# Thread: STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

1. ## STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

It’s been a long time since I bought a really decent mouse. The last one was a Logitech, can’t remember the model number as it was so long ago but I do remember it lasting well as well as being lovely to use. Ever since I have been buying on a budget, so a modern quality mouse was something I was eager to try.

I thought the mouse was well presented in the box, though my son didn’t like the soft foam or all black interior. I don’t know if that is because he is 16 or a Razer owner, but apparently he’s a tough audience. Ignoring the instructions I unpacked it and plugged it in.

I’m going to be in a minority here, I have an old USB keyboard with a integral USB hub as that was all the rage a couple of decades ago when the keyboard was purchased. I rather like having mouse and keyboard hanging off one USB connector so it’s a feature I use, but in this case for some reason it wasn’t compatible with this mouse. With a shrug, I re-plugged it into the USB3 hub in the monitor and it worked.

That leads me to the second way in which I am a minority audience. My main operating system is Fedora Linux. That’s what I work in, and even play a few games in, and that’s what I was running. If the mouse needed any special drivers to work then I was almost certainly sunk, but it worked just fine for everyday office and programming tasks. So first hurdle for Linux usage passed with flying colours. To be exact, slowly changing colours as that is the default LED pattern.

So here it is, on my really worn out optical mouse pad. The now retired Gigabyte mouse just behind, with a tube of glue that was awesome for sticking the rubber pad back on the side

Second hurdle coming up, I wondered if I could tie the LED colouring to my CPU load so it went from a light green to an angry red when I started a build job. I didn’t find any official software for Linux, but there is an open source effort on github. It only took a few minutes to grab the package and give it a try, but sadly it looks like this mouse is just too new so it wasn’t recognised. There is a Sensei 310 mouse listed, but “lsusb” in a console showed my mouse has a different ID. From a quick browse at the source I could see that even if I tried hacking it up I wasn’t going to get the LED control I wanted. Oh well, it was a stretch goal so not too disappointed. Support may get added in the future, or I could have a go myself if I am ever that bothered.

Enough of work, rebooting into Windows to get a better selection of games I continued to ignore the official drivers and fired up my recent time sink: Might and Magic Legacy. That’s a funny turn based playing style, but there is still a lot of clicking and dragging and I was close to the end so I finished the game with the new mouse. Worked like a charm.

With Might and Magic done I figured it would be a good time to try installing the mouse software. There is a link printed on page one of the manual, it installed easily onto Windows 10 and I had a few minutes playing with LEDs and sensor settings. The sensor can go from horribly slow to hyperactive. You can choose two speeds and use the little button on top to switch between. I figured the company had got this set up rather well as standard, so I put that back to default.

I felt it was now time to throw something properly frantic at it. Doom! I had a great time clearing a couple of levels and the mouse performed flawlessly. Going back to my old mouse for a bit, it felt a heavy compared to the Sensei but the thing that surprised me was the Gigabyte felt like it had a mouse cable made of 30 amp ring main compared to the way more flexible Steelseries. There is only half a millimetre difference in cable diameter, but all the world in feel.

RGB haters will be pleased to hear that if you use the Windows software to turn the LEDs off then the mouse remembers and they stay off across power cycles, booting into other operating systems like Linux etc.

So here it is, installed on my desk alongside a cup of tea and the old mouse gone. My overall impression: good button action, nicely weighted, cable is good quality, sensor has yet to miss a beat. The buttons for left handed users are a bit in the way, but the only times I pressed one it was distracting but didn’t trigger anything in game that was disastrous. Really nice bit of kit, the only flaw for me is I would prefer right handed only and they do make that option. I think my lesson is learnt though, I shall stay off the cheap mice in future.

CAT-THE-FIFTH (15-10-2018),Disturbedguy (17-10-2018),peterb (15-10-2018),Zak33 (16-10-2018)

3. ## Re: STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

thank you for your excellent words

And for efforts in trying to get the RGB \to run in Fedora Linux which wasn't in the brief but was a worthy and heroic effort.. if anyone else knows how, please tell the man

I think the best part of this review is that you parsed the improvements by moving back to the old mouse with it's 30 amp steel non flex cable
I believe the money spent on quality cable is a suprise to most people who, like you and I , have only used what amounts to mice with uncooked spaghetti for cables

4. ## Re: STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

Very nice review, and love that its not all Black ops 4 and Fortnite but actually might and magic! the old mouse cables feel like someone is trying to yank it from behind the desk everytime you move it.

DanceswithUnix (16-10-2018)

6. ## Re: STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

Originally Posted by Zak33
thank you for your excellent words

And for efforts in trying to get the RGB \to run in Fedora Linux which wasn't in the brief but was a worthy and heroic effort.. if anyone else knows how, please tell the man

I think the best part of this review is that you parsed the improvements by moving back to the old mouse with it's 30 amp steel non flex cable
I believe the money spent on quality cable is a suprise to most people who, like you and I , have only used what amounts to mice with uncooked spaghetti for cables
Thanks

I think I know how to get the mouse working under Linux, but it basically involves reverse engineering the protocol used. The package I downloaded gives a framework, so for a given mouse you teach it commands for a given function. Some mice were well supported, just not this one. Had the command line utility just worked, driving the mouse as a Linux status monitor would be a few lines of Ruby or Python.

