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SteelSeries Rival 5: Gaming Mouse With RGB

The SteelSeries Rival 5 is a complete and versatile mouse, designed to adapt to most styles of play thanks to its 9 buttons. With only 85 g on the scale, it is more maneuverable than most of its competitors and its lines offer good comfort over time.

If the fashion is for compact and ultralight mice, some players are still looking for larger and, above all, more versatile models. To meet the expectations of the rival, SteelSeries unveils its new Rival 5. A mouse designed to adapt to most players and games, with a comfortable design and a total of 9 programmable buttons.

Lightweight designCable too rigid
Powerful RGB lightsThe shape is a little flat
Efficient sensorNo grips
Competitive pricing


SteelSeries Rival 5
ReleasedMay 11, 2021
Weight128 g
Material PTFE
Sensor Optical (LED)
Sensor ModelTrueMove Air
Polling Rate 1000 Hz
Latency Wired15 ms
Battery TypeNo Batteries
SoftwareSteelSeries GG
CompatibilityWindows, macOS



In general terms, this new Rival 5 takes up what we had previously discovered on the Rival 600 and 650 models. We, therefore, remain on a rather imposing mouse, with relatively classic ergonomics and ultimately low risk. We are far from the compact and atypical format of an Xtrfy MZ1 or a Cooler Master MM720.

In terms of dimensions, the mouse has a total length of 128.80 mm, for a width of 63.35 mm on the front, 68.15 mm on the back, and about 62 mm at the grip. The maximum height is measured at 42mm at the highest point of its chassis.

On the scale, the Rival 5 follows the current trend and displays only 85g. This is still much more than the lightest mice in the sector, but we are clearly moving away from the 96 g of a Rival 600, to which it was possible to add weights to climb up to 128 g.

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For comparison, the Logitech G502 weighs nearly 120 g without its additional weights, while it takes about 107 g for a Razer Basilisk. A big difference compared to the SteelSeries model.

In use, the safe lines of this Rival 5 allow it to enjoy excellent comfort, and the vast majority of players should be able to navigate it. Naturally, we are moving towards a grip in Palm Grip, allowing us to secure the mouse while keeping direct access to its many buttons.

The Claw Grip can also be considered, depending on your hand size and your own preferences. On the other hand, Fingertips is a little more complicated, and we recommend other more compact mice.

As for the general finishes, the mouse is only offered in black tones. The different plastics used seem to be of good quality, and the whole presents neither play nor cracking under torture. Also, note that, unlike previous Rival models, the areas of rubber grips disappear from the side facades.

Make way for the different buttons of this Rival 5, which as a reminder, has a total of 9. The two main clicks are equipped with Golden Micro IP54 switches, where many competitors move towards Omron models. In use, they offer good reactivity, with a clear and well-marked activation. No pre or post-travel to emphasize, and their durability is announced for 80 million activations.

Between the two buttons, there is a wheel with rather well-marked notches. However, unlike a Logitech G502 Lightspeed or a Roccat Kone AIMO, it does not offer vertical scrolling, and that’s a bit of a shame. Behind, a button allows, by default, to navigate between the different levels of sensitivity of the sensor.

The rest of the controls are concentrated on the left front of the mouse. Here, it is moreover rather loaded with the two usual side buttons, quite thin and positioned above a recess facilitating the positioning of the thumb. Again no pre or post-travel programs, but their activation requires a certain amount of force.

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Above these two buttons, a “switch” can be pushed up or down and offer two additional shortcuts. This design reminds us a bit of what we had discovered a few years ago on certain Roccat models.

Still, on the front, there is then a “trigger” positioned at the front of the thumb, in the spirit of what Logitech and Razer respectively offer on their G502 and Basilisk models. Unless you have huge hands (or fingers), activating this “trigger” is unfortunately quite complicated and requires some gymnastics.

It is still possible to slightly rotate its grip to access it more naturally to overcome this problem.

The back of the mouse is pretty basic. Two PTFE pads are giving the whole a correct glide. Small inserts make it easier to remove them if you want to replace them with more efficient models.

On the connection side, the Rival 5 opts for a fixed braided cable with a length of 2 meters. While this is still softer than the horrible cord of the MSI Clutch GM4 1, it is far from up to the best models in the industry. Still too rigid, we recommend accompanying it with a bungee to play in the best possible conditions.

Finally, let’s finish with a small point concerning the RGB lighting of the mouse. We find them at the level of the wheel, the palm rest, and the side panels, and for the time being, they are probably the brightest that we have had the opportunity to see on a gaming mouse. The more sensitive players will probably opt for a reduced intensity to avoid embarrassment during the game.


The Rival 5 is equipped with a TrueMove Air optical sensor, which we had already discovered alongside the SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless. Developed in collaboration with PixArt, it can climb up to 18,000 DPI and handle speeds of 400 IPS and acceleration of 40G.

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Once again, not much to complain about in terms of tracking. The current optical sensors are all very powerful; it is not really that we will distinguish between several models.


Like most of the brand’s peripherals, the Rival 5 is compatible with SteelSeries Engine 3 software. You can download it for free from the manufacturer’s site, and you do not need to create an account to use it.

The tool makes it possible to create different configuration profiles and then load them automatically according to its games or applications. In this way, it becomes possible to take advantage of different shortcuts when using Chrome or Photoshop and play League of Legends or Call of Duty.

Once the mouse has been selected in the software, we find the usual parameters. On the left of the window, you can, in particular, customize the mapping of the 9 mouse buttons by choosing actions offered by SteelSeries or by creating your own macros.

On the right, we find the options related to the mouse sensor. It is possible to create up to 5 levels of sensitivity, between 100 and 18,000 DPI, with a step of 100 DPI. The polling rate can adjust from 125 to 1000 Hz, and it is also possible to configure an angled snap and a level of acceleration and deceleration. However, the latter two options are not recommended for gaming.


SteelSeries Rival 5 is an interesting alternative to the now-aging Logitech G502 and Razer Basilisk. Comfortable and versatile, it will be able to adapt to most players and uses.

Faced with its competitors, this weight reduction to only 85 g is clearly welcome. Here, it allows better handling while limiting fatigue during long gaming sessions.

On the performance side, not much to complain about with responsive controls and an optical sensor that does the job perfectly. Too bad it’s cable, a little too rigid, tarnishes the picture.

If you are allergic to minimalist and ultralight mice, this Rival 5 is offered at the manufacturer’s price of $83 could well be an ideal candidate. To see these few grams less really justify such a price difference with its direct competitors.