Steelseries Rival 500 Gaming Mouse Review
Published: 9th January 2017 | Source: Steelseries | Price: £79.99 |
MMO mice have never been our personal favourite here at OC3D, largely because we're so old we remember when mice just had two buttons, no scroll wheel and a ball and rollers for the sensor. But also because manufacturers usually took to the problem of 'how do we add more buttons to a mouse' with the solution of 'add a keyboard to the side'. Now sure this solves the need more buttons issue, but doesn't do so in a manner which fills the user with confidence when they are reaching a critical point in their game and absolutely must hit the right button for the right spell/skill at the right time. The quest to solve the extra buttons problem but in a manner that made them all readily identifiable just through feel of our thumb - not the most subtle of our fingers at the best of times - is one that has been ongoing ever since.
We think the Steelseries solution to the problem is the best yet. Rather than just have 9 or 12 extra buttons on the side, under your thumb, ready to be mispressed at any moment, with the Rival 500 they have worked out a way to allow you to have your thumb where it normally is, without a button under it, yet also given you all the buttons you could possibly need without requiring dislocation of any joints to press nor a ready reckoner and a torch to determine which button it is you're about to hit. All of the buttons feel different under your thumb, and in the case of the topside buttons your fingertips. Furthermore the back and forward buttons are designed in such a way that if you're just using it as a regular mouse you're not compromised by tiny buttons. The design has taken into account the accuracy of our thumb too, as the buttons which end up being by the Interphalangeal joint are much larger than those used by the tip.
The sensor is an absolute monster, as anyone with even a passing interest in high end gaming mice will know. Once upon a time you either used the accuracy of an optical or the high DPI of a LASER, but with the modern PixArt sensors you get the best of both worlds. We still can't understand why you'd need 16000 CPI on your sensor, but there is no kill like overkill. The Rival 500 is extremely comfortable to use for lengthy sessions with the combination of materials and a slightly flattened palm part help it to fit in even the largest hands comfortably. With the excellent button placement you have no fatigue even if you're using them all for hours at a time.
The vibration feedback that we first saw on the Rival 700 is still here on the Rival 500. It is one of those features, similar to how we felt about adding a camera to our phone back in the Nokia days, that you can't see the benefit of until you have it and then you wonder how you ever lived without it. If you have a console you'll understand the boon that the rumble feature can be, and it is no different here. Of course you can play without it if you want, but we think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the edge it can give you.
With the Rival 700 Steelseries really moved the market on a step, and the Rival 500 does for the MMO crowd what the 700 did for the FPS market. The button placement is a revelation, a joy, a wonder. Once you combine that with a blistering sensor, fantastic lighting, excellent build quality and enough ergonomics to keep you playing for hours in comfort then you end up with a mouse worthy of our OC3D Enthusiast Award. The Steelseries Rival 500 should be on everyone's desk.