SteelSeries Rival Review

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[section_title title=”Software”] Software

As I mentioned on the previous page the Rival doesn’t have its own bespoke control panel but instead is customised from with the E3. As far as I know, the Rival is the first mouse to support the software and both the E3 and the Rival itself had two updates – firmware revisions for the Rival – during my review time so it’s clear that SteelSeries are relentlessly pursuing this avenue.

As for what the Rival offers up itself within the E3, you have the landing page to start.

 

The landing page itself is quite sparse as you can see – for better and worse – it’s good to not have a cluttered and coherent UI but at the same time, you can see how little there is in the way of customisation options for the rival.

The mouse feedback options all works as expected. The buttons on the Rival itself are easy to customise and assign macro functions, re-organised default functions or specific media and Windows functions. The LED colours on the scroll wheel and SteelSeries logo can be customised by clicking on the coloured square next to either button. The LED can be switched off if desired and both LEDs can have their colours and transition effects set independently.

Below we have SteelSeries’ take on the automatic profiling for games similar to what Logitech (and others) are now pushing. Whilst the E3 software lacks the automatic detection of Logitech’s – by no means faultless – offering, profiles can be added manually quite easily.

 

After creating a new profile you customise the options and save and the E3 software loads up said profile when it detects the respective executable being launched.

Last but not least is the macro editor.

 

I can’t remember that last time I came across a bad macro editing suite and the E3 software is no exception to this. New macros can be created but they can’t be exported out or old ones imported in via the E3 software. There is the option for configuring latency between button presses much like most suites should the milliseconds saved be of concern to you. All in all, the software is as good as any on the market and the lack of importing (at the minute, perhaps) shouldn’t be a huge deal breaker I shouldn’t think.

Overall the E3 software’s biggest selling point is the goal that from within SteelSeries’ eco-system of peripherals you should be able to change the equalizer setting within your media player of choice, for example, by clicking a button on your SteelSeries mouse and the equalized sound passed on to your SteelSeries headphones. Actual suggestions and examples are a bit think on the ground even on the SteelSeries website but their SDK should be going out this year so no doubt we’ll see better implementations of the concept in future products.

So, whilst the Rival may be more form over function and the software solution seemingly aiming for both in the near future, how does the Rival package handle itself during use? Let’s find out.

 

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