Razer Nostromo Gaming Keypad Review

By on January 8, 2011
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A compact keyboard right under your palm.

Good: makes you feel like you’re controlling a mech oh yeah!, stylish, comfortable, customizable
Bad: pointless for FPS players, thumbstick too stiff for any purpose, slightly costly, not ambidextrous, takes a while to get used too
Price: AED 264 appox.
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Satisfied with the default setup, I fired up Call of Duty: Black Ops to put the Nostromo through its paces. I quickly configured the movement to the thumbstick and got ready to create some havoc. Now, there is definitely an ‘easing-curve’ to the device; it feels awkward and strange for at least for the first hour before it starts to feel more natural. The rubberized plastic keys and overall ergonomics of the device made using the Nostromo very comfortable.

The thumbstick were a disappointment though, as moving using it never felt ‘proper’. The problem with it is that it is too stiff. Razer had the brawns to twist the d-pad into a thumbstick by slapping on a thumb cover over it, but didn’t seem to have the brains to bring the functionality of an actual thumbstick. And due to the thumb cover, there is no sensory feel to the thumbstick to be used as a d-pad either. This caused me to lose out on the WASD keys that I could had configured for something else.

After using the Nostromo for a while, I found myself realizing how entirely pointless it is for a first person shooters. Considering for a fact that the 16 keys represent the WASD side of the keyboard, they are the absolute set of keys that cannot be rebind because they all have their set role to play in a FPS. The Nostromo provides me no additional benefit – I can always rebind keys in-game.

However, the Nostromo is a god-bless for those who play MMOs and RTSes. The configurable keys and the 8 keymaps that can be switched on-the-fly will prove to be a massive boon in games like World of Warcraft were items and spells have to be equipped quickly and immediately.

Razer Nostromo cost $69.99, and is a bit steep if are only considering it for your FPS needs. But if you are a MMO or RTS player, or regularly partake in tournaments or LAN parties, Nostromo will be a compact, stylish and extremely comfortable companion in your battles.

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Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

  • Afrorific

    “After using the Nostromo for a while, I found myself realizing how entirely pointless it is for a first person shooters.”

    That is why people like me own people like the reviewer online. Master the thumb pad and you can spin while circle straffing and take ou anyone sneaking up behind you gfaster than with aplain keyboard. You can sprint while straffing to take a look at what is coming up from the other side of the map and in COD sprint run into aqn enemy nudge the stick left or right instant stop and instant frag for you and much more!

    Anyways this device is usell for novice gamers. Try the PCGU or Cyborg… even better than this!!

    Top 500 COD: BO DM
    Top 100 000 BFBC2

  • Afrorific

    Anyways this device is usell for novice gamers

    should read

    Anyways this device is useless for novice gamers

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  • insidiousDesign

    Need a version for us lefties!

  • magickitten

    will it work with my macbook?

    • Mufaddal Fakhruddin

      Apparently not. The drivers for the device only supports Windows.

  • John

    At least learn a bit about the product before “reviewing it”.

    Quote “. The original Nostromo only had a d-pad, but Razer seems to have understood how useless that would be and have quite simply changed into a thumbstick.”

    The Belkin n52te also had a thumbstick, and looks and is almost identical to this.

  • Anonymous

    The new Razer Nostromo is actually an upgrade to the Belkin n52te, which shares the same form factor/shell. However, the new Nostromo has completely overhauled chipset.
    While the reviewer finds the Nostromo useless for FPS and new players, I disagree.
    First, this is based on rebinding WASD to the middle of the Nostromo keypad, rather than taking advantage of the DPad.. Using the Dpad WITH the mouse will give much greater mobility and ease of movement than WASD and mouse.. Plus it opens up the full keypad for abilities and frees your left hand’s fingers for using all your abilities.
    Second, I’ve gotten numerous newer players hooked on the Nostromo. Without a framework to work with, the Nostromo can be very daunting.. But given a functional framework to start playing with, they find it much more comfortable than clicking or keyboard gaming. The device itself isn’t the issue, it’s the ‘what do i DO with it?’ which unfortunately there’s little guidance or support for at the moment..

    Which is why I put together my YouTube channel, The 2 Ring, at It’s focused on the N52te/Nostromo (as they’re functionally the same), and how to use it for various games.. well.. mostly WoW and SC2 for now.. But there are vids on how to set the devices up and integrate them with the games.

  • Noobalert

    I stopped reading when the noob said he prefers a joystick to qwerty for turning in a FPS… You use a MOUSE to turn in a FPS making your turns instant… I refuse to read an article written by such an obvious noob…

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