SteelSeries Rival 300 vs. Rival 100

Review Forge

Hello, my fellow gamers. I want to do a comparison review between SteelSeries Rival 300 and Rival 100. These mice are very popular and many of you guys are thinking between purchasing one of them. They are made by SteelSeries and that means the mice are both good. But which one is the best and why? Should you overpay and buy the more expensive model? Let’s find out.

Appearance

When I first heard about the Rival 100, I thought it would just be a scaled-down version of the Rival 300. Most of the manufacturers usually do it this way. Unfortunately, I was wrong. They not only cut some features but also have reduced the quality a lot. And the changes are serious.

SteelSeries Rival 300 vs. Rival 100

The side buttons of the 300 model have a soft finish and feel really good to click in. The sound is not too loud. The side buttons of the Rival 100 are not so good.  They are very plasticky, very loud and very thin too.

The clicks are different but they have about the same DPI buttons, scrolling wheel, the smooth cables.

I think the Rival 100 is a bit loud but again that might actually be because there's some plastic rubbing.

Both mice have a textured surface on the left side for better grip. But it’s made of rubber on 300 model and made of plastic on 100. Again, that's just reducing quality and I'm not sure how big a saving that actually would be. To be honest, I don’t like this plastic texture at all. The rubber feels much better, it gives more control and it’s softer.

The shape is different. The 300 model is longer and is made for Palm / Claw grip, while 100 is mostly for Claw / Finger-Tip type of grip.

When you hold the more expensive one and then hold the cheaper model you instantly feel the difference. The cheaper model is made with less attention to details and made of lower quality materials. That’s just my personal feeling, but I think you will feel the same.

As for the illumination, Rival 100 has only one zone, while 300 has 2 RGB zones. That’s not a huge difference in my opinion. I don’t pay attention to this and I usually switch the illumination off.

Technical Comparison

Both models have optical sensors. The software of the Rival 300 allows you to set whatever DPI you want from 50 all the way up to 6500. You can set any value you wish. That’s very good for customization. Whereas on the Rival 100 you can’t just set the value you want. You have to select from pre-sets: 250, 500, 1000, 1250, 1500, 1750, 2000 and 4000. That's a problem for many people, especially the ones who want to use 400 or 800 DPI. Personally, I want to use 3200 but that’s impossible because the mouse allows 2 000 or 4 000.

Conclusion

This comparison isn’t honest because the mice are in different price categories. I wouldn’t try to compare them if they had different titles. But they both are called SteelSeries Rival. With the 100 model they want to make a cheaper mouse but they should have named it something else. They didn't need to rely on the Rival name.

I always say that the Rival 100 is good but not great. They could have made it a fair bit better. Rival 300 is just great. I really like using it. It’s comfortable, responsive, gives a lot of customization and so on.

Would I recommend buying the Rival 100? No, I would actually recommend paying the extra money so you can get the Rival 300. Right now the price difference is about $30, so it’s not too much. But if you are on a budget and you don't want to invest in a gaming mouse a lot, 100 is a good choice and that's probably why they made it.

It’s not too expensive, but it’s still made by SteelSeries. This manufacturer is well known for the quality and I believe Rival 100 will not disappoint you. It just doesn’t provide too much customization and it has less quality. But it also costs about $25 right now. It’s very affordable, and this is the most important advantage.

Hopefully, in the future, we do get this go down version of the Rival 300 because there are some competitive gamers out there like me that would like to have Rival 300 but just a little bit smaller.