Today we are going to explore the weird and wide world of Razer’s many Basilisk mice. There are currently five models available and we are going to try and break down exactly why there are that many models and what’s the difference between them all.
The Basilisk is my current favourite large body mouse and it’s even more comfortable to me than the iconic DeathAdder. It is kind of weird that I’m very comfortable playing with the tiny Cooler Master MM711 mouse and have a very similar play style and comfort with the much larger Basilisk Ultimate. For FPS games I still prefer the Viper lineup because of its fantastic shape and unique optical switches, but the Basilisk has more options to choose from.
First of all, I want to address some of the early frustrations that emerged as I started doing research on why so many Basilisk mice exist. Even on the Razer’s site you can only find three models on the Basilisk lineup page, while the Essential and the original Basilisk are no longer listed but are still for sale. Above you can see the current prices, with the regular Basilisk being cheaper than the Essential, which I find odd. This price range is actually pretty competitive, which for Razer is unusual and definitely good praiseworthy. The Basilisk X HyperSpeed and the Ultimate are two wireless options. It’s cool how on the Hyperspeed we have Bluetooth and 2.4GHz mode when used with the dongle, and it has pretty substantial battery life for a performance mouse. The Ultimate is the fancy pants models with a charging dock, illumination, and a slightly heavier body.
In terms of weight, it is kind of all over the place. None of these are lightweight mice by current market standards, but both the V2 and the Essential feel very nicely balanced for their body size. While the X HyperSpeed is around 90 grams it feels very back heavy because of that battery. Now shape wise the three latest mice share the same body, which is very Logitech G502-like, but with a less aggressive curve on the right that I find more comfortable. They have a great flaring on the left for the thumb and primary switches that are not too high. The two older models have the same body, but with a different thumb texture and a wider frame that is very comfortable for day-to-day use and perhaps slower pace gaming. I personally would not choose this shape for FPS gaming.
All of these mice except for the X HyperSpeed have some form of RGB illumination, either in the logo and/or the scroll wheel. The one unique element on all these mice – except again for the X HyperSpeed – is the new paddle switch in front of your thumb. It is taking the original sniper button concept and evolving it. It is removable on all the mice if you don’t plan to use it, but it’s perfectly in reach with a soft light click that you can macro anything you want to. Frankly, I love this feature. Another unique element on the Basilisk is the option to adjust scroll resistance on the original Basilisk, the V2, and the Ultimate. You can either make the scroll steps really defined and kind of hard to maneuver or you can completely smooth the rotation. I know it sounds like a marketing gimmick, but it is actually one of the coolest features. Just be aware it does not have the infinite scrolling feature like we have on Logitech mice.
And another substantial difference between the mice are the switches. The V2 and the Ultimate have Razer’s optical switches that eliminate debounce and are rated at 17 million clicks, while the Essential, the original Basilisk, and the X HyperSpeed all have regular mechanical switches rated at 50 million clicks. Surprisingly the regular mechanical feel more tactile, I prefer it that way. The optical switches feel a little bit softer, but they do have less travel distance which is also very nice.
The new V2 and Ultimate mice also get the new excellent speedflex cable. It’s more important for the V2 of course. You can easily feel how much softer and more flexible the new cable is versus the old braided one on the original Basilisk and the Essential. The same goes for the mouse feet, 100% PTFE on the V2 and the Ultimate giving us really smooth glide and standard stock feet on all other mice.
Finally, sensor differences are pretty substantial from a technical standpoint, but not so much from a user perspective. They range from 6,400 DPI to 20,000 DPI with the latest Focus+ sensor, but to be honest the only difference between the low-end Essential and the high-end Ultimate is the lift off distance. For example, with the Essential mouse the lift off distance is a bit too high by default, but all of the mice have surface calibration, which is amazing. It will automatically lower the surface distance based on your mouse mat, but the higher-end models even have precise adjustment in millimeters for lift off distance, which is great.
Above you can see the entire breakdown of the Basilisk family and all of their features. The V2 is clearly the best value given its comfortable shape and
all the latest tech that’s packed inside the mouse. However, what surprised me the most was the original Basilisk at $39 USD. It has a good sensor, scroll wheel resistance, a comfortable shape, and the paddle button too. This is my recommendation for a large mouse that does not disappoint. It is clear that the Basilisk Ultimate is Razer’s collection of best features, which is obviously reflected in its price point, but it is also there to compete with the Logitech G502 Lightspeed.
The Essential almost feels too basic and non-relevant at its current price point because it is more expensive than the original Basilisk and has less features. The last of them is the X HyperSpeed, which is an impressive mouse because it is an absolutely amazing battery life. It is a really good substitute for the Ultimate if you don’t care for the bling. Hopefully this has been helpful in deciphering the Basilisk equation, Razer has done very well with this lineup. I’m quite impressed with all the available options, except for the Essential, that model doesn’t need to exist.