Reviews SteelSeries Rival 500 MMO/MOBA 15-Button Programmable Gaming Mouse - 16,000 CPI

SteelSeries Rival 500 MMO/MOBA 15-Button Programmable Gaming Mouse - 16,000 CPI

The Rival 500 is the first mouse designed to function with the natural movements of your hand. The side button layout is engineered to the natural contours of your thumb to react accurately and fluidly. With tactile alerts, you can feel in-game events. Everything comes together to create the most dynamic gaming experience possible for the sole purpose of helping you play better. Armed with gaming’s first flick down switches that are extremely easy to distinguish. It's more ergonomic and gives gamers the fastest reaction time because your thumb moves faster when you flick down opposed to pressing in. When the battle is the most intense you can always find the key you need.

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I've been searching for a mouse for over a decade to replace how I felt about my Logitech MX 1000 and this seems to be it. SteelSeries hasn't always struck me as high end in the past. I've had several items from them and they always left me with the "it's OK" feeling but never blown away. I'm an avid gamer as well as an IT pro so I go through a lot of mice, keyboards and other devices. I've also got a real thing for human input devices, always looking for something that is new and innovative.

This mouse really takes the cake in the above mind set. The mouse its self feels sturdy, well built and the buttons are well laid out and solid. I've been gaming with this device for a month now and I'm not able to see any difference between when I first un-boxed it and now. Buttons are stiff and almost never get accidentally pressed, even the bottom thumb flick buttons. The light from the LEDs is nice and not dim or overly bright and of course you can adjust this to your liking.

The SteelSeries mouse driver/engine for programming is nice but could be laid out a bit better. It took me a bit of time to find out what they were meaning by some of the names of the functions or the button names, but once you get it, you're good to go. It by no means is difficult, just different. I do wish that the software wouldn't open multiple small windows, it would be nice to have all the functions contained in the one window only because windows can easily become lost behind whatever else you're working on but you just need to be aware of this and it won't be an issue.

Now onto the real reason why I bought this mouse. 13 programmable buttons (14 & 15 are right and left click so unless you're not going to right and left click, the real number is 13) and a VERY innovative layout. The two bottom thumb buttons have quickly become my go to attack buttons/high use buttons and the whole thumb button layout/area is amazing. You get a total of 6 buttons at your thumb and they are so well laid out that you quickly become in-tune with the mouse and where things are at. You get 2 buttons on your index finger next to the left click, one button at your right click finger and a VERY sturdy tilt scroll wheel mouse with a down click as well.

The index finger buttons are VERY stiff and you will never accidentally hit them. This can be a good and bad thing, but overall I find the placement and stiff click nice. Same goes for the right click side single button. You can easily be pressing and holding down on your right click button and roll your finger over and press the custom button on that side and never lose your right click hold. Super bonus.

The scroll wheel tilt and press is one of the best in the industry right now. Many companies are using a very lose or easy to use tilt/press and this can cause mis-clicking, however with this dream of a mouse, the tilt wheel is nice and tight, you can easily have a high use command on all three sides of the scroll and know that what you intended to click/use will be what happens.

At the time of getting this mouse, I've been using a Razer Naga, Razer Naga HEX (also a great mouse), a Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum and a Corsair Scimitar (I told you I have an addiction). I bring this up because I feel that I've had all of the current "top tier" mice in my hands from the past few years and this mouse is just second to none.

The lighting ques for the illumination may not be as sophisticated as the Razer or Logitech, the macro recording and driver programming might not be as beautiful as them either but the hardware, buttons and device make up for this. I feel that the companies have been depending on their flashy software and "cool looks" for too long and haven't really thought about real innovation. The SteelSeries Rival 500 is this in spades.

