Gaming mice, is it worth the investment? Why isn’t a mouse worth a few bucks from a bargain box enough to be competitive as a gamer? Currently the market of gaming mice is quite saturated. Logitech, Roccat, Razer stand on top of the hill when it comes to it. Including SteelSeries, and they prove that once again with the Rival 5.
Like always, let’s start off with the specs.
SteelSeries TrueMove Air
100 – 18.000 in 100 CPI-options
400, on SteelSeries QcK-surfaces
1.000 Hz/1 ms
Zero (There is none)
Black cover material
Matt black finish
ABS artificial fabrics
Ergonomic, right handed
Claw, palm, or fingertips
Amount of buttons
Type of switch
SteelSeries IP54 mechanical switches, rating: 80 million clicks
63,35 mm (front), 68,15 mm (back)
28,20mm (front), 42,00 mm (back)
Length Super Mesh-cable
Compatible Operating Systems
Windows, Mac, Xbox and Linux. USB-port required.
SteelSeries Engine 3.18.4+, for Windows (7 or newer) and Mac OSX (10,12 or newer)
Perfect for all Battle Royale-, FPS-, MOBA-, MMO- and other fast paced games
Real 1-on-1-tracking precision with TrueMove Air precision optic gaming-sensor
Ergonomic programmable settings with 9 buttons and 5 quick to access side buttons
85 grams lightweight and extra durability
Next-gen golden micro IP54-switches
Brilliant PrismSync-lighting with 10 zones consisting of 16,8 million beautiful colors
From Steelseries I received a few products to review.
– Steelseries QcK Prism 4XL
– Steelseries Rival 5
It seems that SteelSeries has been paying a lot more attention to their packaging. A step in the right direction in my opinion. Everything used to be delivered with plastic, now everything is made out of cardboard.
Normally a gaming mouse consists of some buttons here and there and a scroll wheel, SteelSeries seems to ‘rival’ this normality. (Get it?)
Besides the standard thumb buttons there’s another button above that can be moved in an upwards and downwards motion. And as seen in the image, another thumb button, the gray one.
Due to the magical shape of this mouse you’re able to hold it with Claw grip, palm, or fingertips.
The right side of the Rival 5 does not contain any buttons. Of course the lighter area on the mouse consists of RGB in both the logo and the scroll wheel.
Despite the SteelSeries Rival 5 lacking intensity, like the umpteenth season of Days of our Lives, the bottom does seem to have a good looking finish, making sliding it over a surface fairly easy. Especially in combination with the QcK Prism 4XL or any other QcK.
The USB-cable of the Rival 5 is made out of a mesh fabric. Not only is it very soft, it also slides easily over your desk. Compared to an older mouse (Rival 600), equipped with a rubber cable, you can certainly notice the difference.
RGB.. RGB everywhereeeee! If you’re a fan of RGB, Steelseries has got you covered. If you’re not an avid fan of RGB, don’t worry. Using the Steelseries Engine you can turn everything off to your liking. The Rival 5 will look like the previous images. :P.
It’s time we take a look at the QcK Prism 4XL. And the XL in 4XL is not an exaggeration.. Good lord almighty it’s big..
The fun thing about the Prism 4XL is that it has RGB lighting, it just has that little bit extra. Looking at the other side of the mat in the images, we can see clearly that the RGB lighting is strong on the top left side, and fades out slightly everywhere else.
This is because the RGB starts top left, and is blown to other parts of the mat.
Ah well, besides the color…XL indeed! I personally find this epic. There’s more than enough room to play around on. Whilst gaming I used to have the excuse that I would be running out of mat, having to lift up my mouse to continue aiming somewhere. With this gargantuan, that problem has gone away.
Just for fun and size comparison, this is a MacBook Air on the pad itself. The amount of space still available is incredible.
And one of the plus sides of the QcK Prism 4XL is that it also comes with a gigantic cable.
Another pro from SteelSeries is that it uses uniform software that can all centrally control multiple products, provided it’s SteelSeries of course.
The Rival 5 has quite a few options! Being able to edit different kinds of actions through the buttons, to macros, lighting and even DPI-profiles.
Let’s start on the left side. On the left you can open the different configuration menus. Which means that you can have a set configuration for specific games. If there’s a game where you need extreme DPI settings, and another game where you need half of that, you can configure this before hand. Starting the game up, means that you are ready, without having to go through it all again. This goes beyond just DPI, also lighting and buttons can be edited.
You could start Fortine and have specific buttons (Or extra thumb buttons) bound to a specific action. Even better…Through the buttons you could set pre-recorded macros.
Using game A you could have an RGB disco party, and game B you could have it off, or just 1 color. Edit like you want it, and go as crazy as you want. Do you want to be able to shut down your PC pressing a thumb button? Go for it! Your own personal rage quit button!
Moral of the story, if you want it, SteelSeries Engine has it. Good stuff!
And now for the right side of the app. Yes, even more options. The Rival 5 is able to use a maximum of 5 DPI levels through the Steelseries Engine. If you only want 1 or 2, you can delete the others to be left with just two.
