Pros: Sensor performance, software, design and looks, overall build quality, GameSense
Cons: Not suited for left-handers, price, no weight adjustment
Build Quality: 9/10
Design & Looks: 10/10
My final Rating: 9/10
Review Date: May 2016
Review Price: £57
First of all I would like to thank Steelseries for sending me the mouse for review. After having reviewed other SteelSeries gear and other mice, I was intrigued to see how the Rival 300 would perform and how the Counter Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO) variant of the Rival 300 would look!
You can purchase the Rival 300 CS:GO fade mouse on AmazonUK for around £57 & AmazonUSA for $70. These prices are slightly higher than the non-branded and plain looking Rival 300 mice, which can be found on AmazonUK for £50 and AmazonUSA for $53 – you’re therefore paying a little extra for a skin…where have you heard that before…Counter Strike of course!
Full specs of the mouse can be found on SteelSeries’ website.
Here’s my video review of the mouse:
Now let’s get into this written review!
As a note: Parts of the review might be similar to my Rival 100 review – as a lot of features crossover.
Within the packaging of the Rival 300 CS:GO Fade Edition you’ll find only the mouse and a set of quite useless manuals, which essentially tell you to go online to download drivers. I’m not sure about the logic there from SteelSeries, as they might as well save money on packaging and documents, than including a very useless paper – think of the trees!
Let’s jump straight to the build quality of the mouse, which in its entirety is very good. The mouse is terminated by a silver-plated USB which is connected to the mouse itself by a non-braided cable. It would have been nice to see a gold-plated USB and braided cable included here.
Moving to the mouse itself, it has a beautiful Fade colour, starting from gold/yellow at the tip of the mouse to purple by the palm of the mouse. The colour is what really sets the mouse aside from other mice out there, as it looks unique and for CS:GO players like myself is quite epic to have on the desk!
By the palm of the mouse there’s a Guardian Elite logo and at the back side of the mouse (by the palm), there’s a CS:GO writing on a rubber plate of sorts. At either side of the mouse, there’s a textured rubber material which has a nice feel to it, especially when you start sweating in clutch situations.
On the left-hand side of the mouse there’s two full-customisable buttons, which are soft on-press. I would have liked the buttons to be a little more rigid or less mushy as I feel I have to press quite firmly in order for the button to be activated – a very minor point, but one that I hold against it in comparison to other mice out there, such as my Logitech G303 and Logitech G502. There is also a small button at the top of the mouse which can be also be customised.
The scroll wheel feels nice whilst you roll and has a clicky nature to it. The left/right mouse clicks aren’t too loud nor accentuated meaning late-night gaming and frantically one-tapping your enemies won’t wake anyone up!
The scroll wheel and the Guardian Elite logo light up and can be fully customised through the software.
Unfortunately, there are no adjustable weights, which is slightly disappointing given its price.
Overall the build quality is really well thought out and its ergonomics are great for my 16-18cm hands (palm to tip of middle finger). I just would have liked the buttons to be a little more “responsive” when clicked.
The mouse is great in-hand and fits my hands perfectly. I would consider myself to have normal sized hands and didn’t have any comfort problems, unlike the ones I had with the Rival 100. If you have small hands however, you might find the mouse a little too big for you, especially due to its rather large arch, which fits in a medium-sized palm.
The mouse is designed for right-handers, and I can’t see a left-hander being really comfortable using the mouse on a daily basis – although it is still possible to use.
Moving on from the ergonomics to the looks: I found the mouse to be absolutely beautiful to look at. It’s one of those mice that you would like to have on your desk, even if you aren’t into CS:GO! The fade is really well done and perfectly reflects what is shown in game – SteelSeries have really got the right blend of colours, making the mouse stand out from the rest. As a CS:GO gamer myself, I love the design and think it’s one of the most beautiful mice I’ve ever come across!
The Rival 300 CS:GO Fade Edition houses the same sensor found in the Rival 300, the PixArt PMW3310 optical sensor. The sensor is able to go to 6500 DPI and has a quoted polling rate of 1000Hz.
After having tested a few mice, I was sceptical about the sensor’s performance, but I must say that I am impressed by SteelSeries’ implementation of the sensor within their mouse. The sensor performs fantastically and doesn’t have any 1:1 tracking problems nor any acceleration/deceleration issues or random blimps.
Its sensor performance was consistently good and whilst gaming in CS:GO, I noticed that the mouse’s performance helped me aim well. As a comparison to my Logitech G303 and Logitech G502 which house the Pixart PMW3366 sensor, deemed as one of the best sensors in the world – I found the Rival 300 CS:GO Fade Edition to impressively hold its own.
Finally, its lift distance was around 1.5mm – a good amount for those AWP flick shots.
The SteelSeries Engine 3 software performs well and complements the mouse. The iteration of the software is the same across most SteelSeries products now and I must say that I haven’t been disappointed by it, unlike before when SteelSeries had terrible software support.
Through the software you’ll be able to launch GameSense, which essentially is a way for your mouse to communicate with certain games. This makes your mouse a part of the game; more specifically, you’ve got the option to have GameSense activated for CS:GO, which allows you to link the colours of the mouse to your ammo – the more you shoot, the darker fade (LEDs) the Rival 300 CS:GO Fade Edition will get. It’s a nice touch, but as I’ve previously said in my SteelSeries Apex M800 review, I find it kind of useless, where I can’t see someone looking at the mouse rather than at the screen.
In terms of functionality, the software has everything you would need – you can re-map the buttons on the mouse, change its colour, behaviour and finally create different profiles, in order for you to have dedicated profiles for certain games.
Overall, the software is a good addition to the mouse’s overall experience.
In conclusion, the mouse’s good looks match its sensor performance. I can see myself easily recommending the mouse to anyone who likes playing Counter Strike, or even those that want a mouse that looks radically different from the rest. Its design is unique and I don’t think you’ll find it in another manufacturers design any time soon.
Before receiving the mouse, its performance was the main thing I was worried about – but I am glad that despite its pretty looks, it’s still clever on the inside – Top marks to SteelSeries!
Hope you enjoyed my review!