Basemap vs OnX: Which is Better?

We use our cellular phones for almost everything in today’s tech-driven environment. Phones are even a part of planning the perfect hunting trip.

It is no longer a matter of whether you use a hunting/fishing app; it is a question of which app is best for you.

Both Basemap and OnX are leaders in the world of hunting/fishing apps. But each also has advantages and disadvantages to consider. 

Comparison:

FunctionBasemapOnX
Public land mapsxx
Private land mapsxx
Offline mapsxx
3D mapsxx
Desktop appxx
Weather informationxx
Import/export dataxx
Access to multiple statesx$
Hunt Research$N/A
Rescue Feature$N/A
x – available, $ – available for a fee, N/A – not available

Basic Features 

Both apps offer almost equal access to a variety of maps. Each also allows users to select from layers that add extra information.

There are differences in quality, and quantity, but the most significant fundamental difference is how many states the app grants access to.

The basis Onx Hunt subscription required the user to pick a single state. Adding more states requires paying an extra fee. Basemap allows access to all 50 states as part of the basic subscription.

In this instance, Basemap is the better option if you plan on hunting in more than one state.

Maps and Layers

Both apps rely on their ability to offer accurate, detailed maps in the palm of your hand. Both offer a variety of views (satellite, topographic, combination, and 3D).

Both also provide layers to customize your maps. But Basemap does provide more than Onx.

Basemap is also the clear leader when it comes to graphics clarity. The lack of clarity is especially true when you zoom in for a close-up view; this is especially important when locating a landmark or navigation route.

The increased layers and superior clarity give Basemap the advantage.

Offline Use 

The ability to create customized maps for those times when there is no cellular signal is absolute for any hunting/fishing app.

Both Basemap and Onx provide this feature, yet users have complained that Basemap’s desktop app is less user-friendly than Onx. 

It can be challenging to load maps from the Basemap desktop to the app. Creating multiple continuous maps that cover a larger area is also problematic.

Although this is more a matter of user ability than app functionality, it can still be challenging to overcome.

For these reasons, Onx outperforms Basemap when it comes to offline use.

Property Information

Basemap vs OnX

The ability to provide property boundaries and owner information makes these apps stand out. Traditional maps with this information are difficult to obtain.

They are only accurate until the property is sold or boundaries change. Outdoorspeople made their own maps and researched any potential changes or updates.

Both Onx and Basemap have touted this ability, and it is a feature that makes them stand out from the competition.

Both apps allow the user to see property boundaries and owner information. Both also show property information for public and private property. But, according to several reports, Onx appears to update this information more frequently.

Although no outdoors person should rely on any app to avoid trespassing, even contacting the correct owner is essential when planning an upcoming trip.

The more accurate information available from Onx makes it, the better choice for this purpose.

Ease of Use 

Some people are more technologically challenged. Yet, if you are considering a hunting/fishing app, you have some basic skills. I also believe that apps should assume that most users will not be tech-savvy professional types. 

One of the complaints about Basemap is the difficulty users have when navigating between maps, which includes loading offline maps and selecting specific features.

Although it is a bit of an exaggeration to call the process anything more than cumbersome, it is nonetheless a significant consideration.

Due to its ability to switch between the screen with a simple swipe, Onx is the leader in this area.

Cost

Now we come to the issue that is often the deciding factor for any piece of hunting or fishing equipment – how much it will cost. 

Basemap offers two different subscriptions. The basic subscription costs $34.99 per year, and the deluxe subscription costs $69.99 per year.

Each includes all the basic features and access to mapping in all 50 states. The deluxe subscriptions allow access to extra features such as Hunt Research and Field Rescue. You also have the option to add each feature by itself.

Onx also offers a basic subscription at $29.99 per year. This subscription allows access to all features but limits users to mapping in only one state.

More states can be added for a fee, and you can purchase coverage for all 50 states for $99.99 per year.

If you only fish in a single state, the cost is not much of an issue, with both apps available for roughly the same price. Yet, if you hunt in many states, that gap increases. It also makes Basemap the clear winner in terms of value.

Conclusion

Although Basemap offers access to more maps and layers, a better picture quality, and a lower cost, this does not mean that it is a clear winner.

Onx offers more updated property information, a better desktop app, and increased ease of use. For the average user, I would call it a tie. 

The real difference comes when hunting multiple states or using the app for precise navigation. Here Basemap has a clear advantage.

Not only can you gain access to all 50 states for a single fee, but the map graphics are also far superior. I would feel far more comfortable relying on Basemap when exploring remote, unfamiliar areas.

The right choice for you depends on what type of hunting or fishing you do and what you expect from your app.

Both Basemap and Onx have large, loyal followings that swear by either app. Hopefully, we have provided the information you need to choose for yourself without spending money trying each unnecessarily

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