SteelSeries has made some excellent gaming mice over the years, with one of our favorites being the Rival 310. It stood out with its TrueMove3 sensor, highly durable switches, and comfortable, ergonomic shape.
But SteelSeries didn’t stop there. The Rival 600 stays true to what made the 310 great, but has a few new tricks up its sleeve, including the brand new TrueMove 3+ sensor and a fully customizable weight system.
After unboxing the Rival 600, one thing was immediately clear - SteelSeries held nothing back. This is one pretty mouse. The Rival 600 has a sleek, space-y aesthetic, but doesn’t go too overboard on the sharp angles and “edgy gamer” motif from the mid 2000’s. The whole presentation is tied together with some of the best RGB lighting I’ve seen on a mouse.
The light strips are located along the side of the mouse wheel, with the SteelSeries logo on the base, and two strips on the body. Those two strips each have three different lighting sections that can all be configured independently, making a total of eight different lighting zones. Each of the RGB lights are vivid, with sharp, vibrant colors that pop without drawing your eye away from in-game action. You can really dig in and tweak the heck out of the lights, and easily come up with something eye-catching and supremely stylish.
Incredibly, the Rival 600 manages to feel as good as it looks. All hyperbole aside, this is one of the most comfortable mice I’ve ever held. It fits perfectly in my hand, and the ergonomically curved body sits nicely in both palm and claw style (sorry tip grippers, but SteelSeries made the Rival 600 for palm and claw grips only).
The large left and right buttons are satisfying to use, and take just the right amount of force to prevent accidental presses. The body of the mouse has a delicate, soft finish that doesn’t pick up oil. The silicon side grips feel great to the touch. I normally prefer a more textured side grip, but I never felt like my thumb was slipping. Overall, the Rival 600 felt like a natural extension of my hand, and that’s high praise for a mouse.
The Rival 600 has three side buttons. It’s hard to reach all three comfortably, but I feel like SteelSeries positioned them so that whether you’re holding the Rival 600 in a palm or claw grip, you can easily access two of the three. So while the Rival 600 technically has three side buttons, practically, you’re only going to be pressing two. I found that in both palm and claw grip, the buttons were clearly distinguished from each other, and I never had trouble accidentally hitting one instead of the other.
To top everything off, the Rival 600 comes with a detachable cable. This is not only great for taking the mouse to a LAN party or tournament, but also if you happen to prefer a braided cable over the included rubber cable. Braided versus rubber cables is a hotly debated topic among gamers, so it’s cool that braided fans like myself can use a braided cable with the Rival 600 if we want.
The most unique and innovative feature of the Rival 600 is the customizable weight system. The Rival 600 comes with eight 4g cubes, that can be used to customize the weight of the Rival 600. Simply detach the magnetic panels on the sides of the mouse, and add as many weights as you want. If you want a little more heft in the front, but not the back (or vice versa) no problem. There’s 256 different weight combinations, allowing for a range of 96g to 128g total.
Though it’s not the first mouse on the market to have customizable weight, it’s the first I’ve encountered, and it’s absolutely ingenious. I’ve used many mice that were just a bit too light, or too heavy, but with the adjustable weight, that’s not a problem. My only issue with this system is that it might be easy to misplace the tiny weights, but overall, it’s an elegant solution. Once you get the mouse to your perfect weight, you’ll likely never bother with it again, so losing the weights shouldn’t be a huge problem.
The Rival 600 is powered by SteelSeries’ new TrueMove 3+ sensor. Why the plus you ask? Because the Rival 600 packs not one, but two sensors. The first one is a standard Pixart sensor, while the other is exclusively for lift-off distance, letting the mouse stop on a dime if you lift the mouse as little as 0.5mm. This is perfect in first person shooters where quick, twitchy controls are of the utmost importance, and you need pinpoint accuracy to compete at the highest levels. You can calibrate the two sensors to your surface by holding down the DPI switch, and the LOD can be adjusted as high as 2mm if you’d like. It’s an impressive feature, but at my casual to semi-serious levels of play, I probably didn’t use it to its full potential.
The Rival 600 boasts absolutely incredible performance, both in game and in daily use. Everything is smooth and precise – even the tiniest flicks of the wrist are accurately reproduced on screen, with honest-to-goodness 1:1 tracking. The Rival 600 can be set at up to 12,000 DPI, giving you ultimate control over your mouse movements. The switches are also solid, rated at 60 million clicks, with a firm, responsive clickfeel. This is a mouse that works in multiple different genres, with a fluid, responsive flow that you’re never fighting against. Steelseries Rival 600-1.jpg The only real flaw I encountered was the strange decision to limit the DPI switcher to just two different DPI settings – not that I’m constantly switching through multiple different DPI settings while playing a game, but if you’re someone who plays a variety of titles and likes to set your DPI for each one, you’ll have to go digging through the software each time you boot up a new game. My only guess is that by limiting it to two, it’s helpful for FPS gamers, as they’d like one DPI for moving around and one for sniping.
Speaking of the software, SteelSeries Engine3 software is as powerful as you’d expect from a mouse of this caliber. All the DPI, polling rate, acceleration, and lift off distance settings are easy to find and change, and settings up button macros is straightforward. However, while certainly quite extensive, the lighting settings aren’t as intuitive as I would have liked, as the settings for some the lighting zones are hidden away on first glance.
The Rival 600 is an impressive mouse overall. I'm not looking forward to returning to my previous mouse, because there’s a lot about the SteelSeries I’m sure I’ll miss.
The question that kept running through my mind while writing this review was, “is this a perfect mouse?” While it’s not quite perfect, it excels in just every department, and is an easy recommendation for anyone who is looking for a serious gaming mouse.
The TrueMove 3+ sensor is excellent, and the build quality lends itself to fantastic overall performance.
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