Review: The SteelSeries Rival 700 gaming mouse

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Walking down the gaming aisles at my local electronics store, I can’t help but notice that the peripherals that are on the market today all seem to look the same. Most of them even have the same features, such as the ever popular RGB lighting. Sure, there are subtle differences in the shape and/or button placement, but the apparent differences don’t go far beyond that. Instead, we look at the insides to see the difference: the internal sensor, the CPI settings, etc. The Rival 700 is no different. At first, it looks like any other gaming mouse, but take a closer look and you’ll see that this may be the gaming mouse of the future.

The numbers.

The Rival 700 is capable of up to 16,000 CPI (counts per inch), boasts a true 1:1 tracking accuracy, registers acceleration of up to 300 IPS (inches per second), and speeds of up to 50g’s. What does this all mean? Gamers are able to pull off those insane twitch plays quicker and with less actual movement. I tested the mouse playing CS:GO and definitely felt the advantage. I was able to customize the mouse to the exact CPI configuration I wanted and the zero acceleration allowed the mouse to be exactly where I expected it to be when I moved. It meant all the difference when getting those headshots on the opposite team before they got them on me.

The Rival 700 also has 7 different customizable buttons allowing players to customize their button config to their own play style. Using the SteelSeries Engine, gamers are able to set up different game profiles specific to each type of game they play. For example, button 5 may be reload in CS:GO, but in League of Legends it can activates your ultimate. Sure, this isn’t ground breaking, but it is good to know that the options are there.

Customization on a whole other level.

Most gaming peripheral companies offer customization through RGB lighting effects and, of course the individual mouse mechanic settings mentioned above. SteelSeries has taken this one step further giving the Rival 700 a customizable info screen, making the mouse modular, and including customizable tactile alerts.

The small screen on the left of the mouse seems a bit gimmicky I must admit. When I first saw it I thought it was a cool feature, but questioned the real world functionality of it. I was proven wrong – way wrong. The little black and white OLED screen is capable of more than just displaying your e-sports’ team logo. Players can utilize that screen to show in game stats, such as K/D ratios, instead of having to tab out of the game to see. The screen can also be used to fine tune the settings on the fly for optimum efficiency during game play. Switching games? Use the screen to switch profiles instead of opening the mouse software.

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Tactile alerts are a brilliant addition to the mouse. These customizable alerts can be set to go off with every headshot, when a cool down is ready, or even when your match is starting. The cool thing about the engineering behind this feature is that the mouse vibrates up and down on your palm, opposed to side-to-side. This means that the tactile alerts will never cause you jerk out of position.

The move to a modular design is, in my opinion, the best jump forward in gaming mouse development. The Rival 700 comes with two cable: a rubberized 3ft cable as well as a 6ft braided cable. Why include two different cords? SteelSeries knows that gamers don’t all have gaming desktops and instead some use laptops to save Middle Earth. As someone who used to use a laptop for said world saving, it was very frustrating to have a huge cable to maintain when I really only needed a few feet. With the Rival 700 gamers can choose the best cord for their set up. This also means that players can switch it up when going from gaming at home to a LAN party. In addition to the cable, the palm rest is also swappable to make the mouse your own.

Finally, the sensor. Gamers get attached to their gear, especially gear that they get to customize so heavily. However, they are faced with a qualm when new sensors are developed and are better than what they use. Well, SteelSeries has remedied that by making the sensor replaceable as well. Gamers no longer have to decide between their trusty gear and the newest tech.

The mouse is crazy comfortable.

Some of the heaviest game play I did when testing this mouse was during a 24 hour stream on Twitch. This mouse was incredibly comfortable to hold and use for extended periods of gaming. The shape, the texture and the side grips all come together to create a mouse that can be used for hours on end.

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Overall, it’s a great mouse.

The Rival 700 from SteelSeries should definitely be on the watch list for all PC gamers. After launch, SteelSeries will be releasing additional face plates in different finishes, color options and designs. The mouse is available now for $99.99 USD.

If I had to choose some negative aspects of the mouse, they would have to be the RGB coloring not being as precise as I would like, and the Engine software not being as user-friendly as some other software. When visually compared to some of the other gaming mice on the market, the Rival 700 may not out shine those with more premium looks, such as the addition of metal to the design. However, these are hardly deal breakers, in my opinion, since they rely more on the personal preferences of the gamer.

This mouse is an excellent choice for casual and pro-gamers, alike. The incredible amount of customization and personalization makes the Rival 700 a mouse that players will enjoy using and showing off. The inclusion of tactile alerts, an OLED screen, and a modular design essentially future-proof this mouse for years to come.

Final Score: 4.5/5 Atoms

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

 

 

 

*The Rival 700 gaming mouse was provided by SteelSeries for our review.

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