Steelseries Rival 500 Review – MMO Gaming REDEFINED

SteelSeries Rival 500 Review

Who Is It For??

Are you an MMO / MOBA player and looking for a decent gaming mouse to boost your performance SKY HIGH??

Are you after not only the specific MMO gaming mouse design, but a DECENT performance optical sensor too??

Do you want a competitive MMO gaming mouse which will make a difference and provide you extended comfort next to the performance it comes with??

Are you tired of the conventional "telephone" button layout of the MMO / MOBA mice??

Do you have large hands??

Do you like mice with some weight??

Is customizability of a gaming mouse important for you?

If your answer to most of these qustions is "YES" then you shouldn DEFINITELY CONSIDER GETTING A STEELSERIES RIVAL 500!!!


SteelSeries Rival 500 is the gaming mouse which has broken the boundaries of MMO/ MOBA gaming mice with its new design concept. The radial thumb button design is not new in the gaming mouse industry, but I must say that SteelSeries has done a GREAT JOB in modernising it and customizing the thumb buttons in a more suitable way for everyone to enjoy!!!

There are also other exclusive features that seperate the Rival 500 from other gaming mice, which we will explore in detail down below. So, LET'S GET TO KNOW RIVAL 500 IN DETAIL!!!


SteelSeries Rival 500 as every other Rival series mouse carries the same design patterns of Rival mouse linup. Matte smooth top cover, durable build, and well-tailored performance-oriented ergonomics. I've ALWAYS been satisfied with the Rival series mice and when it comes to performance, they're my FAVORITE gaming mice...

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SteelSeries Rival 500 is a little bit different when you compare it with other Rival series mice. Rival 500 is designed as an MMO / MOBA gaming mouse and it's tailored to support you during competitive long hours of MMO sessions with its comfort-oriented design and high-end optical sensor.Be it a dungeon session, a clan party, or a Dota 2 teammatch, SteelSeries Rival 500 is ready for you to become the king of MMO.

If you're experienced with SteelSeries Mouse Lineup, than you can easily spot some similar patterns with the SteelSeries Rival 700 Gaming Mouse, which is one of the highest-end gaming mice enriched with ultra-exclusive features such as OLED display, tactile feedbacks and swappable sensors.

Rival 500 is a heavy gaming mouse with a weight at 129 grams, which easily puts Rival 500 into the heavyweight mice category. Rival 500 and Rival 700 are the two exclusive gaming mice of SteelSeries with this much weight. Actually, I like heavy mice, that's why the heavy weight of Rival 500 is not a minus for me. I'm also a strong guy, that's why heavier mice are a better fit for me. But the weight can be both a plus and a minus depending on your personal preferences.

To be honest, I would not recommend Rival 500 if you're looking for a mouse which you will be using mostly for FPS / RPG / SHOOTER games. If you have a soft spot for heavy mice, that's fine, but I would like a lighterr weight value from a FPS / RPG mouse which will be mostly used during fast paced performance and competitive  gaming. But if you're after  a GREAT MMO / MOBA gaming mouse, then Rival 500 is a GREAT CANDIDATE for you!!


Rival 600 yaz.


MMO / MOBA mice are usually heavy and that's a general concept for this type of mice. During an MMO / MOBA session you won't be performing fast-paced actions. That's why the weight comes as an advantage here. The weight actually makes me feel more in control of my gaming mouse, as I'm actually feeling that the mouse is applying some force to my hand and this way I'm getting a physical response from it. It makes me feel that I'm actually grasping the handling of my Rival 500 and this s only a plus for me especially during MMO gaming.

SteelSeries Rival 500 has a 2 meter durable mouse cable. It's pretty high in quality, but I don't like cables getting in the way during my gaming sessions. That's why I use a MOUSE BUNGEE and I advise EVERYONE to get one if you don't want your gaming sessions to be interrupted by muse cable floating around your gaming desk!!!


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SteelSeries Rival 500 is a LARGE mouse and it is a great fit for gamers with a claw grip or palm grip style. I definitely don't advise it to gamers who are looking for a fingertip grip mouse. It's meant for MMO/ MOBA gaming and the large wide ergonomics come in handy in this matter.  If you're an MMO player, than you're likely aware that MMO sessions last long, approximately a couple of hours. I don't even have to mention about the dungeon sessions in World of Warcraft...

