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SteelSeries Rival 700 gaming mouse review

SteelSeries Rival 700

£85.87
8.5

Build quality

8.5/10

Design

8.5/10

Ease of use

8.5/10

Performance

8.5/10

Pros

  • Responsive
  • Well built
  • Custom options
  • Tactile feedback
  • Friendly software

Cons

  • Weighs quite a bit
  • Usefulness of OLED

rival 700 boxSteelSeries recently released a new gaming mouse, the Rival 700, and seeing its customisation abilities and OLED screen, I just had to review it.

SteelSeries has some great tech for serious gamers and I know that the Rival 300 has been a firm favourite for many FPS fans.

The Rival 700 looks to tick all the right (mouse) buttons, as well as the inclusion of light profiles. Furthermore, it brings something that I have never ever seen on a mouse before. That customisable OLED screen. That really needs to be investigated.

Does this new gaming mouse from SteelSeries carry the torch forwards, or has the bling got in the way of performance?

Rival 700 design

The mouse comes bundled with a 2 meter long braided cable and a shorter, 1 meter, rubber-coated laptop cable.

rival 700 bundleI love the fat, long and low profile of my Corsair M65 (yes it could do with a clean) but the Rival 700 seems to follow a more conventional mouse design.

m65 and Rival 700The Rival 700 has an almost typical 2:1 size ratio at 4.92(L) x 2.70(W) x 1.65(H) inches / 124.85 x 68.46 x 41.97 mm.

The first thing I notices was that the SteelSeries controller weighs quite a bit more than my M65. The Rival 700 tips the balance at 135 grams, in contrast to the 31g of my Vengeance mouse.

rival 700 gripThe sides of the mouse are covered with textured rubber grips and the rubber textured scroll wheel has a flush tread.

rival 700 rearThe mouse has two RGB light zones and features a removable rubber nameplate at the rear.

There are no fewer than 7 programmable buttons, and a removable top cover adds to further customisabilty (that’s a word, right?).

Rival 700 customisation

Hardware

As this is an obvious unique selling point (USP) I reckon this deserves a section to itself.

Let me start with possibly the most important aspect. The Rival 700 comes equipped with the fantastic 16,000 DPI PixArt PMW3360 optical sensor. This can be swapped out by way of four screws so that you can slip in the Pixart 9800 laser sensor module if you should so wish.

rival 700 front blueThe rubber nameplate at the rear end of the mouse can be removed. SteelSeries provides a template on the Rival 700 product page for 3D printers. This allows you to personalise your mouse with your name, or your team logo, etc.

The top cover can also be removed and replaced with another piece from SteelSeries. The cover pack comes with one glossy cover and one anti-sweat textured cover.

Software

More tweaking can be achieved via the SteelSeries Engine 3 software. This plays nice with Windows and OS X.

This program allows adjustments to the button assignments, sensor tracking settings, and lighting configurations.

steelseries engineThe Rival 700 also supports the GameSense feature which allows the mouse to react directly in response to game events. At the moment there’s not much support but Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO), DOTA 2, and Minecraft do.

GameSense takes up its own submenu where you can configure the Rival 700’s RGB LEDs, OLED screen, and tactile motor. You can also set when the vibrations happen via the Tactile menu. This allows customisation to when and how the feedback motor reacts to assigned game events. Multiple game events can be assigned to trigger the motor such as low health, low ammo, stun states, and so on.

Buttons

Opening the settings for the Rival 700 for the first time you’ll see the CONFIGS sidebar. This shows five on-board profiles and any locally stored profiles.

The seven buttons (Left and Right, the three thumb buttons, CPI and scroll) as well as the scroll wheel are all fully customisable.

To the right are various sliders for adjusting the tracking sensor. These are the two sensitivity banks, pointer acceleration, angle snapping / prediction, and polling rate / latency.

You can also set a key or mouse button to trigger a timer that vibrates the mouse when time’s up.

rival 700 oledThere’s a whole slew of customisable button settings: keyboard keys, macros, media controls, and any other mouse button can be sorted.

The Macro Editor has two interfaces. Here keypresses and delays are shown in a flow diagram allowing for macro micromanagement.

Alternatively, the text macro editor makes it much easier to dump a block of words, sentences, or even paragraphs. Handy for those RPG players.

