Wireless Gaming Mouse Series

SteelSeries Rival 650 Review

The SteelSeries Rival 650 is a heavyweight contender in the wireless gaming mouse market, packing an eye-watering 121 grams of performance. This titan comes with a top quality sensor and an impressive design but is it too heavy?

by Shaun

Wireless Gaming Mouse Series

SteelSeries Rival 650 Review

The SteelSeries Rival 650 is a heavyweight contender in the wireless gaming mouse market, packing an eye-watering 121 grams of performance. This titan comes with a top quality sensor and an impressive design but is it too heavy?

by Shaun

by Shaun

SteelSeries has never been on the same level as manufacturers like Logitech when it comes to wireless mice despite producing some high-quality peripherals. Enter the SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless mouse, what a beautiful bit of kit. Yes, it’s pretty much just a heavier wireless Rival 600 but wow it’s visually stunning. Now the Rival 650 (121g) is 25 grams heavier than its older brother but its a whopping 40 grams heavier than the Logitech G Pro Wireless.  The weight could be seen as an advantage if you prefer a heavier mouse. You also won’t get as much playing time with this mouse compared to its wireless competitors but you get a full day of gaming (24 hours).

Pros

  • Attractive Design – Visually beautiful.
  • Comfortable – Sits in the hand nicely.
  • 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

  • Weight – Could be considered too heavy for some.
  • Thumb button –  Extra inaccessible button seems pointless.
  • Price – Great technology comes at a price.

SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless Review

SteelSeries come to the table with another slightly unique wireless feature… fast charging. That’s right if you have USB 3.0 ports then you can now achieve 10 hours of charge in just 15 minutes! The 650 features not 1 but 2 sensors. The main sensor is SteelSeries TrueMove3+ optical sensor with precise 1 to 1 tracking and the second detects lift off. Its shape is designed ergonomically for a right-handed gamer similar to the DeathAdder or G703. The jet black rubber offsets the gunmetal plastic and vibrant RGB lighting making this a visually stunning mouse. The mouse is actually excellent to use, I found transitioning to this mouse effortless and I could track targets with ease quite quickly. If you’re on the hunt for the best wireless mouse and the weight isn’t an issue then this has to be one to look at.

Mouse Size & Weight

  • Weight: 121g
  • 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: Wireless
  • Battery Life: 24 hours

Note: This review is part of our best wireless gaming mouse series. For details on competing products and how we tested them click here.

What’s in the box?

SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless Gaming Mouse Review

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:

  • The USB charging cable
  • USB Wireless Adapter
  • A USB extender to sit on the desktop
  • 8 (4 gram) weights in a rubber pouch
  • User guide

Design

The SteelSeries Rival 650’s design at a first glance is identical to the Rival 600 in terms of its shape, size and look. It’s a very visually appealing mouse and the comfort is extraordinary just like its predecessor. The mouse has satisfying curves mixed with defined edges and straight lines giving you a brilliant ergonomic quality overall. The top of the mouse that meets your fingers and palm is a rubberised matte black material, giving the mouse a comfortable grippy texture. This material picks up dirt a bit easier than smooth plastic but its easily cleaned and deals with perspiration very well. That is where the similarities end though.

The first thing to note about the Rival 650 mouse is it’s one of the heaviest wireless mice on the market. It weighs 121 grams without any of the extra weights being added which makes it a similar weight to the Corsair Glaive (wired) and Roccat Tyon (wired). Its weight doesn’t sit near its wireless competitors though as it’s about 40 grams heavier than the Logitech G Pro wireless and still 25 grams heavier than the Razer Mamba wireless. You can increase the weight if this is still too light to 153 grams in increments of 4 grams. Despite it being quite a large heavy mouse I think it would suit all hand types. My hands are 18 x 11 cm and the mouse feels almost custom made for me.

There are 7 programmable buttons and a clickable scroll wheel. The primary buttons are separate to the body of the mouse and have a soft touch rubber texture. The primary buttons are split by the RGB tactile scroll wheel and DPI switch. The left side of the mouse has 3 thumb buttons which can be programmed to your gaming specs but for us, they didn’t feel functional. The buttons felt high quality but no matter what grip style I used only the back thumb button felt viable while the others felt slightly out of reach.

