Razer Basilisk review
Expect many a clutch kill.
Razer's stable of premium gaming input devices has become pretty predictable of late. The outer shells have gotten sleeker and sexier, the dangerous-sounding model names have been escalating to more angrier predatory wildlife, but no major feature breakthroughs have been forthcoming. The Basilisk finally offers something new and unique – an innovation that may in fact change the face of first-person-shooter mice forever.
They call it the “clutch”. Up until now, fervent scope-users have been pressing thumb-accessed “sniper” buttons to activate a mode that lowers DPI (dots per inch) thereby allowing them to shoot the fleas off a dog's back at 500 yards. The Basilisk does things a touch differently with a removable (and therefore customisable) paddle that juts out a little from the main unit. It looks a tad ugly and more than a little flimsy, to be perfectly honest with you, but what it lacks in aesthetics it more than makes up for with head-popping results.
Basically, I can't go back to regular old thumb-button sniping now, and I also refuse to put up with any mouse that lacks the Basilisk's other major feature, scroll wheel resistance adjustment. Using a roller neatly hidden underneath the unit, you can change the ride feel of the scroll to suit your taste. I'd describe the two spectrum extremes as “oiled wheel of a Matchbox car” or “rusty old wheel of fortune prize spinner”. Going in, I never thought I'd care, but that was yesterday – being allowed to find my preference on that spectrum is a plus that puts this mouse slightly ahead of the pack in my opinion. Bottom line: FPS players who are unafraid of trying unconventional paddles ought to give the Basilisk a look.
Razer Basilisk Multi-colour FPS Gaming Mouse from Dick Smith Electronics
Take your FPS skills to the next level with the Razer Basilisk. Order today from Dick Smith Electronics.View details
Razer Basilisk Specs
- Sensor – 5G optical with true 16,000 DPI
- Up to 450 inches per second (IPS) / 50 G acceleration
- Razer™ Mechanical Mouse Switches
- Eight independently programmable Hyperesponse buttons
- Gaming-grade tactile scroll wheel with customizable resistance
- Ergonomic right-handed design with enhanced rubber side grips
- Razer Chroma™ lighting with true 16.8 million customizable color options
- 1000 Hz Ultrapolling
- Razer Synapse 3 (Beta) enabled
- Approximate size: 124 mm / 4.88 in (Length) x 75 mm / 2.94 in (Width) x 43 mm / 1.69 in (Height)
- Approximate weight 107 g / 0.24 lbs (excluding cable)
Upsides: Why you'd want the Razer Basilisk
- Top optical sensor. Boasting a 5G optical sensor with 16,000 DPI, the Razer Basilisk did indeed provide me with a lot of precision in Overwatch (and it was needed, as I currently main Widowmaker). During thorough testing I experienced no delays whatsoever, and, when using the clutch-accessed sniper mode, the Basilisk never failed to smoothly track pixel-by-pixel.
- Solid build. In comparative terms, the shell on offer is slightly bigger than my usual go-to gaming mouse (the Logitech G502 Proteus Core) but the Basilisk is mercifully more diminutive than the Razer DeathAdder Elite, not to mention less angular and therefore more comfortable to hold. I quite like that the G502's DPI buttons have been shifted away from the left button to reside in the new clutch paddle.
- Great performance. The Basilisk weighs in at 109 grams (a smidge heavier than the 100g that most professionals look for) but the difference is negligible and the unit still handles quite well. During testing, the left and right buttons came in roughly 10ms slower than my G502 (grand scheme: not much difference at all) and it's nice that Razer's software suite allows you to anally tweak the behaviour of every button, be it the wheel, the new clutch paddle, or you can even tweak the sensitivity of the “sensitivity up/down” buttons. I call this Sensitivinception.
- Great software too. Along with the above mentioned, Razer's comprehensive Synapse 3.0 software allows you to setup keyboard functions, dig into a fully fledged macro editor profile switch, and mess with the RGB lights. You can also make the clutch paddle become a “hyper shift” toggle which changes the function of every button on the unit (essentially doubling the number of buttons you have). Make smart use of the feature and you could have 16 functions per profile at your fingertips, which is great news for MMO players.
Downsides: Why you might not want the Razer Basilisk
- Loose wheel. This is me niggling, but sizeable shakes to the unit cause the wheel to rattle about much more than it ought to. We're talking desperate, in-game 180-degree-turn swings here (or wild, 360 no-scope manoeuvres). This shouldn't really be a problem because you shouldn't be doing either of those things.
- Attack of the clones. Innovative clutch paddle and DIY scroll wheel sensitivity aside, the design and shape of the Basilisk housing are perhaps a little too inspired by the G502. That said, close imitation is bound to happen when you're chasing a rival that's homing in on perfection.
- Early access? While the Synapse software is feature-rich and never skips a beat, this 3.0 version is in beta and decidedly basic looking.