SteelSeries Rival 700 Mouse Review
The Rival series of mice have evolved over time, from the basic capabilities of the Rival 100, through the upgrades in the 300, to the most advanced options available in the 700. Using this mouse as a general, light user has been a wonderful experience, but friends who have used this in competitive play have highlighted a few issues. Through this review, we will hopefully cover both!
Across the board, everyone who has used this mouse have commented on the durability of the product. When giving the mouse a good shake, there appears to be no audible movements, meaning everything is tightened up and securely in place. I don’t even hear any feedback from around the buttons, a common problem with many mice available on the market.
The shape of the mouse is a tad odd, especially along the back. Everyone who took this mouse for a spin commented on the odd design, preferring the smooth rounded back found on most traditional mice, over the edgy design used on the Rival 700. The odd shape does make the mouse look better visually, but there was some comfort issues when using it for long periods of time.
How well a mouse tracks and whether or not the buttons feel responsive is an important part of any mouse, regardless of whether it is used competitively or for general use. Like the Rival 300, almost everything about the 700 is smooth and clean, which results in a vary satisfying experience.
Accuracy, whether via quick movements or slow pans, is spot on for the most part; here is where I found a very noticeable difference between the 300 and the 700. Both function very similarly when moving quickly around corners, or spinning around for that ultimate head shot. However, when playing games that take a more precise and accurate movement, the 700 easily out classes the 300. While using a gaming mouse for general use may seem odd, I found the 700 a very useful tool when doing photo editing.
All the button feel very responsive, although the added third button on the side – when moving from the 300 to the 700 – is hard to click with a small hand, and doesn’t feel as responsive as the other buttons on the mouse. Overall, however, this outshines most similar products on the market.
Bells and Whistles
What often sets different products on the market apart are the added features specific to a particular brand. In the case of Steel Series, using the downloadable software will allow players to not only customize button mapping for specific games, but also allow you to adjust numerous cosmetic aspects of the mouse, particularily the colour that glows from the Steel Series logo on the back, or what logo appears on the small screen near the tip of the mouse.
By default, the small screen displays the SteelSeries logo and name, but it can be customized to display a wide plethora of different logos; you can ever show off your Pokemon Go loyalty with the logo for each of the three teams you can join in the game.
It’s an added feature that comes with some hidden costs, at least for competitive players.
The Competitive Problems
Everything cosmetic about the Rival 700 is a welcome addition for a casual gamer and general user like myself, but when I passed this off to friends who play FPS titles competitively, I began getting the ‘negative’ feedback, which almost always came back to one thing: weight.
Coming in at 137 grams, the mouse is heavier than what would be preferred by competitive gamers, by almost 40 grams. I have to take my coworkers opinion as truth, as I have never gamed competitively before. When looking at the mouse, it is not too hard to see where the extra weight may come from, namely, the small screen at the front and the necessary interworkings that power the lights on the back.
When I use the mouse, this is never a problem, but when the hardcore audience does, apparently, it is an issue.
Conclusion: Recommended and Not Recommended
Although I don’t play games on the competitive scene, I highly recommend this mouse, even for general use. Yes, 100$ may seem a bit much for a mouse intended for general use and light gaming, but between the build quality – which includes a great braided cord that will last longer than your average mouse cable – and the great functionality, the mouse is a great buy.
Between the feedback from the buttons, the smooth glide of the feet over the mouse pad, and some great features built into the downloadable software, I have no problem upgrading from my Rival 300 to this mouse, especially for the noticeable difference in slow, precise movements.
If you are gaming in the competitive space, understand the weight issue. Outside of weight, my coworkers has indicated that this mouse really is great, and that there is a handful of gamers out there who prefer a weighty mouse. Button feedback is incredibly, movements are really precise, and for games that do provide tactical feedback, the feature works outstandingly. However, if a heavier mouse is going to be a turn off, then move along. This one isn’t for you.