Razer Basilisk V2 Review

Razer Basilisk V2 Review

In another crack at creating the best gaming mouse, Razer updated its three-year-old Basilisk mouse this year. The Razer Basilisk V2 boasts a new sensor, more programmable buttons, and other improvements. (Don't fret, Harry Potter fans, we assume no eggs or toads were involved with the birth of this product.) 

But the Basilisk V2 has a tough act to follow, and to get there it does so with a high price ($80 at the time of writing) for what’s still a wired pointer. But this basilisk earns its keep by proving a better contender than Razer-branded competition.

Essentially, the Razer sent over an old mouse for processing, and the results speak for themselves.

Think back to 2016. Razer had a ton of success with its original Razer Kaira RGB mouse. It showcased accuracy that no other mouse could match, but priced accordingly. At $200, this was the best RGB mouse you could buy for the price, and that’s where Razer wanted the company to stay for the next few years.

Razer had the beginnings of an esports arm when it sponsored Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) teams. Less than a year later, its acquisition by Amazon opened its mouth to the CS: GO scene, and together Razer and Amazon created the second-best esports team in the world: Team Apex.

The success of Apex and the success of the Razer Kaira created a need for a Razer gaming mouse alternative. Activision Blizzard owned World of Warcraft at the time and wanted to use the world’s biggest online gaming community to create the battleground of Azeroth, which is why it built the competing game, Hearthstone, right inside of World of Warcraft.

Razer realized that Hearthstone players would enjoy having their mouse on their desk, so it put the code for this product right in the game code. You needed to download and install the Razer 

Razer Basilisk V2 Review

Mechanical Software onto your computer to use it, but once you had it installed the mouse was yours and you didn’t even have to log in.

One of the novel elements of Razer’s mouse was the onboard battery. These mice required a constant power connection to fire their laser. You could power them off, and they would go into low power mode if you put them on your desk. Battery life on a gaming mouse is the most important consideration.

This could be because of the mouse’s devices matrix. As we’ve discussed above, this matrix uses a level of programmability that separates it from the standard mouse code and makes it easy for designers to code specific actions into games. But just because the traditional method for controlling the mouse is dead doesn’t mean that developers can’t do something novel with this matrix.

This new generation of mice allowed players to change their lighting effects, and some of the new lighting effects were downright weird, like the Phoenix effect. (Before you ask, yes, Razer can make a legit galaxy.)

My favorite writing tool of all time is Microsoft Word, and if you are a writer then you know the joys of a good pen and notebook. Many writers have a few different options.

Here’s Why.

On the surface, the Razer Mechanical Green mouse looks like a direct copy of Logitech’s G Pro X. Only, it’s heavier, has a longer USB cable and some slightly different buttons, and its textured surface offers far more grip.

The design is surprisingly comparable to other gaming mice that came out in the past few years. It’s not exactly an improvement in design over the original Logitech product, but it provides a similar overall experience.

Mechanical’s green color comes from a resin blend, which can sometimes give the hardware a dusty or matte look. The finish has a reddish cast to it and would look even worse than it does in photos, so I’m mentioning it only to illustrate how different the mouse’s color is.

The ratcheting wheels have an audible click to them, and although they have a smooth action, the fabric-covered buttons offer a nice clicky-ness to their click. The colors used throughout the mouse interact nicely with the design and bring out some of the device’s details.

Razer Basilisk V2 Review

(If you’ve read our Logitech G Pro X review yet, you might want to skip ahead to this section.)

As we’ve discussed, Logitech’s G Pro X is a solid mouse for gamers who want a good long-lasting device. The nearly $80 mechanical mouse offers many useful features, including 7 programmable buttons, a large, simulated scrolling wheel that’s customizable thanks to button combinations, and 2m of braided USB cable.

The keys on the mouse feel nice, though I wish the scroll wheel had more travel and the button placement was more comfortable. Despite those complaints, the G Pro X isn’t a bad mouse by any means, and the extra features the price tag affords the user are worth the money. Blocking lag is very important to long-term comfort and response.

Razer, on the other hand, has made a name for itself creating premium-feeling gaming peripherals — and the company’s mice aren’t exactly cheap. The 20 percent larger thumb buttons on Razer’s new Razer Chroma mouse (coming in at $180) offer a bit more clicky-ness than the buttons on the G Pro X, and although it’s springy, it offers a nice long-lasting feeling.

The ergonomic shape and cantilevered thumb tread offer some additional comfort as you click and scroll. The redesigned cursor has a vaguely snake-like motion and doubles as Razer’s pointer that’s been programmable through a user’s profile. With a large cast “grip” at the front, you can push down on the left side of the mouse to undo many of your hard-to-reach macro memorizations — reactivating the functionality you once lost.

The Details

The design borrows liberally from the gaming giant’s own lineup, with a minimal backlight to keep in line with the stealthy design behind the Arctis lineup. There are three profiles: gaming, balanced, and performance. Underneath the profiles are individual buttons that can be customized in the software.

The mouse has five programmable buttons on the side of the mouse, four DPI settings (low, medium, and high), and two thumb buttons. The buttons aren’t programmable on the fly but can be assigned to any macro you’d like.

The directional sensitivity has also been increased from 350 to 1000DPI, which the mouse gold medalists Logitech and Steelseries already offer. But of course, the most important feature is that programmability.

The mouse supports over 1,000 AA batteries and claims to last up to 17 hours on continuous use. The battery life promises to be around 11 hours with hard use.

Multi-Profile Support

By far the most expansive feature of the mouse is the ability to switch from one profile to another in about 20 seconds. In my tests, this feature enabled me to switch from backlit mouse movement to a standard Windows desktop without any plug-ins. 

Not only does this feature make it much easier to design tailored gaming profiles, but also saves a bunch of time if you’re planning to work from home or venture away from your desk. I rarely ever use my mouse when I'm away from my desk, so backlighting the subtle buttons and switches actually helps me use the mouse efficiently because I’m more conscious of its position.

One millimeter of horizontal and vertical scrolling on the left and right side of the mouse gives all those button configurations some meaty real estate. The switches are all easily programmable and don’t jitter when you move your mouse. 

Razer Basilisk V2 Review

Programming in profiles is challenging, with a lot of options that have to be rearranged. Some of the click options are easy, others require some serious rearranging. The mouse software that comes with the mouse only lets you set up a few blank profiles, so no big surprise if you aren’t satisfied with the profiles you chose. The software is also highly configurable through mouse profiles for macros and over-automatic, but it clearly is not customizable enough to be truly customizable.

Razer’s software also makes changing profile selection a pain. Basically, every profile is “off” when you purchase the mouse, meaning you can’t change it before you serialize it. You’re really only allowed to reprogram profiles one at a time.