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Razer’s Basilisk gaming mouse successfully hones in on first-person shooters

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A gaming mouse isn’t always just a gaming mouse. Take Razer’s new Basilisk. The PC gaming gear company built it specifically for first-person shooter games. It’ll work with everything else, but it has specialized features to maximize its performance for the likes of Battlefield 1. And if those are the games you play most of the time, you should probably consider something like the Basilisk.

The Razer Basilisk is available now for $70.

What you’ll like

Comfortable, high-quality design

The Basilisk is a delight to use because of how comfortable it is. It has a similar design to the excellent DeathAdder Elite, and like that mouse, the Basilisk fits sugly into my palm without me having to overextend my fingers. But Razer has tweaked this design with a thumb rest. This makes it easier for you to stay right on top of your extra mouse buttons as well as the new sensitivity clutch.

The design in this mouse extends to the scroll wheel and the sensor. Razer built a dial that enables you to turn the scroll-wheel resistance up or down to your liking. After fiddling with this for a while, I was able to get the wheel to adapt to me instead of forcing my index finger to adjust to the wheel. It tracks with a 5G optical sensor, which is still far more advanced than equivalent laser sensors. It’s the same Pixart PMW3389 sensor that is in the DeathAdder Elite, and it is widely regarded as one of the best optical trackers you can get in a mouse.

Above: The Razer Basilisk.

Image Credit: Razer

Sensitivity clutch

The real standout feature here, however, is the clutch. Most gaming mice these days come with a built-in way to adjust your sensitivity on the fly. The Basilisk has that on its back in the form of two buttons that enable you to bring up your various predetermined sensitivity settings. The clutch is different however in that it will only activate a separate CPI (counts per inch) setting while you are actively pressing it. As soon as you let go, the mouse will bounce back to your default CPI.

This is vital for a first-person shooter game because some times — like when you’re looking down the barrel of a sniper rifle — you want those exact controls. But if someone sneaks up behind you in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, you don’t want to have to scroll through your sensitivity options to have a chance to survive. With the clutch, you can just let go and then spin around and aim at the close-range opponent like you normally would.

Razer has made the clutch feel great, and it’s easy to get to. You can keep your thumb just off the clutch at all times thanks to the rest pad. And the lever itself has a great mechanical feel where you know exactly when you activated and deactivated it.

What you won’t like

Thumb rest can cause inadvertent clicks

The only issue with the Basilisk is that keeping your thumb on the rest means you will risk accidentally hitting those side mouse buttons. This is less of an issue during gameplay depending on what actions you bind to mouse-button 3 and mouse-button 4. Instead, this causes me the most headaches when I’m working. These buttons often default to something like Back in a browser, and it is frustrating to graze the side of the Basilisk and then suddenly find that your Pizzahut.com order is gone.

Conclusion

I think we’re in a golden age for the gaming mouse. Pixart’s optical sensors are incredible and everyone is using them, and having that guaranteed performance is enabling the hardware manufacturers to specialize. Razer is responding to that with products like the Basilisk that I think do enough to recommend for anyone who spends the majority of their game time in Counter-Strike, PUBG, or any other shooter.

Razer provided the Basilisk for the purposes of this review. It is available now for $70.

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel®‘s Game Dev program.

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