Razer Basilisk V2 review

Posted: 15 January 2020 3:00 am
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Razer Basilisk V2

Quick Verdict

The Razer Basilisk V2 is far more than a simple refresh of the original Basilisk – it is a thorough re-tooling that has plenty to offer PC gamers of all experience levels.

The Good

  • Optical switches are noticeably more responsive than standard mechanical switches
  • Comfortable, ergonomic and lightweight while still feeling sturdy
  • Deep customisability caters to a wide array of applications and gamers

The Bad

  • Right-handed only

It's been three years since Razer released the original Basilisk wired gaming mouse, and in that time the market has changed quite a bit. Gaming mice have become lighter and more ergonomic, making the original Basilisk a slightly tougher sell in the modern era.

To combat this, Razer has gone back to the drawing board and built the Razer Basilisk V2, a redesign of its predecessor that stacks up far more favourably against the current competition. Lighter, faster and more customisable, the Basilisk V2 proves that Razer is still a force to be reckoned with in the gaming mouse space.

Razer Basilisk V2

Design

  • Surprisingly light for a wide-body mouse while still feeling solid and sturdy
  • Enhanced ergonomic design makes for one of the most comfortable mice I've used
  • Adjustable scroll wheel resistance is a feature all premium gaming mice should have

The first aspect of the Razer Basilisk V2's design that really struck me was how light it is. Despite sticking with the broader, thumb-groove shape of its predecessor, the Basilisk V2 weighs just 92g. While not quite as light as some of the honeycomb mice that have recently gained popularity, it's still a full 30g lighter than the similarly-shaped Logitech G502 HERO and 15g lighter than the original Basilisk.

This weight reduction allows the Basilisk V2 to skate across most surfaces with minimal effort while still retaining enough heft to avoid feeling flimsy or cheap. Quite the contrary, in fact – the Basilisk V2 feels strong and sturdy, more than capable of surviving plenty of heavy use.

Speaking of feel, the Basilisk V2's contours make for a tremendously comfortable grip that affords plenty of control and precision. The textured thumb grip feels great and kept my hand steady throughout every fast-paced shooter I could throw at it. The only downside is that, unlike 2019's Razer Viper, the Basilisk V2 is for right-handers only.

Razer has paid plenty of attention to button shape and placement, too. All 11 of the Basilisk V2's programmable buttons can be easily reached without needing to adjust your grip, and they're large enough to hit reliably even in the heat of the moment. Less hand movement means less stress over the course of a long gaming session, and I definitely noticed a reduction in weariness as I put the mouse through its paces.

The Basilisk V2's scroll wheel also deserves recognition for the flexibility of its design. On the base of the mouse, there's a smaller wheel that lets you adjust the resistance of the main scroll wheel. You can set it to stiff incremental scrolling, virtually frictionless free-scrolling or anything in between. More customisation is always welcome, and this way it's a cinch to switch between firm resistance for a shooter where you're cycling between weapons and no resistance for a strategy game where you want to quickly zoom in and out.

Even the Basilisk V2's cable has received a refresh, abandoning its predecessor's standard braided cable for Razer's "Speedflex" cable. This bespoke cable covering still provides the protection against wear and tear you'd want from a braided cable, but it goes one step further by also minimising friction to prevent the cable snagging on table edges, other cables and anything else you might have on your desk. Admittedly, that's not an issue I encounter very often, but I did notice less pull from the Basilisk V2's cable as I whipped it around, making it feel closer to a wireless mouse than a wired one.

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Performance

  • Focus+ optical sensor is highly responsive and precise
  • Optical switches are faster and easier to press than traditional mechanical switches
  • Smart sensor tracking delivers a more consistent experience across different surfaces

High-end performance is a defining trait of most of Razer's products, so it's no surprise that the Basilisk V2 packs plenty of powerful hardware designed to improve your precision and boost your performance both in-game and out.

On the precision front, the Basilisk V2 sports Razer's new Focus+ optical sensor, first seen in the Razer Basilisk Ultimate upon its release in late 2019. It's got quite the chops, supporting DPI settings from 100 DPI up to 20,000 DPI – more than sufficient for virtually all sensitivity preferences and games or applications.

The precision of the sensor is top notch, too. Razer claims 99.6% resolution accuracy, and while I don't have the tools to verify that specific number, I can certainly attest to the sensor's flawless responsiveness. I had no trouble nailing headshots in Destiny 2 and highlighting fallen loot in Path of Exile no matter how hectic the action or my mouse movements got.

For folks wanting even more precision from their gaming mouse, Razer has equipped the Focus+ sensor with a smart tracking feature that automatically adjusts the vertical cut-off distance – the point at which the sensor stops tracking movement when the mouse is in the air – based on the particular surface the mouse is sitting on. Since the texture of different mousepads and surfaces can affect distance detection and ultimately lead to variable performance, having the sensor automatically calibrate itself means you can swap from one surface to another without having to change up your play style.

