Steelseries proved us a couple of times before that they can make a good quality mouse. And now they finally made one which is wireless.
In the spring of this year, Steelseries came out with a very simple wire mouse Rival 3, which offered good quality and a simple design with a unique RGB backlight for a few bucks. At that time, the mouse could have been only recommended to casual gamers who don’t have their expectations too high. However, even those ‘casual’ players begun suggesting that a wireless version would be a step further and made the whole experience much better.
The manufacturer was obviously listening because that’s exactly what happened now in the autumn when they introduced this new version. But is it enough? Unfortunately, the Rival 3 Wireless is not just the original mouse that lost its “tail”. Steelseries changed a few other elements, which will surely be missed.
Design simpler than before
The original spring model was praised for its simple design, which was made special by a very unique RGB bar on the underside, which incredibly enlivened the mouse and made it something more than it really was in reality. Unfortunately, the manufacturer gave up on this, and the wireless version has retained more or less only a minimalist design made of matt black plastic, which guarantees a perfect grip. The construction feels very firmly and robustly, which is definitely a plus.
However, the mouse was deprived of the backlit logo on the back and even the entire glowing bar on the underside. The only part which is now still backlit is the scrolling wheel. Otherwise, the design of the mouse is almost no different from its previous version.
You will still find two basic buttons, a pleasantly textured wheel, a button to change the mouse sensitivity and two side buttons on the left. Ergonomics is simple and very pleasant in the palm of your hand. In short, the classic Steelseries.
Rival 3 Wireless batteries & charging
The entire upper part with the logo can be easily folded down. Under the cover, you will find a hidden USB adapter, through which the mouse connects to the computer, as well as space for two AAA batteries.
The Rival 3 Wireless was designed to run off 1 or 2 batteries. Running on one battery lowers the weight of the mouse, but it also greatly reduces the time between battery changes.
Having to use standart AAA batteries may come as a surprise, however it is one of the reason why the price of the this mouse is so low. Unfortunately, this means that you will have to constantly change/recharge batteries and take this into account as future expenses added to the price of the mouse.
SteelSeries‘ claim of a 400-hour battery life is a bold claim by any means, but one I began to believe in the more I used the mouse. As we found out, it really depends on how quality batteries are you going to use and if you use the mouse only to do some work, browse the internet or some heavy playing.
There are 2 AAA bateries included in the box.
Rival 3 Wireless offers a great performance
The mouse has impressive performance specifications such as 18,000 CPI, 400 IPS, and 1000 Hz polling rate (1ms response time). This provides a great balance between performance and reliability that can be neglected with wireless products.
While playing an action shooting game, I never noticed a slowdown, poor connection or lagging of the signal. The mouse always did an excellent job and easily matches the much more expensive gaming mice on the market.
Rival 3 Wireless connection
The connection works classically via a 2.4GHz Wireless USB adapter, as well as via Bluetooth, between which you can switch freely thanks to the button on the bottom of the mouse.
Very interesting is the double mode, between which the mouse can be switched.
Rival 3 Wireless dual mode
If you really want to squeeze the most out of your device, you will use it in-game mode. With this mode, you will use the mouse on its highest settings offering the 1000Hz polling rate and the highest sensitivity. It can, however, squeeze new batteries literally in a few days.
Fortunately, the mouse can also be used in the power saving mode, when it drops to 125Hz polling rate, which is just enough to do some ordinary work on a computer. In this mode, the mouse will last much longer.
A little bonus is also the used technology of automatic channel switching, thanks to which in case of channel interruption due to a large number of Bluetooth devices in the vicinity, the mouse will automatically switch to another without interrupting the connection.
Rival 3 Profiles
The mouse also has internal memory for 4 profiles which you can set easily in the Steelseries Engine software. The only downside is that there is not much to set in the mouse.
In addition to its own assigned keys, you can only change options within the RGB backlight of the wheel and set it, for example, for certain Discord functions or low battery alerts. So the software is really just an extra bonus, which you might not even have to use.
So it is clear that this mouse is quite sufficient for casual gamers who sit and play at the computer rather occasionally. If you are one of them, then the mice will last you without problems for a really long time.
But what about if you are a really active player who plays almost daily? There are two ways for you. Either buy rechargeable batteries (which is again another expense for the price of the mouse itself, which you have to count with) or simply have a look for another mouse with an integrated battery, which can be charged through a cable.
The final verdict
The Steelseries Rival 3 Wireless mouse is full of contradictions. On the one hand, it offers a minimalist stylish design, an excellent sensor and dual wireless connection, all for a really nice price. On the other hand, the impressive RGB elements from the wired version are missing (probably due to battery life), there is minimal adaptability and battery replacement is potentially a real thorn in the eye for active players who are more likely to reach for more expensive competitors with a charging cradle or integrated battery.
Whatever you decide to do, the Rival 3 Wireless is a very good choice for anyone who sits down at a computer only occasionally.