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SteelSeries Rival Optical Mouse Review

SteelSeries Rival Optical Mouse Review

If you’re looking for a gaming mouse that nails the fundamentals but forgoes the superfluous, look no further than the Steelseries Rival.  Steelseries’ latest mouse is the first purely right-handed mouse to come from the company in quite some time, eschewing the lefty-friendly ethos the company’s fostered for so long. If you’re right handed, that’s okay, because the Rival is a decidedly comfortable mouse to use, provided you’re one of those who rest his hand on the mouse instead of opting for a claw grip.

Design & Precision

As far as looks go, it’s a simple yet elegant design, but don’t let the simplicity of its design fool you though. The mouse comes with a silky-smooth matte finish that negates sweaty hands, while the sides of the mouse are padded with a nifty non-stick rubberised surface making it easy to grip. It’s also got two additional buttons on the left side where your thumb sits, giving you easy access to backwards and forwards buttons for browsing, though, like all the other buttons, they are easily programmable to do just about whatever you’d like. The feet are made from non-stick which ensures that it glides smoothly across just about any surface.

What makes the Rival really stand out though is just how customisable it is where it matters. It’s an incredibly precise mouse, using the Pixart PMW3310 optical sensor which has precisely zero hardware acceleration giving you a true 1:1 physical movement to onscreen movement ratio. That means the Rival offers pixel-perfect precision.

Of course, should you wish to use mouse acceleration you’re able to do it via the Steelseries Steel Engine 3 software, which allows you to increase or decrease acceleration and polling and tweak it all to your heart’s content.  The software allows you to customise those two presets, going all the way from a slow-as  50 CPI, all the way up to a supersonic, way-too-fast-for-human-beings 10000 CPI.

Endless Customization

As is common with almost all new Steelseries products, it features programmable, 16.8 million colour illumination. Here, it’s visible in the logo and in the scroll-wheel. The Rival also allows you, should you have access to a 3D-printer, to customise the mouse by replacing a little rubber inset with something of your own design. It’s entirely pointless for now in India, but those who really like to make the things they buy their own will get an odd subversive kick out of it. Templates for the printing are available from Steelseries, but I think it’s something that’s not going to be used by too many people.

Our Verdict

It’s really quite an exceptional mouse for its price bracket. Positioning itself as a competitor to the Razer Deathadder, the Steelseries Rival has a very competitive pricing of  Rs 5385. In truth, they’re both very similar mice offering very similar specs and features – though I have to say I favour Steelseries’ new Steelseries Engine 3 a little more, thanks to its polish. If you’re in the market for a new gaming mouse that’s affordable and isn’t confusing, but still packs in all those gamer-centric options, you should go for Steelseries Rival.

Specs at a glance:

Optical Sensor

  •  50 to 10000 Adjustable CPI
  •  1ms Response Rate / 1000Hz Polling Rate
  • 200 Inches Per Second (IPS)
  •  50Gs of Acceleration


  • 6 Programmable Buttons
  • 16.8M Color Illumination w. 2 Zones
  • Soft-touch coating
  • Injected rubber side grips
  • Cable Texture: Soft Rubber Cable
  • 30 Million Click Durability

Size & Weight

  • Weight: 128 grams (0.28 lbs)
  • Height: 40 mm (1.57 in)
  • Width: 70 mm (2.76 in)
  • Length: 133 mm (5.23 in)
  • Cable Length: 2m (6.5 ft.)

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Geek....Gamer....Curious :) Started his affair with gaming with Super Mario on an 8 Bit console and has been hooked on to gaming ever since. With a commitment to promote gaming as a positive sport and lifestyle in India he started of Gaming Central in 2013 which has since grown as India's most popular social gaming community. Shrey is also a digital marketeer and runs his own agency GC Interactive based in New Delhi which helps brands from strategy to execution, fueling the growth of some of the hottest consumer brands on digital.

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