Lift off and quick turns/reactions in my FPS games are on par with the other mice in the field, the driver is super easy on PC resources and has yet to crash or have any issues on my custom built Windows 10 computer. They update as needed but it's not every freaking day like Razer. I just love this mouse, so much that I've given away 3 to friends and I'll be using it as a give away to or clan guys in our next event. I even bought 2 more to hold onto in case they do away with this for some scary reason and I break mine. I've spent about a decade looking for a mouse that I loved after the Logitech MX1000 left my life. I have bought pretty much every multi-button programmable mouse since then and I've been disappointed in one way or another until now. My search is over and it's even exceed the very device I was looking to re-create.

***EDIT August 8, 2017***

Six weeks in and this mouse is going strong. I've really started to utilize the feedback timers and such in game and wow that's nice for training. I have several profiles setup, each game I play and for work and switching is easy. I've really come to like the software and I find it as easy to program now as I do my Logitech and other devices.

Now to the hardware. I'll admit it, I'm a no-life gamer and like I said above, I am an IT consultant that works from home. I use my computer for 12 hours a day at a minimum. Even on weekends I'll be on my computer for 5+ hours. The buttons feel the same, the layout has really grown on me and I'm still not having any issues hardware wise. I'll update again around the 6 month mark if I can remember, but for the price, even if I only got 90 to 120 days out of this device, I'd be happy. That's how nice the button placement and usage is.

*****EDIT March 29th, 2018*****

Final edit on this product. Still use it, still love it, bought 2 more in case they ever go away. Not much else to say. :) Still like the day I bought it other than the feet are beginning to show wear, but again, I'm on my computer 12+ hours/day for work or play. This thing has seen a TON of use. VERY happy with this product. Even if it were to give up the ghost in 3 months, and I don't see that happening, it would still be worth it as I've been using this thing for a solid 9 months.

Wonderful shape, really the most comfortable mouse I've ever held. Feels nice for claw and palm grabs, finger position is comfortable and natural no matter where I rest them (middle finger on wheel and ring finger on LMB, middle finger on LMB and ring finger on the extra button, ETC.).

The side button positioning is really really excellent. I'm coming form a Razer Naga and while having more buttons is nice I never found myself relying on the back ones as they were just a pain to hit quickly, on the Rival 500 I can quickly press any of the side buttons quite easily. The middle thumb rest also makes it MUCH better for moving and repositioning the mouse. For anything except an MMO this mouse is superior IMO.

It has nice weight to it and feels quite solid.

No braided cable. Really... why not? I'd gladly pay more for this. Makes an otherwise excellent product seem cheap. The plastic cable rubs against my mat and makes an awful noise + dragging/snagging feeling when using the mouse and it's already starting to flatten out/rub through in that spot.

I wasn't sure about ordering this based on some early reviews about performance glitches, but all the recent reviews were strong and it sounded like Steelseries fixed the programming, so I thought I'd give it a trial. I have to say, I absolutely love it. Sensor works flawlessly and the haptic feedback is incredible. I'd love to see them add more software support/games for the tactile alerts because they're really a game changer. I was worried that the SS engine would be difficult to use, especially with programming so many buttons, but it's easily laid out and I was able to customize pretty quickly. If you're into MMO games, this is definitely the mouse to buy.

My first Rival series mouse from SteelSeries. How do I like it? (said like Jim Carey) I "loike" it "ah" lot. I'm coming from the WOW line of mice from SteelSeries. I started with the WOW Legendary, then to the wireless Legendary, then immediately to the Gold Edition (this is the same as the legendary just updated hardware/software compatibility) because the wireless version took away 1 button which may seem small but it was a big difference. And now I'm on the Rival 500. So this is how I feel about it.

1. The feel: This mouse feels amazing! The way your hand comfortably fits around the mouse is just great. It glides very smoothly on my mouse pad (SteelSeries) and the groove indention for the thumb is like the mouse is a glove just for you with good matted grips within. All of you fingers just seem to go right where they need to be (with the exception of learning a new mouse).

