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Tuesday | September 21, 2021
SteelSeries Rival 500 Mouse Review

SteelSeries Rival 500 Mouse Review

SteelSeries have always been a strong peripheral manufacturer, and one of its latest products, the Rival 500 continues that trend. Designed for MMO players and those users who just need to have as many buttons as possible on their mouse, the Rival 500 is a mouse that gives you the power of 15 programmable buttons to use as you see fit.

The SteelSeries Rival 500 Mouse – In Review

SteelSeries Rival 500 - Front ViewYou’ll find a pleasing rubberised grip across most of the unit,with side-buttons finished in a matte plastic – better for tactile usage. The Rival 500 has RGB LED lighting on its rear logo that’s found on the rear of the mouse and its scroll wheel, which allows users to show off their favourite colours.

The rear features the mouse’s name, RIVAL, cemented in a rubber panel, which can also be replaced with your own 3-D nameplate if you so desire; a nice little feature for those who want to make the mouse their own. Turning the mouse over, you’ll find the sensor that promises up to 16,000 CPI, the SteelSeries’ logo, and a side button lock, for those times when you don’t want to be mis-clicking those side buttons when working or playing other games.

Looking at buttons across the mouse, you’ll find 6 on the left side, and 9 on the top (including the left and right mouse buttons, as well as the mouse wheel click and left/right tilts). All of these can be programmed to do virtually anything from mouse clicks to macros, perfect for its use as an MMO peripheral. It also offers great functionality for those users who simply need more buttons at their fingertips.

The mouse also comes with a unique vibration feature, whereby any button on the mouse or keyboard can be used to activate a timer that once finished, will make the Rival 500 vibrate, perfect for those times when you need to know when your MMO skills are off cooldown, or to let you know your health is low.SteelSeries Rival 500 - Top View

In terms of raw numbers, the sensors can output some serious CPI. As you’ll see below in the Software section, there is a generous array of options to change, from polling rate to the CPI (Counts per inch) in two different sensitivities up to 16000. There are also options to change the acceleration/deceleration and angle snapping, so whatever your preference in terms of mouse movement is, the Rival 500 offers plenty of freedom to choose.

What Comes In The Box?

The Rival 500 comes packaged in a smart and trendy sleeve, featuring a clear and enticing explanation of the Rival 500’s highlights. Once the sleeve is removed, the box within contains the following:

  • SteelSeries Rival 500 Mouse
  • A Quick-Start Guide
  • A Chemical Substance Table and other information leaflet

The Numbers:

Sensor: Optical
Materials: Matte Rubber
CPI: 100 to 16,000
Acceleration: 50g
Polling Rate: 1ms (1000 Hz)
Number of buttons: 15
Weight: 129.7g
Cable Length: 2m
Lighting: LED (16.8 million colour)

SteelSeries Engine 3 – The Software

The software, simply named SteelSeries Engine 3, features a comfortable and spartan display, with function dominating over form.

SteelSeries Rival 500 - SoftwareThe left panel allows you to quickly swap the functions of the 15 mouse buttons, while the middle panel allows you to fine-tune those options by looking at a digital representation of the mouse, as well as setting colour options for the logo and mouse wheel; you’ll notice in the image that you can set separate colours for both zones if you want to mix it up. The final panel on the right is reserved for the mouse movement options discussed at the end of the previous section, CPI, polling rate and such.

You’ll also find a Config option at the bottom of the menu, allowing you to save your lighting and button options.

What’s the Rival 500 Mouse Like To Use?

Using the Rival 500 is a smooth experience; the mouse glides easily over several surfaces. Having used other mice such as Logitech’s G600 MMO mouse regularly, the Rival 500 is very light. Designed primarily for MMO usage, a light mouse is key when performing so many actions in short spaces of time, and SteelSeries have certainly delivered when it comes to the Rival 500’s weight.

The button placement makes them comfortable to use, and the use of rubber materials means that your hands won’t be uncomfortable or sweaty after hours of use. The two lowest buttons on the left side of the mouse are designed in such a way that you don’t push them into the mouse, but rather down, resulting in quicker usage and less hand fatigue. The cable, while not corded, is light and tends not to be a nuisance when the mouse is in use, though I’d like to have seen a braided cable at this price level.

Getting the buttons set up using the software was simple and easy; clicking the button’s representation in the software resulted in a drop-down menu filled with various options, and it wasn’t hard to set up my desired configuration. There was no tedious set-up, no driver installations; simply plugging in the mouse was enough for me to start going. Following that was the easy and quick download of the software, and I was set.

The Conclusion on the SteelSeries Rival 500 Mouse

SteelSeries Rival 500 - Bottom ViewThe Rival 500 is a fantastic mouse; RGB colours is the trend right now, and SteelSeries are taking that on-board and giving users exactly what they want. The programmable buttons are fantastic and comfortable to use. The vibration feature for gamers in any niche is an awesome feature – being able to have various vibrations for different notifications (low health, reload, skill cooldowns, etc) might quickly become the norm for gamers who need to have their attention on the action at all times.
My only issues with the mouse are the lack of a braided cord, which leaves the mouse in danger of having kinked or broken wiring, and that the side-button lock is on the bottom of the mouse, which makes it less accessible than it could be. I would also have liked to have seen clearer indications of which buttons where which; while the buttons have numbers on them, it’s not quickly apparent which button is which. Perhaps slightly more LED lighting would have been sufficient to solve this problem.

Overall, it’s a mouse with a lot of options and plenty of style. It wouldn’t look out of place in a gaming set-up or in a more professional environment, due to its sleek core design and more extravagant LED lighting.

Review Date
Reviewed Item
SteelSeries Rival 500
Author Rating

About Author

Ben Palmer-Wilson

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