Lights. Action!

The Illumination Effects menu is perhaps the most fun. Each zone, track wheel and SteelSeries logo, can each be assigned a preset or custom colour effect. This is all very easily configured.

rival 700 side violetNow, that OLED screen.

You can, of course put what you want on there. I managed to get my band logo to appear (please excuse the blurry pic), but there’s other things you can do.

rival 700 lackFor instance, get it to display the ‘Headshot’ graphic when you take someone out in that matter when playing CS:GO.

There are even GIFs you can download made by the community. To me, this brings back memories of when you could buy designs for your Nokia from the back of magazines and newspapers.

I guess the main difference is that these can be triggered by certain things. Although its usefulness for imparting important info at crucial moments is dubious.

Rival 700 performance

The mouse feels just about right for me to use a ‘claw grip’ as well as the more standard ‘palm grip’. Although, as I have quite long fingers, the palm grip isn’t ideal for me. Using the ‘finger tip grip’ doesn’t really feel comfortable on this mouse for me either as it’s a tad slim. It might be one of those things that gets easier after a while though.

The important thing is that the Rival 700 performs brilliantly. I couldn’t confuse it with swift movements and it tracked well even through magnified scopes.

rival 700 pink sideThe buttons are useful and I preferred the placement of the thumb buttons on the SteelSeries mouse than my Corsair daily driver.

All the buttons give good feedback with nice, definite clicks.

The scroll wheel is also precise as is its button.

I even like the vibration feedback. The good thing is, as the feedback motor runs up and down, it doesn’t throw things off balance when it kicks in.

Rival 700 review conclusion

I cannot ignore that the Rival 700 owns (or PWNS) some firsts. The tactile feedback motor, swapable tracking sensor and an OLED screen are all new to me on a mouse.

Does it need these though? Well, the vibrating feedback works remarkably well I have to say. I like it.

The swapable sensor? Well, if there were other units than the one on offer, possibly. I suppose it does somewhat future-proof it when better ones come along. The thing is, the one in the mouse already is pretty darned fantastic.

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The OLED screen? I can’t help but think that this is the equivalent of spinners on your hubcaps. It’s not really there for anything other than impressing the people around you. It is fun but taking your eyes of the monitor to check what’s going on your mouse – you get shot in-game my friend. I know. I was there man.

The Engine 3 software is easy to use and I do like the light configurations too.

This is a great mouse and definitely one for those who like to pimp their controllers. This is one FPS mouse that you cannot ignore.

Rival 700 price and availability

You can buy the SteelSeries Rival 700 mouse now for £85.87 from Amazon or direct from SteelSeries for €109.99The SteelSeries site also has the optional extras on offer too.

SteelSeries Rival 700 Gaming Mouse Specifications:

Design
  • Material: Matte Top Cover
  • Ergonomic, Right-Handed
  • Grip Style: Palm, Claw, and Fingertip
  • Number of Buttons: 7
  • SteelSeries Switches: Rated for 30 Million Clicks
  • Reinforced Left and Right Clicks
  • Weight: 135g, 0.3lbs
  • Height: 124.85mm, 4.92in
  • Width: 68.46mm, 2.70 in
  • Depth: 41.97mm, 1.65in
  • Short cable length (non-braided): 1m, 3.28 ft
  • Long cable length (braided): 2m, 6.5 ft
Sensor
  • Name: PixArt PMW3360
  • Type: Optical
  • CPI: 100 to 16,000
  • IPS: 300
  • Acceleration: 50g
  • Polling Rate: 1 ms (1000 Hz)
  • Zero Hardware Acceleration
  • Tracking Accuracy: 1:1
Customisation Options
  • Gamesense Support
  • OLED Display Customisation
  • Tactile Alert Customisation
  • SteelSeries Engine Support: SSE3
  • Multiple CPI Options
  • Programmable Buttons
  • Onboard Profile Storage
  • Acceleration Customisation
  • Deceleration Customisation
  • Colour Options: 16.8 Million
  • Swappable Pixart 9800 Laser Sensor
  • Swappable Rival 700 Top Cover Pack
  • Printable 3-D Nameplate

SteelSeries Rival 700 gaming mouse review

by Jay Garrett time to read: 5 min
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