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SteelSeries Prime gaming mice are esports-ready starting at $60: Hands-on

The Prime, Prime Plus and Prime Wireless gaming mice give you options from ultralight to lag-free wireless.

Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
Expertise Laptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and drones Credentials
  • More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Joshua Goldman
3 min read

A 15-minute charge of the Prime Wireless gaming mouse gets you up to 15 hours of gameplay. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

SteelSeries Prime is a new collection of gaming accessories designed for competition and developed with help from more than 100 pro gamers. The Prime, Prime Plus and Prime Wireless gaming mice as well as an Arctis Prime headset are the first results of the collaboration.

The Prime mice have a handful of things in common such as shape, materials, button switches, on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment with five presets and programmable single-zone RGB lighting on the scroll wheel. However, there is enough difference between them to make you go with one over the others. 

The base model Prime mouse, for example, is the highest at 69 grams and uses the company's TrueMove Pro sensor with a sensitivity of up to 18,000 counts per inch and tilt tracking so your moves are accurate even if you come down at an angle. It's also the least expensive at $60 (AU$70, £60).


The Prime (left) and Prime Plus mice are indistinguishable from the top. But turn them over and you'll see what the "Plus" is for: An extra sensor and a minuscule OLED display.

Josh Goldman/CNET

The Prime Plus, which weighs 71 grams, adds a dedicated secondary sensor for customizing lift-off detection. It also has a tiny OLED display that, combined with the scroll wheel, makes it easy to adjust CPI, polling rate, lift off and lighting right on the mouse. This means you can customize performance without the company's GG software installed. Also, both the Prime and Prime Plus have removable Micro-USB cables, which is a really nice touch for travel and all-around longevity. The Plus sells for $80, AU$90 and £80.

Coming in at $130 (AU$140, £130) is the Prime Wireless. As the name implies, it's wireless and uses a 2.4GHz adapter for a lag-free connection. It's heavier than the others at 80 grams but has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 100 hours and a 15-minute charge will give you up to 15 hours of gameplay. Unlike the others, this mouse has a USB-C port for charging and the wireless adapter has a USB-C connector, although the included cable attaches to your computer via USB-A. 


The Prime Plus (center) has the best sensors of the three.

Josh Goldman/CNET

It's nice to have a wireless option in the lineup, but it's $50 more than the Plus and the Prime Wireless' sensor is a step down. I don't play at a level that I noticed in-game, but going by the features and specs, the Prime Plus offers the best features here. It also felt the best in hand; the Prime Wireless felt off-balance with it slightly heavier on the right side. Also, while the wireless performance seemed lag-free in games, it does take a second for the mouse to wake and connect when it goes to sleep. The sleep timer can be adjusted or turned off entirely with the GG app, though. 

What I liked most about all of them is the company's new Prestige OM switch. It has the speed of an optical switch but uses magnetic force to give you a firm click response no matter where you land on the split-trigger buttons. Each switch has a steel torsion spring held in place with a neodymium magnet. When you press down, the spring breaks a beam of infrared light to register your click. SteelSeries says the switch design is more consistent and more durable than competing options.