Is Razer ush­er­ing in a ro­dent rev­o­lu­tion, or just a squeaky clean revamp?


AP­PAR­ENTLY, THIS IS the world’s most ad­vanced FPS gam­ing mouse. It prob­a­bly says a lot about the level at which we play FPS games, that we strug­gle to imag­ine how pe­riph­eral ad­vance­ments might mean­ing­fully en­rich the ex­pe­ri­ence, but Razer’s armed its lat­est Basilisk with an arse­nal of impressive specs to make that ar­gu­ment para­mount. This $70 mouse has a max sen­si­tiv­ity of 16,000 dpi, a re­mov­able clutch tucked un­der the LMB to bring that DPI right down for pre­cise aim­ing, cus­tom­iz­a­ble RGB light­ing (of course), and even a scroll wheel ten­sion ad­just­ment. Cru­cially, it doesn’t feel over-de­signed.

If gam­ing mice are guilty of any­thing, it’s that. En­tire key­boards nuz­zled away by the thumb rest. On-the-fly di­men­sion ad­just­ments. Teeny-weeny weights that spill over your desk, and make fam­ily mem­bers sus­pect you’re a drug dealer. Mice sim­ply don’t need a lot go­ing on in or­der to func­tion well, so con­grat­u­la­tions to Razer for keep­ing the ap­pear­ance and op­er­a­tion of the Basilisk nice and sim­ple.

This isn’t an am­bidex­trous model, so as­sum­ing you’re a righty, it’s a par­tic­u­larly com­fort­able mouse for palm grip, and per­fectly ac­cept­able for the claw, too. Those who like to float around by fin­ger­tip grip might find the thumb rest a lit­tle awk­ward, though. We’re not en­am­ored by the rub­ber­ized fin­ish on the sides of this model, and al­ready a dis­con­cert­ing buildup of hand scum is start­ing to ac­cu­mu­late in the grooves there. Per­haps keep­ing the build ma­te­ri­als uni­form across the chas­sis might have made for a cleaner and more aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing Basilisk.

Still, any points lost due to those rub­ber sides are gained right back by the ad­justable scroll wheel ten­sion. It sounds like a lit­tle, in­ci­den­tal de­tail. All right, it ab­so­lutely is that. But if you’re play­ing awk­ward games like MySum­merCar, in which screw­ing in bolts us­ing the mouse wheel con­sti­tutes a large part of the ex­pe­ri­ence, having a fastscrolling ro­dent is a boon. Sim­ply ad­just a se­cret, extra wheel on the un­der­side of your mouse to ad­just to taste. Even at min­i­mum ten­sion, it doesn’t free-wheel like a Log­itech mouse, how­ever, which is a bit dis­ap­point­ing—just a note for the wheel afi­ciona­dos. A word on the clutch: It’s smart and com­fort­able, and it works well. It’s held in place mag­net­i­cally, so you can pop it out and give your thumb more room if you find you’re not us­ing it. A wellex­e­cuted bit of de­sign from the Xbox One Elite con­troller play­book.


In terms of per­for­mance and ac­cu­racy, it’s one of the smoothest and most re­li­able track­ers we’ve tested, and, as such, it is in­deed ideal for FPS use. We’re not sure how many peo­ple will use that in­sane 16,000 dpi set­ting in-game, but we’re guess­ing we’ll be able to dis­cern them from the crowd by the fact they’re spin­ning like a gy­ro­scope at all times. DPI can be ad­justed in a snap us­ing the two but­tons south of the mouse wheel, and as you’d ex­pect, you can ad­just the five dif­fer­ent gra­di­ents us­ing Razer’s own soft­ware.

Right, yes. The soft­ware. This won’t be the first or the last time Razer is chas­tised for this, but sub­mit­ting an email ad­dress in or­der to cre­ate a Razer ac­count just so you can change the color scheme of your mouse isn’t ac­cept­able. Stop do­ing this. Cor­sair doesn’t do it. SteelSeries doesn’t do it. Stop it, OK? OK. Ex­cept for that is­sue, the Sy­napse soft­ware does ev­ery­thing it needs to—DPI gra­di­ent ad­just­ment, polling rate, RGB pro­files, and even cus­tom cal­i­bra­tion for use on Razer’s var­i­ous mouse mats and pads. You can save pro­files in the soft­ware, and later switch be­tween them us­ing— once again—a but­ton on the un­der­side of the Basilisk. It’s not as handy as having a but­ton some­where un­der your grip, but bet­ter that than ac­ci­den­tally press­ing it all the time mid-game, eh?

That’s a lot of nice, thought­ful fea­tures for $70, and only Razer’s soft­ware signup de­mands di­min­ish that oth­er­wise gen­er­ous pack­age. How­ever ad­vanced this Basilisk may or may not be, it’s a plea­sure to take with you into an FPS. –PHIL IWANIUK

VER­DICT 8 Razer Basilisk

RA­ZOR SHARP Com­fort­able; fea­ture-laden.

RA­ZOR BURN Soft­ware hoop-jumping. $70, www.raz­er­zone.com

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