Gaming Mouse Buyer's Guide

SteelSeries Rival 600 Review

SteelSeries have outdone themselves with the Rival 600, not perfect but mighty close!

by Will

Gaming Mouse Buyer's Guide

SteelSeries Rival 600 Review

SteelSeries have outdone themselves with the Rival 600, not perfect but mighty close!

by Will

by Will

SteelSeries launched the Rival 600 in 2018 and it hasn’t disappointed. The model was introduced as a wireless version also (Rival 650) and they both feature top of the line specs. SteelSeries continues to improve on past mice and the wired 600 iteration is a beautiful one retailing at just over £70/$70. The mouse has had a soft touch overhaul and a brilliant ergonomic shape with defined edges giving the mouse a fantastic feel. It features the very best performance SteelSeries can muster which puts the Rival 600 up there with some of the best gaming mice available. This comfortable monster will give you great confidence in-game and with its RGB strips illuminating the centre, this mouse a serious looker.

Pros

  • Attractive Design – Visually beautiful.
  • Comfortable – Ergonomic shape.
  • Great Tracking – New TrueMove3+ sensor is incredible.
  • Combats Lift Off – Second sensor to deal with lift-off.
  • High Quality – Well built and high-quality materials used.
  • Weight Customisation – 256 weight and balance configurations.
  • Software – Intuitive and easy to use.

Cons

  • Thumb button –  Extra inaccessible button seems pointless.
  • DPI Button – Slightly too big.

steelseries rival 600 review

Mouse Size & Weight

  • Weight: 96g
  • Size: Medium
  • Length: 13.1cm – 5.1 inches
  • Width: 6.9cm – 2.7 inches
  • Height: 4.3cm – 1.6 inches
  • Hand Orientation: Right

Mouse Tech

  • Sensor: TrueMove3+ Optical
  • Buttons: SteelSeries Switches (60m)
  • DPI: 100-12000 (increments of 100)
  • Polling Rate: 125 / 250 / 500 / 1000Hz
  • Connection: Wired
  • Cable: Non-Braided
  • Cable Length: 2 m

What’s in the Box

steelseries rival 600 gaming mouse

The box its self is quite stylish and it advertises the product nicely with the features and specifications easy to find and read. The mouse is housed in a plastic mould and the instructions tucked away neatly on the collapsing side of the box.

Inside we have:

  • Rival 600 gaming mouse
  • Product information guide
  • Detachable USB cable
  • Weight box
  • Eight 4g weights

Size & Weight

The Rival 600 is quite long (13.1 cm) for a medium-sized mouse but strangely doesn’t feel it. The Zowie EC1-B, for example, is the same size but 3mm shorter and feels much bigger in the hand. My hands are 18 cm long and the mouse felt like a great fit. The design speaks for its self, the Rival 600 is technically one of the bigger mice I have tried but moves around like a more nimble mouse. The mouse features a smaller width (6.9 cm) compared to the 310 (7 cm) and 710 (7.2 cm) which could be why it doesn’t feel too large but the hump in the middle is extremely comfortable and doesn’t obstruct the different grip types. It’s a chunky mouse but comes with a relatively low height (4.3 cm) for its size again adding to the comfort.

Weighing in at 96 grams the mouse feels a similar weight to the HyperX Pulsefire and the same as the DA Elite but you can customise the Rival 600s weight up to 126g in 256 different configurations. The mouse has the beginnings of what looks like a modular future for SteelSeries mice as the sides come off to reveal the area for customising the weight. In the future, we could see SteelSeries release different grip options or sides to turn your mouse ambidextrous or left-handed, who knows. It feels light for such a hefty mouse and it performed brilliantly but it’s worth noting there seems to be a tiny weight balance issue. The mouse seems a little off balance and can wobble when using a full palm grip. I’m not sure what causes this but if you compare it to the DA Elite you will notice the Deathadder sticks to the pad no matter where you apply pressure but if you apply pressure to the rear of the Rival 600 you will notice the front raise off slightly.

Shape & Texture

The Rival 600 is a very stylish mouse, it’s a uniquely shaped and features some excellent RGB illumination through the middle. The logo lights up towards the rear of the mouse. There are some features from previous SteelSeries mice we see present in the Rival 600 like the split trigger button design but the shape is out of this world. Lit up or not the mouse looks like a gaming mouse of the future with long straight lines, gentle curves and sharp defining edges. Pair the shape with the illumination and its like a miniature spacecraft sitting on your pad. The overall arch to the 600 is smaller compared to the Rival 710 making it supremely comfortable to grip. The left panel curves inwards for your thumb and the right panel subtly slopes away giving your other fingers a nice place to sit off the desk. The Rival 600 has a much more ergonomic shape to the rear of the mouse compared to the Rival 710 as its gentle arch nestles in the palm naturally without adjusting grip.

