The SteelSeries Rival 3 is the best budget gaming mouse in my eyes – and I’ve even written articles to that effect – so imagine my surprise and delight when I spotted the even better wireless model is down to £25 at Amazon UK. That’s £30 below its UK RRP and a fantastic deal for a mouse that offers both 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth connectivity plus an 18K optical sensor and a comfortable symmetric shape.
The Rival 3 is in a really good place for most people I think, with a size that fits small to medium-sized hands and a 106g weight that’s not too light and not too heavy. The optical sensor is reliable enough even for fast flicks, while the 2.4GHz is low latency and reliable – with Bluetooth as a backup choice that’s easier on the battery but comes with a lower polling rate and higher latency, making it not as good as the 2.4GHz for fast-paced or competitive gaming.
Interestingly, the mouse uses one or two AAA batteries rather than an integrated lithium ion battery, which is good as you get up to 400 hours of battery life via Bluetooth – and the batteries are designed to be easily replaceable – ideally yo should pair this with rechargeable batteries, which might mean a steeper up-front investment if you need to pick up both batteries and charger. Note that using the mouse at a higher 1000Hz polling rate drops battery life to 100 hours, so you’d definitely want to have a set of rechargeables on the go in this situation!
Beyond this though, there is a ton to like about the Rival 3, from the shape and sensor to SteelSeries Engine software. Real-world performance is also excellent, for the record, with the shape feeling natural in my hand and everything working as it should. For £25, it’s a great shout.
For more gaming rodent recommendations from James (and I think a few hanging on from Katharine’s tenure), check out our guide to the best gaming mouse of 2023 right here at RPS.