Customising the mouse: Razer Synapse
As with most modern Razer peripherals, the Razer Basilisk utilises the Razer Synapse software suite for its driver and configuration tool.
Razer Synapse 3 has received a makeover since version 2 and one of the key features is its support for ‘hybrid’ Synapse devices (such as the Razer Basilisk we are reviewing today) that allows for profiles to be created and stored on the cloud (as you could with Synapse v2) but also stored locally on the device’s on-board memory so that key customisation, macros, lighting configuration, sensitivity, etc can be transferred to another system without the need for additional installations.
Razer Synapse allows you to create an account, login and save all your configuration to the cloud. If you were to lose your OS / upgrade your PC / login to a different PC with Razer Synapse installed (e.g. an internet gaming cafe for example), all your configuration is instantly retrieved and applied to your device(s).
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the various menus available to the Razer Basilisk in the Razer Synapse v3 beta software.
Upon installing the software, a welcome screen appears to walk you through the new features in Razer Synapse v3:
Devices are now categorised by type (such as Keyboard, Mouse etc…) and bundled into these tabs rather than lined up at the bottom of the window as they were in Synapse v2:
The profiles section consolidates all your devices’ profiles and Chroma Lighting configurations into the same area rather than have discrete copies per individual device:
Finally the ‘dashboard’ is the new landing area / ‘home’ screen that acts as a launch pad to get the various other screens in Razer Synapse v3:
The Synapse -> Dashboard home screen shows the various supported Razer peripherals which are connected and also, new to Razer Synapse v3, the various ‘modules’ which are currently installed and available for the application:
Moving to the Synapse -> Modules screen, we see that Synapse v3 has been designed to be modular from the ground up. For example, the Chroma function is now an optional module that can be uninstalled and the application also allows for 3rd party integration (such as Philips Hue) to be installed:
Under the Mouse -> Customise tab, the Razer’s Basilisk’s buttons (left, middle, right, scroll wheel, sensitivity up / down buttons, two side buttons and clutch) can be re-configured as you choose. For example, you can bind the two ‘sensitivity stage up/down’ buttons to another function (if you don’t frequently use these) to keyboard presses such as F11 and F12 so that you can use these as extra bindings in games.
Once you have configured a profile, it can be saved in the ‘all profiles’ section to save to the cloud / your Razer Synapse account or dragged onto one of the 4 coloured ‘slots’ in the upper right to save to the device’s on-board memory:
Razer Synapse v3 features a modern, sleek interface that ‘slides’ out from the sides temporarily as you are configuring various functions and then automatically hides itself once you have saved a particular configuration; a nice touch:
Moving to the all-important Mouse -> Performance tab, the sensitivity, acceleration and polling rate can all be configured. In addition, you can even un-link the X and Y sensitivity to have different sensitivities on your vertical and horizontal movements if you wish.
Lastly, all these settings can be linked to multiple different profiles (so for example you could have a different setup for FPS and RTS games) or linked to certain programs / executables to automatically apply upon startup:
Heading over to the Mouse -> Lighting section should be on the agenda of every case modder out there. As with most Razer Chroma devices, the level of lighting customisation available to the Razer Basilisk does not disappoint.
The Razer Basilisk has several ‘off the shelf’ effects (static, breathing, reactive, spectrum cycling or none) and provides over 16 million choices of colour, brightness, ability to apply the same scheme to your other Chroma peripherals and option to switch off lighting when you switch your monitor off:
As with some other advanced Razer mice (such as the Razer Diamondback) the Razer Basilisk has the ability to utilise fully customise its RGB lighting scheme. However, in the case of Razer Synapse v3, this has now been consolidated into a new section called Razer Chroma Studio (accessible by clicking on the ‘Advanced Effects’ button in the screen above or going to Chroma -> Studio from the top tabs) allowing for a virtually unlimited amount of customisation effects to be applied across your entire range of Razer peripherals in one convenient section.
This is a significant improvement over Synapse v2 where the settings had to be applied on a per-device basis and therefore makes the RGB lighting configuration faster and more intuitive as a result:
The next sub-tab under the Mouse menu is the Mouse -> Calibration menu. This section of the Razer Synapse software allows you to calibrate the mouse to either a pre-defined set of Razer mouse mats or to set it up against your own mat.
In addition to the sensor calibration, you can also configure the ‘liftoff range’ which determines the distance away from the mouse mat that the sensor will stop tracking when you lift and replace the mouse towards the centre of the mat (which can be useful to reduce the unwanted tracking associated with lifting the mouse).
Under the Profiles -> Devices section, Razer Synapse v3 has consolidated all the device and lighting profiles into a single section for ease of management:
Each profile then can be attached to a particular game by clicking the Linked Games + button above which takes you to the Profiles -> Linked Games section which is much more intuitive than Synapse v2:
Under the Chroma -> Apps section, a list of Chroma-enabled games with specialised effects can be found. The Chroma Apps section is a very interesting feature which allows you to integrate your device with ‘profiles’ that the game developer has created for Razer to distribute with their games.
For example, if you play Overwatch, your Chroma devices will change colour to the hero you have selected (e.g. Red for McCree, Pink to Zarya, etc), certain keys (like ‘H’ to switch hero) will pulse when you are in the spawn and there is a ‘flash’ sweeping effect when you are on the hero selection screen.
This feature is enabled menu via Chroma Apps on/off slider on this screen, however in this version of synapse, these effects can easily toggled on a per individual title basis rather than simply globally:
Under the Hue -> Home section of the software, assuming the module is installed, you now can configure Philips Hue lighting effects to synchronise with Razer Chroma – an excellent addition to the Synapse suite:
The last major section, assuming the module is installed for Razer Synapse v3, is the Macros area. This section allows you to record a variety of sequence combinations if you wish to automate parts of your gaming experience:
Razer Synapse v3 offers a significant upgrade to V2 and feels more integrated and modular than ever before – a significant achievement from the Razer engineers. With the configuration software covered, we’ll move onto the meat and potatoes of the review – the performance section. Let’s see how the Razer Basilisk performs…
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