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SteelSeries Prime Mouse Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Jun 29, 2021 at 10:02 am
SteelSeries Prime Picture
7.2
Office/Multimedia
8.3
Video Games (FPS)
8.0
Video Games (MMO)
8.4
Ultra-Light Gaming
5.3
Travel
Connectivity Wired
Type
Standard

The SteelSeries Prime is a great wired gaming mouse. It's very lightweight and has an ergonomic right-handed shape well-suited for all grip types and most hand sizes. It has a flexible cable and mouse feet that glide smoothly on mousepads and desks. Performance-wise, it has a very low lift-off distance, a wide CPI range, and a CPI that's adjustable along with other settings using the companion software compatible with Windows and macOS. Unfortunately, while it has good click latency, it's higher than similar, mid-range wired gaming mice.

Our Verdict

7.2 Office/Multimedia

Although it isn't for this use, the SteelSeries Prime mouse is decent for office or multimedia work. It feels very well-built and has a right-handed, ergonomic shape suitable for all grip types and most hand sizes. It has a good number of programmable buttons and companion software compatible with Windows and macOS. Unfortunately, you can't use this mouse wirelessly, and the mouse wheel lacks L/R tilt buttons and doesn't unlock for free scrolling.

Pros
  • Feels very sturdy.
  • Companion software compatible with Windows and macOS.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • Mouse wheel lacks L/R tilt buttons and doesn't unlock for free scrolling.
8.3 Video Games (FPS)

The SteelSeries Prime mouse is great for FPS gaming. It's lightweight, feels very well-built, and has an ergonomic, right-handed shape suitable for all grip types and most hand sizes. Its cable is lightweight and fairly flexible, and its mouse feet glide smoothly on both mousepads and tables. It also has a wide CPI range, a CPI you can adjust by increments of 50, and a very low lift-off distance. Unfortunately, while its click latency score is good, it isn't as low as most other mid-range, wired gaming mice. Most people are unlikely to notice any delays, but some gamers may prefer a more responsive option.

Pros
  • Feels very sturdy.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Great mouse feet that glide smoothly on desks and mousepads.
  • Cable is fairly flexible, lightweight, and detachable.
Cons
  • CPI button is on the bottom of the mouse, making on-the-fly changes awkward.
8.0 Video Games (MMO)

The SteelSeries Prime mouse is very good for MMO gaming, but it doesn't have nearly as many side buttons as a dedicated MMO gaming mouse. That said, you can program all of the buttons on the top of the mouse using the companion software compatible with Windows and macOS. Performance-wise, it has a very consistent sensor, a wide CPI range, a CPI you can adjust by increments of 50, and a very low lift-off distance. Unfortunately, while its click latency is good, it's higher than many other mid-range wired gaming mice.

Pros
  • Feels very sturdy.
  • Companion software compatible with Windows and macOS.
  • Cable is fairly flexible, lightweight, and detachable.
Cons
  • CPI button is on the bottom of the mouse, making on-the-fly changes awkward.
  • Not nearly as many buttons as a dedicated MMO mouse.
8.4 Ultra-Light Gaming

The SteelSeries Prime is an impressive mouse for ultra-light gaming. It's very lightweight, feels very sturdy, and has an ergonomic right-handed shape ideal for all grip types and most hand sizes. It has a fairly flexible cable and mouse feet that glide smoothly on mousepads and desks. It also has a wide CPI range, a CPI you can adjust by increments of 50, and a very low lift-off distance. Unfortunately, while its click latency is good, it's higher than most other mid-range wired gaming mice.

Pros
  • Feels very sturdy.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Great mouse feet that glide smoothly on desks and mousepads.
  • Cable is fairly flexible, lightweight, and detachable.
Cons
  • CPI button is on the bottom of the mouse, making on-the-fly changes awkward.
5.3 Travel

The SteelSeries Prime mouse is inadequate for travel use as it's fairly bulky and may not fit in some laptop cases. It also can't be used wirelessly, making it cumbersome for use in smaller spaces like buses, trains, or planes. On the bright side, it feels very well-built, it has a detachable cable, and it has onboard memory for settings.

Pros
  • Feels very sturdy.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • Bulky; may not fit in all laptop cases.
  • 7.2 Office/Multimedia
  • 8.3 Video Games (FPS)
  • 8.0 Video Games (MMO)
  • 8.4 Ultra-Light Gaming
  • 5.3 Travel
  1. Updated Jul 28, 2021: Changed the test result for click noise from 'quiet' to 'loud.'
  2. Updated Jun 29, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Jun 25, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Lighting Color RGB

The SteelSeries Prime has a fairly plain design with a solid, matte black plastic body, two side buttons on the left, a logo on the palm area, and a single RGB lighting zone within the rubberized scroll wheel.

