Rival 310 Gaming Mouse Review
Welcome to part two of my three-part series exploring whether or not SteelSeries still makes good PC gaming gear. Previously we covered the Arctis 5 Headset. This installment will focus on the Rival 310 Gaming Mouse, with a brief aside regarding the Qck gaming mousepad.
Like the Arctis 5, this mouse uses SteelSeries Engine software for extra calibration and customization options. One of the major functions you can mess with is something called CPI, or Counts Per Inch. This refers to how far the cursor will move on the screen whenever you move the mouse itself. You can even switch between two settings with one of the buttons on the mouse. You can also change the acceleration, deceleration, angle snapping and polling rate. What does any of this mean? Essentially, if you’re the sort of person who’s every movement on screen is being scrutinized down to the nanosecond by analysts, audience members and opponents, these are the settings you’re going to want access to. Otherwise I feel like messing with this stuff is liable to do more harm than good.
In terms of design, the Rival 310 is sliced bread. Nothing new in a field where nothing new is needed. Simplicity is your ally when it comes to mouse design. Clunky, esoteric or outlandish mouse shapes are going to be a hindrance for anyone who takes gaming seriously. You’ve seen this shape before, and that’s a good thing. The grip material on the sides is effective yet unobtrusive. The button placement feels natural. This is particularly true of the side buttons, which can be tricky to set in the proper spot. More often than not, those side buttons require weird finger placement or movement in order to be useful. These buttons feel like they’re in the right spot. The whole mouse is feather-light, an essential feature for optimal speed and accuracy. My only grievance with the design is with the black pads on the underside. I suppose they’re for ensuring the optical sensors don’t run into any troubles. Perhaps this is a problem most people have never run into, but I’ve seen those pads just… come right off, depending on the material they’re made of and how they’re affixed to the mouse. Will this happen immediately? No. However, if anything is going to go wrong with this mouse, that seems like the place. Beyond that, the rest of the design is simple enough that durability should be no issue.
“Simplicity is your ally when it comes to mouse design.”
The rival 310 is a gaming mouse designed for use in esports. If you play any games that need surgical precision and blistering input speeds, you’re going to want a mouse like this. The trouble is, I don’t play esports, at least not at the level which requires 1 to 1 input speeds. Therefore, testing this mouse required a little creativity. I dove into my library of PC games, looking for any titles wherein mouse speed and accuracy were an asset. First up was Diablo 3. Everything was responsive and pinpoint accurate, at least on the mouse end of things. The side buttons proved useful time and time again, the movement was light and precise and I never had any problems in combat. Next up was Strafe. Unlike D3, I’ve got fewer hours logged in this game, so a gaming mouse is less of a weapon in my hands. The Rival 310 worked beautifully, though it was no substitute for genuine skill. I also tried out less intense games like Stardew Valley, and crazy intense games like Desync. Everything I tested felt excellent. If there were ever any issues, they were with my own deficient skills.
As an aside, I also used a SteelSeries Qck mousepad. I’ve been using an old world of Warcraft pad for longer than I ever played that game. Making the transition from that to the Qck was like discovering that cars need wheels. You can reverse the pad’s surface for either speed or precision. Like the other products from SteelSeries, you can mess with the rgb lighting. In fact, you could coordinate these separate products to change colors in unison. Or you could set everything slightly apart so it feels like you’re going insane. Your call, really.
“For all intents and purposes, this mouse is more powerful than I can handle.”
For all intents and purposes, this mouse is more powerful than I can handle. The intricate settings you can adjust, the insane reaction speeds you can achieve and the perfect accuracy are all beyond my meager powers. It’s like handing a child the keys to a Ferrari. Yet, I know enough to realize that the Rival 310 is the real deal in terms of performance. My penchant for seeing electronics through their whole lifespan has me a bit concerned, but I’m confident these are minor issues. Gamers looking to get serious in their abilities would be wise to give this mouse a good look.
***Rival 310 Gaming Mouse was provided by SteelSeries***
- Input speed is exceptionally fast
- Design is ergonomic
- RGB lighting is a nice touch
- Some components are lacking in durability
- Certain settings beyond the needs of a regular user