What? Razer’s Naga Gaming Mouse Requires Always On Internet Connection?

A poster on an overclocking forum is drawing widespread Internet attention over claims that Razer's Naga mouse requires a persistent Internet connection in order for it to work properly. The special drivers supposedly require that Naga owners create an account with Razer before they're allowed to configure the mouse, and if Razer's servers go down -- as they were when "channelx99" tried to activate his account -- well, tough luck.

Channelx99 is referring to Razer's Synapse 2.0 software in his forum post. Without it, you can still use the Naga mouse, you just can't customize all those fancy extra buttons, which is the rodent's main draw. Sucks, right? Unfortunately, channelx99's story only gets worse.

Razer Naga Mouse

Not only does Razer require a persistent Internet connection, but the Terms of Service (ToS) you agree to when installing the Synapse 2.0 software gives the peripheral maker the right to collect and share your personally identifiable information.
By using Razer Synapse 2.0 (“Synapse”), the Subscriber agrees that Razer may collect aggregate information, individual information, and personally identifiable information. Razer may share aggregate information and individual information with other parties. Razer shall not share personally identifiable information with other parties, except as described in the policy below.
As if all that didn't already add up to a barrel of stink sauce, some of the other forum members note that the always-on drivers tend to lead to performance issues, even making the mouse unresponsive at times. There is, however, a silver lining.

With all the Internet attention this is receiving, we suspect it won't be long before Razer issues a driver update that does away with the Naga's Internet addiction.


Razer reached out to us to clarify several points that were brought up in the Overclock.net forum. Here's Razer's statement in its entirety:


Razer was the first to recognize the need for gamers to save their mouse configurations and settings onboard their peripherals. To that end, we created Synapse 1.0, which utilized onboard memory to store settings inside Razer products. This ability has now become one of the de facto features used in gaming mice worldwide.

 ver time, we realized that as firmware, profiles, macros and other settings stored in onboard memory became more complex, more memory space was required. On top of that, other features that we wanted to include, such as inter-device drivers and profile exchanging, were not possible with the Synapse 1.0 architecture.

To give gamers the same benefits provided in Synapse 1.0 and more, we invented Synapse 2.0. Instead of having mouse settings limited by the space in onboard memory, Synapse 2.0 allows gamers to now have almost unlimited space for their profiles and macros. Moreover, other new functionalities such as being able to interact with other peripherals on the same architecture (i.e. keymaps between mice and keyboards) are now possible. Now gamers are also able to easily import and export profiles with their friends.

Another benefit to Synapse 2.0 is that if you purchase an additional Synapse 2.0 mouse for another system, it will not have to set it up all over again; it will be instantaneously customized to one’s stored settings. Such features would not be possible with Synapse 1.0.

We also believe in continuing to support our earlier products with software updates. We believe in providing additional value to our customers as opposed to only providing such features for our new hardware. For example, the Razer Naga MMO gaming mouse created with the Synapse 1.0 architecture was recently updated through Synapse 2.0 to include keymapping, unlimited profiles, and import/export functions. These updates would have taxed memory beyond the original capacity of the mouse using just Synapse 1.0. With Synapse 2.0, every Naga user can have his or her mouse upgraded directly from the cloud without having to go out and purchase another mouse or recreate macros and user-created content.

Synapse 2.0 offers these types of benefit and we’re happy to add features to our products for dedicated gamers looking for continued value after purchase.

However, we recognize that there may be some users of legacy Razer products who prefer to use Synapse 1.0 drivers. While we will still be making these available (see below), we do not want to penalize the vast majority of gamers who want to see our new products and legacy products upgraded to the Synapse 2.0 platform.

Synapse 2.0 vs. DRM

Our products work perfectly out of the box. Unlike DRM games or other media that require an always-on connection, you can use any of our peripherals right out of the box, even if someone doesn’t install Synapse 2.0, and whether a user is offline or online.

Synapse 2.0 provides for additional functionality in the form of cloud storage for settings, inter-device communications, etc. Once registered, Synapse 2.0 provides additional functionality of almost limitless memory in the cloud. It does the same with mapping physical functions, affording myriad options for an array of applications. The amount of information required to register the product is minimal. Again, we make a range of products that, to some degree or another, benefit from cloud-based functionality, but it is not a requirement for our products to work. There are great gamers out there that don’t regularly use Synapse 2.0, which speaks to the inherent quality of our products.

Synapse 2.0 works OFFLINE

One of the biggest misunderstandings is the equation of Synapse 2.0 to always-on DRM. It’s a popular notion that anything requiring a login has DRM included in it, and this misconception is one that easily gets the community fired up. In this case however, it’s incorrect.

Once registered, Synapse 2.0 works offline and never needs to be online again. So basically, a user creates an account, saves initial settings, and if there’s no internet connection, it doesn’t matter - settings are saved on the client PC and are not synced to the cloud. Synapse 2.0 works offline. We understand that this still might be confusing.

We will continue to take steps to clarify and to ensure that our users have the correct information (see below).

Server Outages

Finally, as far as the Synapse 2.0 activation server goes, we realize that we have had intermittent issues with it due to server usage spikes and, most recently, because of Hurricane Sandy – not uncommon challenges with server-based functions, especially given the severity of the storm – and we’re working on increasing server reliability.

We had an issue for four hours recently when users were unable to register for new Synapse 2.0 accounts. Current users of Synapse 2.0 were unaffected. We are working on new ways to keep these types of issues from occurring.

Steps to clarify the situation

  1. Legacy or Synapse 1.0 drivers (for applicable legacy products) will be made available shortly on the Razer Support Site. We will continue to develop applicable Synapse 2.0 drivers for our other legacy products, as the vast majority of users of our products have been asking for Synapse 2.0 features. Again, if those products are already Synapse 1.0 supported, we will make both Synapse 1.0 and Synapse 2.0 drivers available to them.

    All future Razer products will support Synapse 2.0 and other future platforms.
  2. Manual Offline mode will be made available shortly. At this time, Synapse 2.0 works seamlessly between online and offline mode, and is unobtrusive to the user. If an internet connection goes down and if the user has enabled offline mode by checking the “stay logged in” box, Synapse 2.0 automatically goes into offline mode.

    Through listening to our community we have added many new features to Synapse, and we have been working on putting in place a more robust manual offline mode for Synapse 2.0, letting users choose to go into offline mode with a click of a button. This functionality will be rolled into an upcoming update.
We value the feedback from the community and we hope the above statement helps to clarify any issues. Customers should feel free to write to us at support-us at razersupport dot com if they have additional questions or concerns.