Design
Shape
Length 4.9" (125 mm)
Height 1.7" (43 mm)
Width 2.7" (68 mm)
Grip Width
65 mm
5.5
Design
Portability
Volume
22.09 inยณ (362 cmยณ)
Cable/Receiver Storing
No
Design
Weight
Maximum Weight With Wire
103 g
Maximum Weight Without Wire
69 g
Minimum Weight Without Wire
69 g
Weight Distribution
Centered
Extra Weights
No
8.5
Design
Build Quality

The plastic body feels very sturdy and has a slightly textured surface. It doesn't flex when squeezed or make any rattling sounds when shaken. All the buttons feel responsive and provide good physical feedback, but there's a bit of a wobble in the scroll wheel. However, this shouldn't be noticeable during normal use.

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

The SteelSeries Prime has a somewhat textured matte plastic body and a grippy, rubberized scroll wheel. Its right-handed ergonomic shape is perfectly suited for all grip types and most hand sizes.

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

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

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

This mouse is suitable for all hand sizes using a claw grip.

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

Small and medium-sized hands may not comfortably reach both side buttons or the scroll wheel 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
8.5
Design
Cable
Cable Length 6.9 ft (2.1 m)
Cable Type
Paracord-like
Permanent Kink
Yes
Port Type: Mouse End
Micro USB
Port Type: PC End
USB

The cable feels high quality, but it's not quite as flexible as some other paracord-like cables we've tested, and it retains some kinks from packaging. It's also detachable, making it easy to replace if it gets damaged.

8.0
Design
Mouse Feet
Gliding Experience
Good
Material
PTFE
Extra Included
No

The mouse feet glide smoothly on desks or mousepads, but they produce a slight scratching sound when used directly on desks.

Design
In The Box

  • SteelSeries Prime mouse
  • User documentation
  • Micro-USB to USB-A cable

Control
Control
Sensor Specifications
Sensor Technology
Optical (LED)
Sensor Model
TrueMove Pro
Works On Glass
No
Minimum CPI (DPI)
50 CPI
Maximum CPI (DPI)
18,000 CPI
CPI (DPI) Adjustment Steps
50 CPI
CPI (DPI) Variation
3%
Minimum Lift Off Distance
1.2 mm
Maximum Polling Rate
1000 Hz

The polling rate settings available on the SteelSeries Prime are 125Hz, 250hz, 500Hz, and 1000Hz. You can also cycle between polling rates with the button on the mouse's underside or by using the companion software.

7.3
Control
Buttons
Buttons Activation
Optical And Mechanical
Total Number Of Buttons
6
Number Of Side Buttons
2
Number Of Programmable Inputs
7
Profile Switching Button
Yes
CPI (DPI) Switching Button
Yes
Gesture Support
No

You can program all of the buttons on the top of the mouse, including the mouse wheel up and down inputs, the mouse wheel click, and the left and right-click buttons. There's an additional button on the bottom of the mouse that cycles between five CPI profiles when pressed or between the four polling rate settings when held.

Note: This mouse uses magnetic optical-mechanical switches. SteelSeries claims these switches produce more consistent clicks and quicker response times. However, this isn't something we test.

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 mouse wheel feels precise and has well-defined steps. It also has a grippy rubberized surface and is fairly quiet.

Control
Noise
Click Noise
Loud

Update 07/28/2021: We previously incorrectly stated that this mouse had 'quiet' click noises instead of 'loud' click noises. This review has been updated to reflect this change.

7.5
Control
Click Latency
Click Latency: Receiver
N/A
Click Latency: Bluetooth
N/A
Click Latency: Wired
18 ms

The SteelSeries Prime has good click latency, but it's somewhat higher than many other mid-range gaming mice. You may prefer a more responsive-feeling mouse, especially if you primarily play fast-paced or competitive games.

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 companion software has a clean, well-laid-out interface. The sliders are easy to control, and all settings are arranged on a single page.

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

All of the SteelSeries Prime's default buttons function in Windows and macOS.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The SteelSeries Prime belongs to a lineup of three SteelSeries mice that share the same ergonomic shape. The SteelSeries Prime is the base version, but there's also a SteelSeries Prime+, which has an OLED screen and a secondary sensor on the underside, and the SteelSeries Prime Wireless, a version with wireless connectivity options. The model we tested is black, and there are no other color variants. You can see the label for our unit here.

