Razer Basilisk Quartz Review
When you think ‘Razer gaming mouse’ you’re probably thinking of the DeathAdder, and while that mouse has (rightfully) carved its own name in the history books of gaming it’s far from the only mouse that the company makes.
The Basilisk has been out for some time now, but it still offers some very interesting features. It has all the internals you’d expect from a top gaming mouse and ups the ante by offering a special extra (configurable) clutch button on the side, as well as a scroll wheel that can be configured to be as stiff or loose as you want it to be.
Are these added features worth it or is this mouse, much like the Harry Potter serpent that carries the same name, something you should avoid looking at? Our reviewer tested the Razer Basilisk Quartz to answer all that and more.
“The Razer Basilisk is the ultimate FPS mouse”Razer, on their website
Razer Basilisk Quartz – First Impressions
The model I’m reviewing is the Razer Store exclusive Quartz edition. Attentive readers will probably already have guessed that Quartz, in this case, stands for ‘pink’ and that’s obviously the first thing that people will notice when they check out the Basilisk. As I’ve said tons of times before: the looks of my gaming gear isn’t something that I’m very concerned about so the color isn’t a deal breaker at all to me, but if it is to you there’s always the regular Basilisk which comes in the standard Razer black. Nothing’s changed between the regular version and the Quartz version as far as I can tell and read (except for the feel of the coating) so feel free to go for whichever one you like best.
The mouse is finished with a Razer logo on the back of the unit which, when not lit up, looks like it’s just printed onto the shell but lights up beautifully once you turn on the RGB lighting. The RGB lighting is by far the least important aspect of a good mouse, but I thought I’d mention it here since it really looks pretty nice when turned on.
The biggest eye catcher here is the ambidextrous shape coupled with a rubberized thumb rest. Not too many mice offer that kind of shape (Logitech’s G502 is another one that comes to mind) so it’s nice that Razer has thought of the people who like their thumb to stay off of the pad. To me a mouse with a thumb rest always has that kind of ‘clunky’ office mouse look, and the weight of the Basilisk seems to support that preconception.
When I put this mouse on the scale I got to 105 grams. That’s not super heavy by any means, but people who are on a quest to find the lightest mouse available should definitely skip this one. That’s not to say it’s a brick though. Some people seem to think that once a mouse crosses the 100 gram threshold it becomes this unwieldy fridge of a product, but to me the Basilisk handled just fine, even though I personally prefer lighter mice.
Inside the box (which looks pretty nice and is devoid of any crazy marketing lingo) you will find the mouse along with the usual documentation, two Razer stickers, an additional (shorter) clutch button, and a little piece that will cover up the space where the clutch button is supposed to sit in case you want to go completely without it.
I do wish that they had included some small box or storage option for the two additional clutch pieces though. They’re pretty small and easy to lose, so having even a very basic and rudimentary plastic container or something like that to store them in would lower the risk of them being lost somewhere. It’s an extremely minor complaint and you can obviously keep them stored in the original packaging, but it would be nice to see them include another option as well.
Size & Dimensions
Shape and finish
It’s quite obvious that the Basilisk is an ergonomic mouse, but if you ignore the thumb rest (which would disqualify this mouse from the get-go for some people) this is actually a pretty safe design. The back is pretty much level, and the further forward you go the more the mouse starts sloping to the right. The left mouse button has some pretty noticeable curvature to it but it doesn’t really force your finger to click on one ‘ideal spot’ so all things considered this mouse is extremely comfortable.
Due to the ergonomic design the comfort of this mouse will very much depend on your hand size and grip style, but for me (my hands are 18.5×10.2 cm and I use a hybrid grip which leans predominantly towards claw) it’s damn near perfect. If you’re not a palmer (the mouse is too small for me to comfortably palm it) you’ll love this shape if your hands are around the same size as mine, give or take a centimeter or two, but more on the grip later in this review.
The Basilisk Quartz has a matte finish and the shell itself actually feels almost powdery to the touch. It handles nicely (and sweat is no issue either) but most of the actual gripping will be done on the sides, where the Basilisk has rubber elements. As you may know I’m a fan of rubber(ized) sides so I do like the fact that they’ve included them here. There are grooves in the rubber elements which do aid a little with picking the mouse up, but as a trade off they are a skin/oil buildup magnet, so be ready to clean them out semi-regularly if those things bother you.
The two side buttons are in an excellent position and while I found them a bit hard to distinguish during intense gameplay at first I got used to it after a while, so no issues there. The standout feature here is obviously the little DPI clutch button (commonly referred to as a ‘sniper button’) on the left side of the mouse. I never use these ingame but I have to say that this customizable sort of lever is a really clever and intuitive solution. Due to the two different available sizes you can adjust it so that it’s not in the way during gaming and it feels noticeably different from the regular side buttons, meaning you won’t accidentally press it. Don’t like the DPI clutch? Just get rid of it. Replacing the individual pieces literally takes two seconds.
On the bottom you’ll find three large mouse feet (two on either end of the mouse and one below the thumb rest) which provide a very nice and controlled glide straight out of the box.
Buttons and scroll wheel
The Basilisk Quartz has Razer’s own switches which were co-developed with Omron. These provide a satisfying click and are easy enough to press. For me these are just what they need to be; not too hard to press and not too light either. The right mouse button does sound a bit different, but as long as the difference is only audible it’s absolutely not a problem to me.
