Autumn is a busy time for both game manufacturers and gaming peripheral brands. The emergence of new A-class game projects, the “back to school” season, numerous international exhibitions – it’s time to show off your new products. And this time, SteelSeries really managed to roll out something worthy of attention to the public. We are talking about modifications of the popular manipulators Rival and Sensei, which received the prefix “310” in the name. More precisely, these are not even modifications, but completely redesigned devices. In this review we will talk about the Rival 310, and in the next one we will talk about the revival of the Sensei line.
|Model||SteelSeries Rival 310|
|Type||Gaming (FPS/MMO/RTS games)|
|Sensor model||TrueMove 3 (Pixart PMW3360)|
|Permission, cpi||100 – 12 000|
|Number of buttons||6 buttons + scroll (left, middle, right, resolution key, two side keys)|
|Maximum acceleration, g||50|
|Lift-off height (LOD), mm||1|
|Maximum speed, m/s||8,89|
|USB port polling rate, Hz||125 / 250 / 500 / 1000|
|Frame rate, fps||12 000|
|Internal memory, KB||+|
|Cord length, m||2|
|Ability to change weight||–|
|Possibility to adjust the body shape||–|
|Cable material||No tangles|
|Housing surface material||Plastic, silicone|
|Illumination zones||Scroll wheel, logo on the stern|
|Leg material||Teflon (PTFE)|
|Software||+ (SteelSeries Engine 3)|
|Dimensions, (L x W x H) mm||127 x 70 x 42|
|OS Compatibility||Windows 7 (or higher) / Mac OS 10.8 (or higher) / Linux|
|Additionally||Built-in 32-bit ARM processor, PrismSync support, MTBF of 50 million activations of the main buttons, oleophobic coating|
|Average cost, $||60|
Delivery and equipment
Traditionally, let’s start the story with a short review of the mouse packaging. It has become a little more attractive and catchy than in previous models and more convenient for both sellers and buyers of this product. A plastic strap for showcases appeared on top, the nature of opening has now become closer to a matchbox, when the outer cover is freely removed and does not bear any load. With information, everything is also good. Dimensions, of course, are not indicated, but there are images of the product and its advantages. A duplicate of the serial number is pasted on the bottom of the box.
The main box is inside, its lid lifts up. The mouse here is packed in a dense layer of polyurethane damper and is reliably protected from damage during transportation.
In addition to the mouse, there is only an instruction manual in the kit.
Appearance and design
The Rival 310 retains the concept and shape of its predecessor to the fullest, but that’s all it has in common with the 300. The top panel has changed a little in shape and a lot in the quality of the coating. Soft-touch is a thing of the past, the matte black surface is now rough (due to which increased grip on the skin of the hand) and is very resistant to dirt and fingerprints. The line of transition of the top panel to the sidewalls has become more pronounced and noticeable both visually and to the touch. The two main keys are separate, thanks to which they work no matter where they are pressed – even in the corners, even in the middle or on the edges. There is no free play, and a small play is observed only in the horizontal plane. Under them are very good Chinese Omron D2FC-FK (50M) switches, which have a click a little quieter than average and close to ideal activation force. The resolution switch has grown in height and now protrudes from the body. It is pressed clearly, without free play, which allows you to use it as a spare button for the desired functions.
The left side has changed. Previously, there were first rubber, and then inserts that looked like hard plastic, which were quickly rubbed to holes. Now the manufacturer claims the use of wear-resistant silicone. Whether this is true, time will tell. The only thing that raises doubts is a small ornament in the form of three crossed beams on these gray sidewalls. I suspect that it will quickly become clogged with dirt, but how to clean it from there is a question. The two additional buttons are the same size (previously the front key was noticeably shorter). A gap appeared between the buttons, allowing you to easily distinguish them by touch. The plastic here is matte, the location relative to the thumb is correct. They are pressed without backlash and free play with a clear tactile feedback and a very noticeable click sound.