That's why a gaming mouse with comfortable ergonomics is pretty esential for your comfort and more important than that for your health! A well crafted gaming mouse can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and wrist pain in the long term. Rival 500 has pretty wide and ergonomical crafted form factors which make your hand sit on the mouse like second nature. I'm AMAZED by the comfort it provides. Here are the dimensions of it:

118.75mm, 4.68in

78.34mm, 3.08 in

43.34mm, 1.71in


As you can see, it's a large mouse. Personally, I like large mice and claw grip is my favorite grip type, that's why I have enjoyed using the Rival 500 very much. It's naturally fitting to a claw grip if you're a large handed and long fingered person like me, but you can use it as a palm grip if you have smaller hands.

The grooved and wavy design of ergonomics are really well crafted and the classical SteeSeries Rival design patterns are catching my eyes, which are one of my favorite design concepts. I don't have to say more about the ergonomics. If you're looking for a large and comfortable mouse which will keep you comfortable during your long journeys and quests, Rival 500 is the one that you're looking for...


SteelSeries Rival 500 comes with 15 programmable buttons at your service, which are:

5 thumb buttons

DPI Button behind the scroll wheel

1 knuckle button

Right / Left Clicks

Two left click additional buttons

One Right click additional button

3 Way Scroll Wheel


Button setup is one of the exclusive details that you can spot instantly. The radial thumb button design is a great alternative button set for the ones who are tired of  the "telephone" button layout, which is the convention with MMO mice.

SteelSeries seems like wanted to try something new and break the rules. I like the thumb area button design because it gives you more mobility and it actually feels easier to get used to the new button design. It's a thing with MMO mice, if you're not gaming with MMO mice frequently, then you're probably going to spend a little amount of time gettng used to it. But it doesn't take much time to get used to it, probably it will become your additional limb in a couple hours.

Thumb button set hosting 5 buttons is a great desig strategy because in conventional MMO gaming mice the 12 buttons stacked up  next to each other can sometimes lead to accidental button presses. With the spread out button design the chances of you pressing to unintended buttons accidentally drops down to zero. I'm fine with both the "telephone" and "radial spread out" button set design, I can game with both of them, but the spread out button design of Rival 500 has definitely mesmerized me!!! I'm SO SATISFIED with it!

The additional buttons on theright and left clicks aren't intersecting with my game flow at all. They're placed very strategically and there's no chance for you to accidentally press them. I'm pretty impressed.

The scroll wheel is 3-way, which means that you can press the scroll wheel sideways too!!! It gives you two more command options which you use in any way you want by assigning your desired macros. This scroll wheel design is spottable in some Razer mice too. As a person who has experienced this scroll wheel system before, I can assure that it ROCKS!!!

Flickdown Switches

The two bottom thumb side buttons can be used as thumb rest by locking them from the switch under the mouse. After locking these buttons you will no longer have to worry about accidentally pressing these lower thumb buttons. If you don't want to sacrifice two thumb buttons, then you can always choose not to lock these specific buttons, but then you should be a little bit more careful not to press them accidentally while dragging your mouse.

Tactile Alerts

Are you experienced with consoles?? If you're, then you should know that  consoles from time to time buzz and give you that triggering sensation and waking up awareness to certain in-game events. Now this feature, which is called tactile feedback (or haptic feedback), is integrated into a gaming mouse. Now you can track many in-game events and specific mouse commands with the intracting vibrations right under your palm.

Through the SteelSeries Engine 3 software you can program your Rival 500 to react to specific button actions or in-game events like low health, headshot rows, grenade throws and etc... You can specify the intensity, the type, and the duration of the vibrations. Let me explain it with a simple video...

You can chec out the simple video explanation which is presented down below. It's for Rival 700, but both Rival 700 and Rival 500 are programmed and work the same way:



Technical Side of Things

SteelSeries Rival 500 hosts a PixArt PMW 3360 optical gaming sensor, which is one of the leading optical sensors in the gaming mouse industry. With the tracking and sensor imaging I didn't have any issues. This baby offers 1:1 tracking as all other higher end Rival series mice.

Also, MMO mice used to have lazer sensors as a convention and that was a downer for me until now. But lately, I notice that several brands have decided to integrate their MMO / MOBA series mice with optical sensors, which is a GREAT leap in their brand strategy. If you're going to play MMO / MOBA only with this ind of mice, then you probably don't need pin point precision, but still, after a while it starts to get on your nerves and mouse aceleration that laser sensors come with is not a desired thing by many gamers.

Not only SteelSeries, but Razer has also decided to follow the same strategy with most of their gaming mice. As an example, Razer has released their latest updated version of Naga: "The Naga Trinity" which is probably the KING of MMO / MOBA mice at the moment with the new modular interchangeable design it comes with and the choice of installing a new high-end PixArt optical gaming sensor to it was the wisest choice of an icing on top of the cake.


