Nowadays, gaming peripherals can be as individual as the gamers who buy them. This is a concept that the SteelSeries Rival 700 gaming mouse has grabbed with both hands and run with.
The name SteelSeries is synonymous with quality gaming hardware from casual PC gamers to eSports pros, and for good reason – they make amazing peripherals. Retailing at around £80, the Rival 700 is by no means cheap, but if you’ve got the budget, the elite gaming mouse has some seriously flashy features. Plus, y’know, it’s kinda gorgeous.
With black-matte left and right-click buttons, and an arched rear for comfort, the 700 is unfortunately only suitable for right-handed gamers, but comes with seven re-programmable buttons – the left and right click, two above and one ahead of the thumb, the ridged scroll wheel and another set just behind it. There’s a decent amount of grip on the left and right of the mouse where your fingers and thumbs sit, and it’s more than enough to keep your sweaty hands from flying across the desk in the heat of battle.
There’s also two re-programmable RGB lights set beneath the scroll wheel and on the back of the mouse which as we all know will offer you a huge tactical advantage when the enemy see’s you’re lit af. All the buttons and the RGB displays can be tinkered with using SteelSeries’ free-to-download Engine 3 software.
The first real order of business with the Rival 700, is its all new OLED display. The display is located on the front left portion of the mouse just ahead of where the thumb naturally sits, and allows you to custom program tactical alerts from your games. If you’re the kind of gamer that needs constant verification of your K:D ratio, cooldown timer or HP then the Rival 700 has you covered. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, you can also upload your own designs or hand-draw something for that personal touch.
While the OLED display doesn’t realistically add anything useful to the mouse (I’ve never knowingly looked at my mouse wishing my pathetic K:D was emblazoned on it) it is admittedly as easy to dart your eyes over to your hand as it is to bring up a scoreboard. Outside of gaming too, it can be fun to add your own designs for shits and giggles.
A feature returning in the Rival series is the high-performance optical sensor which – among other things – has zero hardware acceleration and an optical sensor that offers gamers true 1:1 tracking accuracy. If you’re not feeling the optical sensor though, you can take it out and swap in a laser sensor depending on your preference.
There’s also the ability to use ‘tactile alerts’ (varying strength vibrations that alert you when something is going down) during your playtime. There are 13 alerts to choose from which vary in intensity and length which will tell you if you’re being shot, if the enemy is capturing B, if somebody had sex with your mother etc etc. While novel, you’ll likely stop noticing the pulses in a deep gaming session, but on the plus side they’re not going to throw your aim off either.
In my limited time using the Rival 700 (around a week or so) I can say that so far it’s tracked like a dream, and has been extremely responsive both in gaming and in day-to-day work. Granted you’d never need something this lush for ploughing through spreadsheets, but it’s fully functional as an everyday workhorse, as well as a fine-tuned headshotting machine.
Ask any gamer what the most important things when deciding on a new mouse are, and they’ll likely return to you with three main needs; performance, comfort and design. The Rival 700 ticks the first two boxes and damn near punches a whole through the third with all its bells and whistles. If you’ve got the money and the need for something with a bit of class and to help elevate your game, SteelSeries have made a hell of a mouse that will turn heads as quickly as it will blow them off.
Mark is the Gaming Editor for UNILAD. Having grown up a gaming addict, he’s been deeply entrenched in culture and spends time away from work playing as much as possible. Mark studied music at University and found a love for journalism through going to local gigs and writing about them for local and national publications.