The main body of the mouse and primary buttons are finished with the lovely soft-touch material SteelSeries like to use on a few of their mice. It’s usually a material that offers sweatier gamers with an enhanced grip but regardless of you perspiration its a brilliant addition. They have designed the Rival 600 to have this soft touch feel at almost all points of contact with your hand and it works wonders for grip and comfort. The matte soft-touch finish works in unison with the gunmetal side panels that are a smooth matte plastic and both are separated by the veins of RGB illuminating the centre.

Buttons

There are 7 programmable buttons on the mouse in total. At the front, the 2 primary buttons feature the split trigger design we see on most SteelSeries mice these days and they sit on top of mechanical switches that offer the durability of up to 60 million clicks which is one of the highest around. The switches produce a great clicking noise when actuated like a lot of SteelSeries mice. The actuation was low enough to feel quick and responsive while also being robust enough to stop me accidentally pressing when palm gripping. The primary buttons are some of the best around I really like them.

There is a clickable scroll wheel you can program, the wheel has a rubber textured material for grip and its tactile so comes in handy for weapon switching. Behind the wheel sits a DPI button which is a little bit too big for me. The DPI button never obstructed me really but there were rare situations I feel someone with larger hands may accidentally press it. That being said its not in an uncomfortable place and most people wouldn’t really notice it. The mouse features 3 side buttons. Mouse buttons 4 and 5 sit where you would expect and are easy to reach with your thumb, they are easy to click and don’t seem to move around or squeak when pressed. The extra unconventional thumb button isn’t something I could make use of as it’s massively out of reach without adjusting my grip. The extra thumb button works fine and could have some uses like turning it into a ‘buy bind’ or something you don’t need in the heat of the action.

Cable

The mouse comes with a 2-metre rubber USB cable, it’s not braided but that is no issue for me as I use bungees and don’t tend to damage cables like the old days. The cable is also detachable meaning the mouse can be stored a little easier if you take it to events and it limits the amount of possible damage to the cable. It’s a smooth cable and never snagged on my desk or keyboard while playing games or in the office but I stuck it in the bungees to test and it seemed to work fine with all of them as there is a good thickness to the cable.

Sensor & Performance

SteelSeries put the TrueMove3+ sensor in the 600 which we saw featured in the Rival and Sensei 310 models. It’s a great sensor as SteelSeries tweaked the already brilliant PMW3360 and offers 12,000 CPI, IPS speed of 350 but with improved raw tracking from 2000 to 3500. The sensor features 1 to 1 tracking and you can notice the power of this sensor in-game. It was easy to track targets and follow consistently compared with other mice. The mouse was simply very precise and without the cost of extra latency, or losing jitter reduction.

The Rival 600 has 2 sensors though the other is the Depth sensor that tracks and detects lift-off, which I’m a huge fan of due to being a low sensitivity player sometimes with large arm movements performance suffers but this sensor has made a huge difference to my gaming experience. I would be interested in future versions maybe if they implement a more modular design to this model like the Rival 710 so you could take out the depth sensor if you wanted to lower the weight. But I don’t know exactly how effective this sensor is but it probably helps counter the balance issue to the mouse that I was talking about earlier.

I’m not sure if it’s because the sensor is one of the best I’ve used or maybe it’s the ergonomics but the performance of this mouse in-game was outstanding. The mouse is solid and glides easily across my cloth surface. I found the accuracy zoomed in to be consistent and smooth while snappy movements were made with relative ease. It performed across all FPS titles I tried but particularly well in CSGO and PUBG. I tried to get the sensor to spin out with fast movements but I couldn’t manage it.

Software

The SteelSeries Rival 600 requires the SteelSeries Engine 3 software if you would like to customise the settings. You can change your CPI settings, remap buttons and fiddle with the RGB lighting effects. Interestingly the software lets you alter the LOD detection and you can change the amount of angle snapping your cursor has, which may benefit you if you draw but it certainly won’t in-game.

Our Verdict

This mouse is awesome and definitely worth its price tag, the sheer accuracy and consistency from this mouse in games was phenomenal and makes the Rival 600 one of my favourite wired mice. From a design and performance standpoint, this mouse is superb. It’s a wonderfully unique feeling mouse that looks like its dropped out of space. Performance aside it’s bursting with features and the customisable weight caters for anyone who prefers a bit of meat to their mouse. Considering it has 2 sensors but still weighs under 100 grams is impressive. If you were after an ambidextrous alternative I’d maybe consider the Sensei 310 as it shares some similarities, but if you like the look of this mouse and were looking to ditch the cable you could go for its fancy wireless brother the Rival 650. All that being said if you’re after a wired mouse that won’t let you down then the Rival 600 is a big contender with its top of the line specs and high-quality materials its truly great for professional and casual gamers alike.

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