The Rival 500 is a really great mouse. The standard features are top notch, but the new design around the thumb is a great direction to take gaming mice in my opinion. STEELSERIES didn’t skimp on quality and quite frankly, I’ve never seen anything other than that with their other products. You top that off with the best software suite I’ve seen so far and there’s a lot to love about the Rival 500.
Unfortunately, the mouse misses perfection on a couple of key points. Both the front most finger and thumb buttons were hard for me to reach, to the point that I would never use them. I would think this will end up being an issue for a majority of users, especially since I can safely assume to have an average finger length. This can be worked around, but a little tactile bump on each thumb switch would be hugely helpful as well. In spite of using the mouse for an extended period of time, I still have trouble discerning which button is which. These are minor concerns though and it wouldn’t be hard to rectify these issues in future models.
The pricing is the final hurdle the Rival 500 has to clear in order to grab buyers. Here, I don’t think it’s doing bad at $80, but it could do a tad better. On one hand, you get the Pixart 3360 which always cost a bit more. On the other hand, there’s a lot of MMO mice that undercut it by a fair amount. You’re essentially paying a bit more for a design you won’t find anywhere else for the time being. If STEELSERIES can patent that, they may be able to charge what the market allows since it would be pretty hard to compete with the design. Overall, the STEELSERIES Rival 500 is a groundbreaking mouse and it easily deserves the Pureoverclock Great Hardware Award!