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4.4 out of 5 stars112
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 20 March 2014
The first time I tried this mouse, I was so put off by the lack of quality (something to expect from Steelseries now - their QC is terrible) that I didn't even plug it in. Read on!

The Rival uses the latest Avago optical sensor, the 3310 which replaces the outgoing much favoured 3090. Optical mice are the absolute go to for FPS gaming - modern laser mice (9500 & 9800) have incosistent acceleration built in (i.e not fixable) meaning everytime you move the mouse it will either overshoot or undershoot a different amount depending on the speed of the movement. Optical mice are not plagued by this problem making them vastly preferable and cheaper for some reason! There are some reports of the 3310 sensor having some minor consistent acceleration but nothing conclusive.

Now I use another 3310 mouse every day, the Mionix Avior 700, so I know what to expect in how good the tracking is with this mouse. Its phenomenal - no other way to put it. It trumps everything else on the market except for the currently Logitech exclusive sensor in their G502. Its accurate, has an extremely high max tracking speed and no noticable prediction/smoothing.

Enough of the sensor, onto the quality of the mouse itself. The shape is much like the Intellimouse Explorer so there is much love to be found here for some people (palm grippers) but updated and with some rubber slapped on the sides. This rubber patch was way too intrusive for my liking and could have been toned down to a smoother less 'sharp' surface - though I am sure some people will appreciate it. The mouse buttons (1&2) are not great - they feel like someone tried to replicate Omrons and halfway through forgot what they were doing and started to make Huano switches instead. They require more force than an Omron to actuate and feel somewhat mushy compared. Again, some may prefer stiffer switches - I prefer the light, crisp Omrons. The mouse wheel is a common negative among Steelseries mice - on the down scroll it is perfectly acceptable however on scrolling up it produces a cheap, flimsy sounding clunking. The biggest problem with the sample I received was the mouse feet, which scratched across every surface I own. I will list the tested mousepads at the end.

Overall its an good mouse, let down by typical Steelseries lack of quality control and possibly some corner cutting? Omron switches would have been nicer in my opinion and a better implemented mousewheel. Top marks to them for using a proper sensor though!

To summarise.

+ Shape is like the IME - much love for this in the gaming community!
+ Sensor (ADNS-3310) is flawless.
+ Coating is nice to touch

+- Rubber thumb grip may either be loved or hated (its quite rough).
+- Switches are stiffer and possibly mushier than typical Omrons.

- Mouse wheel feels flimsy, especially when scrolling up.
- The mouse feet on my sample scratched across every surface I tried - Roccat Taito, Steelseries QCK, Roccat Hiro, Artisan Hien, Artisan Hayate. This is likely isolated to my mouse so take this lightly.

Thats a pretty breif overview of the mouse - I could write a lot more and please dont hesitate to ask questions!
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on 23 August 2015
Previous mouse: Logitech MX518
Made the upgrade and haven't looked back since! This mouse feels a lot better and is defiantly up there with the best competitive gaming mice because of its perfect sensor used by other mice too e.g. Zowie FK2 but the features, price and professional backing on this mouse drew me in. Teams such as Fnatic use this mouse and are sponsored by Steelseries who play a big part in the competitive scene. They have been around for a long time and know what they are doing! Colour LED's are a lot more vibrant in real-life.

Ideal mouse due to no acceleration, which is the way you should be playing.
A low DPI (400) in games with a big mouse mat is the best combo!

The grip can be palm or claw due to the large hump on the top, fingers do not overlap the edges at all.
review image
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on 30 April 2015
I've had this mouse for almost a year now I think, and I am extremely happy with it. It's responsive and comfortable. I have quite long fingers, but I'm not a big guy (6'3, spindly fingers like a spider), and it fits right in my hand. The sensor is really good, using it with a SteelSeries QCK at the moment (just got my Perixx XXL through the post).

The reason I'm giving it 4 stars is because of the software. My housemate has the Roccat Kone XD, and the software that controls the mouse is just so much nicer. The UI is designed a lot better, the way it updates is more functional (you have to download a new .exe everytime the client needs to update), and it seems like the macro recording and creating is far greater. It's a shame that they use the same client for all of their products, as I'd have probably bought a Steelseries Siberia headset, but I'd hate to have that software used even more. I'm getting a Corsair mouse next, as I have the K95 RGB and am getting one of their Vengeance headsets as well.

