Often, the most exciting thing about new gaming hardware is how many RGB lights have been crammed into it. So instead of trying to fuel our inevitable rainbow-colored dystopian future, SteelSeries looked for a different way to enhance its Rival 600 mouse.
What it came up with is actually something that peripherals giant Razer actually did in its mice back in the early 2010s: putting two sensors in a mouse instead of just one. By adding a second optical sensor to the Rival 600, SteelSeries is able to increase the mouse’s precision, while also eliminating almost any kind of cursor jitter.
What differentiates SteelSeries’ setup from the products that came before it, is that the second sensor is orientated vertically so that it can measure and track lift distance, all the way down to just 0.5 mm. That means as soon as you pick up the mouse, say when you need to make a quick 180-degree spin in Overwatch or CS:GO, you won’t have to worry it moving your cross hairs as you carry the mouse across your desk.
It’s the same situation when you put the mouse down. Unlike a lot of other mice, the Rival 600’s second sensor prevents it from tracking your mousing surface until you actually set it down. There’s no wiggling or dancing of the cursor, unless of course, your hands just aren’t very steady. It might not sound like a big deal, but when you’re sniping, even a little jank can be the difference between nailing a headshot, or getting taken out by your opponent.
That said, the Rival 600’s scope may be a bit limited. When I played non-FPS games such as League of Legends, I didn’t notice the second sensor’s impact nearly as much. At least you won’t have to pay a huge premium for the feature, as the Rival 600’s $80 price tag is the same as one of Razer’s Tournament Edition Lancehead mice.
Other handy functions include variable CPI (counts per inch), which can be used to adjust your mouse’s sensitivity using the company’s desktop app. And during a firefight, you can use the button behind the mouse wheel to toggle between two different CPIs depending on your needs. The Rival 600 also comes with an adjustable weight system that allows you to add up to 32 grams of additional heft to the mouse’s 96 gram starting weight.
My one minor complaint is that of the Rival 600’s three programmable buttons on the left side, the button closest to front feels slightly out of reach. However, that could also be a good thing, as it might be a decent out-of-reach button where you can map important abilities you don’t want to use by accident.
The Rival 600 even has its own CPU and storage tucked inside, so that once you get everything configured just the way you like, you can save those settings directly in the mouse, so you won’t need to re-download the SteelSeries app if you play with it on a different machine.
The Rival 600’s is available online starting today on Amazon or direct from SteelSeries.