SteelSeries Rival Review

👤by Richard Weatherstone Comments 📅04-06-14
We labelled the SteelSeries Sensei the best mouse on the planet bar none. We should amend that title to the best laser mouse on the planet because with the Rival the Sensei is not quite the master it once was. Now, we are not for one moment saying the Rival is a better mouse, it isn't but it does offer a very capable alternative to SteelSeries flagship offering. Replacing the ultra high end laser senser found on the Sensei with an optical sensor will likely be scoffed by the elitist among the gaming fraternity but should you wish to save a few quid, the Rival offers not just a cheaper option but an option that is best in its own class and dare we say it, even outperform many laser mice on the market. You see, there is so much emphasis placed on the sensor that so much about the mouse is lost. Think of it like putting a V10 engine in a Kia. It just doesn't work as it should. Not a fault of the engine you understand but because the end product has to be balanced and he Rival not only has balance but also poise and performance by the bucket load.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the Rival though is not its high spec optical sensor not the multitude of configurable options which by the way will keep you busy for hours. No, it's the anonymity of the mouse which we think is the Rival's most valuable feature. While all the trimmings make the overall package a more attractive proposition it is the fact that the mouse just feels right in use. It's grippy, precise and it feels natural in your hand. It's fairly priced, lightweight and stunning to look at from every angle.

Yes there are higher specced mice out there but these cost considerably more and tend to lean towards one genre of gaming over another. The SteelSeries Rival does not pretend to be something it is not. It is the people’s champion, the kind of mouse that would not have any qualms about turning up to a posh dinner in jeans and t-shirt, knowing it has nothing to prove. Not that it doesn't have it where it counts you understand, it just doesn't shout from the roof tops about it. Instead everything about the Rival is kept in reserve. In short, the SteelSeries Rival is everything we want to see in a mouse and for this reason we are awarding it our Gold & Performance Awards.

To summarise:
If you are on the lookout for an optical mouse that is as discreet or in your face as you want it to be then the SteelSeries Rival comes with our highest recommendation.

+ Very comfortable in prolonged use (right handers)
+ Highly Customisable
+ Textured, rubber non-slip surfaces
+ Fairly priced

- Lack of accessories
- non-braided cable

Click here for an explanation of our awards at

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