SteelSeries Rival Optical Gaming Mouse

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The mouse is an often overlooked upgrade. “My $5 mouse works fine, why would I need to upgrade” is comparable to being content with a 6 inch TV because it shows a picture. As someone who as always been content with cheap mouses, I urge you to step out of your comfort zone and try out a nice gaming mouse (you don’t have to be gamer). You’re going to thank me later.

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I had the pleasure of recently testing out a few Steelseries products, most notably the Siberia Elite V2 Gaming Headset. The Rival Optical Gaming Mouse continues SteelSeries’ trend of high-end gaming products without a hitch. If you’re looking for a long-term mouse solution (gaming or not) the Rival is an excellent choice.

Ergonomically Designed

I feel like the words “ergonomically designed” are thrown out all too often in promotion. While it’s defined as “intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort”, most of the claims leave consumers disappointed. I can state from personal experience that the Rival is not one of those let-downs, it’s incredibly comfortable in your hand even after an 8 hour computer work day.

The surface and grips are all designed for comfort as well. The top consists of a soft-touch anti-sweat coating that feel wonderful in your hand. The left and right sides of the mouse are made of an injected rubber grip. All these fancy words mean one thing: Even if you coated your hands in butter you won’t lose grip.

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Accurate Tracking

The primary function of any gaming mouse should be 100% accuracy. The Rival delivers in this aspect with absolute certainty. Even with my worn out X-Trac mouse pad I have yet to run across dependency issues after 3 months of solid use. It boasts true 1:1 tracking precision, for incredible precision regardless of movement speed. This is all thanks to their cutting edge optical sensor.

Will It Last?

I’ve been through my fair share of gaming mice. Nothing is more frustrating than when buttons wear down and you ahve to smash them in order to see an action. The Rival is designed to outlast competition, each unit is guaranteed up to 30,000,000,000 clicks.. yes.. thirty million. I don’t know who on earth would ever count that many, but you canrest assured this mouse won’t wear out on you when you need it most.

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The Real Advantage – Performance Tuning

The above features are great, but you can also find them in most modern mouse options. The Rival sets itself apart with it’s SteelSeries Engine performance tuning software. Whether you’re a gamer, web/graphic designer, or simply on your computer for a few hours daily, you’re going to love what the Rival has to offer.

1. On The Fly CPI Toggle (sensitivity options)

Indented on the top of the mouse you’ll find a small toggle that switches between two user-defined CPI options. For any non gamer this simply means you can set two mouse sensitivities and switch between them with the click of a button. For a gamer, this is an absolute must-have. For example in first person shooters, having the ability to switch CPI when using a sniper rifle vs a pistol gives you a huge advantage over other players.

2. Acceleration/Deceleration

This customization adjusts your mouse sensitivity based on how quickly you move your mouse. For example a slow swipe across your pad would have a lower CPI, while a quick swipe adjusts your CPI momentarily for more CPI.

3. Angle Snapping

Angle snapping perfects your horizontal or vertical scrolling based on your settings. A high angle snapping setting would keep a horizontal movement on a perfect 0 degree arc, ignoring imperfections in your mouse movement.

4. Polling Rate

Determine how often your computer communicates with your mouse. Higher polling rates decrease mouse lag, while a low polling rate is easier on your PC resources.

Appearance Customization

Steelseries is known for custom appearance tuning, whether you’re looking to color-coordinate a team of gamers or adding your own flair, it’s an awesome touch.

The Rival has two LED’s, one within the scroll wheel and another controlling the backlit Steelseries logo. Both LED’s can be adjusted using an RGB scale, along with additional options for how the LED display. You can set the LED to steady, breathe (pulse), or colorshift for a vivid display.

To further customization, the rear rubber padding can custom-ordered with your name, a team name, or swapped out between two included Steelseries logos.

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Built-In Macro Recording Software

The macro editor comes standard with the Steelseries Engine, and is one of the best added benefits of the Engine. If you aren’t familiar with macros, they are pre-set events that can be activated by a single button. For example you could record a macro that clicks once, scrolls the mousewheel up, then clicks again. Assign the macro to any of the Rival buttons and you can perform that action with a single click.

While any gamer can see the obvious benefits this offers (MMO’s specifically), it’s also incredibly handy to non-gamers who perform repetitive tasks. I have an assigned macro for copy text and images for example. Automating small tasks like this increases efficiency and ends up saving major time throughout your day.

Final Thoughts

The Rival is another Steelseries product that just plain delivers. While it costs more than the average mouse, the additional cost is absolutely worth the benefits (especially if you’re a gamer). The Rival’s comfort, convenience, and customization makes it one of the best mice (gaming or not) available on the current market.

I absolutely endorse this product, and urge you to look into an often overlooked computer upgrade today at Steelseries website. SteelSeries Rival Optical Mouse.

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