Today we are taking a look at the Steel Series Rival. The Rival is one of Steel Series two entry level gaming mice (the other being the Sensei Raw), and it packs some features you wouldn’t expect to find in an entry level mouse – more on that in a moment.
The Rival has pretty solid construction for a mouse of its caliber, weighing in at 128g (about 0.25 lb). The majority of the surface of the mouse features the same matte “soft touch” coating we see on the Sensei Wireless. The sides of the mouse feature rubber textured grips for added grip. While the rubber grips do undoubtedly provide better grip than the matte surface, I personally don’t like the feel of them. Again, that’s personal preference, but the textured surface is distracting to me. In the future, I hope to see a version of the Rival that does away with the textured grips, or offers a variety of replacement grips.
Aside from the standard right and left mouse buttons and scroll wheel, the Rival includes two customizable thumb buttons, and an adjustable dpi switch just above the scroll wheel. Par for the course on button placement, but the two thumb buttons stand out in that they actually take up a decent amount of real estate without getting in the way. They have a ridge on them that makes them easy to find, and their size makes them hard to miss. Southpaws beware, this mouse is designed for right handed users – If you need a southpaw friendly mouse in this price range, check out the Sensei Raw.
The Rival can play with the big dogs when it comes to performance. Its 6500 adjustable dpi, 1ms response rate, and 1000Hz polling rate make it Rival if not surpass every other mouse in its price bracket (see what I did there?). I personally game at 1600 dpi in most cases, so for me this mouse works great – FPS players and competitive gamers may want to take note that there are higher performance mice available, albeit not for under $60.
As an added bonus, the Rival features something we don’t see in a lot of sub-$70 mice – full RGB customizable lighting. As if they didn’t pack enough goodies into this gem, the Rival is also the first mouse I have seen that includes a 3D printable, custom name plate (and a template to go with it). That’s right, if you have access to a 3D printer, you can create your own name plate for the back of your mouse. It doesn’t really add much in terms of functionality, but it is super cool nonetheless. For 60 bucks, this is about as good as you are going to do. The Rival keeps up with the best mice in its class, and offers features we haven’t ever seen in any mouse before. If it weren’t for the textured grips, this would be one of my favorite mice to date.
Price at time of review: $80
Review unit provided by the manufacturer.
Build Quality - 8.5
Features - 9
The Rival keeps up with the best mice in its class, and offers features we haven't ever seen in any mouse before.
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