If you're not too fussed about the software things, then go for it, it's a great solid mouse with awesome response and ergonomics, I just can't get along with the client.

EDITED 3/11/15 : I finally ditched the Rival. The left side rubber wears away extremely quickly, there is practically nothing left of the left side grip now. I bought the Final Mouse 2015 instead of this mouse, and I am extremely happy with it. At the time of me ending my use with the Rival, the software was still appalling. I don't see how people can buy all their peripherals from SteelSeries and not end up suiciding at how awful the software is. I guess they just don't know any better.
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on 10 October 2015
I have been trying various mice for CSGO, moved from Zowie FK2 to this after finding the zowie way too small for my hands. This mouse is much bigger but I prefer it. Tracks flawlessly, feels very nice in the hand, perhaps on the large side but that may just be me being used to the very small FK2. My only complaints are that it feels of slightly lower build quality than a zowie - it looks and feels a tad flimsier but that makes no tangible difference when it comes to usage and I cannot comment on durability having only owned it for a couple of months. Also, the rubber side grip is a magnet for dirt from your fingers: even after a short session you will find residue there and after prolonged usage you can see dark marks where you hold the mouse. This can be cleaned off but it accumulates rather easily. Other than that, this mouse is perfect for FPS gaming.
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on 31 July 2015
It's hard to explain how much better than cheap mice this is...
without the gimicks of other high end mice, this just has a comfortable feel to it and seems a lot more like it's accurate and smooth.
Imagine going from roller ball mice to laser mice and you might understand a bit better how this is just "nicer" to use.
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on 10 June 2014
I love Steelseries gear. Most of what they make is very robust, practical and beautiful, and most importantly available at a reasonable price; the Rival is certainly no exception to this trend. After managing to get some gunk in the scroll wheel mechanism of my Corsair M65, I resolved to head back to Steelseries.

Firstly, the ergonomics. Most Steelseries mice are ambidextrous in nature, such as the entry-level Kinzu and the high-end Sensei. This is great in that there's no discrimination against lefties, but I found them quite hard to use for long periods of time as a right-hander, even though I have small hands. With there being no place to rest the palm comfortably in a shape that fits the hand, my Kinzu v2 was never my favourite peripheral and I found myself pining for the days of my old Logitech G700, or even the less ergonomic G9.

The Rival is a huge improvement over the rest of the contemporary Steelseries line for right-handed comfort. It is well-sized for a range of hands and offers superb grip, with a sturdy, studded rubber finish along the sides, soft-touch material along the top and an arching design that supports claw or resting grips. However, whilst the soft-touch surface is gorgeous, I have found that after just a few days of use there is a noticeable mark where my index finger rests, and I'm sure that more will follow in less frequently used points. It's a minor grievance, since it's still great to hold and look at and any HID, no matter the finish, will suffer wear and tear due to mechanical action and chemicals in the skin, but perhaps a matte or glossy finish would hold up better on a successor.

The mouse is extremely precise, and I've not experienced any acceleration on my QcK mousepad. Rather than having a graded DPI toggle with three or five different stored settings, you can only store two at any one time, but frankly that's enough for most uses. The main and side buttons are satisfying both in touch and sound, and are fully customisable through the excellent SteelSeries Engine software that many peripherals use. The scroll wheel is nice and quiet, but I would have loved the option to unlock it into a free-spin mode for web browsing.

My favourite thing about this mouse would have to be the colour customisation. The Steelseries logo and the scroll wheel have separate lighting zones that can be illuminated with any one of millions of colours, selectable from an RGB palette in the SteelSeries Engine. Unlike some other mice such as the G9, the lighting used gets very close to what you have selected in the software, and I've tried out everything from dark grey to bright white to great effect.

If you're a right-hander who wants a very well-built, accurate and customisable mouse, you would do well to buy the Rival. There are minor points to improve upon such as maybe changing the top surface to a lacquer or matte finish, but I can't fault SteelSeries much when they have delivered such a great product.
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on 2 June 2014
In brief:

This mouse fills the gap that the lack of the old Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 left when Microsoft pulled that (and which they tried mand failed to fill with their bugged Microsoft Comfort Mouse 6000).

The size/shape of the Rival is a large, right-handed, raised-back variety that fills out your hand as you fold your hand and fingers around it - preferably for people with large hands. The mouse will likely not be comfortable for people with teeny hands and fingers.

Click force is above the typical mouse click, reducing the risk of mis-clicks, with a classical soft click sound.

