SteelSeries Rival 500 Mouse Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8.1
Reviewed Feb 04, 2020 at 08:42 am
SteelSeries Rival 500 Picture
Test Methodology v0.8.1
7.7
Mixed Usage
7.9
Office/Multimedia
5.3
Travel
7.3
Video Games (FPS)
9.2
Video Games (MMO)
5.2
Ultra-Light Gaming
Connectivity Wired
Type
Standard

The SteelSeries Rival 500 is an excellent wired gaming mouse for MMO games. It has a fairly ergonomic, right-handed design, and a ton of additional programmable buttons. Its companion software is available for both Windows and macOS, but unfortunately, the mouse is quite heavy and there's no weight optimization, so fans of lightweight mice will want to look elsewhere.

Our Verdict

7.7 Mixed Usage

The SteelSeries Rival 500 is a good mouse for mixed usage. Its slightly slanted, right-handed design is very comfortable for extended use, and there are a ton of programmable buttons that can help with gaming or navigating your desktop. The mouse is best suited for palm grip, where anyone should be able to get a comfortable hold, but unfortunately, it's quite heavy.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
7.9 Office/Multimedia

The SteelSeries Rival 500 is a very good mouse for office or multimedia use. Its slanted, right-handed design makes it quite comfortable in palm grip for any hand size, and nobody should have issues reaching any of the 17 buttons. All the buttons can be reprogrammed on either Windows or macOS to help you navigate through your desktop or applications quickly, and the mouse feels very well-built.

5.3 Travel

The SteelSeries Rival 500 isn't recommended for travel. It's rather bulky and heavy and its wired-only design means you'll have a cumbersome cable to deal with.

7.3 Video Games (FPS)

The SteelSeries Rival 500 is a decent FPS mouse. While its click latency is fairly low and its sensor performance is excellent, unfortunately, the mouse is quite heavy, which may make it difficult to quickly move around. It's a great mouse for fans of palm grip, as it's suitable for any hand size comfortably, but its shape isn't designed for fingertip grip, and small hands will have a hard time reaching all the buttons with a claw grip.

See our Video Games (FPS) recommendations
9.2 Video Games (MMO)

The SteelSeries Rival 500 is an excellent MMO mouse. While it doesn't have a typical 12-button side panel like most other dedicated MMO mice, it has a ton of programmable buttons spread all over the mouse. Its slanted, right-handed shape is quite comfortable for extended use, and all hand sizes should be able to reach all the buttons when using palm grip.

5.2 Ultra-Light Gaming

The SteelSeries Rival 500 is quite heavy and isn't recommended for fans of ultra-light gaming.

  • 7.7 Mixed Usage
  • 7.9 Office/Multimedia
  • 5.3 Travel
  • 7.3 Video Games (FPS)
  • 9.2 Video Games (MMO)
  • 5.2 Ultra-Light Gaming
Pros
  • Lots of programmable buttons.
  • Suitable for any hand size with palm grip.
  • Software is fully compatible with Windows or macOS.
Cons
  • Cable maintains kinks from packaging and is a bit stiff.

Check Price

Black Rival 500
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The SteelSeries Rival 500 has a sleek design with textured rubber on each side, and RGB lighting on the mouse wheel and the logo on the back of the mouse. The mouse is two different shades of black and has a fairly standard look to it.

Design
Weight
Maximum Weight With Wire
161 g
Maximum Weight Without Wire
138 g
Minimum Weight Without Wire
138 g

The SteelSeries Rival 500 is quite heavy, and unfortunately, there are no weight optimization options.

5.4
Design
Portability
Length 4.7" (11.9 cm)
Height 1.7" (4.3 cm)
Width 3.0" (7.7 cm)
Volume
24.04 Cu. Inch (394 Cu. centimeter)
Cable/Receiver Storing
No

As with most wired gaming mice, this mouse isn't the best for portability. This likely won't be an issue for most people, as it's designed to keep with your gaming setup at home.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is excellent. The entire mouse is made of good quality plastic, with a rubbery silicone finish. The PFTE feet are okay, but aren't as good on some other mice like the Glorious Model O. Overall, this mouse feels very similar to the SteelSeries Rival 600, and there are no loose or wobbly parts.

8.5
Design
Comfort Of Use
Right-handed
Yes
Left-handed
No
Ambidextrous
No
Grip Width
65 mm

The SteelSeries Rival 500 is very comfortable to use. Its slightly slanted, ergonomic shape is designed for right-handed use and it's fairly wide, so your pinky is the only finger that rests on the side, which helps prevent your hand from dragging on the desk.

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

The SteelSeries Rival 500 is well-suited for palm grip for any hand size, and nobody should have issues reaching any buttons.

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

Only those with small hands will likely have a hard time with claw grip, as they may find it difficult to reach the front left button.

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

Due to the shape of this mouse, and the amount of extra buttons, it isn't recommended for fingertip grip, as you'll likely accidentally hit many buttons. Only those with very large hands may be able to use this grip, but it's still recommended to use palm or claw grip.

0
Design
Wireless
Bluetooth
No
Receiver
No
Battery Type
No Batteries
Use When Charging
No
On/Off Activation
None

This is a wired-only mouse.

