SteelSeries Prime Review – Pro Series Gaming Mouse
The SteelSeries Prime Pro Series gaming mouse is the perfect example of SteelSeries’ motto, ‘Winning is Everything’, as SteelSeries collaborated with some of the world’s best esports players to meticulously design a range of products with one single purpose in mind: Winning. The Prime Series is aimed at competitive gamers who demand the latest technology and performance that’s required to succeed at the highest level, but that doesn’t mean casual gamers can’t reap the benefits too!
With a host of features aimed to take player’s gaming performance to the next level, the SteelSeries Prime gaming mouse instantly attracts the attention of every serious gamer. This includes SteelSeries’ very own Prestige OM switches, TrueMove Pro optical sensor, and an ultra-lightweight design that has been perfected by professional gamers, the SteelSeries Prime has all the characteristics to best one of the best performing mice ever released, but how does it perform in the real world? Has SteelSeries designed the ultimate mouse for esports? or are there better options on the market for both professional and casual gamers?
SteelSeries has taken a minimalistic approach to the overall design of the Prime, but don’t let this fool you – This simplistic design has been in collaboration with some of the world’s top esports professionals to perfect its shape and weight to aid both comfort and performance, and boy, it doesn’t disappoint! SteelSeries’ no flair approach to the Prime is a breath of fresh air as it proves that not every ‘gaming’ mouse needs to stand out from the crowd with flamboyant lighting and crazy designs. Instead, the Prime’s subtle use of its single-zone RGB illumination around its scroll wheel creates a fantastic contrast against its aggressive all-black appearance that I absolutely love.
At first glance, the Prime looks more-or-less like your traditional mouse but once the mouse is firmly within your grip you instantly appreciate the level of R&D involved in designing the mouse. The mouse features a slightly higher than normal arch/peak than traditional mice. This arch supports your hand and lets your fingers drape over the mouse’s subtle contours to create a natural and comfortable feel that is perfect for claw and fingertip grip users.
This higher peak does mean that both the main buttons feel as if they’re slightly longer than usual and feature a more prominent slope than traditional mice. There are also raised edges on the end of each main mouse button that prevents slipping and aids comfort, even during those frantic moments where you momentarily lose grip!
Sustained comfort at the highest levels of play– SteelSeries
The only minor criticism I have of the Prime is with respect to the positioning of the side buttons. When gripping the mouse, these buttons are perfectly positioned above your thumb to reduce the travel required to reach them, but I constantly found myself reaching back towards the rear of the mouse to reach them. I would have loved if these buttons were positioned slightly further forward towards the front of the mouse to reduce the need to reach my thumb back towards the rear of the mouse. I might be in the minority here as this is most likely due to the size of my hand (you know what they say about guys with big hands 😉 ) and being a palm user, but I feel the positioning of these buttons could have been improved upon.
With the latest trend of ultra-lightweight, you would expect a mouse that’s designed for competitive use to be light – and this is exactly what the Prime is, light – 69g to be precise, which is only 12g heavier than SteelSeries’ ultra-lightweight Aerox 3. This provides a great level of control for sweeping movements such as 360 no-scopes and the precision accuracy required for headshots at the highest level.
Every aspect of the SteelSeries Prime is symbolic for performance – This is largely thanks to the inclusion of SteelSeries’ very own TrueMove Pro optical sensor along with the addition of its all-new, revolutionary optical switch, the Prestige OM (Optical Magnetic) switch. These switches utilise optical technology to deliver unrivaled response times, which in return also increases durability to an industry-leading 100 million click rating.
Each actuation of the switch uses a steel torsion spring that is held in place by a specially milled neodymium magnet, this breaks a ray of light to instantly register the input. This technology replaces the metal-on-metal contact of a traditional mechanical switch that slowly degrades over time. Optical technology is quickly becoming the industry standard and choice of switch amongst professional and hardcore gamers thanks to the performance and durability that this technology offers. The best part is that SteelSeries has maintained the satisfying tactile feedback and audible noise that we associate with traditional mechanical switches, albeit with a slightly different note. This audible note is slightly more hollow than mechanical switches, which may discourage some traditionalists, but I personally l loved the feel and note of these switches. Overall, the response and feel of these switches are amazing and although the average gamer may not notice the increase in performance or durability, professional gamers will appreciate the level of engineering involved that allows the player every possible technological advantage possible.
SteelSeries’ TrueMove Pro is one of the most trusted and tested sensors on the market thanks to its true 1-to-1 tracking and innovative features such as tilt tracking to eliminate any unwanted tracking during angled drops, tilt slams, or quick flicks. Backing up this technology is the raw performance of the sensor with 18,000 CPI, 450 IPS, and 50G acceleration. This is the same sensor that SteelSeries has included with their other esports focused mouse, the Sensei Ten. The performance of this sensor is one of my favourites as it never fails to deliver and tracks perfectly across every surface I tested.
It is worth noting that the button to adjust the CPI presets is located underneath the mouse, rather than on top next to the scroll wheel (Thanks, Dean!). This means changing presets mid game can be quite the challenge and best left for the end of the round or during a timeout. This button does include multiple functions as it also doubles up as a profile change button thanks to the mouse’s onboard memory allowing. This is a prime example (see what I did there!) of the mouse’s esports pedigree shining through as tournaments typically won’t allow any third-party software to be installed on their PCs. Despite this minor inconvenience, it is clear that by collaborating with esports professionals SteelSeries has raised the bar in terms of performance mice for esports.
Software – SteelSeries GG
For anyone unaware, SteelSeries GG is SteelSeries’ latest all-in-one software solution that allows gamers to connect each other, their peripherals, and games – Essentially, SteelSeries GG combines Moments and Engine in one platform. Engine is where you will find all the software support for the Prime including CPI presets, polling rate, acceleration/deceleration, macro editor, and the ability to remap the mouse’s buttons. There is little in the way of RGB lighting customisation, but as this mouse has been designed for esports, this is expected.
It is no coincidence that SteelSeries is one of the biggest brands in esports and has been associated with success since first partnering with Na`Vi to win the very first Dota 2 International tournament back in 2011. Since then, SteelSeries has proved that its dedication towards winning and performance is second to none, and there is no better example of this than the SteelSeries Prime Pro Series gaming mouse. By using its network of professional gamers, SteelSeries has been able to design a mouse that is solely focused on performance and comfort; the key metrics that professional and hardcore gamers desire. Its minimalistic approach may not suit some casual gamers who want to stand out from the crowd with loud and flamboyant peripherals, but don’t judge a book by its cover – the design and raw performance of the SteelSeries Prime is second to none and sets a new standard for professional gaming mice.
SteelSeries Prime Review - Pro Series Gaming Mouse
- PERFORMANCE - 97%97%
- DESIGN - 90%90%
- QUALITY - 90%90%
- VALUE - 91%91%
SteelSeries has set a new standard for professional gaming mice with the Prime Pro Series as its performance and comfort is second to none, proving that Winning is Everything.
SteelSeries Prime Review – Pro Series Gaming Mouse – For more on SteelSeries, check out our previous coverage.