Steel Series Rival 700 Gaming Mouse
Feedback Sensors, Dual Shock, Rumble Pak, whatever you want to call it physical feedback on gaming controllers has never been a new thing. So one might wonder how we haven't seen it applied to gaming mice yet? Luckily for us Steelseries didn't just answer that question, they said screw it we'll do it first.
Specs and Features
The Steelseries Rival 700 looks like a fairly standard gaming mice; It has its programmable keys, RGB lighting control and different DPI settings. But as mentioned before, this is one of the first gaming mice that has tactile feedback, meaning the mouse vibrates based on what type of game settings you have. The other unique feature is Steelseries really tried to increase the customization options by giving you the actual 3D .stl file to 3D print your own mouse name plate via service bureau companies like Shapeways.
The mouse comes with two removable cables that are of different lengths and also material. Literally almost everything on the mouse comes apart from the back plate, name plate, and mouse sensor. Steelseries made it a point that you add and change all these components from their site which you can purchase all the components individually.
In addition to the RGB colors, the mouse also has a OLED screen near the top that can be customized to the image of your choice.
What I like
It is hard to appreciate tactile feedback because as a PC gamer I've gone for years not realizing how little the vibration adds to my gaming experience until this mouse came along. Funny story is I didn't really pay attention to the word "tactile" on the box until I was playing a game of Dota. As I was roaming and checking my teammates, my mouse shook, and it startled me and made me glance to see that my hero had taken damage. This is a game changer, it seems insignificant to some but when you make one element of gameplay and simplify it with a vibration, it felt borderline like cheating. I had a slight advantage in being notified of my hero taking damage instead of having to listen for cues or watch my hero health bar go down. Overwatch allowed me to know when a distant Black Widow was shooting at me while I was watching the payload. It takes time to get used to, but after I've had it, it's hard to go back.
The Rival also has other style points in the customizable OLED screen, outside of displaying useful information already, you can further customize it with images or gifs that you download or create. Outside of this, the mouse macros provided with the timing of the tactile feedback can make the mouse rumble to literally anything. If you want to save the customization route, there's already settings built in the drivers for a majority of games.
What I didn't like
Steelseries really nailed the customization options and the ability to swap parts out of the mouse, but I felt like it was a slight cash grab by individually charging additional parts like the back plates or sensor. It made more sense to me to just have the best sensor built in and just allowing the ability to lower the DPI via the driver. While I'm sure this may have been done to keep costs low, it almost seems like it wasn't needed considering that you can just include the components all together and really nail the one mouse with full customization straight from purchase.
There was also a third side button on the Rival that felt almost out of reach through most of the mouse use that I often forgot it was there. It was still one more switch then my current gaming mouse so I can't complain too much, but I always feel that a gaming mice buttons should always be easily and comfortably accessible.
Overall the Rival 700 looks and feels like a standard gaming mouse, until you start playing with it, and then the vibration feedback occurs. "What is this?" you ask for a second, but then realize the familiarity of the vibration and it's almost like seeing an old friend all over again. Tactile feedback is severely underutilized in PC gaming, but the 700 is great beginning to change that. While it won't improve your in game mechanical skills, it certainly does serve almost like a personal trainer that tells you, what you're missing in the middle of a workout. Maybe I'm overhyping the tactile feedback, but my god I love it.
The Rival runs for $79.99 and if you're looking for a little more feedback on your gaming skills I would recommend giving this mouse a go.