The ideal mouse really is a matter of personal preference. I play various games on my PC and have always required a multi-purpose mouse: one suitable regardless of the game I’m playing. I’ve always been on the lookout for one that’s comfortable and durable, with enough programmable buttons to map to the harder-to-reach keys on the keyboard.
For years, the Logitech G502 has been my go-to. Good as it was, a couple of the keys on the side were slightly awkward to reach, and the angular design had a habit of collecting dust and grime. So when SteelSeries revealed their Rival 5 mouse, with their typical sleek, black design and a different approach with the buttons on the side, I was eager to get my hands on one.
Having used the mouse as my daily driver for the last couple of months, it has not disappointed me.
As someone that pretty heavily palms their mouse, the mouse is comfortable to use for hours at a time. I’ve not had any hand or wrist complaints. It’s lightweight, at just 85g, but still feels premium. Its matte black finish looks good as new months later, even with my penchant for snacking at my desk.
Much like SteelSeries entire range of products, the sleek, black design straddles the boundary between more professional, high-end tech and your typically garish gaming peripherals. Of course, there’s plenty of customisable RGB on the mouse to make it stand out on your desk, but from most angles, it’s elegant and understated.
It’s on the left-hand side the gaming credentials are apparent. Five programmable buttons sit within reach of your thumb: one pressed by extending your thumb forward and the other by scrunching it towards your index finger. It’s that latter movement I’ve taken issue with before, but with one button serving as a switch you push up or down, the Rival 5 frees up space and makes the configuration much more comfortable.
If I were to make a complaint, it’s that the big button reached by extending your thumb is a fraction too far away. Edging even just a few millimetres back would make me avoid having to shift my grip slightly to make use of it, but the experience will vary depending on hand size.
Whereas with other mice, I’ve usually had one or two buttons too uncomfortable to reach they have gone unutilised, I have made use of all the buttons on this mouse. Easily configured via SteelSeries’ newly improved GG software, you can set up numerous profiles, have them automatically enable when certain apps open, and tailor sensitivity levels within each. Should you want to go to the extent of adjusting acceleration, angle snapping and polling rate, you can do that too. It’s all very painless to use.
All in all, if you're after a comfortable, reliable mouse with enough functionality to suit a variety of applications and uses — and you don't mind a wired mouse — it's hard to look past the Rival 5. I won't be; I'm very comfortable using this mouse to work all day and game all night.