SteelSeries Rival 3
Gaming Mouse (Wired)
It’s a sentiment that we’ve discussed in peripheral reviews before but it’s worth repeating here – price can factor into the quality of a product. Or more precisely, the price point which begins at affordable takes a ride through mid-range town and ends up in premium-ville can determine worth. The SteelSeries Rival 3 falls into the affordable range with a price at around $69 AUD, but it does so with an eye to quality and performance comparable to mice twice the cost.
Coming from SteelSeries there’s an expectation that the hardware maker has managed to do just that with the Rival 3. Based on the company’s reputation, and previous mice we’ve covered like the excellent Sensei Ten
living up to specs and marketing. The Rival 3 sits somewhere in between, but mostly in the former. Thanks to performance and reliability that is exceptional for the cost of entry, with a few genuinely surprising and welcome touches. That said, there’s also a mainstream everyday-like quality to the build and overall all-plastic feel so it's a slight give and take.
In terms of weight and grip the Rival 3 sits firmly in the lightweight and compact category with a size that is smaller than most gaming mice and the 77-grams coming in a lot lighter than the competition. This adds a level of versatility where we immediately began taking the Rival 3 between different devices from gaming laptops to desktop builds. Plus, the small size allows for various grips complemented by an ambidextrous design that is comfortable to use for extended periods.
“... performance and reliability that is exceptional for the cost of entry, with a few genuinely surprising and welcome touches."
Although the all plastic shell might be the first sign that this SteelSeries entry lies in the affordable range, there’s definite quality and surprise to be found too. The SteelSeries mechanical switches are rated at 60 million clicks and have a great, well, click-feel. The scroll wheel has a similar firm and high-end touch, and the RGB lighting doesn’t skimp with full outer shell circumference where usually all you get is an illuminated logo in mice costing less than $70.
- Sensor: TrueMove Core
- DPI: 8,500
- Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
- Movement: 35 G acceleration
- Buttons: Six
- Weight: 77g
SteelSeries’ optical TrueMove Core sensor does dials back the sensitivity to around 8,500 DPI – less than what you find in most premium gaming mice (including those from SteelSeries) but it’s more than enough for everyday gaming. In testing across DOOM Eternal, Warcraft III: Reforged, and many more, fine-tuning the above with the SteelSeries software was not only a breeze but also a case of not sitting there saying “boy, I wish I had 16,000 dots per inch to work with” right after a session.
Of course, the TrueMove Core has been designed to keep the overall cost of the Rival 3 down, but the execution is of a similar quality and standard found in the TrueMove Pro. A sentiment that applies to the Rival 3 as a gaming mouse. And sure, there are shortcomings in the form of the non-braided cable and a lack of overall buttons, but in the end, we were surprised by how much we ended up using the Rival 3. And when it comes to products that sit in the affordable range, genuine and pleasant surprises can be hard to find. Highly recommended.