SteelSeries has carved out a new lineup of gaming peripherals just for pro gamers, and they're packed chockful of features supposed to give you a competitive edge. The Prime series of mice comprises three models – the base Prime variant, the Prime+, and the Prime Wireless.
All three share the same shape, and the Prime+ I'm reviewing today sits in the middle of the pack. Its aggressively ergonomic form factor is extremely comfortable, but it limits the mouse to right-handed use only. Side contours provide places to rest your thumb and ring and pink finger, and the main body is even raised slightly at the left to accommodate the natural slope of your palm and wrist when resting. I think it's best for the palm grip, although you might be able to make the claw and fingertip grips work if you have large hands.
At 125.3mm long, this is a very large mouse that isn't really suitable for anyone with smaller hands. I'm also doubtful that the size and shape is the best for competitive gaming, as I personally find that smaller, more symmetrically shaped mice allow for more precise grip styles and better control. The Prime+ also weighs in at 71g, which is light enough, but not as light as it could be. The customisable OLED screen at the bottom is neat, but it clearly adds some extra weight and I'm not sure what use a pro gamer would have for it in tournaments. While you have options to adjust the DPI, polling rate, lift-off distance, illumination and more, those are settings you fiddle with once and then forget about for the most part.
That said, the shape is very similar to that of the Zowie EC2, so if you're after the Zowie shape in a more premium packaging, this might do it for you.
Build quality is superb, and the Prime+ feels exceedingly well put together with no flexing, creaking or rattling. I really enjoy the textured matte finish too, which resists the build-up of dirt and grime. SteelSeries has gotten the little details right, down to its unique Prestige OM optical magnetic switches. A steel torsion spring is held in place by a specially-milled neodymium magnet, and the magnetic force helps ensure greater consistency in every click. This is because there are no mechanical parts that can degrade over time. Switch actuation is detected using a beam of infrared light, which eliminates the need for debounce times and decreases response times in game.
These switches produce deep, satisfying clicks, with minimal post-travel. If you're a stickler for crisp, tactile switches that sound as good as they feel, you might want to give these a try. The side buttons feel similarly good as well, with solid, tactile clicks and no mushiness to them.
The scroll wheel has well-defined notches and is one of the quieter ones around, and I think it's pretty clear that SteelSeries has taken care to fine-tune even the tiny stuff. The scroll wheel is also the only illuminated part of the mouse, and you can also choose between a few effects like Steady, ColorShift and Multi Color Breathe.
And even though this is a wired mouse, the cable is detachable, which should make the mouse a bit easier to take out with you. It's using a micro-USB connector though, unlike the USB-C on the Prime Wireless, and SteelSeries should really have stuck to USB-C across the board.
Having said that, the Super Mesh cable itself is excellent. It's made from a soft microfiber that feels really supple, producing minimal cable drag. It also helps that the part of the cable that exits the mouse is stiff plastic, keeping it raised so it doesn't drag on your mousepad.
The feet are not pure PTFE however, unlike on the Prime Wireless, but you can buy 100% virgin-grade PTFE replacement feet directly from SteelSeries if you want to upgrade. Given the premium positioning of the Prime+ as an esports-centric mouse, I think it should definitely have been equipped with the best feet possible since a smooth glide is pretty key to mouse performance. Compared to the 100% PTFE feet that came stock on the Prime Wireless, there's a noticeable difference in smoothness.
Finally, there's the 18,000 DPI (or as SteelSeries prefers, CPI) TrueMove Pro+ sensor, designed in collaboration with PixArt. It's supposed to offer true 1:1 tracking, but given the calibre of all the top sensors available today, they all pretty much deliver the same flawless performance. One unique addition is the secondary lift-off sensor, which provides depth perception that allows you to adjust your lift-off distance between 0.5mm and 2mm. There's also tilt tracking to eliminate unwanted tracking during angled drops, tilt slams, and quick flicks.
There's a ton of customisations available in the SteelSeries Engine, and you can even draw your own graphic for the OLED display. Here, you'll also find options to control acceleration and deceleration, angle snapping, and the lift-off distance, but most folks probably won't have occasion to touch most of these settings.
At S$149, the SteelSeries Prime+ packs quite a lot into one solidly built package. It manages to differentiate itself with unique features like the OLED display, magnetic optical switches, and its own sensor with lift-off tracking. I'm not sure about the merits of arguing for it as an esports-oriented mouse, but if you're partial toward ergonomic shapes, this could be worth checking out.
The only issue is how it stacks up compared to the base Prime model. The only differences are the OLED display and depth sensor, which truth be told, don't make a ton of a difference. The SteelSeries Prime is more affordable at S$119 and a tad lighter too, so more budget-conscious gamers could just opt for the cheaper model without sacrificing much.
Overall, I find this still a thoughtfully designed mouse for right-handers. If you don't want the hassle of downloading software to change the settings, this is right up your alley.