Want to know more about the KING of MMO?? CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT Our Razer Naga Mouse Review!!


I don't even have to mention that you need a precise and 1:1 tracking optical gaming sensor if you're going to get serious with FPS / RPG / SHOOTER genre. Rival 500 is also a great candidate for players of this genre who also want a rich set of buttons under their reach. It depends on the gamer on which task it will be used. Be it MMO / MOBA, be it FPS / RPG, the high quality sensor and the enriched button set is there to supply all your needs.

I don't have to say much about the sensor, it's a high end optical PixArt and it's kickass for an MMO / MOBA oriented gaming mouse. I would like to talk about another feature that makes me feel a little sad about Rival 500 next.

No On-Board Profiles

Yes, that's right. SteelSeries Rival 500 doesn't come with the on-board profliles feature. In most other SteelSeries gaming mice you can experience the comfort of mobility that on-board profiles provide, but SteelSeries Rival 500 chose to stay absent from this feature. You can create your own profiles, program them, and switch between them by uing the SteelSeries Engine Software, but this time you can't store them inside the brain of your Rival 500 to carry around anywhere you go.

To be honest, it's a downer for me. Obiously, it's a gaming mouse which is meant for MMO / MOBA and these genres usually require you to attend group sessions if you're serious about the genre. You should be able to carry your mouse settings inside  your mouse wherever you go and this is essential especially if you're travelling around to attend competitive gaming events or group play parties. Else of that, you can create and manage all your profiles through the SteelSeries Engine Software without any issues.

DPI and Other Technical Parameters

You can set the DPI up from 100 to 16,000 with 100 DPI increments. 16,000 is of course a ridicolous number and yu probably will never use that much DPI. I use maximum 3,500 DPI in general and you probably will stay in that range too, but 16,000 DPI is there if you want to ever use it. You can adjust the polling rate up to 1,000Hz. You can also adjust angle snapping and mouse acceleration / decelaration if you want to.

The only downer side of the DPI is that you can set only two DPI values to shift between. I would like the Rival 500 to have more DPI levels to switch between, but it's not a major problem for me.

The lift off distance is pretty low and it's response is great!! The ptical sensor of Rival 500 is once again prooving that it's badass... There is no jitter, no pixel smoothing and no angle hopping. Sensor is pretty decent and I have no complaints about it.



SteelSeries Rival 500 uses the SteelSeries Engine Software to program the hell out of it. SteelSeries Engine Software is one of the best gaming peripheral softwares that I've ever seen. It's one of the most user friendly gaming periperal softwares and it's impossible to get confused even if you don't have any kind of experience with similar software. Everything is right in front of your eyes and it's designed in the simplest way ever. You can program all the buttons, set up your technical parameters such as DPI, polling rate, angle snapping and etc... You can also customize your RGB lights. You can customize each button of SteelSeries Rival 500 and assign macros of your own choice. Every button is easily reachable, but I advise you not to assign any frequenty used commands to the DPI switch button, which is located right at the back of the scroll wheel, because it's harder to reach. The technical parameters are completely customizable and you can adjust the DPI between 100 - 16,000 range. You can also tweak the technical parameters such as angle snapping, poling rate, acceleration/decelaration, but I personally don't like being involved with that parameter as mouse acceleration is not something that I want. You can adjust your tactile alerts settings from the SteeSeries Engine Software and the amount of things that you can do with the tactile alerts are almost limitless. You can set up specific in-game actions or commands to trigger vibrations under your palm. It's a great feature and it definitely makes a difference in the total experience of Rival 500 overall. You can also create your custom vibration patterns too. You can create your own gaming or specific software profiles. The only down side of the profiles with Rival 500 is that you can't store the profiles on-board.

Where To Buy It From??

The best place to buy it is from Amazon due to the usually best prices you can find, great retail service, and the amazing customer care. SteelSeries Rival 500 can be yours for $63.39 at the moment. It's a reasonable price tag for a mouse like SteelSeries Rival 500 and you can get it for even a cheaper price if you come across some discounts in Amazon, especially during special days and events.

If you want a GREAT and UNCONVENTIONAL MMO mouse which can be used for any kind of task, then GO GET A RIVAL 500!!! You can click the button below to check the latest price on Amazon:



SteelSeries Rival 500 Review - Conclusion

Now you know EVERYTHING about SteelSeries Rival 500, all of its pros and cons and where you can buy it. You can eventually decide now whether it's the right gaming mouse for you or not. If you've ecided that it's the one, then you know what to do 🙂 If it's not what you're looking for, then don't forget to check out our other content to find the most suitable one for your needs!!

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Tyler, Founder of GMP.


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