What is a bit of a problem is the fact that the right button angles down so low that the edge of it touches the part where people with larger hands than me (or a different grip style) might hold the mouse, which will lead to them feeling the right button ‘pass’ their holding fingers every time it’s pressed. I didn’t have that problem when I was testing the mouse with my usual grip, but I did notice this when I was trying out other grip styles. It doesn’t interfere with performance (at least not for me) but I can imagine this getting annoying for some people, though I suppose one could argue that if you need to grip the mouse that far up it’s too small for your hands anyway.
I’ve already gone over the (fantastic) DPI clutch button, and the other customizable aspect of this mouse is the scroll wheel. On the bottom of the Basilisk there’s a little wheel where you can adjust the scroll wheel resistance; you can go from feeling almost no steps and resistance to a very heavy and defined wheel, and I really love this feature. Not because of the fact that I’m switching between different levels of resistance all the time (I’m not) but because the resistance of a scroll wheel is something that’s completely down to personal preference, and making it so that the scroll wheel isn’t something that you need to worry about when considering a mouse is a great move.
The wheel itself feels good to use all the way through; the textured rubber on top helps with grip and the steps (if you choose to have them) feel accurate and nicely defined. Right underneath said wheel you’ll find two DPI buttons. They do what they have to and are placed so that they stay out of the way unless you actually want to press them.
The main side buttons offer a nice and crispy response with very little travel time, and the DPI clutch is remarkably sturdy given how easy it is to remove it. I tried to press it or reach for it in multiple ways to see if there’s a chance of the button coming off during regular gameplay but it stayed put the entire time, so kudos for that.
Quality and cable
With some of these bells and whistles you might expect the Basilisk to sound as if you’re shaking a tin can full of nails when you’re moving it around, but that isn’t the case. During normal usage you don’t feel or hear anything moving inside of the shell, and it also stayed completely silent while I was squeezing it from all angles.
I will say that you can definitely hear the scroll wheel move when you shake the mouse vertically, but I never had that during gaming. Unless you lift up your mouse extremely aggressively and really high when you’re adjusting it you’ll also never get to hear the scroll wheel moving, since it’s only audible when you shake it vertically as opposed to horizontally.
The cable on the Basilisk Quartz is one of the better stock cables out there, in my opinion. It’s braided, but thin and flexible and it’s certainly usable even without a bungee. It’s also quite long (at 2.1 meters) so that’s good to know for people who have their PC quite far from their main gaming area, or for people who often find themselves at LANs where it’s not possible to know how far you’ll be sitting from the PC.
Performance and sensor
The Basilisk contains Razer’s 5G sensor, which is basically their own version of the 3389. It’s a flawless sensor, and as expected it performs up to par. There’s no acceleration, jittering, or any sort of snapping, nor does it do any other sort of predicting. Whatever you do on your mousepad will be translated to the game flawlessly by the Razer Basilisk Quartz.
The Basilisk can store up to four different profiles on the device itself. Every profile gets assigned a different color and you can switch between them with a button that’s located on the bottom of the mouse. This is really handy for people who go to LANs a lot or tend to game away from their main PC frequently, as it saves you from having to install Razer Synapse every time you’re playing somewhere else.
I do recommend installing Razer Synapse (even if just for a while) when you’re first using this device, for a number of reasons. The software allows you to record macros, change the RGB lighting and do surface tuning to start with, but more importantly the default DPI steps on the Basilisk are a bit strange. Straight out of the box the different DPI profiles are 800, 1800, 4500, 9000, and 16000. I would have loved to see more conservative 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 steps in order to make this mouse truly plug and play but this is a very small criticism, as customizing this in the software is such an easy task.
The Basilisk Quartz is a medium sized ambidextrous mouse. Some people will avoid it like the plague due to the thumb rest but if you like thumb rests (or don’t mind them) it’s an extremely comfortable shape which will suit a variety of grip types.
You’d need pretty small hands in order to comfortably palm this (doubly so if you would be annoyed by the right button potentially rubbing against your holding finger) so if your hands are above 18cm in length I would strongly recommend you to try out this shape in real life first. These things are all very subjective, so take that size with a serious grain of salt.
If you’re looking for an ergonomic mouse with a thumb rest and you use a claw or fingertip grip this should definitely pique your interest. The shape is honestly supremely comfortable and my aim didn’t suffer at all throughout my testing period, despite my preference for mice on the lighter end of the spectrum.
Conclusion & Recommendation
I already know that some people are going to immediately denounce this mouse because of the weight and the ‘gimmicks,’ but I think that that’s unfair. Different people prefer different things, and I’m certainly convinced that the Basilisk Quartz could be the ideal mouse for a lot of people out there.
It has a supremely comfortable ergonomic shape, great cable, flawless sensor, and great clicks.
There are plenty of gaming mice offering just that, so the Basilisk ups the ante by giving you a (configurable) DPI clutch button that’s absolutely amazing and a configurable scroll wheel. It all works really well and comes packaged in a well-built and reliable mouse.
There are obviously drawbacks: it’s definitely a bit on the heavier side (at least it is when comparing it to other popular FPS mice) and the right button has a chance of rubbing up against your finger if you grip the mouse too far up, but aside from that most of these things are a question of preference.
Is it the ultimate FPS gaming mouse, like Razer claims it to be? No, not according to me. It’s impossible to create a mouse that pleases everyone out there, but the Basilisk definitely has enough going for it to please a lot of people out there.
If you’re a fan of heavier mice and/or you’re looking for an ergonomic mouse (maybe with a thumb rest) and a sniper button this should have a high chance of ending up on your desk.