Ahead there is a good protection against bending the cable. For some reason, the front part of the case is made with a notch, which is formed by the overhanging panels of the main keys, protruding sides and the base of the mouse. Quite a strange decision. The scroll wheel is rounded on the sides, rubberized, gray in color and with ornate patterns. When turning, it emits a characteristic crunch, the fixation positions are clear and informative. The key below it is pressed with medium force and a muffled actuation sound.
The cable is soft and flexible, has no braid. The total length is 2 meters. There is no ferrite ring, and a tag is pasted near the connector, offering to download software from the official site.
There are no buttons on the right side. The same soft gray silicone sidewall is glued here, as on the left, which serves as a support for the ring finger and little finger.
The stern is raised in comparison with previous models. The illuminated company logo remained in its place, but the removable rubber insert under it disappeared, on which you could previously write or draw something using a 3D printer. She probably wasn’t very popular with the public.
The body of the Rival 310 is 8mm shorter than earlier models and has lost a significant amount of weight. Its current weight without wire does not exceed 89 grams, which is achieved, according to the manufacturer, through the use of durable and lightweight fiber plastic. As a result, the weight of the manipulator is perfectly distributed along the axes and is practically not felt in the hand. The shape of the mouse fits the right hand for a finger or palm grip. A claw can also be implemented, but it will not be very convenient.
On the base there are three medium-sized Teflon feet – one large in front and two small ones in the back. Each has hooks for ease of dismantling and replacement as it wears out. The serial number sticker is on the front. In the middle is a window of one of the best optical sensors – Pixart PMW 3360, which, after some modifications by SteelSeries, was named TrueMove3, which, however, does not change its essence. The base is slightly concave, which gives it not only a stylish look, but also additional strength.
There are traditionally two RGB lighting zones – a logo on the stern and a scroll wheel. They are regulated separately. You can set any color, there is a set of lighting effects, but there is not enough ability to adjust the brightness, so in the dark the backlight looks a little more intense than we would like. But SteelSeries has finally been able to implement a white color that looks natural and indicates the use of high-quality LEDs and finishing materials with sufficient transparency.
The SteelSeries Rival 310 mouse uses the SteelSeries Engine 3 universal multilingual driver (current version 3.11.4), which is always available for download from the official website of the company. Requires installation and is permanently active by default, unless otherwise specified in the launch options.
The main start screen displays a list of all connected SteelSeries devices, each of which can be quickly assigned a specific profile in the configuration tab. If there are problems with connecting or detecting peripherals, you can open the tab on the left, where you will be prompted to select a connection option and see answers to frequently asked questions. In the upper right corner there are keys for accessing notifications, settings and authorization in the program.
Authorization requires creating a SteelSeries account. This brings the user such “goodies” as the ability to synchronize settings via CloudSync, support for setting up Arctis 3 headphones, the ability to participate in a prize draw and ongoing technical support.
In the driver settings, you can select one of the 12 available languages, the option to download updates, the way notifications are displayed, and the option to start this driver – along with the operating system, either manually, forcibly. A new useful section has also appeared here – disabling the system settings of the mouse, in order to avoid incorrect operation of the program. It also indicates whether software acceleration and angular snapping of the cursor are active.
In Engine applications, you can select a compatible application variant, to which you can assign lighting functions to the display, linking them to specific events in the program. At the moment, PrismSync, CS GO, DOTA 2, Minecraft, Discord, Audio Visualizer, ImageSync, Gigantic, Utopia 9 and iFeelPixel applications are available here. You can also make your own version of a compatible program using the developer tools for this.
The “Library” contains all configuration profiles for all devices. They can be turned on manually, or set to start automatically when a certain program starts.
