SteelSeries Rival Optical Mouse Review, My Choice for Everything
While writing up my favorite choices from the current SteelSeries’ line, I wanted to end with the new Rival Optical Mouse. The peripheral market for both gaming and online use offers an endless variety of choices when it comes to picking a new mouse, and I’m always interested to see what new modifications companies like SteelSeries comes up with, when designing a new device.
There are quite a few subtle updates with the new Rival, all of which are a step up from the previous generations. If you have enjoyed using the company’s products in the past, or are looking to update your current hardware, this is one mouse you should add to your list.
The Rival is one of three branches that SteelSeries offers when it comes to mice, there is also the popular Sensei line and the more mobile and less-expensive Kinzu line. When it comes to choosing a mouse there are dozens of factors that determine if a device will fit your gameplay or your average use, and it would take a few pages to compare every detail, but I will point out who the Rival is best suited for in my opinion.
Like other SteelSeries products, the length of the mouse itself makes it ideal for people with average or long fingers, and who enjoy having an option that will allow their palm to have contact on the mouse. The heavier you lay your palm at the base, the more comfortable it usually is to play over time. The length is also ideal for people who tend to move the mouse more with their thumb, ring-finger and pinkie-finger, since the length allows more contact with the edge of your hand, causing less strain.
The first thing you will most likely notice when using or testing the mouse for the first itme is the textured edges on both sides of the Rival. These are by far, my favorite textured grip used on a peripheral device to date. The soft, non-sticky but incredibly tactile grips are more like a grip that you would find on a Golf Driver, or as I’ve described over the phone with other editors, “like you would imagine the bottom of a ninja-shoe would feel like.” Though not as technical, it seemed to be the easiest way to describe the feeling, to others.
While researching the development of the grip to learn more about it, I learned that SteelSeries created them by using a, “direct injected molded rubber,” instead of the common-practice used by other companies of creating grips and simply adhering them to the mouse. It is a dramatic difference and one that I will definitely keep in mind if I’m ever shopping around again.
Other changes can be found on the outer-shell, which offers a less chrome-like contact spot than the Sensei Mouse and one that I enjoyed very much. SteelSeries calls the surface a, “soft-touch paint” with a “matte finish,” but you will mostly likely just remember how smooth and dry the mouse is when using it overtime. I say dry because there is an anti-sweat coating on the mouse, something that I have heard manufacturers say in the past, though this was the first time I actually noticed it workings. Even hours of gaming on mouse-heavy titles like ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ and ‘Elder Scrolls Online,’ I noticed the mouse never got warm, and I was never plagued by the gross feeling of clammy-hands.
For those of you looking into more specific readouts of the device, the Rival offers an optical sensor with, “zero hardware acceleration, CPI up to 6,500 and a response times as low as 1ms.” You will still get the 16.8 million colors of illumination that SteelSeries offers in many of its products to help you customize each game or profile. The colors can also be used to easily read which profile you are on at a glance, and the “ExactTech mouse features” and a customizable 3D nameplate are further options that you can make for you or your team. Other tech-specs include a 50 to 6500 Adjustable CPI, 1ms Response Rate / 1000Hz Polling Rate, the device offers up to 200 Inches Per Second (IPS), and 50Gs of Acceleration. All of this is adjusted very easily with sliders and a visual UI in the free software provided.
Again if you are using SteelSeries products currently, this new model will run on the updated ‘SteelSeries Engine 3,’ which is a far-better UI I feel than the previous ‘SteelSeries 2’ engine. The new engine makes it far easier to customize buttons with Keybinds, macros, or other often used mechanics.
That brings me to the next feature, and one that everyone is interested in when buying a mouse and that is customizable buttons. For this device you will have 6 programmable buttons (including the CPI). Unlike the Sensei the Rival got rid of the two side-buttons and stuck with the thumb M4 and M5 options. This was fine with me, as I enjoyed having the options of the other buttons, I simply never used them in the past, and didn’t quite feel that they were really that convenient. You will still get the options of the Quickset actions stored onboard, so you can move your mouse around and keep your information, and there will be Cloud sync’d profiles in 2014 according to the SteelSeries website.
At $59.99 I also love the price. Anyone that has shopped around should know already that SteelSeries offers some of the most competitive prices on the market. Also, I’ve tried-and-tested SteelSeries Support in the past, and found that the company offers one of the fastest, and easiest customers support sections on the market today.
Overall I think it’s one of the best options you can get, based on price and functionality and compared to other products. You get customizable options, easy support and fast and reliable mechanics at your fingers. Everything about the Rival Optical runs at a professional level, allowing it to be the perfect choice from MMO to FPS gaming.