When it comes to gaming mice, SteelSeries are well known for their high quality. With the recent release of the Rival 3, it brings a unique offering to the table. This is a gaming mouse from a highly respected brand, but cheaper than the latest AAA game. Is it worth the price, though? Let’s find out!

Build Quality and Feel

For a gaming mouse, it needs to be well built. These mice are subject to a lot of punishment and as such, need to be able to withstand it.

This is not an issue with the Rival 3. I actually dropped it by mistake on a hardwood floor and there wasn’t even a scratch on it! I wouldn’t suggest that you abuse the mouse and treat it like a throwaway component. The fact it didn’t break though highlights the high quality of the Rival 3.

This is also a mouse with a long life span. The switches in the mouse are guaranteed to last for 60 million clicks. The switches are the same that are found in the more expensive mice that SteelSeries sells. Overall, it feels really nice, and nothing like other generic mice that come in at the same price point!

It is also pretty light as well. This means shifting it across a mouse pad won’t be a chore. It isn’t though a hollow mouse that feels as though it’s just a thin, plastic chassis underneath. It is one of the lighter mice that I’ve used in recent years, though.

The question is though, how does it feel? In short, very nice. You can have the best quality when it comes to materials, but if it doesn’t feel nice to use, then it’s a damp squib. The Rival 3 feels really nice in the hand and is a joy to play a game with.

Feature Set

As is the norm with gaming mice, it’s possible to program the buttons that are present on it. Speaking of which, there are the three usual buttons, as well as one more under the mouse wheel which controls the sensitivity. There are also two more (programmable) buttons on the left hand side.

Included with the Rival 3 is software that allows two buttons to be programmed. As with other programmable mice, I set up the Rival 3 in a way that would allow me to reload quickly in game as well as assigning jump to the other side button. However, it is also possible to record macros in the software and assign these to the buttons.

As mentioned above, the sensitivity is also adjustable. The mouse can go from 100 CPI (Counts Per Inch), up to 8,500 CPI. When it comes to changing this, it can be done in 100 CPI each time. This allows the player to get the sensitivity that’s right for them. Some mice have CPI values over double this, however, they’re also a lot more expensive at the same time. Plus, just because a mouse can use a CPI of say, 18,000, it doesn’t mean it should. If you wish though, you can actually change all of the buttons to whatever function you like, but by default the four on the face of the mouse are setup as any other mouse would be.

Since it does have a gamer twist to it, there is of course RGB lihgting involved! This isn’t garish, over the top lighting, mind you. There are three different ‘zones’ that the lighting can be adjusted at. These are the bottom of the mouse (along with the logo) and also the left and right sides. There are a lot of different colours to chose from. For those that have other SteelSeries components, the mouse can be synced up with PrismSync.

Personally I went for a subtle red to match the keys on my laptop keyboard, and it looks really nice.

Points to Consider

Whilst the Rival 3 is brilliant, it’s not perfect. The first thing to point out is that for those with big hands (like me), the grip used needs to be adjusted. I’m still used to using an old X3 Sidewinder everyday, so I had to alter how I held the Rival 3.

This does not make it bad, far from it. However, it is important to point this out to those with shovel hands!

Additionally, it doesn’t come with a braided cable. Braided cables are a lot more common on gaming mice these days. However, when you trade off the price, it’s no big deal. It might be for some people though, so I thought it was important to mention it here. The cable is also non-detachable and connects to the PC via USB A.

  • Build Quality
  • Value for Money
  • Day to Day Use


The SteelSeries Rival 3 is a brilliant, budget focused gaming mouse. Even if gaming isn’t your primary use for it, I’d still recommend this mouse. It’s just that good!


Brilliant value for money

Nice included software


Might be a bit small for some

Last update on 2024-04-24 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.