The Rival has large, atypically shaped thumb buttons, pleasant to the touch.

Especially nice is the rubber grip on the sides which has a nice tactile feel and makes it easy to grip, even if you end up with sweaty fingers from too intense a gaming session. However, people who do not like non-smooth surfaces might NOT like it. Depends on your kinesthetic tastes - this is like the original Logitech G500, which I've also reviewed and where the initial use of the mouse might set your teeth a bit on edge due to the feeling of "sand" under your fingers when resting your thumb in the thumb-groove.

That aside, the mouse has some customizable decoration in the way of coloured light in the SS logo on the palmrest, and also on the scroll wheel. This is nice if you dont like the golden orange light that the SS mouse has set as the default, but doesn't affect the tactile use of the mouse whatsoever.

The same control panel software that allows customizing the colour, also allows customization of the mouse sensitivity (dpi customization) up to 6500 dps, which is impressive and allows for setting the sensitivity so high that you concordantly have to move your hands very little to get the cursor where you want it on the screen, thus stressing your wrist less.

Lastly, underneath the Rival has 4 midsized teflon slide pads to give a decent lack of friction when the mouse is in use.

All in all, a very good mouse. Clearly recommended.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 October 2015
This is a very nice, responsive mouse. It has 6 buttons that can be configured whatever way the user requires. The SteelSeries Engine 3, compatible with this mouse and also the M800 mechanical keyboard, is a massive step ahead over previous versions of the software. The mouse also has 2 LEDs that can be configured either together or separately to give a visual indication during game play, or simply set to look nice.

The sides of the mouse are textured for grip and the top is made from a high quality glossy plastic that feels nice and smooth in the hand. I have used the mouse to play epic 8 hour sessions of Diablo 3 and the mouse performs perfectly. Although glossy, the upper surface does not make your hand sweat as you never need to grip the mouse tightly - a nice light grip is all that is needed. The glossy surface is also very easy to clean. My last mouse had a matte finish which attracted dust and ended up with shiny spots after years of use.

Th DPI can be changed either in the Engine 3 software or by using the button behind the mouse wheel. As with all of the buttons, you can use Engine 3 to remap this feature if required.

Pros: Excellent build quality; Very responsive; Fully customizable; Excellent software (Engine 3) with full macro support; Six buttons

Cons: The wheel doesn't tilt (if it did, there would effectively be 2 extra buttons)
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on 19 February 2016
I was going to go with the Zowie Range but I found this to be more of a Middle Ground between the Zowie and the Deathadder.

I went from the Deathadder to this and .... It feels great!

I have used this for a day and it already feels great/ good in my hand! It has a Soft Brushed Rubber feel to it and my hand tends to lay on the Mouse rather than Grip it, whilst the Deathadder almost forced you to Grip it! This is probably the most important thing and the reason I am writing a positive review. The comfy and lazy hand placement is great for relaxing your hand whilst playing the Game.

One of the Best things about this Mouse is the easy to use software, where you can change the colors in both the Mouse Wheel, and Steel Series symbol separately. You can set the CPI ( = DPI ) Profiles, in which, you can switch between with the Click of a Button (The Button is located just behind the mouse wheel).


Profile 1 is set to 400 cpi for in Game.

Profile 2 is set to 800 for surfing easily.

All in all I HIGHLY recommend this Mouse for anyone looking for a Middle Ground between the Deathadder and the Zowie models.

This Mouse is, in my opinion, the industry standard.

I will update if I have any issues in the future with this Mouse.
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on 13 June 2014
I predominantly play FPS games and have used many different mice over the years including Razer and Logitech. I bought the Rival as my G9x died after several years of use. It is a very competent mouse and has all the precision required to play fast-paced fps games. The positioning of the two side buttons are good, reachable but out of the way of the thumb grip. There is a useful DPI switch on the top of the mouse which some may find they like to switch between games and general tasks in windows. The rubber grips are a nice touch and feel good when holding the mouse, however the overall feel of the mouse is very 'plastic-y' and cheap feeling for a mouse of this price range. The overall shape of the mouse is quite large, particularly if you have smaller hands.

The one major downside to this mouse for me is that the main buttons feel quite cheap and there is a chance that you will catch the scroll wheel when clicking. This has caused some headaches in multiplayer where you accidentally scroll down while trying to click.

A good solid gaming mouse for FPS. Good sensor but cheap design. Personally I'd recommend Logitech over the two manufacturers I've mentioned.
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