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SteelSeries Rival Review

The rAge Expo 2013 was the platform used to announce the new SteelSeries Rival and Telkom Do Gaming has been lucky enough to get their hands on one of the few models available for review. The Rival is somewhat different than other SteelSeries products but provides the same quality and precision with a slight difference.

SteelSeries has been known for bringing out ambidextrous mice all the time in some of their more popular brands and mice like the Kinzu, Kana and even the Sensei have all seen this as a feature. The Rival is something new and fresh from SteelSeries and it focuses on being a true gamers mouse.


While the mouse has no actual measurements as of yet, it weighs in at around 118 grams according to my best scale. It’s actually a nice weight because it’s a little heavier than the normal but not too heavy that feels sluggish when moving it. The mouse has six buttons, two at the thumb, a primary, secondary, middle mouse button and profile changer for on-the-fly gaming.


The Rival has a strange shape and seems to bulge out on the palm of the right hander. The mouse has a nice black finished around it with textured rubber on either side which provides secure grip and comfort. The bottom of it has four mouse feet, one in each corner to reduce friction and allow a superior glide across most surfaces. The back end of the mouse has the SteelSeries logo that breathes in brilliant 16.8 million colour illumination.

A little further down there is a nameplate with the word “Rival” on it. Apparently, upon launch, gamers will be able to download, customize and print their own unique nameplates with a 3D printer to use in place of the current one.


The mouse feels smooth and it supplies the user with an absurd amount of grip. The textured rubber on either side makes any grip feel comfortable whether you use your palm or your fingers. The primary and secondary mouse buttons feature new SteelSeries Switches which are apparently high-performances gaming switches and can apparently last for 30 million clicks.

The ergonomic design is great too and the mouse has some sort of anti-sweat coating around it which will benefit the more serious of gamers. The mouse wheel feels pretty standard, it has to be said, and could rival those of other gaming mice.

Ultimately though, it feels like the SteelSeries Rival is very comfortable and will be able to allow players to withstand long sessions of gaming without feeling cramps in the hand.


The Rival is one of the first SteelSeries mice to use the SteelSeries Engine 3.0. The new engine will give gamers the chance to drastically increase the user experience across the SteelSeries range. It will also provide gamers with the opportunity to configure a wide range of settings on the mouse to better increase your gaming experience.

Unfortunately as the mouse has not yet been officially launched, the software isn’t available just yet. Thankfully it just plugs in and works, but we have been unable to test the more intricate parts of the software and mouse features.


As a mouse though, the Rival has been in the works for some time and SteelSeries has gone out of its way to optimise certain things about the mouse. The 6500CPI sensor and 1000Hz polling rate make for an insanely responsive optical sensor. Yup, the Rival uses an optical sensor.

The addition of the new SteelSeries Engine 3.0 software (when launched) should provide the mouse with the platform it needs to rival the best and with the colour customisation and comfortable ergonomics, the Rival may be the best bang for your buck when it is released. The rubber nameplate is a nice touch but not really necessary and the mouse would have perhaps benefitted more from a braided cable, but that’s just me pointing out things that I personally don’t like.

The SteelSeries Rival will be going on sale in November. In terms of price, SteelSeries plan to have it made available for €59.99 or for South Africans, R699 .