Razer Basilisk Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse Review
Does Razer’s pricey flagship have a place in 2021?
More than any other mouse in their current lineup, the Razer Basilisk Ultimate owes a big debt of gratitude both to years of Razer industrial design expertise…and to the folks over at Logitech.
You’d be forgiven at first glance for thinking that this looks exactly like Logitech’s popular G502 mouse family, which first launched in 2014. The resemblance is undeniable. However, where the Razer Orochi V2 did enough different things to not just feel like a copy of Logitech’s G305…the Basilisk’s current V2 revision is more like the Logitech model than its predecessor.
Can Razer win you over with one of the biggest feature lists in gaming? Or is it not enough to clone a popular model and put tons of lights in it?
Note: I bought this mouse with my own money at Best Buy. I don’t get a kickback if you decide to buy one. None of the links in this story are affiliate links, as I don’t believe in the practice. If you’d like to read my full reviews policy, please click here.
The Razer Basilisk Ultimate goes for a standard price of $149.99 (official site here). There’s also a bundle with Razer’s chroma mouse charging dock that’ll set you back $169.99. That’s a lot of money for a mouse, putting this at the top of Razer’s lineup and near the top end of the market. Razer has tried to justify that price by equipping the mouse with their best sensor, optical mouse switches, high quality feet, a large internal battery, a scroll wheel with fully adjustable resistance, and an incredible 14 unique lighting zones.
In the box, you get the mouse, a charging/connection cable, and the HyperSpeed Wireless dongle. The connection port for the mouse is deeply recessed and uses microUSB, so you’re probably stuck using Razer’s cable.
If you like the look of this mouse but don’t want to spend as much, there’s a couple of dramatically cheaper options. The Basilisk V2 is a wired edition that’s priced at $79.99. It loses some of the lighting zones but has essentially the same internals and features. Then for just $59.99, there’s the Basilisk X HyperSpeed, a budget wireless model that uses the same shape, but cuts all RGB, uses a cheaper sensor, features more basic mechanical switches under the buttons, and cuts the scroll wheel adjustments and the additional thumb paddle button.
I can sympathize with wanting to spend less on this. I was going to spring for the cheapest “X” version, but then Best Buy had a dramatic discount on the larger model in a bundle that included a Steam gift card. If that sale hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have stepped up to this model, and even though the feature set here is impressive and almost comically over-done…after two weeks with this mouse I think this top model is only worth it for the most die hard enthusiasts.
Razer describes this as a “medium-sized mouse,” and I think that’s charitable at best. This is a large beefy thing, and one of the larger mice available on the mainstream market. Like the G502 its shape and design are directly copied from, its as much a productivity form factor as a gaming shape. The left side of the mouse features a rubberized platform that cradles your thumb, and although you can technically hold this in a fingertip or claw grip, it’s expressly designed around a full palm hold.
All of the buttons are easy to reach with a palm grip, even the extra thumb paddle that you’ll have to clip into place yourself (as it’s not installed by default out of the box). In spite of the 107g weight, which is quite heavy in the current light-weight-obsessive market, it’s still a comfy mouse for long gaming sessions. The wireless connection and the buttons respond flawlessly, and they really do perform at the same level as a wired mouse. But then, so do the HyperSpeed dongle and mechanical buttons on the much sleeker Razer Orochi V2.
This is a mouse for those who want a big ergonomic shape and who want every possible feature box to be checked. The scroll wheel adjuster really works, and has far more steps between fully smooth and heavily notched than I could ever hope to use. I found a nice place somewhere in the middle and I’ve stuck with that for my entire time using the mouse. The paddle button is great and instead of using it as a sensitivity toggle, I assigned it to my screenshot shortcut for capturing in-game moments.
If you want the mouse with the most RGB ever, stop reading this review and go buy this right now. I’ve never seen a mouse with 14 lighting zones before the Basilisk Ultimate. It has a bright, brilliant scroll wheel light along with one under the logo. The rest of the lights all live under the mouse button edges. The left button has a ridiculous 8 unique lighting zones, and the right button has 4. You can achieve all sorts of effects and color gradients with these but it’s absolutely overkill and I think it’s probably just elevating the price of the mouse too much compared to the competition.
Still, performance- wise this mouse delivers in every way you could want it to. The internals aren’t why I’m negative on this; rather, it’s the fact that Razer makes two dramatically cheaper variants of this same shape. On top of that, this is a shape you might not even have that much interest in. As someone that spent a couple years using the G502 when it launched, this has been a little like going home, only my home has a fast wireless connection and is covered in RGB lights that I didn’t need.
If you’re not familiar with Logitech’s famous mouse lineup, then the next best comparison I can mention is the Roccat Kain. The shape, weight, and feel of the Basilisk is very similar to that mouse except for the grafted-on thumb ledge.
This mouse absolutely delivers all the overkill features that its high price demands, but I’m not entirely sure who its for. If you want a G502 but in the Razer ecosystem, you should carefully consider the cheaper versions of the Basilisk unless you desperately need the 14 lighting zones. The Basilisk X’s added Bluetooth mode makes it a potentially better fit if you want to take the mouse on the go.
Or you could get a genuine wireless G502 for the same $149 price, which comes with a couple of extra shortcut buttons on the top left the mouse. It also has a faster scroll wheel in the non-resistant mode, and Logitech’s carbon and plastic-neutral pledges behind it, as do all their “G” series gaming products.
Finally, if you’re looking for a light mouse that’s more in line with what’s popular today, then there are so many good options. The Roccat Kone Pro Air is cheaper and has a superior ergonomic shape with included Bluetooth support. It doesn’t have as many buttons, but it’s so much lighter and better suited to fast-paced games as a result. Razer’s Orochi V2 is nearly as comfortable in the hand in spite of its smaller size, and again while it doesn’t have as many buttons, it has Bluetooth and it’s much cheaper.
I understand why Razer would want to have a larger mouse in their lineup for those that want this type of shape, but I don’t understand why the Basilisk deserves to have an expensive flagship version packed with features for the sake of themselves. Recommended only for those who need the most tiny lights under their mouse buttons or for those who want a wireless G502 but don’t actually want to buy a wireless G502.