SteelSeries Prime+


The SteelSeries Prime+ is a fun piece of kit that commands an attractive price for the OLED tech found within. It isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but if the price ever falls within £10 of the base SteelSeries Prime, the extra will be worth paying just for easier on-the-fly customisability.

Pros

  • Great 18K sensor
  • Professional look
  • Mechanical optical switches
  • OLED screen for switching settings

Cons

  • Won’t fit every hand
  • Software still required for proper setup
  • Slightly mismatched click sound due to OLED placement
  • Cable protrudes a bit too much

Availability

  • UKRRP: £79.99

Key Features


  • TrueMove Pro Sensor:18,000 DPI should be enough for anyone

  • Magneto-optical switches:Assuming you don’t tap as fast as The Flash, these “crispy” switches will do you proud

  • Underside OLED panel:The small monochrome display shows a visual representation of your on-the-fly tweaks

Introduction

The SteelSeries Prime+ gaming mouse is the middle child of the latest SteelSeries line-up, placing an OLED screen into your hand. Just don’t expect to see it all that often.

At £79.99, the SteelSeries Prime+ is £20 more expensive than its non “+” brother, the SteelSeries Prime. It fixes one of the major shortcomings of its cheaper sibling, but the increase in price might still prove prohibitive for the average gamer.

Design

  • Professional matte-black chassis with tasteful RGB lighting
  • Aggressive curves limit grip options
  • Removable cable that sticks out more than others

The SteelSeries Prime+ is virtually identical in looks to the base model. It’s a sleek and classy matte-black mouse with a lightly textured finish. There’s an elegant RBG trim to the mouse wheel and the unambiguous SteelSeries logo is positioned where your sweaty palm will spend its days. And that’s about it. It’s visually gorgeous, if you’re looking for a mouse that won’t out you as a serial member of the gaming sphere. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

What may out you, however, is the OLED display fused to the underside. It isn’t exactly a fancy LG TV stuffed into your clicker, but the 96 x 26 pixel monochrome screen serves two purposes: to illustrate any on-the-fly changes you make with the button beside it and, more importantly, to display whatever funny little graphic you see fit. 

In a hurry, I cropped the eye of a Greninja so that the overrated Pokémon is always glaring at me whenever I go to make a change after a death. The intended design is probably to display a meme, insightful quote, or words of affirmation such as those it gives during its initial setup, but it’s ultimately up to you. It isn’t personalising quite like the LED matrix on the Asus ROG Zephrus G14 laptop, but it’s something. Whether that something is worth a £20 uplift over the base model, however, is up to you.

A side view of the Steelseries Prime+ gaming mouse.

As for how the mouse may actually feel in your hand, your milage will vary. It’s true for any mouse out there, but the SteelSeries Prime line is the first I’ve grabbed right out of the box and immediately thought “This is not for me.” 

The shape did grow on me over time, but there’s a rigidness to the right side that meant my particular hybrid grip always felt like too much bone was hitting too much plastic. The thumb grip, contouring of the primary buttons, and even simply how the mouse tapers off to the right were fine. However, the slight recess thereafter left my pinky yearning for a place to call home. It’s absolutely designed for some sort of claw grip.

Performance

  • Reliable tracking
  • Pronounced mouse wheel stages
  • Satisfying mechanical click

Despite my middling reception to the shape of the mouse, I’m happy to report that it performed like a champ. 

After several weeks of testing across FPS games, MMOs and Excel Spreadsheets (yes, that counts), I can safely say that the 18K CPI TrueMove Pro sensor inside the SteelSeries Prime+ will not let you down. Gliding around action bars in Final Fantasy XIV and attempting to figure out Fortnite never had me blaming the mouse for my own ineptitude.

It performed admirably out of the box and, not surprisingly, better once my preferred settings were all dialled in. It’s a little awkward having to get your hold just right to use both the underside button and scroll wheel to tweak anything in the heat of the moment, but the ability to do it without tabbing out to meddle with software more than makes up for it. It’s a solid bonus over the base non-OLED version. 

A view of the top of the Steelseries Prime+ gaming mouse.

My particular SteelSeries Prime+ model came with a slightly raised left foot. I didn’t notice any gliding inaccuracies, and it probably would have been pushed back in with a single rigorous round of Warzone, but it’s always good to make a habit of checking these things before they’re able to cause a problem. 

The drawback here is that if yours does happen to come with a slightly more unfortunate defect, there are no spare pads in the box to switch it out. Each slot has a space to make swapping them out easy enough, but you’ll have to shell out extra. Also, the right-mouse button on my review unit had a deeper click than the “crisp” one marketed.

Software and lighting

  • Simple enough software suite
  • Fun controls for the OLED display
  • Enough customisability of the subtle RGB mouse wheel array

Every mouse hoping to make it into the budding eSports pro’s toolkit these days demands that its users download some arbitrary software to get the most out of it. For the SteelSeries Prime+, that’s the SteelSeries GG app and the SteelSeries Engine found within.

Once everything is connected and installed, the SteelSeries Prime+ shows up in a clean list with any other compatible products. Click into it and you’re greeted with a clear view of everything you can tweak.

An underside view of the Steelseries Prime+ gaming mouse showing the OLED screen.

Most of these options mirror what you’ll find on the device’s OLED display, but there are a few little details you can tweak here. These include acceleration and deceleration (which can artificially smooth out your surface), angle snapping, and the aforementioned ability to customise the default OLED display screen with custom text and graphics.

You’re also able to get a little more hands-on with the lighting here. It’s limited to the tasteful glow of the mouse wheel trim, but you can set any colour and style you want to better align the relatively uninteresting design of the mouse with the rest of your setup. You can do this in a hurry through the OLED screen as well, but you’re limited to preset colours.

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Should you buy it?

You want a great gaming mouse without the light show:
The Prime+ is a great mouse in practice that doesn’t rely on gaudy RGB to sell itself as such.

You want a gaming mouse for more than just FPS titles:
The SteelSeries Prime+ doesn’t feature any extra buttons beyond those on the side. If you need more, spend less.

Final thoughts

The SteelSeries Prime+ is a gorgeous mouse that will certainly bring an air of quality to the less aggressive gaming setup, but it won’t be to everyone’s tastes. It won’t suit a tough palm grip, and the relatively small side buttons might make those coming from a Razer or Roccat clicker a little nervous.

Its price is propped up by some specs it doesn’t make an effort to justify. And while they’re not at all bad additions, they hardly make them worth choosing over the swathes of other gaming mice out there.

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