The SteelSeries Rival Gaming Mouse is by far one of the most accurate gaming mouse devices I’ve used in my many years throughout the PC Gaming industry. With comfort being one of my top priorities when selecting a gaming mouse, the Rival satisfies and doesn’t look half bad either.
A slowly pulsing glow on the SteelSeries logo (with custom colors or even multiple colors cycled) calls me back to my computer for long gaming sessions that never cause a cramp, and accurate head shots are achieved with ease thanks to the SteelSeries Rival being in my hand. Regular computer usage is obviously incredibly improved as the mouse always knows what I want to do – that’s right the SteelSeries Rival increases productivity and precise actions during work sessions too.
Installing the SteelSeries Engine software unlocks everything gamers want out of the mouse – which is installed easily and with no hassle for free.
SteelSeries Engine is a software that will allow the advanced features of the Rival Gaming Mouse to be accessed, activated, and enhanced. Custom keys can be set for each button on the mouse. There are 6 buttons in total. The left mouse button, right mouse button, and two buttons on the left hand side of the mouse, plus the scroll bar up, scroll bar up and down as well as clicked in place. There’s also a button that changes CPI / DPI on the spot.
Unfortunately it’s really disappointing that SteelSeries didn’t see fit to make each of the side grips into clickable buttons as well. They’ve done such a good job with the rest of the mouse in terms of accuracy, speed, customization, and gamer-centric control with quiet and responsive buttons that don’t go off by accident mid-game, that I really expected to be able to click the side grips once they were in my hand.
That being said, the mouse is extremely ergonomic and provides plenty of buttons to satisfy even without the missed opportunity of side grips potentially being clickable – which seemed like an obvious idea upon taking hold of it. In addition to that macros can be programmed by the user to act as scripted combinations of input to take place at the push of a button.
Two settings are set by the user which allow you to maintain two different sets of mouse sensitivity. The mouse sensitivity is measured by CPI (Counts Per Inch, also known as DPI or Dots Per Inch) and this mouse is equipped with a laser that ranges from 50 to 6500 and can be manually set in increments of 50, offering a really precise controller for PC Gaming – especially at the price level the Rival comes in at.
Once the two settings are set a button is used under the scroll wheel to swap sensitivities. The applications of this are pretty widespread. For example, one speed of the mouse is on standby for slowing down to take aim in one type of game – but another for fast paced rapid movement at any given time.
With lasers this powerful, I prefer to go without a mousepad and just use my desk. There are patterns on my desk which resemble what you’d see inside a piece of wood that was cut open. I find that using most mouse pads with a laser mouse this powerful will cause issues such as inaccurate control, input lag, or complete unresponsiveness at times. Keep in mind, these mice are basically taking tons of pictures rapidly and comparing them to each other to figure out movement. With the SteelSeries Rival I never once encountered any of the issues I mentioned above, which is why I’m so impressed with it. But using a mouse pad (especially one that has symmetrical patterns or solid colors) may not work out as well.
Another thing users might point out is that the use of a wired mouse is more convenient. There’s nothing more game-breaking then spending time and energy worrying about the battery level of a mouse. Some may prefer wireless, but the SteelSeries Rival is superior to a lot of wireless mice in accuracy and is designed well enough that users forget the wire is even there.
Perhaps as a luxury feature – If you know somebody with a 3D Printer then you can even engrave your name, clan, brand, or gamer alias onto an insert that slides into the SteelSeries Rival, as seen below.
The SteelSeries Rival Gaming Mouse offers a very thorough and powerful solution to gamers who just want to grab a reliable and fast mouse at a reasonable price. The convenience of not having to recharge it, since it’s wired, coupled with the solid accuracy and comfortable design make it stand out from its competition off the bat. The software included takes up little to no resources and allows for a great amount of customization. This device could be improved if the right and left grips, which feel great in the hand already, were also clickable buttons. If so, SteelSeries would have to do this without making them go off by accident mid-game though – or it would decrease the quality of the mouse from a gaming perspective. As it stands, the device performs great in games and gives very reliable input that you can count on to never let you down.
Overall Score: 9.2/10
RGN Tech Rating: Gold Device
Review Copy Info: A review sample was provided to RealGamerNewz by the manufacturer for the purpose of the review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20140211 and was last modified on 20140211 .