Last year, SteelSeries reinvented itself with a new range of stylish headsets and a return to form with its iconic gaming mice. This year, we’re seeing an evolution of the company’s focus on high-performance gaming peripherals at competitive prices.
The SteelSeries Rival 600 kicks that off with an FPS gaming mouse priced at only $79 or £79 (about AU$100) but with all the performance, RGB lighting and extensive weight systems we’d typically associate with higher-end peripherals. Plus, the mouse has a unique dual sensor system.
Overall, you’re getting a lot more mouse than the almost equally priced $69 (£69, AU$119) Razer DeathAdder Elite and $69 (£69, AU$139) – Roccat Kone EMP.
By all appearances, the Rival 600 looks like the Rival 310 – on steroids. It’s a little bigger than SteelSeries’ entry-level gaming mouse, but thankfully it’s nowhere close to being the chunky monster that was the Rival 500.
There are also, thankfully, significantly fewer buttons on the Rival 600 compared to the Rival 500. Whereas its predecessor went completely overboard with 15 buttons and switches, this mouse only has three side buttons in addition to the usual left/right click and scroll wheel. It’s a more focused setup we appreciate, and the simpler layout also makes room for larger buttons overall.
Though the Rival 600 doesn’t feature much of SteelSeries’ new two-tone look as seen on its earlier mice, there’s more use of soft touch finishes all over the exterior of this peripheral. What’s more, the two sides you’ll be gripping the most are lined with seriously soft pieces of rubber, ensuring a comfortable and firm grip.
Speaking of the sides, they’re removable on the Rival 600, revealing the extensive customizable weight system. Out of the box, this mouse weighs 96g – that’s fairly average for a gaming mouse. With the optional set of eight extra 4g metal bits (an extra 32g in total), you can bring the total weight up to 128g.
As someone who likes a really heavy mouse, this writer loves fully loading up the Rival 600 for a steadier shot. Of course, you’re welcome to add however many you want – up to 256 different combinations that will also change the balance of the mouse.
Sadly, the detachable side grips don’t do much aside from giving you access to the weight system, and SteelSeries tells us it doesn’t have any plans for different grip shapes or added buttons for the time being.
The other biggest design change the Rival 600 introduces is true RGB spectrum lighting. With eight zones of lighting, you can not only have this mouse cycle through multiple colors but display a rainbow of hues at the same time. It’s something we’ve been waiting for from SteelSeries mice for a while, and we’re happy to say the lighting is so well diffused, the quality of RGB is on par with that of Razer’s peripherals.
Aesthetics aside, the Rival 600 is well-tuned for performance as well. This mouse not only packs the TrueMove 3 sensor we came to love on the Sensei 310, but also a secondary sensor to stop your cursor from drifting when you lift the mouse off your mousepad or table.
On its own, the TrueMove 3 sensor offers a maximum sensitivity of 12,000 counts-per-inch (CPI) and one-to-one tracking at up to 3,500 CPI. With the added lift-off accuracy of the second sensor, this gaming mouse never misses a beat – even when we have to reorient our hand during intense firefights in Rainbow Six: The Siege.
Lifting off with our mouse and sensor drift has often led us to starting at either the ground or sky, quickly followed by a game over screen. The Rival 600’s second sensor completely eliminates this issue.
We didn’t think SteelSeries could top itself with an even more accurate mouse than the Sensei 310, but the Rival 600 has us thoroughly impressed.
The SteelSeries Rival 600 is a feature packed gaming mouse well worthy of its $79 or £79 (about AU$100) price tag. You won’t find another gaming mouse with a dual sensor system that completely eliminates cursor drift as well as this peripheral. The same goes with the Rival 600’s extensive weight system, but that will only be crucial for fans of extra heavy gaming mice such as ourselves.
Add in the fully customizable RBG lighting system, and the SteelSeries Rival 600 is one of the most thoroughly modern gaming mice you should definitely check out.