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Software

Those who have read my reviews of other SteelSeries products will know I'm a fan of SteelSeries Engine 3. The interface is clean and easy to use. There aren't a bunch of settings hidden away in tabs that you have to go digging for. Everything is well labeled and intuitive. All the usual gaming mouse settings are present: CPI, acceleration, angle-snapping, polling rate, button bindings, and LED effects. The only standard setting missing is an LED brightness control. Thankfully, the LEDs aren't too bright, but it'd be nice if SteelSeries would add that in.

You can set up game specific mouse configurations that will automatically take over when you launch a game and go back to normal when you exit the game. Esports players who use SteelSeries mice can make their configurations available for others to use, which is a neat extra feature. Neither the Rival or Sensei 310 feature the tactile alerts of the Rival 700 and 500, but the LEDs can be configured to respond to Discord, music, and in-game events in a select number of games. This isn't a terribly useful feature, but it's cool for those looking to up their RGB game.

Conclusions

The Rival and Sensei 310 are the first mice to come equipped with SteelSeries' new TrueMove 3 sensor. The company made some ambitious claims about TrueMove3, stating that it's the only gaming mouse sensor with true one-to-one tracking. While the TrueMove3 can't really claim the title of the only sensor with one-to-one tracking, it's certainly one of the best mouse sensors on the market. I didn't notice any differences between the TrueMove3 and the already-world-class PixArt PMW3360 in my testing. Perhaps I'm just not leet enough.

However, a mouse isn't just a sensor. Design is also an important factor, and the Rival and Sensei 310 have a few issues in this department. The scroll wheel in both mice is set a bit too low in their bodies for long scrolls, which can be annoying while surfing the web. That's really the only problem with the Rival, but unfortunately, the Sensei has a couple more. Unlike the Rival, the Sensei feels sort of awkward in my hand. The side buttons are also too slim for my tastes, and the two main buttons rattle a bit. Mice are highly individual devices, though, and other gamers (and lefties especially) might find the Sensei's ambidextrous shape more to their liking.

Nevertheless, both mice have many positives. Both mice feel solid and well built, yet don't weigh more than 100 grams. They have wonderfully clicky buttons, a fantastic sensor, straightforward software, and a reasonable price. There's a lot to like about these mice, but given the number of issues with the Sensei, I don't think it's worth shelling out $60 for. Both G.Skill and EVGA offer great ambidextrous mice for $10 less than the price of the Sensei 310. On the other hand, I think the Rival 310 is definitely worth considering if you're looking for a high-quality mouse with a great sensor and shape.

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