Alternatively, if you'd rather finer control over the Basilisk V2's sensitivity, you can set the vertical cut-off distance manually in the Razer Synapse app. You can even set different distances for both lift-off and landing, if you really want to optimise your gameplay. This all works as described, though I can't say I noticed a huge difference in my personal performance – I'm no pro, I'll admit. Still, I appreciate the option being there for those who can make use of it.

Continuing with the optical theme, the Basilisk V2 makes use of optical switches for detecting when you click any of its buttons. In contrast to the standard mechanical switches that most mice use, optical switches involve no physical contact. This means they don't need to account for the reverberations caused by metal contacts, eliminating the "debounce delay" that prevents mechanical switches from detecting multiple clicks within a very short timespan.

According to Razer, this makes optical switches three times faster than mechanical switches, and I certainly noticed their increased sensitivity in my testing. Along with responding reliably to my clicks both in-game and out, I definitely noticed how much less force I had to apply on each button. That adds up to a lot less strain over long gaming and work sessions.

Another benefit of optical switches is how low the action can be for any individual button. This is most apparent with the Basilisk V2's scroll wheel. Clicking it in requires far less force than on most mice, making it as easy to hit and even mash as the left and right mouse buttons. I love this – especially in MMOs and RPGs – and now that I'm used to it, I don't want to go back to standard high-action scroll wheel buttons.

Razer Basilisk V2

Features

  • 11 programmable buttons including a removable multi-function paddle
  • HyperShift support gives you access to an extra set of key bindings on the fly
  • Five on-board memory profiles make it quick and easy to switch between game-specific customisation settings

One of the biggest changes from the original Razer Basilisk to the Basilisk V2 is a much greater emphasis on customisation. Instead of just eight programmable buttons, the Basilisk V2 now packs 11 including back and forward thumb buttons, horizontal scroll wheel tilting and a multi-function paddle.

That paddle is especially neat. By default, it acts as a clutch toggle, lowering the DPI when held down to allow for more precise mouse movement. This is quite useful when aiming in an FPS, as you can hold it down for more accurate sniping without affecting the sensitivity of your other weapons. The paddle is removable, too, so you can replace it with the included rubber cover if you don't need the extra functionality and you want to avoid hitting it by mistake in the heat of the moment.

Adjusting regular sensitivity on-the-fly is just as easy thanks to the DPI buttons situated just below the scroll wheel. These let you cycle up and down through a range of sensitivity presets you define through the Razer Synapse app. You can change the number of presets, too, in case you only really use two settings and don't want to have to cycle through a bunch of other unnecessary ones.

Of course, those buttons don't have to control DPI if you don't want them to. Through the Razer Synapse app, you can bind them along with the rest of the Basilisk V2's buttons to any command, shortcut or macro you like. Not only that, Synapse now supports a feature called Razer HyperShift that lets you create an extra set of key binds accessible when you hold down a specific key on either your keyboard or mouse. For example, I bound the scroll wheel to control volume when I held down the multi-function paddle. This let me quickly and easily crank up the volume while sneaking around in Hitman 2 then drop the volume again when I inadvertently got caught and caused all hell to break loose.

You'd be hard pressed to find a PC gaming peripheral these days that didn't feature some form of RGB lighting, and the Basilisk V2 is no exception. You've got light strips on either side of the scroll wheel along with the illuminated serpentine Razer logo where your palm rests. Both support the full 16.8 million colours of the RGB spectrum as well as a variety of lighting patterns including breathing pulse, colour cycling and reactive.

To complement all this customisation, the Basilisk V2 has on-board memory to store up to five profiles, each of which can define its own key bindings, DPI settings and RGB colour schemes. A button on the base of the mouse lets you switch between these profiles on the fly, and a small light beside the button glows a different colour depending on which profile you have selected.

Razer Basilisk V2

Verdict

The Razer Basilisk V2 is far more than a simple revision. With its comfortable and ergonomic grip, light yet sturdy design and top-tier performance, it is clear proof that Razer refuses to rest on its laurels despite its strong market position. The wide array of customisation options only makes the Basilisk V2 more appealing to a wider range of gamers, whether you're a casual player looking for more comfort and control or a pro wanting premium performance and reliability.

Pricing and availability

The Razer Basilisk V2 retails for $159.95 and is available directly through Razer's website.

Razer Basilisk V2 Gaming Mouse

Razer Basilisk V2 Gaming Mouse from Razer

With higher precision, more customisation options and increased comfort, the Razer Basilisk V2 is an excellent update to the original Basilisk gaming mouse. Grab one today from Razer's online store.

View details

Specifications

Sensitivity

Physical dimensions

Features

Maximum DPI 20,000
Polling Rate 1,000Hz
Number of Buttons 11
Length 130mm
Width 60mm
Height 42mm
Weight 92g
Cable Length 2.1m
Wireless No
RGB Lighting Yes
Connection Type USB

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