I have been using the SteelSeries Sensei for quite some time before switching over to the Kana V2. I found the Kana v2 to fit the palm of my hand much smoother than the Sensei. Now I was first introduced to the all new Rival Gaming Mouse at a press show and it caught my attention right away. The Rival sports a brand new design than what we are usually accustomed to from SteelSeries. This mouse is much larger than their previous models coming just over 5-inches in length and also features a soft and rubber material all around.

Steelseries Rival Specs

Packaging is very minimal with just the mouse itself, some instructions, SteelSeries sticker and a replacement name plate. Now these name plates can be replaced on the back of the mouse, but to be honest it’s nothing special since your palm will most likely be covering it; but for those who like it you get two options off the start. The Rival is a sleek all black mouse covered in soft rubber material, 6 programmable buttons and two spaces for customized illuminations. The left side of the mouse features two buttons with the back button being the largest and easiest to hit, the front is a bit small and sometimes my click doesn’t fully register; so having a bigger front button would’ve been nice. Both sides of the mouse feature a rubberized rippley texture that feels nice on the hand and provides a bit of support for slippery fingers. The two front buttons feel great and feature SteelSeries’ own switches, so clicks are very accurate and the buttons are quite big so no matter how you hold your mouse, your clicks will register.

The clicks had a feel of secureness on them that just felt like I had complete control of the mouse, which was great. The click wheel also features the same rubber material and doesn’t allow your finger to slip so you can scroll endlessly without missing a beat, its also a programmable and illuminated button. Right underneath that is your CPI control button which gives you the choice to choose which setting you are on, of course you can customize it to fit your CPI of choice via the SteelSeres Engine 3 software. Finally, you get a 2 meter long soft rubber cable, which feels ok but wish it could’ve been on the tougher braided side. As mentioned before, the Steelseries Engine 3 software is needed in order to get the best out of your Rival Mouse. It’s here where you are able to access CPI sensitivity, button programs for macros, key commands and more, cursor acceleration, polling rate and angle snapping. For CPI you get to choose between 50 to 6500, which personally for me I didn’t pass 2650 as my highest, just felt more comfortable.

Rival Engine 3

SteelSeries is using theĀ Avago ADNS 3310 optical sensor in the Rival mouse and it has worked beautifully. Reaction time and cursor control was fantastic and had no hard time maneuvering the mouse on different surfaces. All the buttons felt good and clickable with just my one gripe of the front side button being a bit too small, other than that everything felt great.

At a price of $59.99, it’s really hard not to pick up this mouse.A bigger and more improved mouse at that price point compared to the Sensei Raw and Kinzu mouse, the Rival takes advantage of SteelSeries’ new Engine 3 software for better customization overall. This is a mouse strictly for right handed users, and the soft overall feel might not be the first choice for certain people, but hey don’t knock it until you try it. Customizing the lights on the mouse is fun and it’s all for show, though only the scroll wheel is shown when in use as the logo is covered by your palm, no biggie though. I enjoyed this mouse more than I thought I would, simply because it was comfortable and very lightweight which came in handy for fast reactions in certain games that required me to lift up the mouse and move across the pad. As mentioned, at this price, it’s one of the best SteelSeries has to offer.

Review: Steelseries Rival Gaming Mouse
A must have for anyone looking for a pro grade mouse on a budget.
  • Price
  • Rubber Grips
  • Optical Sensor
  • Top surface soft layer shows wear
  • Not a braided cable
  • Right hand only
9.1Overall Score
Reader Rating: (9 Votes)