SteelSeries Rival 5 – Hardware Review
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Developer: SteelSeries
Publisher: SteelSeries
Platform: PC

SteelSeries Rival 5 – Hardware Review

Good: Design, Affordable, Sturdy
Bad: One of the side buttons is harder to reach for people with smaller hands
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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Over the years we have tried out many different gaming mice, ranging from Sandberg’s eSports equipment to more known products such as Acer’s Predator series. We have seen a clear evolution over the last few years where companies experimented a lot with the overall design of these gaming companions, where some had bombastic designs with a lot of bells and whistles, while others went for flashy RGB lighting, and others even attempted adding as many buttons as possible to the equation. Many recent releases, however, have all gone back to a basic design, with some brand-specific features, such as a clear depiction of the company’s logo with proper lighting, or a nice pattern on the mouse wheel, or even just a specific shape the respective company keeps opting for. Now, we have a new brand and model to feature on our site, namely SteelSeries’ Rival 5 gaming mouse.


The Rival 5 has a fairly simple and elegant design, for a slightly bigger gaming mouse. You’ll have a sleek black matte design, only being accentuated by the RGB lighting when turned on. The lighting is mainly on the sides, on the inside of the mouse wheel, and of course, the logo on the backside. On the left side, you’ll also have a silver button, which does stand out a bit from the overall whole. We don’t mind it, but it was somewhat of a bold choice to accentuate the device in such a fashion. Other than that, the Rival 5 is a very classy device, which will fit in every gamer’s setup easily.


In terms of comfort, we’ll immediately tell you that this device is a ‘large’ mouse, and thus people with smaller hands might not be able to use this device to its fullest. Don’t worry, we’re basically only talking about the silver button on the side, which will be harder to reach when having smaller hands. Other than that, the device is an absolute delight. You’ll have a streamlined shape, enough extra buttons for specific commands during your favorite games, and a lightweight experience. The mouse only weighs 85 grams, which is very pleasant when playing for longer periods of time. We have come a long way from the days that people thought heavier gaming mice were cool. The mouse is very much a design for right-handed gamers, due to its shape and button placements.

The device also comes with a braided cable, which means that it will be a bit sturdier and, let’s be honest, these also look a lot better than cheap plastic/rubber ones. The braided cable also gives it an extra premium touch. Nonetheless, even though these cables may be sturdier than normal ones, how it looks is often a matter of personal preference.


  • TrueMove Air sensor
  • Sensitivity up to 18 000 CPI
  • 80 million clicks lifespan
  • Right-handed design
  • Matte finish
  • 9 Programmable buttons
  • 85 g weight
  • 2 m cable length
  • Super mesh cable
  • 10-zone RGB


Those who are just eager to dive into the experience of their new gaming mouse will be happy to hear that the device is plug-and-play. You’ll be able to play your favorite games in mere moments, and have five pre-installed profiles on the mouse, covering a variety of different CPI (or DPI) ranges. The lowest one comes at 400, with the maximum being 3 200 for the standard profiles. If you install the SteelSeries software, you can get the mouse up to a sensitivity of 18 000 CPI. The latter is a very nice feature for those playing strategy titles, where they have to scroll over the battlefield quickly. The fact that the standard profiles only go up to 3 200 means that most games actually don’t require more than this for an ideal gaming experience.

Many brands offer software to tailor your hardware to your specific wants and needs, but we were quite impressed with the options for the Rival 5. You can select different zones on the mouse, have a specific color and effect for that zone, making sure there are thousands of different combinations, making your device truly unique. You want to have a wave with different colors on one side, while the other side shows your favorite color all the time? Perfectly possible. Do you want to see the craziest color combinations that usually don’t go hand in hand? Go nuts. Of course, you can do a lot more than making your device shinier here, you can set the CPI settings, you can even set the sensitivity depending on how fast you move your hands, that it’s more sensitive when moving slower, or vice versa. There is an impressive array of functions to mess around with until you find what suits you the best.


Those thinking SteelSeries only offers high-priced gaming peripherals are proven quite wrong with the release of the Rival 5. The device comes at a medium-range price, with a lot of premium functions. The CPI range is impressive, as well as the overall sensitivity, design, and RGB features. While, as mentioned above, those with smaller hands may not be able to use the silver-colored button freely, the overall comfort factor is quite high for the device. The matte plastic offers a lot of grip, and the device’s lightweight makes the device pleasant to work with. We were quite pleased with the Rival 5 and can easily recommend this mouse to casual and pro gamers alike.

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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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SteelSeries Rival 5 - Hardware Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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1 Comment

  1. […] in May, we had a closer look at SteelSeries’ Rival 5 gaming mouse, which proved to be an excellent gaming companion. The only remark we could think of was the fact […]

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