Peripherals, including mice and keyboards, are often branded with eSports plastered everywhere. The thing is: many of these products don't really offer the level of performance one may expect from a "professional" offering. Purchasing an eSports mouse might not be as accurate or comfortable to use as say an ergonomically designed mouse, and that's an issue that makes purchasing a solid mouse an issue for consumers.
Thankfully, the Rival 310 by SteelSeries is a solid gaming mouse that excels in-game, whether you're an amateur at home or a professional on-stage.
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Built for gaming
The sensor is probably one of the most important components of a mouse. Replacing the traditional ball that allowed for the detection of movement, optical sensors are vastly more accurate without needing to be cleaned. SteelSeries has a new TrueMove optical sensor that features dots-per-inch (DPI) support of up to 12,000 without sacrificing on performance. Designed and engineered with the help of PixArt, the company has managed to pack in 50G acceleration and capability of up to 350 inch-per-second.
Other handy features of the sensor include true tracking of up to 3,500 counts-per-inch (CPI). This is a highlight for gamers who use low CPI settings like 400 or 800. The TrueMove3 sensor provides true 1-to-1 tracking without employing any jitter reduction. anything over 3,500 brings in said reduction for more efficient tracking. Even against other PixArt sensors, the new sensor used in the 310 series of mice offer enhanced performance.
So that's the sensor and it's a solid component. This is a huge plus for the Rival 310 and it's positive to see SteelSeries invest in getting this part of the mouse right.
Designed for eSports
The Rival 310 shares a similar design to other mice in the Rival series. The matte black outer shell looks great, especially taking into account the subtle LED lighting. But just because the mouse looks the part, it doesn't mean it doesn't feel like the real deal. SteelSeries clearly spent time in perfecting the feel of their latest mice and the Rival 310 is no different.
Rubber grips are located on each side of the unit, which adds to the comfort factor. Overall weight and size allow for multiple grip types to be employed. That said, should you find issues with the weight of the Rival 310, there's no way to address this without a DIY fix — unfortunately, weights are not available as an optional extra and there's no loading system for owners to adjust how heavy the pointer is.
Interestingly, one area I found the Rival 310 to be lacking is the main clickers. The two buttons feel cheap, especially when compared to the more expensive Rival 700. Now, this is to be somewhat expected, but the thing is: the two side buttons feel durable and of high quality. I'm not sure what the issue here is with the main left and right buttons, but it feels as though they have been raised too high and they can be moved easily left and right.
This probably won't have a negative impact on performance, and we didn't spot any issues through hours of use, but it may be something to bear in mind when considering longevity and what could break on the mouse. They do provide great audible feedback, however.
As already touched on, the sensor offers great performance. Testing the mouse in a number of titles, spanning multiple genres, showed no issue in input lag or accuracy. Pointer movements on-screen feel like an accurate interpretation of what's occurring on the mousepad, which is exactly what any gamer should demand from their mouse. Trying out different DPI settings allowed the true 1-to-1 tracking and jitter reduction to offer solid performance.
As well as gaming, the mouse also faired well in day-to-day use. Web browsing and general application use in Windows never caused any problems. Adequate padding is present on the underbelly of the affordable beast, which should provide enough support for the mouse for hundreds of hours of movement.
A solid mouse
Overall, the Rival 310 is a comfortable mouse to use for extended periods of time. The design doesn't get in the way of the performance but looks more expensive than it really is. I was seriously impressed by the new TrueMove3 sensor, especially at this price point. As an added bonus, we have the usual integration with SteelSeries Engine, which is still regarded by me to be the best software solution for PC gear.
Drawbacks include the lack of a detachable USB cable, as well as the relatively cheap-feeling main buttons. That said, at just $59.99, there's no question that this is great value for the money.
- Exceptional performance.
- Comfortable to wield.
- Designed with eSports in mind.
- Non-extractable cable.
- Inability to adjust weight.
- Main clickers feel cheap.
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Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
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