.76 in (Width) x 42.5 mm / 1.67 in (Height). The top features a mildly textured matte plastic surface, while the sides are covered in an ultra-comfortable rubber textured coating. They seriously feel great to hold, plus the texture prevents the mouse from slipping out of hand.

The "front" of the Mamba TE has two grills located on either side of the USB cable. These grills don't serve any obvious purpose, unless fancy mice generate heat that they need to vent. I mistook them for speaker grills even though they're probably just for looks. How could would it be if mice could produce sound effects when playing games? Really cool, says me.

The Mamba TE connects to your PC via a seven-foot braided USB cable.

Razer Mamba TE

Buttons and wheel

On the top of the Mamba TE, you'll find the mouse wheel surrounded by the two primary buttons. The wheel has a rubber texture that makes it easy to grip and scroll in small increments. Pushing it in acts as a mouse button, while clicking the wheel left and right will scroll left and right by default. Unfortunately many programs I use have poor left/right scroll wheel support, but you can always program the left/right scroll wheel clicks for another function if desired.

Below the wheel, the Mamba TE holds two buttons. These raise and lower DPI by default, drawing on user-selectable DPI settings from the Razer Synapse application. Different applications actually do call for greater or lower mouse sensitivity, so toggling DPI on the fly proves surprisingly handy.

On the left side of the mouse, two additional buttons sit just above the rubber grip area and just below a light strip. The side buttons are so important for gaming, I hope nobody in our PC gaming readership rock a dinky mouse without them. I always use one of these buttons for reloading – how about you guys?

All told, I find every one of the Mamba TE's buttons and wheels easily accessible and pleasant to use.

Razer Mamba TE

The world's fanciest mouse sensor

The Mamba and Mamba TE's main claim to fame is their 16,000 DPI mouse sensor, which Razor calls the best in the world. Pioneer manufactures the sensor. Razer has a timed exclusivity contract on it, so you really won't find a comparable mouse sensor for the next year or two.

16,000 DPI is insanely fast – way faster than any normal user wants or needs. People with 4K displays and extra-large mouse mats could probably make use of that 16K setting for some entertaining gaming scenarios.

Luckily, you don't need to max out the Mamba TE's DPI to benefit from its amazing sensor. The DPI can be adjusted by increments of one, a feature that no other mouse offers. You can literally make this mouse as fast or slow as you want. Users can save five distinct sensitivity stages through the Razer Synapse software and then toggle between them at will using the DPI buttons on the top of the mouse.

Razer Synapse Mamba TE

Razer Synapse

Like other Razer PC products, Razer Synapse is required to get the most out of the Mamba TE. The mouse does not store profiles and settings internally, which is definitely a strike against a product with "Tournament Edition" in its name. Instead, all settings are saved through the cloud and accessed via Synapse. I understand that exporting settings to a USB stick is an option, but internal storage would obviously be better.

That said, the Synapse software is actually pretty good. Setting up your sensitivity and lighting preferences is a snap. Players can set up macros and even enable statistic and heatmap tracking for their mouse use, though I didn't bother with those features. I understand that some PC gamers reject Synapse out of principle, but I find it unobtrusive overall.

Razer Synapse Mamba TE

Chroma lighting

Impressive performance aside, one of my favorite aspects of the Mamba TE is its Chroma lighting support. Chroma is Razer's name for its 16.8 million color spectrum lighting technology.

The Mamba TE has four basic lighting areas: The Razer logo on the palm surface, the sides of the mouse wheel, and two long strips along the left and right edges of the mouse. Additionally, the lighting for those two strips can be configured in seven increments.

Besides turning the lighting off, users can select from six lighting presets:

  • Custom: Use the custom Chroma profile you create.
  • Breathing: All of the mouse 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: When enabled, any keypress or mouse click from the Mamba TE or compatible device will cause the lights of all Chroma devices to flare up. If you want your mouse to flash when you fire in a game, the Reactive effect will make it happen.
  • Spectrum Cycling: The mouse cycles between various colors.
  • Static: The mouse remains lit up with a single color of the user's choosing.
  • Wave: A series of colors flow down across the mouse lights.

Razer Mamba TE

Firmware ups and downs

When I first used the Mamba TE, the mouse pointer froze up twice on me. This appears to be a semi-common issue with the mouse, but not an insurmountable one. In the event that your mouse freezes up, you'll need to upgrade to the version 1.02 firmware. I haven't had a single freeze-up since installing the new firmware.

The process of actually getting that firmware is a hassle because it's not currently listed on the Mamba TE's download page on Razer's site. You'll have to either contact Razer support or do a web search to get it. Not a huge deal, but Razer needs to list it where anyone can find it.

By the way, Razer offers a 16-month warranty on the Mamba TE, which is fairly generous as mouse warranties go.

Razer Mamba TE

Overall Impression

Just as the Razer Firefly is the nicest mouse mat I've ever used, so too is the Mamba TE my best mouse to date. This mouse just feels great, with perfect ergonomics and engineering. And the level of DPI adjustment is second to none. The Chroma lighting also looks extremely cool, especially when used simultaneously with the Firefly. Razer products won't let you down aesthetically.