You can fine tune the mouse even further through acceleration and deceleration. This will help to move the cursor more or less by slow or fast movements.
Even the polling rate can be edited. This checks either every 1 milliseconds (1000hz) or 8 milliseconds (125hz) if the mouse had any movement.
And in the middle we can find our good old trusted RGB lighting options. You could set it to active (Having the same type of color) or reactive. Reactive meaning; if you click a button, there will be a certain color matching it in whatever zone you set it up to be.
Of course you have a whole palette to choose from and different kinds of effects. You can choose Steady, ColorShift, Multi Color Breathe and Disable illumination.
The engine has had a whole new array of options since the last update. I’m not going to name them all, you’d be scrolling forever otherwise. What I do insist you scroll for, is the amount of options available with the Engine. You could even configure a keyboard, headset or mouse with Discord as shown in the image.
And I’ll leave it with that, because there’s a full 8 pages full of plugins to be found.
SteelSeries is truly trying their best to pave the road forward when it comes to their products.
Whilst gaming I’ve really grown accustomed to the mesh-cable attached to the mouse.
The microfiber mesh-cable has far less resistance on your desk. And that is incredibly comfortable. Either playing Battlefield 2042 (Better iterations are available) or Fortnite, the last thing you want is to get stuck whilst moving quickly due to your mouse cable. And that was something that happened to me back in the day with the Rival 600. That one seems to be equipped with what looks like a rubber cable. This cable would get your mouse movement stuck, due to it sticking to your desk slightly. Not as bad when you just purchased it. But after a few years of use, you’ll notice the difference.
The Rival 5 truly shows that SteelSeries know what they’re doing with their products.
And you might be thinking, ‘what difference does a cable make?’ Well…From personal experience, a lot!
I dusted off Battlefield 4 and went to town with the Rival 5. And oh boy what a game, and oh man what a mouse!
My first feeling of intensely using the mouse was getting accustomed to the 85 grams of weight. But during actual gameplay, you’ll see that you can still be incredibly accurate.
When I hit consistent TV missiles from either an attack helicopter or boat in Battlefield 4 I know it’s a good mouse.
And still, the mouse isn’t just designed for your standard shooters. The multitude of buttons on it will ensure you can play any other games without a hitch too.
Like I’ve mentioned in my previous reviews of SteelSeries products, the great thing is that everything can be edited in the SteelSeries Engine exactly how you want them.
A quick and easy example being this. If you’re an avid user of push-to-talk, you could bind the extra mouse buttons to its activation.
Or if you want to use different capabilities for different games/programs, the Rival 5 can be edited per game/profile for different settings.
If you prefer to heal in Far Cry 6 using button B7 you can, but if you want to be able to hold your scope in Sniper Elite with B7, you only need to edit that once.
And that’s what makes this mouse perfect. With the SteelSeries Engine, you’ll have a lot of options to use.
Back to the mouse itself.. Playing multiple games myself, I really notice how nice it is to have a DPI-switch available. And having 5 profiles at my disposal, I can switch it for any situation. If you play as a sniper aiming for a long shot, you might want to stick to a different profile than walking around as close quarters infantry. Smack the DPI button and you will have the desired effect! And that is what makes it fun.
For the people that used to watch Top Gear, you will undoubtedly know that stripes on a car make it faster. The same rule applies to RGB on a mouse. It’s not just pretty, it just gives it a different look. Even though you’ll have your hand on the mouse itself most of the time, just knowing it’s there makes a difference.
I was lucky enough to use a PRISM 4XL mouse mat. The good thing is that your whole desk will be covered by it. And for the people that think that using a mouse on the desk is good enough, you haven’t used something like this yet. If you wish to go the extra mile, have a look at the PRISM series. No, not everything has to be RGB, there’s a plethora of normal QcK+ mouse pads, and I’m pleased about them as well!
I could go on and on about the Rival 5 having loads of options (because it has), is comfortable in your hands(also true), has RGB (+5 pk) and using it in combination with a good mouse mat is an unstoppable force, provided your skills are up to par.
At the end of the day, and as of time of writing, it’s a mouse sold for 50 Euros.
Comparing it with other gaming mice or your bog standard bargain box cursor mover costing 20 Euros, would it be a better plan to save up an extra 30 Euros? In my opinion, a short and resounding, yes!
Why? You’ll have accuracy, a light mouse and RGB!!!! Provided with very good software that can map whatever you desire with all the extra buttons on it. What more could you want from a gaming mouse?
The software just has so much to offer and that’s a huge plus. Having good additions such as synchronizing the RGB, or completely customizing what buttons do in either Windows or presets in your games.
In my previous days as a competitive gamer, I would’ve loved to be able to use this mouse.
Absolutely sure that I would have bought it in combination with a mouse mat like the SteelSeries QcK Prism Cloth or other QcK products. These two would’ve been a dynamic duo, and if you or I were to miss a shot, we can only blame our own skills…
Looking at price points of other brands such as Razer, Roccat, Logitech etc. the price point of the Rival 5 seems to be quite fair for what it does.
The SteelSeries Rival 5 deserves just as many stars as its iteration, 5 out of 5 stars!