Razer Basilisk Essential Review

This no-frills Razer gaming mouse is ideal for those on a budget

Verdict

A solid gaming mouse for entry-level gamers, but seasoned pros will be left wanting for sensitivity and features

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Slick design
  • Multi-function paddle offers more versatility
  • Razer software enables a lot of customisation

Cons

  • Low sensitivity range
  • Bare-bones features

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £49.99
  • 6400 DPI optical sensor
  • Ambidextrous ergonomic design
  • Weight: 95g

What is the Razer Basilisk Essential?

The Razer Basilisk Essential wired gaming mouse is a simple device. It doesn’t have an overwhelming number of buttons scattered all over, and it looks as basic as a gaming peripheral possibly can. Rather than glossing up this device with flashy features, in classic Razer fashion the Basilisk Essential focuses on performance and quality instead.

That’s not to say the Razer Basilisk Essential doesn’t have a few tricks up its sleeves. With Razer Chroma support, you can have the company’s logo glow up in an 16.8 million assortment of dazzling lights. Plus, with the thumb-operated multi-function paddle, you have a unique tactile option of registering yet another function.

Those features may not be enough to swing pro gamers, but for those looking to keep it simple, the Razer Basilisk Essential looks a very good option.

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Razer Basilisk Essential – Design, build and features

Coated in jet-black paint, this gaming mouse looks super-sharp and should easily fit in any gaming setup. The Razer logo on the back is so faint it’s practically invisible when the Basilisk Essential isn’t plugged in. Hook up the mouse to a computer, though, and the logo will flash up in bright colours to give the peripheral some punchy personality.

But while the black paint looks fantastic out of the box, I’m concerned the Razer Basilisk Essential will age quicker than a cigarette-puffing Benidorm sun-bather. During my two weeks of use, the Basilisk Essential has already picked a few scratches and smudges on the surface – I dread to think what state it will be in after months of day-to-day use.

Razer Basilisk Essential

The Razer Basilisk Essential looks stylish in matte black, but can look greasy after long use

The mouse is super-comfortable to use, though. Rocking the claw grip, which is angled to give your index finger better support, I played Apex Legends for multiple hours without any worry of cramping. However, the downside to this is the design is borderline useless for left-handed gamers.

At just 95g, the Basilisk Essential is so light it will effortlessly glide over your desk. Compared to other gaming mice, the Basilisk Essential is certainly on the lighter end of the scale. Some may appreciate this; others may prefer a little more heft. The Basilisk Essential could be accused of being floaty with nothing but its plastic shell contributing to its weight.

The mechanical mouse switches offer great feedback and audible clicks, so you know for sure you’ve started cooking that grenade. Other than the right and left click buttons, the only things you need to worry about up top are the scroll wheel and sensitivity switch. Personally, I’m glad of this, since gaming mice that overload the top with various buttons can quickly become overwhelming.

A textured rubber grip can be found where your thumb naturally rests. Not only does this maximise comfort, it ensures your thumb doesn’t slip off the mouse when you’re frantically whizzing the peripheral across the desk. Two easy-to-reach buttons can be found right above the grip, while a paddle can be installed in front of it.

Razer Basilisk Essential

The paddle is entirely optional, being incredibly easy to attach or remove

The paddle is completely optional, but can easily be locked into place by simply pushing it into the slot. The paddle acts as a DPI shift at default, so aiming becomes more steady – incredibly useful for snipers. If you’d rather it be used for something else, the paddle can be customised for alternative functions – I found it useful to activate running, for example. I’m a big fan of the paddle, but also commend Razer for making it an optional feature, since some may prefer a more simple and streamlined design.

The Razer Basilisk Essential plugs into your system via USB. The cable feels robust enough that it could survive a lot of twist and pulls, and is long enough that it shouldn’t put any constraints on your movement, no matter how awkward your setup.

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Razer Basilisk Essential – Performance

The Razer Basilisk Essential is reasonably sensitive at 6400 DPI. Entry-level gamers will find this plenty responsive, but seasoned pros may well think this is too sluggish. Most gaming mice see the sensor’s DPI hit around 10000 or beyond, so competitive gamers may be disappointed with the Basilisk Essential’s performance here.

Razer claims the mechanical mouse switches have a durability of 20 million clicks. I have neither the resources nor the time to put this figure to the test, but if it’s even remotely close then you’re going to have to use this mouse for a heck of a long time before you need worry about wear and tear.

In terms of general use, every button, scroll and switch were ultra-responsive with satisfying clickity feedback. An entry-level gamer shouldn’t find a single issue with performance.

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Razer Basilisk Essential – Software and lighting

One of the biggest benefits of buying a Razer gadget is the compatibility with the Razer Synapse software – and the Razer Basilisk Essential is no different. Here, you can customise the RGB colours or even configure your own macro keys/buttons.

The Razer Basilisk Essential has only the logo on the rear of the device that actually makes use of RGB lights. It’s all relatively low key – but, importantly, transports the peripheral from a bog-standard gaming mouse to something that looks slick and trendy.

Razer Basilisk Essential

Razer Synapse allows you to change the colour of the mouse’s Razer logo and set up a special effect

At default it will slowly cycle through various eye-pleasing colours, but with Razer Chroma you can change the effect. Options include “breathing” and “static”, as well as a reactive one where the mouse will light up every time you hit a button. You can also change the colour if the Razer green isn’t doing it for you. And if you want to get more wrist-deep into the customisation, you can play around with the “Advanced Effects” which offers extensive Chroma customisation.

Razer Synapse also lets you play around with the performance of the mouse. You can set the DPI for the various stages, so you can easily switch between each custom-made sensitivity with ease. This will especially come in handy if you plan on having multiple people take turns using the Razer Basilisk Essential.

Razer Basilisk Essential

Open up Razer Synapse, and you can change the functions of each button on the mouse

You can also customise each button on the mouse. Not happy with using the left-click to fire your gun? Set to use the scroll wheel instead – it might not make practical sense, but at least you have the option to do so. Hypershift also features here, which gives every button a secondary command on holding down the trigger button. I found the Basilisk Essential’s paddle to come in handy as this Hypershift trigger.

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Why buy the Razer Basilisk Essential?

At just £50, the Razer Basilisk Essential is slightly cheaper than most currently available gaming mice. With a simple design and efficient performance, it’s a great option for entry-level PC gamers.

The Razer Chroma configurability, Hypershift flexibility and attachable multi-function paddle may not be totally unique features, but they do add a splash of personality and added quality to an otherwise basic peripheral.

However, for professional gamers and those who like to have sensitivity cranked up to the max, then the Basilisk Essential’s comparatively low 6400 DPI will likely be a deal-breaker.

Verdict

A solid gaming mouse for entry-level gamers, but seasoned pros will be left wanting for more sensitivity and features.

Score