SteelSeries Rival 500 Review – Do We Have A Reinvention Of The Gaming Mouse On Our Hands?

Introducing the Steelseries Rival 500 – a mouse boasting intuitive design, tactile alerts and maximum personalisation, created with MOBA/MMO gamers in mind.



This new wired addition to the Steelseries family walks the thin line between the mid and high-tier price point yet easily challenges the competition, such as the widely spread Razer Naga and the impressive Corsair Scimitar.

  • Finland – €79.99
  • Sweden – 799 kr
  • Denmark – 649 kr
  • Norway – 799 kr


As expected, the Rival 500 has more buttons than your average gaming mouse – 15 to be more precise. This could prove to be of no use and perhaps even unnecessary if you are not into games such as World of Warcraft or League of Legends where it makes sense to utilise more than three clicking options.

That being said, if you enjoy binding specific sequences or keys in different environments e.g. Photoshop, the Rival 500 will be your best friend.

On the other hand, the not-so-good Steelseries Engine 3 app for calibration could pose a small challenge at first; mostly because it lacks elements which make its user interface intuitive and simplistic.


Specs and Testing

It’s very unlikely that you’re going to crank up Rival 500’s maximum 16000 DPI setting any time soon, but the count is impressive and the option is certainly there. Playing with different settings can provide a very smooth and pleasant experience – the optical sensor is nothing short of great.

Testing the device outside the MOBA/MMO merits in titles such as Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive the performance matched or even outshined some of the adversaries built specifically for the FPS public. 500’s body is visually appealing and follows the familiar Steelseries design aesthetic.

The only downside is the engraved “RIVAL” label on the back of the mouse which comes off as something usually identified with cheaper brands; though the RGB illuminated company logo really makes up for it.


What’s the SteelSeries Rival 500 like to use?

While the mouse is light, comfortable to use and supports different grip methods, it’s not designed to be used with both hands.

If we take the grid design into consideration, the two bottom left buttons are clearly fixed for the thumb of the right hand and you can either assign them or lock them into position.

During testing we preferred the lock in order to avoid accidental clicks in the middle of fast paced gameplay.

It’s important to point out that Steelseries are trying to find a better solution to distinguish and actually reach the multiple side button options – a problem plaguing the standard version of the Razer Naga that was later addressed with the upgraded Hex version.

Increased size and reduced number of the key options on the left side proved to be a far better solution than the Naga/Scimitar design – only inconvenience being 500’s overall button stiffness.

Our Verdict – 8/10

The Steelseries Rival 500 is the right option to go for if you’re willing to spend the money and the shortcomings are easily countered by the quality of its design. Furthermore, if you’re an MMORPG player this is an opportunity you simply can’t miss.

The Good:

  • Price matches the quality
  • Appealing design
  • Great optical sensor
  • Excellent choice for MMORPG gamers

The Bad:

  • Steelseries Engine 3 app
  • Button stiffness
  • Impractical thumb-rest buttons

Where to pick on up

If you’re in Sweden, Denmark, Norway or Finland, you can reserve a Steel Series: Rival 500 Mouse online, from the comfort of your couch.

Author: Vjeran Nagy

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