SteelSeries Rival Review

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[section_title title=”Performance”] Performance

Comfort

The SteelSeries Rival is quite a comfortable mouse to use and, for me at least seems to usher a sort of side-on grip where the top of the mouse is slightly angled inwards. I tried experimenting using it with a more relaxed grip but it becomes quite hard to push the LMB/RMB really it suits palm and claw type grips better. The mouse buttons themselves are quite responsive but at the same time quiet and devoid of the sharp button some gaming mice have. Anyone who has read my reviews before will know I’m really not a fan of buttons along the spine of the mouse, especially ones as integral as DPI switching, but the Rival’s top button has an extremely low profile and doesn’t take much force at all to press.

The one negative I have about the Rival’s design is the location of the back/forward buttons. They feel too high up from the surface area of the mouse and as a result, require too much re-orientation of my thumb at least, to make sure I was pressing the correct one. There are three sections to the left-side of the Rival starting with the textured surface, then a ‘fitted’ section to the buttons then onto a levelled out area of the buttons. To me, having your thumb resting on the prominent part of the back/forwards button at all times just doesn’t feel natural, but then having your thumb on the textured area and arcing upwards to use the buttons feels clumsy.

Gaming

Starting with League of Legends, I didn’t find the overall package of the Rival to be detrimental to in-game performance compared to any other mice. I myself tend to run with a fairly basic configuration across all games and so the Rival’s lack of functionality in terms of extra buttons wasn’t missed by me. I subbed the default profile-switching button out to test macro functionality and all was good here in terms of the Rival producing the macro in game. Moving onto the side buttons, I found myself actively trying not to use the forward button due to aforementioned location. I have my back/forward buttons set to various in game ‘pings’ but rather than risk giving my team the wrong ping I just thought it best to avoid the forward button altogether, which is annoying and mainly, not as competitive.

Switching to a newly patched up Battlefield 4 and I tested out the DPI switching function of the Rival and tried my hand again at using both function buttons on the left side of the mouse. Firstly, the DPI switching works perfectly fine and was responsive in terms of how quickly it changed. Having a 400DPI setting and 2800DPI setting was fine for most scenarios during the round is played and served both running and gunning, ADS and sniping. Moving onto the back/forwards buttons again and Battlefield 4 is, strangely, slower paced than League and allowed me to take my time more with locating the buttons and not being frustrated by their positioning. I had prone and grenade assigned to the buttons, so naturally, if you’re going prone you’re expecting to buy a few seconds whilst you recover health, switch out weapon and so on. In this respect, the extra time needed to locate the otherwise frustrating buttons wasn’t too bad. If you’re primarily playing FPS the Rival’s button layout isn’t as bad as it would be for MOBAs and similar games.

 

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