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SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) Mouse Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Nov 23, 2021 at 10:28 am
SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) Picture
6.9
Office/Multimedia
8.3
Video Games (FPS)
7.7
Video Games (MMO)
8.7
Ultra-Light Gaming
5.3
Travel
Connectivity Wired
Type
Standard

The SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) is an ultra-light gaming mouse with an ambidextrous shape and two buttons on its left side. It's an upgraded version of the SteelSeries Aerox 3 (released in 2020) with larger and better quality mouse feet; however, the mouse feet make a scratching sound when used on mousepads or directly on desks. Otherwise, it's very similar to its predecessor, with low click latency, customizable RGB lighting, and programmable buttons. Unfortunately, its braided cable isn't very flexible, and the body flexes and creaks with a bit of pressure. Also, it has a high lift-off distance, so the sensor might track your movements when you reposition the mouse.

Our Verdict

6.9 Office/Multimedia

The SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) is mediocre for office or multimedia use. It's comfortable for most hand sizes when using a claw or fingertip grip, but it isn't suitable for a palm grip unless you have smaller hands. You can reprogram all its buttons to fit your needs using the customization software, available on Windows and macOS. Unfortunately, you can't use it wirelessly, and its scroll wheel lacks L/R tilt buttons and a free-scrolling mode.

Pros
  • Suitable for nearly all hand sizes using a claw or fingertip grip.
  • Many programmable inputs.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • Scroll wheel lacks L/R tilts and free scrolling.
8.3 Video Games (FPS)

The SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) is great for FPS gaming. It has low click latency, and it's very lightweight. Its ambidextrous design is well-suited for a claw or fingertip grip for most hand sizes. It feels mostly well-built, and the mouse feet glide very smoothly. Unfortunately, the lift-off distance is high, and the braided cable isn't very flexible.

Pros
  • Very light.
  • Low click latency.
  • Virgin Grade PTFE feet glide very smoothly.
Cons
  • High lift-off distance.
7.7 Video Games (MMO)

The SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) is good for MMO gaming, but it doesn't have nearly as many side buttons as dedicated MMO mice. That said, you can reprogram all buttons it does have using the customization software, and it has low click latency. Its ambidextrous shape is suitable for most hand sizes using a claw or fingertip grip, but it's only suitable for a palm grip for smaller hands. Unfortunately, its lift-off distance is high, and the braided cable isn't very flexible.

Pros
  • Low click latency.
  • Suitable for nearly all hand sizes using a claw or fingertip grip.
  • Virgin Grade PTFE feet glide very smoothly.
Cons
  • High lift-off distance.
  • Doesn't have as many buttons as dedicated MMO mice.
8.7 Ultra-Light Gaming

The SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) is an excellent ultra-light gaming mouse. It's incredibly lightweight, it has smooth-gliding mouse feet, and it has low click latency. Its ambidextrous shape is suitable for all hand sizes using a claw grip, and only small hands will struggle to reach the scroll wheel and the forward side button with a fingertip grip. Unfortunately, its braided cable isn't very flexible, and the lift-off distance is high.

Pros
  • Very light.
  • Low click latency.
  • Virgin Grade PTFE feet glide very smoothly.
Cons
  • High lift-off distance.
5.3 Travel

The SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) is inadequate for travel, but it isn't designed for this use. You can't use it wirelessly, and its cable might get in the way when in tight spaces like buses, trains, or planes. That said, it has an ambidextrous shape that's suitable for most hand sizes using a claw or fingertip grip. It's fully compatible with Windows and macOS, and it has onboard memory to save your settings to.

Pros
  • Has onboard memory.
Cons
  • Bulky; may not fit in laptop bags.
  • Wired-only.
  • 6.9 Office/Multimedia
  • 8.3 Video Games (FPS)
  • 7.7 Video Games (MMO)
  • 8.7 Ultra-Light Gaming
  • 5.3 Travel
  1. Updated Nov 23, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Nov 18, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Lighting Color RGB

The SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) looks identical to its predecessor, with a matte black honeycomb-cutout body. It has an RGB strip that runs along the bottom and two zones inside the mouse.

