Razer Basilisk Mouse Review: A Solid Foundation

Razer tries some new ideas to court FPS players, but their effectiveness depends on the user.

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After reviewing a pack of gaming mice last summer, I ended up going with the mouse that kept things simple and worked beautifully out of the box. With another year in the books, the top gaming peripheral companies have some new tricks up their sleeve. This time around, Razer is offering a new mouse aimed at FPS players. The Razer Basilisk offers a relatively simple design with some features that could make it your top choice or relegate it to the garbage bin. If you are in search of a solid gaming mouse that offers some fairly extensive customization (and not just cosmetic), the Basilisk could get its fangs into you.

The Basilisk At A Glance

Right off the bat, if you are a left-handed user, you need not apply. The Basilisk is made for right-handed gamers and features a rubberized thumb rest and buttons on its left side for easy access to the right thumb. The mouse 4 and mouse 5 buttons (also known as the forward and back buttons) are the standard fare you’d get on just about any other mouse. It comes with nice braided cable that never gets in the way. What makes the Basilisk different is the inclusion of what Razer dubs the DPI Clutch button. This DPI Clutch sits directly under the forward button.

In the out of the box configuration, the DPI Clutch lets you change sensitivity on the fly. Swapping between your regular aiming sensitivity and then popping this button to lower sensitivity for when you are looking down the sight of your long-range scope is very helpful and a cool idea. The button itself feels nice to the touch and is very easy to activate. For me, the problem was that mashing the button felt so good that I was involuntarily clicking it constantly when web browsing or other tasks because my thumb is always on top of it.

With each day that I used the Basilisk, I grew more agitated with the DPI Clutch button. I was accidentally activating the feature at inopportune times during games and work. I used Razer Synapse software suite to rebind the button to another function, but this was no real solution. I ended up disabling the button altogether. The button itself is removable from the mouse, but it leaves an unsightly hole that will only serve to hold dirt and dust inside the mouse. Disabling the button via software was the best option for me. It gives my thumb something to fidget with and is no longer detrimental to my everyday use. Razer includes additional clutch buttons and a hole plug if you decide to remove the button.

Feels Good Man

There is a rubberized coating on the thumb rest with indented lines that run parallel to your desk or mouse mat. I liked the texture and the feel of this coating, but found that it is always causing sweat from my thumb to annoy me. The rest of the buttons on the mouse (left, right, DPI switch) work just as intended and are seemingly of the highest quality. The mouse wheel has an adjustable tension setting on the underside of the mouse that lets you dial in the wheel to your sweet spot. I really liked this feature and it would be nice to see on most premium gaming mice going forward.

When it came to using the mouse for gaming or everyday tasks, the Razer Basilisk passed the test with flying colors. Once my sensitivity was dialed in and I had my wheel tension set, using the mouse in games, web browsing, and work was enjoyable. At no time did I ever feel at a disadvantage while playing things like PUBG, Unreal Tournament, or Warframe. I am the farthest thing from a high-level FPS competitor, though, so I am unable to offer a valuable opinion as to how the Basilisk performs in the most demanding situations like quick snaps or liftoffs. The sensor worked perfectly for me and as I understand it, is the best sensor the company offers at the time of writing, so it should be more than up to any task.

I Wish This Synapse Would Stop Firing

The Basilisk has two software-addressable RGB lights. One light is in the wheel and the other illuminates the Razer logo where the heel of your palm rests. These lights are fully customizable using the Razer Synapse software suite and can also be synchronized to Razer’s other RGB products like mechanical keyboards, mouse mats, and headsets. The Synapse software suite was easy enough to navigate and use, but I have an intense dislike of bloated software packages that are common with modern gaming mice, headsets, and the like. Using Synapse requires you to make an account with Razer. The software is always online as long as it is running (through changes you make to the mouse still work if you remove Synapse, which is nice). I don’t feel that a fully online-enabled software package and any of the data collection it does should be required for basic operation of a gaming mouse, but this is where we are in 2018. Synapse will default to starting with Windows after installation and account creation unless you disable this behavior in its settings or in the appropriate Windows settings. As an example of a peripheral software solution that I liked, the Mionix Naos 7000 I reviewed last year came with a light program that gave me exactly what I needed fast and without the need to make an account or to go online to make basic changes.

At the end of the day, the Razer Basilisk is a solid gaming mouse that excels at the basic job it should do. I personally found no value in its added features, with the exception of the adjustable scroll wheel tension. The DPI Clutch managed to stay in my way and cause problems at inopportune times. I felt that it was also in the way of my normal use of the forward and back buttons. Razer provides options to remove or alter the button, but I'd rather pay less for a mouse without this addition. The Synapse software suite that is required to toggle basic settings on the mouse is too bloated and I don’t like being required to make yet another online account for a program that offers me no added value for being always online. Still, if you think the DPI Clutch would be a benefit for your use case, the Basilisk is a very good gaming mouse that is generally a pleasure to use. If Razer found a way to lighten the software package and keep it as simple as possible, I would feel good recommending the Basilisk to anyone.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

Review for
Razer Basilisk
8
Pros
  • Great sensor
  • Scroll wheel adjustment works great
  • Excellent button feel
  • Rubberized thumb rest coating
Cons
  • Synapse software requires online account & is bloated
  • DPI Clutch gets in the way
  • Thumb rest causes hand sweat
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