Laptop Mag Verdict
The SteelSeries Prime Mini fails to remedy the issues of its predecessor, but its precision-focused design is effective.
Lightweight and small
SteelSeries software is great
Inaccessible CPI button
Pricey with few features
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As its name implies, the SteelSeries Prime Mini is a smaller and lighter version of the SteelSeries Prime. Unfortunately, it falls prey to the same shortcoming, with its $60 price tag being lofty for an accessory with such limited features. Its awkward exterior results in a loose grip, but the mouse’s precision-focused build is surprisingly effective. I was impressed by how well I performed during games that required swiftly gliding across the mousepad.
While the SteelSeries Prime Mini is a solid option, it’s not the best gaming mouse out there, even at its midrange price.
SteelSeries Prime Mini design
The Prime Mini boasts an all-black matte exterior with a dark gray SteelSeries logo plastered at the bottom half of the mouse. Every part of this accessory, from its clickers to side buttons, is dressed in black. It's a straightforward look, but it could appeal to those who prefer simplicity in designs.
It’s equally limited in RGB representation, with only its mouse wheel possessing a configurable illumination effect. This can be cycled through plenty of preset colors, including orange, blue, purple, yellow and red. Otherwise, you can freely use the color picker to find the perfect hue for your mouse wheel.
The Prime Mini’s CPI button is located on the bottom of the mouse, making it inaccessible during gameplay. This could be a positive feature for those who fear accidentally pressing it mid-game, but since I usually program the CPI button with an alternate function, the lack of accessibility is a con. For example, with the SteelSeries Rival 5, I programmed the CPI button to mute my microphone on Discord. On the Prime Mini, I'd have to flip the mouse around to do so.
The Prime Mini is designed for first-person shooters, meaning it doesn’t possess the versatility of an all-purpose mouse. It’s lightweight with a total of five buttons; left click, right click, mouse click, and two side buttons.
The Prime Mini weighs 61 grams and measures 4.7 x 2.6 x 1.6 inches, while its 6.7-inch super mesh cable feels smooth and unobtrusive. The original SteelSeries Prime weighs 68 grams and measures 4.9 x 2.7 x 1.7 inches and the Corsair Sabre RGB Pro weighs 76 grams with measurements of 5.1 x 2.76 x 1.7 inches. The Prime Mini’s cable is also detachable and utilizes a USB-C connection, making it easy to disconnect the mouse and move the wire.
SteelSeries Prime Mini features
The Prime Mini works as soon as it’s plugged in, but you’ll need to download the SteelSeries GG application to utilize every feature. This easy-to-use app is what makes the SteelSeries brand so special, with the software quickly detecting my Prime Mini and allowing me to edit settings within seconds.
The mouse’s CPI can go from 50 to 18,000, with the choice between five default settings. My favorite is 3,200, as the best balance between speed and accuracy considering my less-than-optimal amount of desk space. Similar to other SteelSeries mice, the acceleration, deceleration, angle snapping, and polling rate can be freely modified. Unless you’re an expert at mouse configuration or are following a guide, these settings should be kept at default.
Polling rate refers to the frequency at which the cursor’s position on the screen is updated. The Prime Mini has a maximum polling rate of 1,000Hz, which is standard for mice, but an accessory like the Corsair Sabre RGB Pro blows this out of the water at 8,000Hz.
SteelSeries GG allows users to freely program each button to perform a unique task. This is especially useful when playing a game that lacks its own keybindings. While playing Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, I assigned new functions to keybindings. This is probably a result of the game’s age, but with the use of SteelSeries GG, I turned my B key into my side mouse button, which effectively switched how I use the game’s buy function.
With this system, profiles that utilize specific keybindings can be made. I usually create a profile with the name of the game I use it on, whether it be World of Warcraft or Doom Eternal. And you won’t even need to fully launch the SteelSeries GG app to switch profiles, as it can be done from your toolbar by right-clicking the logo.
You’ll also be able to modify your mouse’s RGB, although the SteelSeries Prime has only one-zone illumination. There aren’t many fun ways to mess with the colors on your mouse because remember, the lighting is limited to the scroll wheel.
SteelSeries Prime Mini performance
The SteelSeries Prime isn’t satisfying to use because of its awkward design. The right half of the mouse has a downward curvature that is too steep for comfort and results in the mouse becoming irksome to use over long periods of time.
I discovered this when testing the Prime Mini on “osu,” an intense rhythm game that requires precision and the utmost synergy with your mouse. My grip on the Prime Mini felt loose, as if it was going to slip out of my hand at any point. My pinkie has trouble finding a comfortable position on the right side of the mouse. It provided a sensation of unease, as I needed to put extra pressure on the mouse to ensure a safe grip.
However, when I attempted a more intense song that required a frequent combination of left and right clicking to hit each note accurately, the SteelSeries Prime excelled. Its curvature is unsatisfying, but its lightweight design made it incredibly easy to glide across the mousepad and rapidly click. I then tested this same song out with the SteelSeries Rival 5, and although I felt a sturdier grip, its increased weight and bulkier curve made it harder for me to consistently press the right-click and left-click buttons with as much speed and vigor. Unfortunately, the Prime Mini made my arm feel sore because my loose grip meant I needed to apply more pressure.
The Prime Mini is more comfortable to use while slaying demons in Doom Eternal. Tightly gripping onto the mouse wasn’t necessary for accuracy; casual FPS playing is a lot more chill than the intense precision required from osu. But you might still feel that pressure if you’re going ham in a competitive first-person shooter.
The SteelSeries Prime Mini is a good mouse for those who need a precision-focused design while trudging through the high-skill ceilings found in competitive first-person shooters. Its loose grip can become uncomfortable during long gaming sessions, but I was impressed by how its small and lightweight build allowed me to swiftly glide across the mousepad and jump between the right and left click with blistering speed.
Due to its few buttons and awkward grip, the Prime Mini won’t become my primary mouse for PC gaming, but I can see myself pulling it out when trying to achieve a high score in osu or when jumping deep into a competitive shooter.
Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.