Very few companies are as committed to Esports as SteelSeries. Their gaming peripherals have little competition, and the newly released Rival 700 gaming mouse serves as yet another example of how much effort SteelSeries’ engineers put into each new product. I test gaming mice on a regular basis, and while there are more than a handful of superb models I can think of, the Rival 700 is unquestionably the best gaming mouse I’ve ever used. SteelSeries has struck a perfect balance between weight, comfort and durability. The Rival 700 is a dream for competitive gamers, and I’m struggling to find any major criticism after two weeks of thorough testing.
SteelSeries doesn’t fool around when it comes to presentation, and the packaging reflects the Rival’s premium look and feel. It’s been a long time since a gaming mouse got me this excited. The Rival makes an immediate impression with its sleek lines, stylish buttons and elegantly textured body. It’s weightier than your average mouse, and it provides much better resistance when zigzagging across the mouse matte.
"I test gaming mice on a regular basis, and while there are more than a handful of superb models I can think of, the Rival 700 is unquestionably the best gaming mouse I’ve ever used."
The Rival 700 comes with several standout features, like a customizable OLED screen, and tactile alerts for specific titles. As someone who games mostly on consoles, haptic feedback is is an imperative element in genres like racing and FPS. Introducing something as simple as a rumble effect to a gaming mouse has a remarkable effect on immersion.
Unfortunately, the haptic feedback currently only works on select games: Counter Strike - Global Offensive, Dota 2 and a modded version of Minecraft. I’m not sure whether support for other titles will expand over time, but this excellent feature is somewhat useless unless you’re religiously committed to the above titles. Having said that, the haptic feedback delivers a cathartic experience. I would be shocked if this feature doesn’t become the new standard for future gaming mice. The added rumble gives matches more tangibility. Gaming feels better, and the Rival 700 unquestionably improves performance.
"You don’t need to be a competitive gamer to notice the difference. Honestly, even if you’re a designer seeking a high-quality working mouse, the Rival 700 excels regardless of what it’s used for."
The OLED screen with customizable Gifs may seem like a gimmick at first, but it’s a surprisingly useful feature in MOBAs, in this case Dota 2 specifically. The OLED works in combination with SteelSeries’ GameSense, part of their Engine 3 Software. You can display different types of stats, which makes it especially handy in games with clustered UIs. It’s similarly useful when displaying health or ammo limits in shooters. Beyond its practical applications, the OLED can also be used to display hilarious custom gifs, like Nicolas Cage’s spinning head. Beyond that, the Rival comes with all the expected tweaking options SteelSeries is known for. Competitive gamers can fine-tune settings for their desired performance within seconds thanks to Engine 3’s easy-to-use UI.
All the nifty features are a welcome extra, but where the Rival 700 truly shines is in its raw performance. The Rival 700 simply feels and performs better than any other mouse model I’ve tested thus far. You don’t need to be a competitive gamer to notice the difference. Honestly, even if you’re a designer seeking a high-quality working mouse, the Rival 700 excels regardless of what it’s used for. SteelSeries has done it again. Their Esports products just keep getting better and better, and the Rival 700 is one of their finest releases this year!