All available mouse settings are collected on one screen. In the left panel there is a list of configurations that you can create an unlimited number of and call them as you like. They can be tied to the launch of a specific application. Only one profile is stored in the internal memory of the mouse, and only basic commands without macros. If such a mouse is connected to another PC, without software, then it executes the reassigned commands from its memory. If Engine 3 software is installed, then its configuration takes precedence over internal memory, provided that settings have not been synchronized via CloudSync. Six buttons and two scroll directions are available for reassigning commands. You can assign mouse and keyboard buttons, macros, media commands. In addition, you can use the key to switch configurations, launch an application, use OS hotkeys, or quickly record a macro. You can also disable the button completely. The sensor is adjusted to two preset sensitivity levels in the range from 100 to 12000 cpi in steps of 100 cpi. For the sensor, the level of acceleration and deacceleration, the linearity of the trajectory, the polling frequency within 125/250/500 or 1000 Hz are set. The lift height is not adjustable.
The macro editor is not difficult to master. After the start of recording, it perceives mouse or keyboard commands and remembers them sequentially, taking into account time intervals. At the end of the recording, all this can be edited and saved under an individual name. Cursor movement path is not recorded.
The two RGB lighting zones are individually adjustable. They have a palette of 16.8 million possible color combinations and lighting effects. Among the effects are a constant glow, a consistent change in the color spectrum, multi-colored breathing, triggering (color change when pressed for a certain time) and completely turning off the backlight. There is no brightness adjustment.
Ergonomics and testing
The SteelSeries Rival 310 mouse was tested on the Razer Goliathus WoT Edition (Medium Speed) mousepad. Comparing the updated model with its predecessor in the face of the Rival 300, it is worth noting that it fits in the hand much better. The reason for this is the reduced weight and dimensions of the mouse body. In addition, the silicone side grips feel much nicer to the fingers than the hard plastic bumps of the past. The plastic coating of the top panel is very resistant to dirt, but there are doubts about the sidewalls – there are a lot of micro-holes in them that cannot be cleaned by simply wiping with a cloth. The weight balance of the manipulator, as mentioned earlier, is excellent and it sits like a glove in the hand. The work of all keys and the scroll wheel is excellent – clear, responsive, without free play. The cable is very soft and pliable; for comfortable mouse operation, it is quite possible to do without a wire holder. The feet are not too slippery, the mouse moves normally, without excessive inertia. The backlighting of the logo and the scroll wheel looks good, has adequate color reproduction and, most importantly, can perform an informative function if you set up feedback with supported programs.
The TrueMove 3 optical sensor is in fact a proprietary refinement and modification of the Pixart PMW 3360, although there is no mention of the latter even on the sensor chip. The parameters are completely identical, with the exception that SteelSeries promises absolutely accurate 1:1 sensor operation (mouse rendering to screen pixels) at resolutions from 100 to 3500 cpi. We do not have the exact equipment to fully test this claim, but based on subjective feelings, and attempts to draw lines in Paint that match the screen resolution, it is. In any case, this is one of the most accurate sensors that exist today, there can be no talk of any kind of acceleration here, in principle, unless the user turns it on forcibly. And even then, the acceleration will be completely linear. The tear-off height is not adjustable here and is constantly set at 1 mm (+/- 0.2 mm). It is impossible to cause the cursor to break, parasitic signs in the work of the mouse were not detected. Software tests indicate the presence of a small level of anti-aliasing, in the range of 11-12%, which remains stable throughout the range of acceptable resolutions.
To sum up the SteelSeries Rival 310 experience in one sentence. This is a very good and pleasant gaming mouse in all respects. The best optical sensor in its class, a very comfortable well-shaped body with a precise balance, low weight, high-quality finishing materials, beautiful lighting, soft cable, tactile switches and a scroll wheel, intuitive software. And nothing more. Here is a complete list of benefits.
The Rival 310 has no particular drawbacks. Of the non-ideal moments, one can name only the finely porous structure of the rubber sidewalls, where over time dirt and limited capabilities of the built-in memory can clog into one profile, where only the sensor backlight settings and basic button assignments are stored, without the ability to play macros and specific commands.
The SteelSeries Rival 310 mouse can be recommended for purchase by both professional gamers and anyone who likes quality peripherals.