SteelSeries Rival 600 Review – Still A Beast A Year Later?

SteelSeries is a name every PC gamer is aware of. The company has been around in the peripheral market for more than a few years now, catering to the needs of gamers. Their high-end gaming mice are renowned as some of the best in the market.

Today, we have their Rival 600, their premier gaming mouse featuring, some of the best implementations of RGB, dual sensor harmony and TruMove 3 mouse sensor. Retailing for about $89 with a ton of other high-end mouse competing for your desk, is the Rival 600 even worth it?

01 | Design & Build Quality

The SteelSeries Rival 600, like any other mouse. is built of plastic. However, most of the mouse is covered in a matte finish, adding to the whole premium feel and experience.

The mouse is divided into three detachable sections. Two sections of the mouse could be detached to enable you to customize the weight of the mouse. While the middle section of the mouse houses all the core components of the mouse such as the sensors and RGB strips. Weights could be added and removed in increments of 4 grams customized by installing them on either sides of the mouse. The base of the mouse weighs about 96g but could be extensively customized up to 128 grams. However, it doesn’t end there. Not only could you customize your weights, but you could customize the mouse to adapt to a bias on either side thanks to its double-sided weighting system.

On the left-side of the mouse features three buttons as well as a large rubber grip to accommodate your thumb. All three buttons are customizable via the SteelSeries Engine 3. On the right-side of the mouse, you’ll find a humped side along with grips divided into two sections. The rest of it is fairly simple. Nothing else to see here.

However, what did delight us when the commercials first came out had to be the RGB effects SteelSeries had going on the Rival 600. The two angular RGB strips on either side of the mouse with the addition of the Steelseries logo at the palm of the mouse and the RGB effects at the scroll wheel of the mouse made the mouse look unique and incredible.

The mouse measures 43mm x 131mm x 27mm from the right side. As expected, the hump of the mouse is 43mm tall, while the shortest point of the mouse is located towards the front of the mouse at just 27mm.

The mouse has a total of seven customizable buttons. It features three buttons of its left side, a right and left click, a DPI button in the middle of the mouse, and a scroll wheel. As mentioned earlier, SteelSeries Engine 3 should allow you to customize these buttons, as well as allow you to play around with the rest of the settings of the mouse.

One complain that did arouse over time has to be one of the grips over on the right-side of the mouse where we realized that the grips on the mouse had begun to melt off, especially the smaller grip on the right side of the mouse. These issues have plagued the Rival 600 and its users for more than a while all-the-while SteelSeries watches closely about all of the complaints. Apparently, users of Reddit reported that the 3M glue used on the Rival 600 melts at body temperatures.

Once we had our unit affected by the issue, SteelSeries immediately offered us a replacement on the condition of breaking our original Rival 600 unit. We did get in touch with them asking them details of the issue and if they had fixed it since the mouse has been out in the while for more than a year. However, we haven’t heard back from them yet. Regardless, it was shocking to see SteelSeries overlook such a major issue.

02 | Performance & User Experience

The SteelSeries Rival 600 features 12,000 CPI TruMove 3 sensor. However, the Rival 600 is the second mouse from SteelSeries lineup that features a second sensor. Second sensor you may ask? The second sensor is actually an optical depth sensor to detect lift-off movements.

Regarding how well it glides across the surface, we found the SteelSeries Rival 600 feet drag across the mouse pad too freely for our taste. After a year of usage, we did notice that the fraction had improved, and therefore became a whole lot more usable over time.

Tracking was incredible on the Rival 600 and just like any high-end mouse managed to keep track of everything. CSGO is a very twitchy game, especially when it comes to flick-aiming. And thanks to the fairly lightweight construction of the mouse without the weights, we had an incredible time. Sure, we would have loved to mouse to be even lighter. However, the weight was just fine. We then decided to test the acceleration on the mouse itself, and as usual, we found no acceleration across the board.

Thanks to the optical depth sensor, we begun to appreciate the Rival 600 even more. Unlike many other mice with single sensors, the low lift-off distance coupled with the customizability of the SteelSeries Engine 3 made our CS:GO experience a whole lot more enjoyable.

Speaking of the SteelSeries Engine 3, we absolutely loved the Rival 600 due to how extensively you could customize the Rival 600. Couple that with the Steelseries Engine 3’s RGB tricks and customization and you would realize how well SteelSeries had prepared their RGB experts for the Rival 600 specifically. From specific zones to RGB integration with some of your very best games, it works incredibly well.

Apart from the sensors and customization, there’s also a ton of points regarding the body to appreciate about the Rival 600. From the soft-touch matte coating on the body to the excellent, yet large grips on either side of the mouse, they’re incredible. And thanks to the large hump on the mouse, palm-grip users would absolutely appreciate the design of the Rival 600 to the last bit.

03 | Pricing & Conclusion

The SteelSeries Rival 600 is no cheap mouse, that’s for sure. Since it’s launch, it’s price has stayed consistent at $89. And we’re absolutely delighted to pit it against the likes from Razer, Logitech, Zowie, and Corsair any day of the week.

Sure, improvements could be made. Improvements to its weight, friction, and grips. However, the advantages and features are far outweighing the minor criticisms of the mouse. We’re talking about a mouse that has a unique angular look, excellent RGB, a ton of customization, the best lift-off distance detection in the business and a whole lot more.

In our books, we would definitely recommend the Rival 600. And if you’re planning to go wireless, you would be happy to meet the Rival 650 that features the exact same body, with the exception of being wireless and being considerably heavier than the Rival 600.


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