SteelSeries Rival 600 gaming mouse review: Very impressive performance for the price

The Rival 600 by SteelSeries is one of the best gaming mice you can buy. Period.

Windows Central Recommended Award

There is a ridiculous number of options for gaming mice. Starting at less than $10, it's possible to purchase one that doesn't sport advanced features and components but gets the job done. On the other end of the scale, we have mice that break the $100 barrier and rock advanced sensors, smart RGB lighting, modular designs, detachable cables, and more.

In most cases, spending more on a gaming mouse is a good idea. The Rival 600 by SteelSeries boasts a dual-sensor configuration for less than $80.

What you'll like about SteelSeries Rival 600

So what makes the Rival 600 so special? SteelSeries decided that one sensor isn't enough and packed in two optical sensors into the Rival 600. The new flagship can not only track movement but also lift-off when you momentarily pick up the mouse to adjust its position without moving the pointer on-screen.

The TrueMove3+ sensor, essentially the same TrueMove3 found in the Rival 700 and Rival 310 but with a second optical sensor, can go all the way up to 12,000 counts per inch (CPI). You likely won't ever get up to that level but it feels just as capable at higher settings. Then there are the convenient modular rubberized side panels that house the optional weight system. A total of eight 4-gram weights are included with the mouse that help perfect the user experience. The handy carry case is also an excellent addition.

SteelSeries Engine

Speaking of the Rival 310, the Rival 600 shares a similar design. There are three side buttons on the left (this is for right-handers only) alongside the usual setup of two clickers, quick CPI changer button and the trusty scroll wheel. Subtle RGB lighting brings the unit to life, and it''s fully configured (along with all inputs) using the excellent SteelSeries Engine software package.

For long gaming sessions, the Rival 600 trumps competitor mice (and even other SteelSeries offerings). After playing a bunch of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, some Factorio and Total War: Warhammer II, the Rival 600 didn't leave me with cramps in the wrist. I had the CPI set to 1,600 and found it to be the sweet spot for personal play. Overall, it's steady, accurate and packed with features you actually want to use, unlike the OLED display on the Rival 700.

That second sensor is a winner, too, successfully detecting each time I lifted the mouse off the pad to reposition it.

What you'll dislike about the SteelSeries Rival 600

There's very little not to like about the Rival 600. The main gripe I have with the mouse is the fact that it's not designed with left-handed users in mind. The cable also isn't braided, but that isn't a massive issue. The audible feedback from the main two buttons is loud, and some could find it irritating like a mechanical keyboard. The company has continued to improve on previous generations of PC hardware, however, and the new Rival 600 is a joy to use. I strongly recommend it.

Bottom line on SteelSeries Rival 600

The Rival 600 is a serious piece of a technology. If you value performance over pretty much everything else, you cannot go wrong with this gaming mouse. The dual-sensor setup offers exceptional performance in-game and while using software in Windows 10. Take into account the available SteelSeries Engine suite and you have a complete package at the affordable price of $80.

See at Amazon

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a 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 on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.