The mouse features 8-zone RGB lighting in a pair of vein-like strips that run from the sides to the middle, giving you a vibrant border to the core of the mouse. The SteelSeries logo at the rear of the mouse lights up as does the scroll wheel, feeling like its a continuation of the strips running into a point. The lighting is brilliant and you can customise it in the SteelSeries Engine software to personalise the colours or effects.

It comes with a similar cable to the Rival 600 for charging the mouse and it has a nice smooth rubber texture preventing any drag if you needed to use it while plugged in. The cable connects into a nice secure feeling USB port like the 600 so you know it’s not going to randomly lose connection. Like other mice, you can use this charging cable to plug in your USB extender and house your receiver on the desktop if required. The cable is 2m long so should provide enough distance for most gamers who have to change it to ‘wired mode’.

Features and Performance

Steelseries have brought a seriously high-quality mouse to the party and didn’t skimp on the features either! Pairing up with PixArt they brought us the TrueMove3+ optical sensor that features in the 310 and 600 series. It’s similar to the PMW3360 and offers 12,000 CPI, IPS speed of 350 but with improved raw tracking from 2000 to 3500. This sensor gives you the benefit of 1 to 1 precise tracking without gaining extra latency ort losing jitter reduction. This mouse can also handle 50g acceleration in case you go into outer space. Using the software you can alter the CPI and have it set from 100 to 12,000 going up in increments of 100. This mouse doesn’t just have one sensor though, it houses a depth sensor too! It 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.

SteelSeries appear to use their own branded switches for the primary buttons, which they claim will last a finger-busting 60 million clicks. Steelseries also appear to have stepped up their wireless capabilities and implemented it in this mouse. It features the new Quantum wireless technology with 2.4GHz wireless connectivity. This low latency tech has a polling rate of 1000Hz (1ms) and ensures a consistent connection but you can change it to 125, 250 or 500 if you pr.  It’s worth noting this wireless tech delivers the mouses capabilities without any issues what so ever, you won’t be going back to wired any time soon after trying out this mouse.

An exciting thing to mention about this mouse is its fast charging feature. If you have USB 3.0 then you are in luck and you can now get 10 hours of battery from just 15 minutes of charging. They give you 24 hours of gameplay from a full charge. Now I have no doubt MOBA players could take advantage of the extra programmable buttons and DPI switching but with its size, weight, and sensor this mouse is one for all games. The lift-off distance (LOD) for this mouse can be changed in the software from between 0.5 and 2mm but I won’t be lowering it from 2mm due to my play style.

For me, transitioning to a different mouse can be loathsome, but this mouse barely took any time at all to get used to. 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 any surface, the only resistance you get is the weight of the mouse but as I prefer heavier mice I didn’t mind this. If you’re willing to get used to the weight it performed in CSGO similarly to the Deathadder/Mamba and the G703 for me. Tracking heads were relatively easy but it was the micro adjustments needed in CSGO where I noticed how good the sensor actually is.

Mouse Testing Section

  • Paint Test
  • CPI Divergence
  • Perfect Control Speed
  • Speed Related Accuracy Variance
  • Polling Rate
  • Input Lag
  • Click Latency

Mouse Software Section

The SteelSeries Rival 650 naturally requires the 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. Have a look at our in-depth software guide here.

Our Verdict

From a design and performance standpoint, this mouse is unbelievable. It’s a wonderfully unique feeling mouse and it does the job in-game too. I have been using it for a week now and I can honestly say it’s one of the best I’ve used for overall performance and quality. I think the price and weight can be an off-putting factor for some, if you think it’s too heavy then I’d consider the lightweight G Pro or if its too expensive then you can get something cheaper but still top quality with the Razer Mamba. This mouse does have the added benefit of having the same design as the Rival 600 accompanied with the new Quantum wireless technology which makes this a serious contender. Compared to other wireless mice it offers a fraction of the battery life but 24 hours is surely enough and it’s only one more device you would have to remember to charge daily. If you are after convenience in your wireless mouse then this one probably isn’t for you with its current price at over £100/$100 but remember it only takes around 30-40 mins for a full charge with the fast charging. If the shape of this mouse suits you but you aren’t too bothered about going wireless then consider the Rival 600. If you are looking to lose the wire and want a premium wireless mouse then give the Rival 650 some serious thought!

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