SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless review: A fantastic budget gaming mouse
The SteelSeries 2022 Aerox 3 is a really solid mouse for its price point, even with the glaring issue with the accompanying software.
SteelSeries entered the ultra-lightweight gaming mouse industry with the introduction of the Aerox 3 Wireless in 2021 and gave the line a welcome refresh in 2022 with various upgrades as well as more variants.
In terms of price, the Aerox 3 outperforms its competitors like the Razer Deathadder V3 Pro and Logitech G502X Plus thanks to its $99.99 price point.
However, will it outperform its competition when it comes to gaming performance?
- Weight: 68g
- Connectivity: USB-C, 2.4 GHz wireless, Bluetooth
- Buttons: 6
- Sensor: TrueMove Air optical
- Maximum DPI: 18,000
- Polling rate: 1000Hz
- Battery life: up to 200 hours
- Features: IP54 water resistant, PTFE Skates
- Price: $99.99
- Where to buy: Amazon US,
- Where to buy QCK Prism XL mousepad: Amazon US
Included in the box: Aerox 3 2022 Wireless Gaming Mouse, USB Type-C Dongle, USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cable, Extension Adapter, Product Information Guide
The SteelSeries Aerox 3 wireless’ design is more dialed down compared to some of the company’s other offerings, with it sporting a being a sleek matte black finish.
When you pick it up and begin to use it, however, is when you notice where SteelSeries focused its time when developing the Aerox 3. It’s extremely solid with no creaking in the plastic, and comes in at a super light weight of just 57g, thanks to its honeycomb design, which allows players better control over the mouse — leading to more accurate gameplay.
Every button feels great, with the left and right click on the mouse using dual spring switches made by SteelSeries rated for 80 million clicks which means that unless you hulk-smash it into the wall after losing the gulag, the mouse is set to last a lifetime.
The insides of the Aerox 3 are IP54 water rated as well, protecting the exposed circuitry from accidental spills.
It’s USB-C, Bluetooth, and 2.4ghz wireless which allows it to be used in just about every application, although the included USB-C wireless dongle is a bit bigger than we would like, and there’s no place to store it inside the mouse while not in use.
According to SteelSeries, battery life is rated at 200 hrs on Bluetooth and 80+ on 2.4ghz wireless, which we’ve found to be fairly accurate numbers while leaving it on for over eight hours a day while working. We’d like to see it last a little bit longer on 2.4ghz wireless like the Logitech G502X Plus, though.
With just two side buttons, we’ve found that the SteelSeries Aerox 3 is best suited for casual gamers — whether it be FPS games like Call of Duty and Apex Legends or the latest version of Farming Simulator.
The PTFE feet allowed us to glide across the QCK Prism XL with ease but we consistently found ourselves wanting one or two more buttons to remap keybindings to.
In games like Warzone and Apex Legends, we didn’t notice a bit of lag while on either of the included wireless modes. We were really enthralled by the accuracy of the mouse as well, allowing us to fling our arms across the mousepad and be confident that our sight would be exactly where we wanted, speaking to the quality of the included sensor.
With Farming Simulator 2022, however, the lack of buttons reared its head again — leaving us with no choice but to focus on keyboard shortcuts for the majority of the nine-billion controls the game offers.
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The Aerox 3 runs through SteelSeries GG, the company’s all-in-one solution for its extensive line of peripherals.
It’s separated between general settings and illumination, with a wide variety of options like a sleep timer, high-efficiency mode to extend battery life, and other settings to fine-tune the mouse to your liking.
The customization options in the software are on par with the other half-a-dozen SteelSeries products we’ve used in the past, but it still needs some work.
There’s a glaring issue with the software that has absolutely driven us mad — it doesn’t warn you when the battery on your mouse is dying.
In place of a software pop-up warning of the Aerox 3’s impending (temporary) death, SteelSeries has opted for an on-device warning using the included RGB lighting at the bottom edge of the mouse.
We appreciate the attempt to provide a way for users to see the battery life without the use of the accompanying software, but it’s very easy to miss the warning flashes if the illumination is set to the “color shift” or “multi-color breathe” options.
This means that during long gaming sessions where you’re least likely to look down at your mouse, you’re more likely to find out that you’re mouse needs charged mid-game when you realize it’s not working anymore.
QCK Prism XL Mousepad
Alongside the Aerox 3 Wireless, we’ve also tested the SteelSeries QCK Prism XL mousepad. There’s not really too much to say about the surface — we didn’t have a bit of an issue with glide while using it, and it offers a good size for just about everybody.
SteelSeries offers bigger sizes as well if you want a full-desk mat or an RGB blanket for a small child or animal thanks to their 62″ wide 5XL option.
We found the RGB lighting to be extremely color accurate and the “rope” style lighting doesn’t add any unnecessary rigidity to the mousepad, similar to a stitched edge on other premium products.
Should you buy it?
There’s no doubt that the SteelSeries Aerox 3 wireless gaming mouse is well built, reliable, and comfortable. It’s not the cheapest mouse at $99.99, but we wouldn’t say it’s a bad purchase.
While we are personally driven absolutely mad by the way SteelSeries has chosen to warn users to plug it in to charge, it doesn’t override the better features of the mouse like the build quality — although we’d like to see it provide a slightly longer battery life on 2.4ghz wireless.
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