Price: Australia, February 2017, MSY $70AUD (discount to $28AUD)
Steelseries has packed the Rival 300 neatly into a dark themed box with good protection from bumps in shipping. The mouse comes with a quick start guide and a sticker of the Steelseries logo. Note though that there is no way of testing to see how the mouse feels in a retail store (unless there is a display model) as the packaging has no preview window.
The box-art of the Rival 300.
Firstly, the Steelseries Rival 300 is a LARGE mouse. Despite being a similar width to a Razer Deathadder it feels far larger in the hand and could prove to be cumbersome for those with smaller hands. It features a plastic chassis with a right-handed, asymmetric design. Both the left and right sides of the mouse are finished in a bumpy rubber surface. This surface provides extra grip for your thumb, ring and pinky fingers and helps reduce the chance that the mouse could slip when moving and lifting it.
The profile of the Rival 300 also showing the outer rubber grip where you can rest your ring and pinky fingers.
The left and right mouse buttons are integrated into the top plastic shell of the mouse and the mouse wheel has a ribbed rubber finish. Just behind the mouse wheel is a button for changing between 2 DPI stages. On the left side of the mouse are two buttons that default to browser back and forward functions. The Rival 300 has 4 Teflon mouse feet that make the mouse feel quite agile for its size.
At the rear of the mouse is an oval shaped piece of rubber. A template of this can be retrieved from Steelseries’ website and you can 3D print your own designs and replace the default rubber oval labelled ‘RIVAL’. Just above this is the Steelseries logo which is backlit with an RGB LED.
The rear end of the mouse. Note the Steelseries logo which is backlit with an RGB LED and the replaceable oval insert below it.
The Rival 300’s plastic chassis really lets it down in first impressions of build quality. The rubber used on the sides of the mouse feels quite hard and the panel gaps are quite large making it look like the mouse hasn’t been assembled properly. Also, it is very light weight considering its size. However if you shake the mouse NOTHING rattles – which to me makes it a well-built mouse. The side mouse buttons are not loose feeling either which is great.
The Rival 300 uses Steelseries’ Engine 3 software. This software is fairly lightweight (which I prefer), easy to use and is fast responding. You can customise the RGB LED (located on the rear of the mouse), assign macros and change the 2 DPI stages.
PERFORMANCE AND USE
My everyday mouse is now a Razer Deathadder Elite so I used the Rival 300 over a two-week period to accustom myself to it. I normally use a palm grip and found it very comfortable (mainly due to its large size). It is perhaps the most slick mouse I’ve used with the least amount of friction I’ve felt through mouse feet. The light weight of the mouse also helped for long gaming sessions as my wrist did not fatigue at all.
The four super slick Teflon mouse feet.
My largest complaint has to be the left and right click mouse buttons as I found them quite tight and stiff. Though I never experienced any accidental mouse clicks I found them to require a bit too much force to press and after a couple of hours of gaming I had some fatigue in my muscle near my elbow (the last time I had pain here was several years ago after a tennis tournament). Despite this though the mouse wheel steps and click were on point and I never accidentally clicked the DPI switch. The back and forward buttons were easily distinguishable and had nice feedback without too much travel distance.
The side rubber grip and asymmetrical back and forward side mouse buttons. Though note the large panel gap at the rear end of the mouse.
FINAL THOUGHTS AND RATING
Honestly I feel it is overpriced at $70. It is about $10 more expensive than a Razer Deathadder Chroma which I feel has better build quality and doesn’t have heavy mouse clicks. The only feature that the Rival 300 has over the Deathadder is its DPI switcher button. Personally I think Steelseries could have (or could still add because it would be doable with a simple software update) added more DPI stages/profiles as I like to see at a minimum 3 stages. Something I can’t complain about though is the comfort of the mouse. For such a large mouse I found it very comfortable and its lightweight proved beneficial also. The RGB logo on the rear of the mouse is a nice touch too.
Size comparison between Logitech M950 (left), Logitech G602 (middle) and Steelseries Rival 300 (right).
Build Quality 8.5/10
If you are needing a large, right-handed gaming mouse with a good sensor you should definitely consider the Steelseries Rival 300. Just remember to check some of its competitors too.