The only feature the Mamba TE lacks that I could want is adjustable weight, something my old Logitech G500 did nicely. But the default weight works just fine for me, so it's not a big deal.

The Razer Mamba TE is a great lower-priced alternative to the ultra-deluxe Razer Mamba. If budget allowed I'd probably grab the regular Mamba for its wireless support, but the Mamba TE impresses nearly as much for $60 less.

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!

  • If only you did not need to register and have internet connection to use the stupid Razer Software, then I might actually consider a razer mouse. Until then I will keep my Roccat gaming mouse.  
  • Wow you are on the internet now...  A product likes customers to register there softwear what a concept. It has only happend since day one of softwear!
  • There is a reason why no other Gaming mouse uses a stupid cloud system for profile storage, it was even pointed out in the review. It's just a hassle that you need to install and log in on every new PC you use the mouse on. It's all about convenience; if I don't have to have yet another online account and can buy a mouse that can store multiple profiles on its built in memory, then why the hell would I go for a mouse that purposefully omits that feature just to get users to register and give Razer a marketing database for advertising.  
  • Exactly. If they want to market they can. I myself never leave my pc. My mouse stays in one place. I have no need to move a mouse around.
  • Well many people do have that need.
  • This is a pretty narrow-minded response. I work from home and have no intention of installing synapse on my work laptop, but I would certainly like to have my profile from my personal laptop saved so I wasn't stuck with the default lighting when I use it for work. As a first time Razer buyer that didn't know that, it's good to see the review include it for others that didn't know. The ergonomics of their mice are great, deciding that everyone has to use their software is not.
  • Hehe... Softwear... :D
  • Just read a little bit. About 3-4 months ago razer introduced an offline installer for synapse aiming people who goes to tournaments or people with your kind of interests, just stick a flash drive and install. That's fairly easy.
  • Still would be better if your profiles were stored on the mouse itself, like on all other gaming mice.  
  • looks awesome. Just a qestion...  Could a user have the mouse set to change colors for different users on the pc? I think that would be a great way to remember who is logged in when you first sit down.
  • It definitely lets you create and save different profiles. You can link them to programs so that they automatically load up that way. Not sure if different profiles can be associated with different Windows logins. Maybe?
  • Could be doable using a script or something? Then again don't own one these or anything with Chroma to mess around with lol.
  • I've always found razer mice very comfortable to use, especially for those with larger hands. With most other brands I find myself having to grip the sides of the mouse with my finger(nails) because they are too small to fill out my hand, which means any nice rubber grips on the sides wear through pretty quickly. With my latest mouse though I ended up going Logitech g700 because my previous razer death adder did not have great longevity. I found the main mouse button wore out to the point it was causing unintentional clicks within 1.5 years of moderate use. My wife had the same mouse and also the same issue. I hope that razer have dealt with this issue, its made me wary of spending big $ on a mouse.
  • Whats with the spiderman on your hand?
  • It's an adhesive bandage. I have a cut on my knuckle.
  • Looks great! Thanks for taking the time to show us and telling us about it! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I'd have a hard time every buying a Razer product again, both my mouse and my keyboard failed just outside of warranty.
  • To answer the question in the review, more than 2 buttons is overkill unless you don't have a keyboard.
  • Wrong! :)
  • Wrong. I have a very fancy keyboard but for the gaming I do seventeen button mice are a godsend. Not required, but extremely useful.
  • Not in the market for a mouse right now, but great review.
  • @Paul Acevado the James donkey 007 (stupid name ik) vibrates and makes sounds when buttons are pressed (both customisable). The vibrating is really cool in fps, especially when using a sniper rifle or submachine gun. Just hard to get hold of...
  • :S. My advice? Buy Microsoft hardware = Win
  • Microsoft makes good peripherals, but the best Microsoft mouse is still not in the same league as the Mamba and Mamba TE. These mice are designed for gaming and have unique features you won't get from non-gaming mice.
  • Microsoft mouse isn't bad but isn't great either
    So - So maybe
  • I have a razer blackwidow keyboard (mind you i'm not a gamer.) I got it for $15 at a garage sale last year. It's great to type on (and it's a bit scratched near the razer logo.) Anyways as much as I'd like a new mouse I can't see spending $90 for one. I do however use a old microsoft gaming mouse 6000 v1.) :D
  • At 90s dollars it's a bit much.  Personally it doesn't seem to offer much more than my Steelseries Rival.  At 40 dollars it's a tough product to beat.  I'm more than happy with fewer LED options and no Synapses software.  As for that firmware issue?  Hopefully it won't evolve into a Lachesis sized issue. 
  • Imagine if the mouse could flash red when getting hit. Or flash blue when casting magic and so on. It'd be awesome :)
  • Is that a wired mouse? People still use those at home?
  • Most people use wired mice, but if you'd read the review you'd see the mentions of a wireless option.
  • I know that's true around the office but I just don't see wired options around much anymore.  And you're right, I didn't READ the entire review.  I only had time for a drive-byBut I was here! :)