With so many ‘gaming’ mice on the market, choosing one can be a real headache; gamers are literally spoilt for choice with the vast array coming from brands such as Logitech, Razer and Roccat. Each of them boasts of having the best tracking, the best ergonomics or even the ability to track on any surface. So, imagine my surprise when I saw the tricks that the Rival 700 is able to do: an OLED screen ON the mice itself and tactile feedback!
While not quite as flashy as something from Razer, the Rival 700 is no slouch in the design department; featuring a right handed grip design, it has a textured back and sides which ensures a confident grip regardless of how sweaty your palms might be.
There are a total of 5 buttons including the right and left click, and their positioning is pretty much spot on; I was able to access all of the buttons with no discomfort whatsoever. Additionally, the tactile feedback is also excellent, allowing quick execution while also eliminating any accidental presses. The centerpiece of the design, however, sits just in front of the two side buttons: an honest-to-goodness OLED panel!
This OLED panel can be used to display a variety of information, including sensitivity, in-game statistics (even headshot count!) and even a personalised word such as your gamer-tag. I honestly thought that it was more gimmicky than useful, and it is to a certain extent, but being able to see your kill count at a glance is definitely something else.
The Rival 700 also features a removable cable, and SteelSeries has included a short, non-braided cable as well as a longer, braided cable. This is a pretty sweet design choice as you have the option to swap out cables for the appropriate occasion. This also means you don’t have to replace the entire mouse if the cable happens to break.
VIBRATION AND MODULARITY
We’re all used to vibrating controllers, but SteelSeries believes that a mouse with tactile feedback is the next big thing; using SteelSeries’ proprietary SteelSeries Engine, you can set the activity that would trigger a feedback and even customise the vibration pattern.
SteelSeries insists that it won’t impact track sensitive games like FPSes so long as you configure it properly. It does limit its functionality to alerts and such. We weren’t able to experience much with the Rival 700, but we’re hoping it will support more games in the future as we can imagine it to be really engaging for action games like The Witcher 3 or Tomb Raider.
Finally, the Rival 700’s back plate can be removed as well to allow a custom plate if you so desire. However, the modularity doesn’t stop there as SteelSeries says that the entire sensor can be replaced as well. The existing sensor is already pretty good, even being able to track on super smooth surfaces (though it tripped up a little with glass). We didn’t test any alternative sensors, but at least SteelSeries has somewhat future-proofed the Rival 700.
If you’re looking for the latest and greatest in gaming mice, the Rival 700 is definitely worth a look!
Verdict: An exceptional modular mouse that can be used for years
Total Score: 8.6/10