High-End Mouse for FPS Gamers
Razer are pumping out new gaming mice faster than ever before. The latest addition to their line-up is the Basilisk, a high-end mouse designed specifically for first-person shooter gaming. At $69.99, it’s in the upper end of wired mouse pricing, but for that price you get unique features and top-end hardware.
Let’s talk about the hardware first.
Like many flagship gaming mice, the Basilisk uses an optical sensor with a maximum DPI of 16,000, the ability to track up to 450 inches per second, and 1000 Hz polling. The switches are Razer/Omron mechanical switches, rated for up to 50 million clicks. At 107 grams, the Basilisk is a typical, moderate weight for a wired mouse.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this sensor: the same one is used in the wired Razer Lancehead. It’s an excellent sensor, with accurate tracking, a ludicrously high and basically unusable maximum DPI setting, and resistance to spin out errors. Low speed tracking is precise, and consistency of tracking in both straight lines and at angles is very good. The result is a mouse that performs largely without error in gaming situations.
I still don’t know how anyone could use a mouse at 16,000 DPI though. I used the Basilisk mostly around the 2,000 DPI mark, and even double that DPI is a challenge for me. 16,000 DPI? Well, approximately 4mm of movement sends the cursor from edge to edge of my 1440p ultrawide monitor.
Most aspects to this mouse’s design are not new or revolutionary, but it is designed for a certain type of user. The key feature here is the thumb rest, which I am a fan of, and a slightly curved design intended for right-handed users. The left click button is concave to capture your finger in a comfortable way, while the right click button slopes away to make the mouse easier to hold.
The arch isn’t as high as some mice like the DeathAdder, but it’s not flat either, which leads to a design I found to be very comfortable. The more aggressive curves of the DeathAdder are still my preference, though I can happily use the Basilisk for long periods without any comfort issues.
The construction of this mouse is great and assists with usability. The left and right sides are large sections of grooved rubber, while the main body is made from a smooth, matte plastic. Each main click button is a separate section of plastic, while the scroll wheel is raised quite prominently. On the base of the mouse are several large slide pads, assisting the mouse as it glides smoothly across most surfaces.
And this wouldn’t be a Razer product without RGB, so the Basilisk supports Chroma RGB in two sections: the main logo on the palm rest, and around the scroll wheel. As usual, you can customize everything using Razer’s Synapse utility.
The sniper clutch is an interesting and unique feature about this mouse.
The Basilisk is an eight-button mouse: left/right/scroll click, back and forward buttons on the left side, DPI buttons below the scroll wheel, and an additional sniper clutch that I’ll discuss further in a moment. The main mouse buttons have a solid, dependable click to them, while the scroll click has a bit of loose travel before it activates. The left forward/back buttons are very good with a deep yet satisfying click. The DPI buttons are hard to hit accidentally, which is good, though their position makes them less suitable for quick access in games. Every button is fully programmable.
The sniper clutch is an interesting and unique feature about this mouse. Sniper buttons themselves aren’t new, it’s something a handful of mice have included in the past, so FPS gamers can quickly ramp down the DPI to its lowest setting. When you want to snipe, you can press the sniper button for much better accuracy from normal mouse movements, then unpress the button later for regular gameplay. Having this sort of button does come in handy quite often if you play FPS games as a sniper.
The main issue with a lot of sniper buttons is that they get in the way of normal use and general comfort. With the Basilisk, however, the clutch design to the sniper button allows the mouse to remain comfortable during everyday usage, but the button is still close enough to your thumb that it’s easily accessible. And the clutch actuation has been designed in such a way that a natural, comfortable thumb movement can activate the sniper mode, while preventing accidental activations.
The best part of the sniper clutch is its customizability. The button can be replaced with two other options: a shorter clutch variant, or a stopper that disables the button entirely. If you find the clutch is getting in the way, this allows you to change it out to something that is more comfortable.
The other aspect to this mouse that can be customized is the scroll wheel. The Basilisk includes an adjustable resistance wheel on the bottom of the mouse, which can transform the scroll wheel from an extremely clicky wheel, to something fully smooth. Lots of people love smooth scroll wheels, but most mice don’t come with smooth scrolls, so it’s neat to see this feature added on the Basilisk.
Several aspects to the mouse can be customized using Razer's Synapse 3.0 software, which is a pretty decent utility made even better in its latest iteration. Synapse allows you to customize the buttons, set the RGB lighting, change the DPI, and even calibrate the mouse for different mousepads. Oh, and there's support for macros as well.
For $70, the Basilisk is essentially the complete package for FPS gamers. If you like this sort of mouse design, it’s hard to think of what more Razer could add to improve the experience. The 16,000 DPI optical sensor is excellent, the selection of buttons is great (especially the customizable sniper clutch), there’s RGB support, and adjustable scroll resistance. Perhaps the only thing this mouse lacks is weight adjustment, but even without that feature, it’s an excellent option.