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SteelSeries Prime review

The SteelSeries Prime is a smooth gaming mouse that is too ordinary for its price

SteelSeries Prime review
(Image: © Rami Tabari)

Our Verdict

The SteelSeries Prime gaming mouse offers great performance in a lightweight shell, but it’s pricey and doesn’t have additional buttons.

For

  • Great performance
  • Useful software
  • Ridiculously lightweight design

Against

  • More buttons would be nice
  • No on-the-fly DPI button
  • A bit pricey

Laptop Mag Verdict

The SteelSeries Prime gaming mouse offers great performance in a lightweight shell, but it’s pricey and doesn’t have additional buttons.

Pros

  • + Great performance
  • + Useful software
  • + Ridiculously lightweight design

Cons

  • - More buttons would be nice
  • - No on-the-fly DPI button
  • - A bit pricey

SteelSeries has gone full-speed ahead with its new Prime gaming mice lineup, and the most affordable of the lot is the $60 SteelSeries Prime.

For a wired gaming mouse, the SteelSeries Prime offers excellent performance backed by great software and propelled forward by a smooth, lightweight design. However, $60 is a lot for a mouse with no additional buttons or an on-the-fly DPI switcher.

I wouldn’t throw this in the ranking as the best gaming mouse, but it’s a solid option so those who like SteelSeries won’t be disappointed.

SteelSeries Prime design

I’ve reviewed the SteelSeries Prime Wireless and the SteelSeries Prime+, and there’s not much difference between those mice and the SteelSeries Prime. They all feature the same discreet black shell accented by a gray SteelSeries logo. The only flashy aspect about this mouse is its RGB-lit scroll wheel. As far as size goes, the SteelSeries Prime stacks up at 4.9 x 2.7 x 1.7 inches, which is identical to its siblings, but weighs 2.4 ounces, making it the lightest of the bunch.

SteelSeries Prime review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

The SteelSeries Prime’s matte-black shell sports a V-shaped design that forms the top panel. It holds room for the SteelSeries logo, two small clickers and an RGB-lit mouse wheel. Like its siblings, there’s no on-the-fly DPI button.

It’s tough to see in photos, but the left side of the mouse curves inward, holding room for a thumb rest and a small two-button panel just above it. The right side of the mouse protrudes outward with a slight curve, opening room for the ring and pinkie finger.

SteelSeries Prime review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

Like the Prime+, the SteelSeries Prime is a wired mouse with a detachable microUSB wire. The microUSB input is located at the front of the mouse. On the underside of the mouse, you’ll find black Teflon feet and the DPI button. The major difference between the Prime and Prime+ is that the Prime doesn’t have a fancy OLED display with onboard controls.

SteelSeries Prime comfort

If you’re deciding between Prime mice, they’re nearly identical except that the SteelSeries Prime is 0.1 ounces lighter than the Prime+ and 0.4 ounces lighter than the Prime Wireless. It’s the easiest to move around even though it’s hard to tell the difference. You’ll have to be careful with the wire, as you are tethered to your PC, but other than that, the SteelSeries Prime is super comfortable to use.

SteelSeries Prime review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

I found that the clickers in each mouse sound different despite featuring the same build. The clickers in the SteelSeries Prime are bold and more pronounced than the one in the Prime+, but both are equally satisfying. Since the mouse curves downward at the end, my palm sits on the mousepad as opposed to the mouse itself; I don't mind the grip, but some people might take issue with it.

The thumb rest is quite roomy, and while a grip would be nice, the matte shell feels good against my finger. Unfortunately, I still have an issue with the clickers above the thumb rest. They are as stiff as the ones on the Prime+ and Prime Wireless.

While there is plenty of room for your thumb, there’s not a neat curvature for your ring finger or pinky to rest on. The soft matte shell feels fine against my fingers, but it can be tough to lift the mouse. The mouse wheel is smooth, but like the others, it feels cheap.

SteelSeries Prime performance

The SteelSeries Prime was simple and easy to use in most games that didn’t require a ridiculous number of inputs (like MOBAs or MMOs).

SteelSeries Prime review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

In Resident Evil Village, I had an easy time snipping werewolves in the fortress of monsters thanks to the Prime mouse. Eventually, I ran through the discount Magneto’s awful factory and snapped the mouse around a corner to land a perfect weak-point shot on a robot zombie. However, I wish I could change the DPI on the fly so I could mess with speedy vs. precise shooting.

I played Valheim, which let me experience the most painful way to use a bow and arrow in a video game. The mouse was doing the best it could considering the circumstances, but I managed to find my mark, nailing the spooky skeletons in the chest from afar. It was also much easier using the mouse than it was the controller as I built my house thanks to the precision.

I also played a more chill game -- Tabletop Simulator (one of the best virtual tabletop software), which was great for getting a feel for the SteelSeries Prime during hours of playing Dungeons & Dragons. The mouse was comfortable to use for a long time and I also felt in control while creating dangerous encounters, carefully placing each piece where it belongs.

SteelSeries Prime features

Since the SteelSeries Prime is the cheapest of the bunch, there’s not much fancy tech jammed into this basic mouse.

SteelSeries Prime review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

Similar to the siblings, the SteelSeries Prime features optical magnetic switches, which create consistency and precision so that every click actuates with the same amount of release force. These clickers are rated for 100 million clicks. It has a TrueMove Pro sensor, which SteelSeries claims has true 1-to-1 tracking. It is capable of 18,000 DPI, 450 IPS (inches per second) and 50G acceleration, which is slightly better than the Prime Wireless sensor.

You can adjust the settings of the mouse in the SteelSeries GG software. Within the app, you can customize all five programmable buttons and mouse-wheel directions, adjust the DPI, the polling rate, acceleration, deceleration and the angle snapping. You can also adjust the RGB lighting of the mouse wheel in the same tab.

Bottom line

The SteelSeries Prime is a solid wired gaming mouse. It features great performance packed in a lightweight design and backed by useful software. However, it’s tough to look past the $60 price when there are no additional bells and whistles.

If you spend an extra $10, you can pick up the Razer DeathAdder V2, which is similar to the Prime but features two additional buttons below the mouse wheel.

Overall, if you like simplicity, the SteelSeries Prime gaming mouse might be for you.

Rami Tabari

Rami Tabari is a Senior Writer for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.