The Danish peripheral manufacturer SteelSeries is going full throttle. After two devices from the new e-sports series, the Arctis Prime gaming headset and the Prime gaming mouse, passed through our test lab in the past few days, the latter now gets competition from their own company. The SteelSeries Rival 5 is the big brother of the popular Rival 3, which aims to impress gamers with nine buttons and 10 RGB zones. Our test shows how well it succeeds.
|Sensor:||SteelSeries TrueMove Air|
|CPI:||100-18,000, in units of 100 CPI|
|Width:||63.35 mm (front), 68.15 mm (rear)|
|Height:||28.20 mm (front), 42.00 mm (rear)|
|Price:||€ 49.90 *|
Design and features
Unlike the minimalist Prime gaming mouse, the Rival 5 adds a lot more color. Upon opening the gray-orange packaging, the mouse presented on a pedestal immediately catches the eye.
Surprisingly, the scope of delivery of the only 85 grams light rodent turns out to be rather meager: Besides the obligatory input device, there is only a short guide in the packaging – disappointing. At least there is nothing to complain about in terms of design and build quality.
The Rival 5 is made of matte black ABS plastic. Only a gray thumb button, the manufacturer’s logo and the later illuminated RGB zones on the sides and mouse wheel stand out a bit visually. Two arched gliding feet are found on the underside, along with recesses for later replacement.
The mouse’s fabric-covered cable is firmly connected. Unfortunately, SteelSeries does not offer a detachable version like the Prime mouse – which is a pity. On the upper side, the mouse has four buttons, which consist of the two primary mouse buttons, a clickable scroll wheel and an additional switch.
The latter controls the mouse speed in a total of five steps by default, which are visually highlighted by various LED lighting effects. The levels can also be freely configured with the help of the SteelSeries GG software.
In addition, there are five more buttons on the left side of the mouse. The special highlight is the top button, which functions as a small lever and works in both directions. This seems a bit unusual at first, but proves to be quite useful in gaming – for example, weapons and grenades can be switched separately in a shooter or different spells or cooldowns can be activated in an MMORPG. All nine buttons are freely configurable with the help of the software.
When looking at the arrangement of the buttons and ergonomics, it quickly becomes clear that the SteelSeries Rival 5 is exclusively aimed at right-handed users. But then the mouse rests comfortably in the hand for several hours and can also convince in terms of size. Regardless of whether you use palm, finger or claw grip: the mouse feels excellent.
Sensor and practical test
SteelSeries equips the Rival 5 with an optical “TrueMove Air Sensor”, once again created in collaboration with PixArt. This comes, similar to the counterpart of the Prime mouse, on a value of up to 18,000 CPI, but can be adjusted in steps of 100 even more precise to your own preferences.
The mouse achieves a maximum speed of up to 400 IPS at 40G acceleration – strong values in the gaming sector. True 1-to-1 tracking and tilt tracking to compensate for undesired queries in case of slanted drops, tilt slams and fast movements are also part of the repertoire. The Rival 5 can then also show off these qualities in gaming mode. No matter whether in fast shooters, MOBAs or online role-playing games: all inputs are implemented precisely and without interference.
However, we particularly liked the dust and water resistant switches with their precise pressure point. Only the two normal keys on the left side offer some cause for criticism. The thumb has to be lifted to operate them – in combination with the mouse’s low weight, it’s not uncommon to lift the entire device. A slightly larger surface would have been desirable here.
On the software side, SteelSeries’ in-house control program “GG” is used. When you connect the Rival 5 to your computer, the software immediately recognizes the new input device and reveals several customization options within a few seconds.
Here, the five levels of mouse acceleration can be fine-tuned separately, and acceleration and deceleration can be controlled separately. If desired, the polling rate can even be reduced from a maximum of 1,000 Hz. Of course, all nine buttons, including both directions of the scroll wheel, can be assigned individually. It is also possible to create and save macros comfortably.
A special highlight for fans of colorful gaming hardware is of course the configuration of the 10-zone Prism lighting, which displays a whopping 16.8 million colors and can be synchronized with other SteelSeries products.
A practical zone guide shows the individual sub-areas on request, which can then be adjusted in terms of color scheme, effect and intensity of the lighting by means of a click. From constant to changing colors (ColorShift) to colorful breathing, there are almost no limits to your own creativity – even the speed and course of the breathing effects can be adjusted. Thanks to the live preview, you can also see how the effects work directly on the mouse at any time.
Right-handed gaming fans will get their money’s worth with the SteelSeries Rival 5. In addition to an impeccable build quality, the mouse, which weighs only 85 grams, convinces with a variety of well thought-out buttons – especially the large lever switch on the left side represents a novelty that proves to be extremely useful in various games.
The click feeling of the buttons and switches convinces with a successful precision at a pleasant volume. Only the two upper side buttons would have benefited from a larger contact surface, as they are quite difficult to reach during gameplay.
For the price, the Rival 5 doesn’t make any notable mistakes and serves gaming fans looking for a lightweight, versatile and comfortable input device excellently.