2. Button Positioning: The buttons are positioned in very reachable places for large and medium (me) hands, small hands would have to put more effort into reaching all of them. Now if I had my way I would move button 11, 12, and 13, here is why. It would be more accessible if 11, and 12 were on the right side of the left click button (next to he scroll wheel), and 13 on the left side of the right click button (next to the scroll wheel) rather than where they are now. But remember I'm coming from the WOW styled mice which are like that. Now seeing that 11 is farther forward I thought that would be one of the hardest to press, but no, the two buttons I had more trouble learning was 12, and 5. 5 is the forward most button where you thumb rests, I have to actually think more about moving my thumb forward when it's resting so comfortably, it's like kicking it out of bed to get to work lol. Now because you have to bend you index finger to press 12 it's a bit slow for me to get to due to the fact that it is slightly more to the left than I'd like it to be, but doable. All of the other buttons are naturally accessible with almost no effort for execution. All of the buttons have an easy click to them in which you don't have to press hard to perform you actions, except for 11, 12, and 13, these you have to press just a little more until you get used to it.

3. The Software: The software (not buggy from my experience) is very user friendly. Easy to understand and customize. This is my first time in SteelSeries Engine 3 since I was in 2 for so long (that was/is easy also). The RGB (and the white is real white lol) assigning is great and easy as well as the macroing, and profiling. And if you have other SteelSeries components they are all easy to jump between and sync with a very keen and clean UI. This is the first time I was actually able to truly make every button the ESC button lol. And unlike others' software you don't need it to allow your mouse to function as a simple mouse. Some others you have to have the software to even use and/or let the mouse be recognized/registered by the PC, but you don't have to worry about that with this mouse. And the dual CPI settings are extremely accurate, no lag, and smooth, and a very nice adjustable lift distance also.

4. The Lighting: The lighting is as bright as you need it to be. There are only two main lit areas, under you palm and around the mouse wheel. They each can be separately customized.

5. The Bonus: The tactile feed back is (for me) a very nice addition to in game satisfaction. When firing you weapon and feeling that well earned kill is just wonderful. You can also have the mouse give feed back with timed cooldowns letting you know when they are available. Not compatible with every game but still NICE!

6: Other Thoughts: My experience with this mouse has been very rewarding thus far. In the beginning the mouse kept slipping out of my hand when lifting for repositioning, due to me coming from much lighter mice. This mouse has slightly more weight which balances the mouse just right. I personally don't like heavy mice, but this one is well balanced. This mouse is still IMO light but not like the WOW gold, that mouse is like a feather lol. I like my mouse to feel like it's stuck to my hand and after about 3 days that's how it feels now, no more dropping. Now it took me about two weeks to really get used to buttons 12 and 5. I needed a good mouse with 11 buttons or more since I am used to all 11 of my WOW mouse, so this mouse was just what I needed and I didn't want some grid number setup where my thumb would be, I wanted something that felt more natural and gamy and this does :) Now if I could just use a different keyboard then I would be fine, the MERC STEALTH has spoiled me. Being used to using 29 of the 34 buttons with my left hand on the game pad side means I CAN NOT USE ANY regular keyboards at all.......oh well I guess I'll be stuck for a while more.

7. Five Star Rating: I gave this mouse a 5 star rating because it does everything this type of gaming mouse should do with bonuses. Targeting MMO/MOBA's as stated it handles those just as it should while still being an all around gaming mouse for other genres as well. And even though I would change the position of 3 buttons, the reality is I can properly and successfully press all of the buttons just fine now, so 5 stars it is. I was afraid to leave my old mouse but this made it easy :) I would definitely recommend the Rival 500 to any gamer looking for a mouse that can meet all of your gaming needs + some.

Oh, a nearly perfect multi-button mouse! I like the arrangement of the buttons-- much easier for me to find and hit than those on a side grid of a zillion buttons, but I do think it could use a few more buttons-- like on the top right side and below the button in the center top under the scroll wheel. The buttons also operate well-- easy to tell when you've actually clicked them. I like this mouse much better than any I've had before, but I gave it 4 stars because it could use more buttons, and I'd like to have a smaller version for smaller hands. I'd also prefer that the wire be the soft. more bendable, type. But even with all that said, imho, this is the best-constructed and thought-out multi-button mouse you'll find.