6.0
Design
Cable
Cable Length 6.6 ft (2.0 m)
Braided
No
Port Type: Mouse End
No Port
Port Type: PC End
USB

The rubber-coated cable of this mouse maintains some kinks from packaging, though it feels better than other rubber cables. Unfortunately, unlike the SteelSeries Rival 600, the cable isn't detachable.

Design
In The Box

  • Rival 500 mouse
  • Manual

Control
Control
Sensor
Sensor Technology
Optical (LED)
Works On Glass
No
7.9
Control
Click Latency
Click Latency: Receiver
N/A
Click Latency: Bluetooth
N/A
Click Latency: Wired
15 ms

The click latency is quite low and most people likely won't notice any delay.

9.3
Control
Performance
Minimum CPI (DPI)
100 CPI (DPI)
Maximum CPI (DPI)
16000 CPI (DPI)
CPI (DPI) Adjustment Steps
100 CPI (DPI)
CPI (DPI) Error
5.2 %
Mouse Acceleration
No
Lift Off Distance
1.2 mm
Maximum Polling Rate
1000 Hz

Performance is excellent. It has a wide adjustable CPI range, though unfortunately after 12,000 CPI it goes up in increments of 200 instead of 100. The polling rate can be set to 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, or 1000Hz.

9.6
Control
Buttons
Buttons Activation
Mechanical
Number Of Buttons
17
Number Of Programmable Inputs
17
Profile Switching Button
Yes
CPI (DPI) Switching Button
Yes

The SteelSeries Rival 500 has a ton of additional programmable buttons. There are 17 buttons, and all of them can be reprogrammed. There's a toggle switch on the underside of the mouse which can disable the bottom thumb buttons, in case you're prone to accidentally clicking them.

7.0
Control
Mouse Wheel
Vertical Wheel
Physical
Vertical Wheel Incremented
Yes
Vertical Wheel Unlock Button
No
Vertical Wheel Tilt
Yes
Horizontal Wheel
None
Horizontal Wheel Incremented
No horizontal Wheel

The SteelSeries Rival 500's mouse wheel is decent. It's a fairly standard incremented mouse wheel that isn't too clicky. While there isn't a horizontal wheel, it does have L/R tilt buttons.

Operating System And Software
10
Operating System And Software
Compatible Software Option
Software Name SteelSeries Engine 3
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 Rival 500's software is superb. It allows you to fully customize your mouse, including setting vibration to any button, so your mouse will vibrate when you press that button. There's also on-board memory, so any settings you set will stick with the mouse if you use it on a different PC, which is great.

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

This mouse is fully compatible with both Windows and macOS as the software can be installed on either OS, which is excellent.

Compared to other mice

The SteelSeries Rival 500 is a slightly slanted mouse designed for FPS gaming, but with a plethora of additional programmable buttons. Its performance is similar to the SteelSeries Rival 600 but it has way more buttons. See our recommendations for the best gaming mouse, the best wired gaming mouse, and the best mouse overall.

SteelSeries Rival 600
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The SteelSeries Rival 500 is a better wired MMO mouse than the SteelSeries Rival 600. The 500 can be used by all hand sizes with palm grip, and only small hands will have a difficult time reaching all the buttons with claw grip, while the 600 is too long for people with small hands with any grip type. While both mice are designed for MMO games, the Rival 500 has more than double the amount of programmable buttons. On the other hand, the Rival 600 is quite a bit lighter, so it may be a better choice if you're a fan of FPS games.

Corsair Scimitar Pro RGB
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair Scimitar Pro RGB and the SteelSeries Rival 500 are similarly performing MMO mice. The Scimitar is a bit lighter, feels slightly better made, is better suited for claw grip, and has a more traditional 12 button side panel. On the other hand, The Rival 500 is better suited for palm grip and has a slightly more comfortable, ergonomic design.

ROCCAT Tyon
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The SteelSeries Rival 500 and the ROCCAT Tyon are both decent wired gaming mice. While both mice are good for medium and larger hands for claw grip, the Rival is a better option with palm grip if you have small hands, as you'll be able to reach all the buttons more comfortably. The Rival 500 has a much wider adjustable CPI range and a much lower lift-off distance. Both mice have a ton of programmable buttons and a low click latency.

Razer Naga Trinity
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Razer Naga Trinity is a more versatile gaming mouse than the SteelSeries Rival 500. While the Rival 500 is meant for MMO gaming and is likely too heavy for most FPS gamers, the Naga Trinity is a bit lighter and has a unique design with swappable side panels so you can change the number of programmable buttons available depending on the type of game you're playing. The Rival 500 is better suited for people with small hands, but the Naga Trinity has a much lower click latency.

Havit HV-MS760
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The SteelSeries Rival 500 is a much better wired MMO mouse than the Havit HV-MS760. The Rival 500 feels better built, is better suited for small hands, has a much lower click latency, a much lower minimum CPI, and more programmable buttons. On the other hand, if you prefer fingertip grip and have large hands, the Havit may be a better option.

Redragon M908
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The SteelSeries Rival 500 is a better wired MMO mouse than the Redragon M908. The Rival 500 has a more comfortable design, is better suited for people with small hands, has a faster click latency, and is fully compatible with macOS. On the other hand, the Redragon has weight optimization options and more programmable buttons.

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