Design
Shape
Length 4.7" (120 mm)
Height 1.5" (38 mm)
Width 2.6" (67 mm)
Grip Width
60 mm
5.7
Design
Portability
Volume
18.73 in³ (307 cm³)
Cable/Receiver Storing
No
Design
Weight
Maximum Weight With Wire
87 g
Maximum Weight Without Wire
62 g
Minimum Weight Without Wire
62 g
Weight Distribution
Centered
Extra Weights
No
7.5
Design
Build Quality

The SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) feels well-built, but there's some creaking if you apply a bit of pressure to the body. Also, the underside flexes if you apply a lot of pressure, but it isn't as bad as the SteelSeries Aerox 3. However, the back side button goes too far into the body when pressed. SteelSeries claims the mouse and the Golden Micro switches are IP54 rated, meaning it's dust-resistant and water-resistant from small splashes.

8.0
Design
Comfort Of Use
Right-handed
No
Left-handed
No
Ambidextrous
Yes
Coating
Matte
Finger Rest
No

The SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) has an ambidextrous shape with side buttons on the left. The buttons are standard and easy to reach. There are no side grips, but the slightly textured matte plastic helps it not feel too slippery.

Design
Palm Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
No
X.Large Hand
No

If you have large or extra-large hands, your fingers will extend past the front of the mouse while using a palm grip.

Design
Claw Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
Yes

All hand sizes should feel comfortable using this mouse with a claw grip.

Design
Fingertip Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
No
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
Yes

If you have small hands, you'll struggle to reach the front side button and the scroll wheel when using a fingertip grip.

0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Receiver
No
Battery Type
No Batteries
Use When Charging
No
On/Off Activation
None
Receiver Extender
No
Battery Indicator No
7.0
Design
Cable
Cable Length 5.9 ft (1.8 m)
Cable Type
Braided
Permanent Kink
Yes
Port Type: Mouse End
USB-C
Port Type: PC End
USB

The cable is decent and the same as the one on the SteelSeries Aerox 3. It feels like a mix between a braided cable and paracord-like cable, but it isn't very flexible. On the bright side, you can easily replace it with a different one.

9.0
Design
Mouse Feet
Gliding Experience
Good
Material
Virgin Grade PTFE
Extra Included
No

The mouse feet are a big improvement from the ones on the initial SteelSeries Aerox 3. Instead of four small circles on each corner, the 2022 version now has two large feet on each end that span the width of the mouse. Also, they're made of virgin-grade PTFE instead of black-dyed PTFE. There's a scratching sound if you use them on mousepads or desks, but they glide very well otherwise.

Design
In The Box

  • SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022)
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • User guide

Control
Control
Sensor Specifications
Sensor Technology
Optical (LED)
Sensor Model
TrueMove Core
Works On Glass
No
Minimum CPI (DPI)
200 CPI
Maximum CPI (DPI)
8,500 CPI
CPI (DPI) Adjustment Steps
100 CPI
CPI (DPI) Variation
6%
Minimum Lift Off Distance
3.6 mm
Maximum Polling Rate
1000 Hz

The polling rate options on the SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) are 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, and 1000Hz. It features the same sensor as the initial SteelSeries Aerox 3, and it has a high lift-off distance, meaning the sensor might track your movements when you reposition your mouse mid-game.

7.4
Control
Buttons
Buttons Activation
Mechanical
Total Number Of Buttons
6
Number Of Side Buttons
2
Number Of Programmable Inputs
8
Profile Switching Button
Yes
CPI (DPI) Switching Button
Yes
Gesture Support
No

You can reprogram all six buttons on the SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022), including the up/down scroll inputs. You can configure five CPI settings and cycle through them using the dedicated button below the scroll wheel.