This mouse is the real deal. Immediately it felt great and was super responsive.

The feel, contours, button placement, button clicks, and overall sleek style, make this the best mouse I have ever gamed with. The customizable software is awesome too. I had read reviews about how good this feels and how it fits the palm of the hand, I was skeptical at first, but I can’t stress enough how good this feels in the hand. The textured grips on the sides, the ability to lock the thumb buttons and use it as a thumb rest, all work tremendously well.

This is a high end, high class mouse – for an incredible price.

i like it i wish the vibrations were linked to the games them self and not based of key presses its a good mouse fits my hands. im 5'8 with normal sized hands. its got a nice weight to it and the button placements feel natural when using them. the software is easy to use it does take a little bit to set up any vibration settings. say you want the vibration to be timed spot on like you want it to vibrate when you press R to start to reload a weapon and stop vibrating when the reload is complete. getting the timing right takes a little time and will be off if you use a different weapon because of different load times. however if you dont want it precise then its easy. when x button is pressed mouse vibrates for x amount of time and vibrates this hard or soft in this pattern or that pattern. its a good idea and i really hope they figure out how to link it to games in the future so it vibrates on direct player actions such as being shot or falling something to that affect. i would recommend to a friend.

This is by far and out the best gaming mouse I've ever used and I exclusively buy high end gaming mice! Just as a point of reference, I'm a veteran FPS player and am in the top 0.10% in any FPS I play. I use MOBA style mice because they are much more versatile than standard FPS mice, which is unlike many competitive FPS players. Yet, generally speaking MOBA style gaming mice tend to fall behind FPS mice in certain categories such as high end sensors, ergonomics, weight distribution etc. Yet, this mouse has absolutely no flaws to be found! The build quality is absolutely top notch! I can state without a doubt that if you're in the market for an incredibly flexible gaming mouse, you've absolutely found it! This mouse will suit claw, finger tip and palm (of which I use all three depending on the game) and will also work well for hands of all sizes from small, to medium, to massive.

Note: Early reviews for this mouse tend to clearly state about it having an issue with the firmware, which at times can render the mouse useless. This issue has been resolved in the most recent firmware update, so make sure to follow the directions as to how to properly install it and you'll be good to go. Do not avoid this mouse, because of the previously stated issues by early reviewers, because if you do, you'll be missing out on what might possibly be the greatest gaming mouse ever created!

I wanted lots of buttons for MMO play. For the longest time, this mouse had a tendency to crash and disconnect. Luckily, SteelSeries finally fixed the bug and now I can wholeheartedly recommend it.
It is NOT ambidextrous - the thumb buttons are on the right-hand side.
Wish it had a fabric-covered cord like some of the other SteelSeries mice, but otherwise a perfect gaming mouse for me.

So after a year and 4 months, my mouse has had its first issue. One of my top buttons snapped or something. It's loose but it still works. It is odd though because that's one of the buttons I almost never use. The buttons on the side and the top button that I use the most are fine.

Other than that, this mouse has been perfect. I have bigger hands and I tried the Logitech G502 and it's TINY. I couldn't do it. This mouse is super nice. I haven't had that disconnect issue at all, since they finally squashed that bug. I love the button setup. There's a rest for your thumb and there's enough buttons to do pretty much anything you need without having 12 buttons all on top of each other. I couldn't really use any of the MMO mice I tried without hitting more than one button a time with my fat thumbs.

So yeah, this mouse is nice. I'm giving it 4 stars because I feel like (correct me if I'm wrong here) that a limited 1 year warranty isn't great. Logitech, for example, has let me replace mice before almost 2 years later. So maybe that's not a knock on the mouse, besides it breaking obviously, but moreso a knock on Steelseries.

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