The cable thing is quite interesting, but I was already way over the 500 words requested and missing details out. With 4 gamers in the house I do have a few bits of spare kit kicking around, including a Xenta (so Ebuyer own brand basically) mouse which has a decent flexible cable on it, reasonable switches and yet somehow manages to feel like it came out of a Christmas cracker. Hence I stuck with the Gigabyte. It's like the cheap mice can only afford to get one or two things right.

Not tried the mouse on a Raspberry Pi yet, though at twice the cost of a Pi it wouldn't be the obvious choice I did see the Steelseries draw over twice the current than the Gigabyte uses when the LEDs are on, but you are still only talking 9mA vs 4mA so it should be fine.

7. ## Re: STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix
Thanks

I think I know how to get the mouse working under Linux, but it basically involves reverse engineering the protocol used. The package I downloaded gives a framework, so for a given mouse you teach it commands for a given function. Some mice were well supported, just not this one. Had the command line utility just worked, driving the mouse as a Linux status monitor would be a few lines of Ruby or Python.
Libratbag appears to support this mouse, and you can use the Piper gui to configure it. Unless that's the Open Source Effort on Github you were talking about...

DanceswithUnix (16-10-2018)

9. ## Re: STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix
I did see the Steelseries draw over twice the current than the Gigabyte uses when the LEDs are on, but you are still only talking 9mA vs 4mA so it should be fine.
wow.... just wow... USB current draw ...

you 're offically allowed more than 500 words as of now.. if it's like that, you crack on buddy.

DanceswithUnix (16-10-2018)

11. ## Re: STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

Originally Posted by Bagnaj97
Libratbag appears to support this mouse, and you can use the Piper gui to configure it. Unless that's the Open Source Effort on Github you were talking about...
Ooh thanks, I didn't get that far down my Google results, the thing I tried was "rivalcfg" as that was the top few searches.

Code:
# dnf install libratbag libratbag-ratbagd python3-evdev
# ratbagctl led 0 set color ff0000 event2
and bingo, one red LED

Anyway I will hack a script up later, I am supposed to be working

12. ## Re: STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

i love reader reviews.. just love them

It's a totally different mind set, and it's a bit left of field sometimes, but it's the little additions that make the difference... from acorns and all that

13. ## Re: STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix
Anyway I will hack a script up later, I am supposed to be working
OK I cracked...

Code:
#!/usr/bin/ruby

prevIdle = 0
prevAll = 0

while true do
sleep( 0.5 );
load = File.open( "/proc/stat", &:gets ).split(" ")
allTicks = 0
for i in 1..8
end
byteValue = (255*(idleTicks-prevIdle))/(allTicks-prevAll)
prevAll = allTicks
prevIdle = idleTicks

rgbString = "%02x%02x00" % [255-byteValue, byteValue]
system( "ratbagctl led 0 set color #{rgbString} event2" )
end
a nice deep red as I type, cross compiling a Linux kernel for an ARM target so hammering all cores.

Stuff gaming, this is quite a fun mouse for programmers

14. ## Re: STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

could you photograph it? in it's new Linux Dark Red?

15. ## Re: STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix

Stuff gaming, this is quite a fun mouse for programmers
like I said... left field....

16. ## Re: STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix
OK I cracked...

Code:
#!/usr/bin/ruby

prevIdle = 0
prevAll = 0

while true do
sleep( 0.5 );
load = File.open( "/proc/stat", &:gets ).split(" ")
allTicks = 0
for i in 1..8
end
byteValue = (255*(idleTicks-prevIdle))/(allTicks-prevAll)
prevAll = allTicks
prevIdle = idleTicks

rgbString = "%02x%02x00" % [255-byteValue, byteValue]
system( "ratbagctl led 0 set color #{rgbString} event2" )
end
a nice deep red as I type, cross compiling a Linux kernel for an ARM target so hammering all cores.

Stuff gaming, this is quite a fun mouse for programmers
Originally Posted by Zak33
could you photograph it? in it's new Linux Dark Red?
So the colour changes with the load on the processor? (If I read the script correctly)

17. ## Re: STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

Originally Posted by Zak33
like I said... left field....
Best to review what you know, I figured the others would do a better job of Windows gaming than I ever would
Not actually tried any proper Linux games with it yet mind.

Originally Posted by peterb
So the colour changes with the load on the processor? (If I read the script correctly)
Yep, and after some additional hacking about the mouse wheel now goes from green to red depending on how much time is wasted waiting for IO.

18. ## Re: STEELSERIES SENSEI 310 Mouse Review - By DancesWithUnix

Nice review. When my Logitech MX518 died I was deciding between the Sensei 310 and the logitech G403.
I went with the G403 because it was cheaper but the both look great. It's a pity you can't tie the LED color to CPU usage.