Control
Mouse Wheel
Scroll Wheel
Notched Wheel
Scroll Wheel Steps
24 Steps
Scroll Wheel Tilt
No
Thumb Wheel
No
Thumb Wheel Steps
No Thumb Wheel

The SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) has a grooved rubber strip around the wheel that helps grip. It feels responsive and precise, and the steps feel well-defined.

Control
Noise
Click Noise
Quiet
8.1
Control
Click Latency
Click Latency: Receiver
N/A
Click Latency: Bluetooth
N/A
Click Latency: Wired
13 ms
Operating System And Software
10
Operating System And Software
Compatible Software Option
Software Name SteelSeries GG
Software Windows Compatibility
Yes
Software macOS Compatibility
Yes
Account Needed
No
On-Board Memory
Yes
CPI (DPI) Adjustment
Yes
Polling Rate Adjustment
Yes
Profile Configuration
Yes
RGB On/Off
Yes

The SteelSeries GG software lets you remap buttons, adjust the RGB zones, change the polling rate, and configure five CPI settings. Also, there's onboard memory, so you can save your settings and keep them when you move to a computer that doesn't have the software installed.

10
Operating System And Software
Mouse Compatibility
Windows Compatibility Fully
macOS Compatibility Fully

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) in the Onyx color variant, but it's also available in Snow. There's also a wireless variant, the SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless (2022). You can see the label of our unit here.

Compared To Other Mice

The SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) is an upgraded version of the SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2020). It features larger and better quality mouse feet than its predecessor, and the entire mouse is IP54-rated, including the body, components, and the switches, meaning it's resistant to dust and water. Also, its Golden Micro switches are rated at 80M clicks, which is impressive compared to other non-optical switches. Compared to other gaming mice, it's very lightweight with its honeycomb-cutout design, but its lift-off distance is much higher than most other options. Also, it has a few build quality issues, like minor flexing and creaking, and our unit's back side button goes in a bit too deep.

See our recommendations for the best gaming mice, the best wired mice, and the best SteelSeries mice.

SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless

The SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless and the SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) are very similar gaming mice. The Aerox 3 Wireless is a slightly older edition, so it doesn't have the same large, better-quality feet that the 2022 edition has, but you can use it wirelessly via its USB receiver or Bluetooth. Also, the Aerox 3 Wireless's sensor is better and offers a wider CPI range and a much lower lift-off distance. Both mice are advertised as rated at IP54, including all of their components, which is a high rating for a gaming mouse.

SteelSeries Aerox 3

The SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) is an upgraded version of the SteelSeries Aerox 3. They look identical, but the 2022 edition has better quality mouse feet that are larger and extend over the width of the mouse instead of being just four small circles on each corner. Otherwise, they have the same sensor, same high lift-off distance, and nearly identical amounts of click latency. Both mice are advertised as rated at IP54, including all of their components, which is a high rating for a gaming mouse.

SteelSeries Prime+

The SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) and the SteelSeries Prime+ are both wired gaming mice. The Aerox has an ambidextrous honeycomb design and is much lighter. It has a CPI button behind its scroll wheel and larger, better-quality mouse feet. On the other hand, the Prime+ has a solid body with a right-handed design and feels much better built. There's a programmable OLED screen on the underside that lets you change your settings without needing to use the software. Also, it has a dedicated lift-off distance sensor that SteelSeries claims can help it achieve a much lower lift-off distance. Also, its cable is better quality and more flexible.

SteelSeries Rival 3

The SteelSeries Rival 3 and the SteelSeries Aerox 3 (2022) are nearly identical in shape, but the Aerox has a honeycomb-cutout design and is lighter. Also, it has larger and better-quality mouse feet, and its braided cable is removable. On the other hand, the Rival has a solid body and feels much better built, and it has a lower lift-off distance.

Discussions