SteelSeries Rival 100 Review 2019

Like a brushes to a painter, expensive peripherals are a gamer’s best friend. As much as we like to indulge in heavily-priced products that will give us an edge over the competition on the battlefield, sometimes true quality lies at the other end of the price range. In the past, most peripheral manufacturing companies vied for creating products packed with features, with no regard for the price. Nowadays, these same companies are still competing, but this time, however, to provide the best value items for their customers. This translates into inexpensive products that offer great functionality and features. SteelSeries is currently one of the biggest organizations in the market of peripherals and, in hopes of impressing the crowd of modern gamers, released the Rival 100 as an inexpensive alternative to the gaming mice of the time.

For reference, SteelSeries is a Danish company founded in 2001. Originally it was called Soft Trading and specialized in creating gaming mouse pads. In 2007, they changed their named to SteelSeries, and a year later, they acquired Ideazon, a company that researched and developed gaming peripherals. This merging marked the beginning for SteelSeries as a manufacturer of some of the best peripherals currently available on the market, which includes gaming mice, headsets, mouse pads, and keyboards, among others. Nowadays, this organization is involved in the competitive gaming scene by supporting several popular crews such as Evil Geniuses, Vitality, Alliance, and EDward Gaming.

With that in mind, we can definitely say that SteelSeries is a great contender in the market of gaming gear and accessories. Each of their products is backed by more than a decade of experience and a healthy dose of quality control. The Rival 100 is not an exception to these principles, and will definitely give its buyers great value for their money.

But before getting started on our SteelSeries Rival 100 review, let’s go over the criteria we use to judge our gaming mice.

How We Judge Our Gaming Mice

As opposed to generic office mice, gaming clickers have to offer certain additional buttons that will help the player outsmart the competition. For instance, it is expected of a gaming mouse to offer things like a few additional buttons, a powerful sensor with adjustable sensitivity settings, a shape that adapts to most hands and allows for comfortable use even through the longest gaming sessions and, less importantly, great aesthetics that can help you to look cool both in and out of the game.

In these aspects, let’s see how the Rival measures up:

SteelSeries Rival 100 Product Overview

The sensor will always be one of the most important parts of a gaming mouse, or any mouse for that matter, as it allows the user to perform precise moves without any interference or jittering. As opposed to most generic mice, hardware developers strive to equip their products with the best sensors out there to give their users the best possible performance. This mouse in particular is equipped with a custom-made optical sensor with a maximum sensitivity setting of 4,000 CPI. The S3059-SS custom sensor provides a high-fidelity tracking experience that aims to provide the user with the most precise 1:1 movement output which is saying a lot. On top of its power, the sensor is also developed with optimized lift-off distance so that the user feels no interference even when constantly lifting the mouse from the pad during those fast-paced scenarios. The features mentioned above, coupled with zero hardware acceleration and the possibility of customizing the mouse’s performance using SteelSeries’ software make this mouse one of the best purchases you can make.

Sadly, for all the effort put into the sensor, we can’t help but feel that the Rival 100 lags behind on other categories. For instance, it offers a total of only 6 buttons, which, compared to some mice from the same price range, is a bit lackluster. This same lack of buttons makes this mouse better suited for gaming genres such as FPS and MOBAs, where the lack of additional buttons doesn’t put the gamer at such a disadvantage. For other games such as MMORPGs, though, you might need to turn your sights to another mouse.

One of the other great aspects of the Rival 100 lies in its ergonomics. This mouse is designed for comfortable use with all grip styles. While other companies design their products to favor one grip above the rest, SteelSeries created this product to be as accessible for all users as possible. Consequently, this gaming mouse boasts an ergonomic design that doesn’t favor one grip above the others. The side grips are also textured with small rubber mounds to help improve the grip of the user, especially in high-intensity situations where the hands are usually sweaty from the action.

SteelSeries Rival 100 Pros

  • Powerful optical sensor with adjustable CPI, optimized lift-off distance, zero hardware acceleration, and ultimate performance customization via SteelSeries’ software​
  • Elegant designed with a contoured shape that favors no grip above the others; perfect for all users
  • Durable build ensures that you won’t be replacing the Rival 100 anytime soon

SteelSeries Rival 100 Cons

  • In terms of additional buttons, this mouse could do a lot better​
  • Users claim the scroll wheel felt a bit flimsy, though this wasn’t so in our particular case


When you’re buying a product from manufacturers like Logitech, Razer, or SteelSeries, you’re not only buying a quality product, but also a brand. While in most cases this just translates into a bloated price tag, investing in a brand also ensures that your product has undergone a rigorous process of quality control before ending up on a shelf in your local retailer. Considering that the Rival 100 is manufactured by SteelSeries we’d say that this one is a real bargain that should definitely be considered if you’re in the market for a gaming mouse.

Product images sourced from​

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