Compared To Other Mice

The SteelSeries Prime is a great mid-range wired gaming mouse and the base model within a lineup of three SteelSeries mice. It's lightweight and has impressive sensor performance. Still, it lacks the more unusual features and connectivity options of the other mice in the lineup, so there isn't a great deal that sets it apart from similar lightweight wired gaming mice. Unfortunately, it also has a higher click latency than most other wired gaming mice at this price point.

For more recommendations, check out our picks for the best wired mice, the best gaming mice, and the best SteelSeries mice.

SteelSeries Prime+

The SteelSeries Prime and the SteelSeries Prime+ are similar wired gaming mice from the same lineup. The SteelSeries Prime is marginally lighter, but the SteelSeries Prime+ has an OLED screen on the underside that you can use to customize settings without using the companion software. It also has a secondary sensor dedicated to detecting lift-off distance. However, this isn't something we test at this time. Although both mice have differently-named sensors, they perform almost identically. That said, the SteelSeries Prime also has a lower click latency.

Glorious Model D

The Glorious Model D is a better mouse for ultra-light gaming than the SteelSeries Prime. The Glorious has a more flexible cable, mouse feet that glide more smoothly, and significantly lower click latency. The SteelSeries has a wider CPI range, a more precisely adjustable CPI, lower lift-off distance, and software compatible with Windows and macOS. The Glorious only has a Windows-compatible software option. Both mice are suitable for all grip types and most hand sizes, but the Glorious is more accommodating for more hand sizes.

SteelSeries Prime Mini

The SteelSeries Prime Mini is a scaled-down version of the SteelSeries Prime, but it also has several added improvements. The Mini is marginally lighter and has better click latency. It also has better quality virgin grade PTFE mouse feet, and its paracord-like cable has a USB-C connector, while the full-sized Prime cable has a Micro-USB connector. On the other hand, the Prime feels somewhat better built. Both mice are suitable for all hand sizes, but the Mini is better suited for smaller hands, while the full-sized Prime is more accommodating to larger hands.

Logitech G Pro Wireless

The Logitech G Pro Wireless is a better gaming mouse than the SteelSeries Prime. You can connect it wired or wirelessly with its USB receiver, and it has a pair of side buttons on either side, making it a great choice for right or left-handed users. It also has a higher maximum CPI and a much lower click latency. On the other hand, the SteelSeries is lighter and has a minimum lower CPI, but it only has two side buttons on the left. Both mice are well-suited for nearly all hand sizes using any grip type.

SteelSeries Prime Wireless

The SteelSeries Prime Wireless is a wireless version of the SteelSeries Prime. The Prime is a wired-only model that's lighter. Its sensor has a lower lift-off distance and allows you to set the CPI lower and adjust it more precisely by increments of 50. On the other hand, the Prime Wireless has better quality mouse feet that glide more smoothly. Its cable also has a USB-C connector, making it much easier to replace than the cable on the Prime, which has an older micro-USB connector.

Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT

The Logitech G PRO SUPERLIGHT is a better gaming mouse than the SteelSeries Prime. The Logitech is lighter and connects wired or wirelessly with its USB receiver. It also has mouse feet that glide more smoothly, a higher CPi range, and a much lower click latency. Comparatively, the SteelSeries is wired only and has a lower minimum CPI. Both mice are well-suited for all grip types and nearly all hand sizes.

Glorious Model O

The Glorious Model O is a better mouse for ultra-light gaming than the SteelSeries Prime. They're nearly the same weight, but the Glorious has a more flexible cable, mouse feet that glide more smoothly, and a significantly lower click latency. Comparatively, the SteelSeries feels sturdier and has a wider CPI range, a more precisely adjustable CPI, and companion software compatible with Windows and macOS, which the Glorious lacks. Both mice are well-suited for all grip types, but the Glorious isn't suitable for small hands.

Glorious Model O Wireless

The Glorious Model O Wireless is an excellent wireless ultra-light gaming mouse, while the SteelSeries Prime is a great wired FPS gaming mouse. They weigh nearly the same, but you can use the Glorious wired or wirelessly using its USB receiver. It also has a more flexible cable, mouse feet that glide more smoothly, and a substantially lower click latency. Comparatively, the SteelSeries is a wired-only mouse. It also has companion software compatible with Windows and macOS, which the Glorious lacks. Both mice are well-suited for all grip types, but the Glorious isn't suitable for smaller hands.

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