The SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless is one of the best wireless gaming mice you can find. Its heavily perforated design aids in both keeping your hands cool while also providing a firm grip. Its looks won’t be for everyone, but it certainly takes the year’s lightweight design trend, maximizes its worth, and spits out a wireless mouse that’s cheap for what it offers and stellar at what matters most.
- On-trend design
- Noticeably lightweight
- Reliable 18K TrueMove Air sensor
- 2.4GHz/Bluetooth connectivity
- Slim side buttons
- Right-handed only
- Won’t suit a palm grip
- UKRRP: £99.99
- USARRP: $99.99
- Lightweight designThe slim body and perforated chassis mean this mouse weighs only 66g
- Dual-wireless connectivityThis mouse supports both 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth – so there’s no need to panic if you forget your dongle
- Fast and responsiveGot the need for speed? The TrueMove Air sensor maxes out at a whopping 18,000 DPI
The SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless looks like a gaming mouse that’s been spliced with a cheese grater, with honeycomb-style holes covering the back of the peripheral.
No, SteelSeries hasn’t lost its marbles, as this is actually a clever design that not only makes the mouse lighter, but also allows the RGB lighting underneath to shine through.
Add dual wireless connectivity to the mix, and you’ve got an affordable wireless mouse that ticks all the right boxes. But is it the best gaming mouse you can currently buy?
- Heavily perforated for weight reduction and breathability
- Coarse-looking matte-black finish
- Very slim
On lifting the SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless out of the box, you’re likely to first be surprised not by the Aerox Wireless 3’s weight, but its profile. It’s a dainty little thing. Side by side with the Corsair Dark Core Pro SE RGB, it looks like a sports car showing off next to a lorry.
You’d think there would be some structural integrity issues with the shell of a mouse that’s 60-70% holes, but you’d be wrong. Although the SteelSeries Aerox 3 can creak a little under a tight grip or at the very top of its primary buttons, pushing down on it yields no durability concerns whatsoever. It’s surprisingly robust and certainly up to the task of carrying you to victory.
The generously perforated design not only lightens the payload, which is good for both your aim and your wrists, but it will also help to keep your palm cool, with air able to circulate through the mouse and around your hand. And those with sweaty palms needn’t worry; an IP54 rating means the Aerox 3 Wireless is water-resistant, too.
Where there might be an issue is if you have hands that are on the bigger side. This is a slim mouse; it sits low to the surface on which it’s placed and its backside isn’t that accepting of a heavy palm grip.
There isn’t as deep a thumb grip as the SteelSeries Prime mice, no real place to put your pinky, and the equally low-profile side buttons require more of a squeeze to accentuate than I’d like. However, the Aerox 3 Wireless makes up for all of that with a top-mounted DPI button that uses its three-zone RGB as a stage indicator, quiet clicks, and a robust mouse wheel.
- Flawless tracking
- Lightweight design makes a difference
- Great on-the-go as well
The SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless uses the same TrueMove Air sensor found in the more expensive Prime Wireless.
I’ve actually used the Aerox 3 for a good long while, and I can confirm that there’s virtually no scenario where this dual-wireless clicker will hold you back. Not in regular 2.4GHz wireless use at the desk, at least.
Bluetooth support is also included, which is useful if you ever forget your dongle. I wouldn’t suggest using Bluetooth when entering a tournament or playing ranked mode though; Bluetooth just isn’t that precise. But it’s a great fall-back option for casual play, especially for a title such as Cities: Skylines, or slower-paced strategy games such as Stellaris and Civilization. Bluetooth actually lengthens battery life as well, so it’s a smart move if you don’t want to risk running low.
Where I do have concerns over the performance of the Aerox 3 Wireless is in the side buttons. They’re essential on any gaming mouse, yet they feel like a victim of the slimline design. An afterthought – and that’s unfortunate.
The side buttons suffer from being both incredibly slim and rather cheap-feeling. They wobble, creak, and are difficult to feel for; they need quite the squeeze to actuate. This probably won’t be an issue for those with a tigher grip, but a lighter touch has led me to miss the landing or fail to squeeze them enough in a hurry.
The main buttons are perfectly tactile and far quieter than the Prime line, but the Aerox 3 Wireless does lose points for letting its slim design impact the reliability of its side buttons. What this does afford it, however, is a much lighter frame, which your wrists will thank you for in the long term.
Lighting and Performance
Like most SteelSeries mice, the Aerox 3 Wireless ships with a terribly low DPI setting – most likely 800. Unless you’re running a low-resolution screen, you’ll probably want to up this immediately. This will require you to download the SteelSeries GG software, tweaking the setting through the SteelSeries Engine tab.
It’s a pretty painless experience. It’s a clean suite that shouldn’t confuse. In fact, it’s a great way for novices to learn the ropes. It’s important for players to dial in their preferred settings, and it’s a decent enough way to learn about the intricacies of performance-focused ‘gaming’ mice.
You can tweak the DPI stages that the dedicated top button will cycle between, change up acceleration (if you’re into that), and alter the polling rate – which is something you’ll certainly want to max out if you’re running a high-refresh-rate display. This will probably reduce the battery life slightly, but when you can get 40 hours from a 15-minute charge, it’s hardly the end of the world.
The option for a charging dock – as seen with Razer’s line of premium mice – or some wireless charging feature of the type that accompanies a couple of Logitech’s pointers would have been welcome, but you can’t win them all.
Even once you’ve dialed in your settings, you’ll probably be back in there to change up the RGB settings. The SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless not only has an alluring RGB trim around the bottom, but it also has an array of lights in the perforated back-end. It’s not to my style, but anyone who enjoys seeing the inside of their tech will get a kick out of matching the lights to the rest of their setup.
Turning them off altogether is a good bet if you prefer a more simple setup, or if you find yourself without a way to charge the mouse in a pinch – say, if you’re on a long flight. Becoming familiar with the interface is helpful, since you can even tweak some of the more annoying aspects of the lighting – such as the rapid flashing any time the lift-off activates. You can even relax or tighten the sleep timer, if you find that it gets in your way.
Should you buy it?
You want a gaming mouse you can take with you The SteelSeries Aerox Wireless 3 can game without its chunky dongle and it’s slim enough to fit in your bag.
You want only the best side buttons The side buttons here really aren’t the best. If you’ve had issues with any in the past, it’s unlikely that you’ll be a fan of those included here.
While the SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless launched at a slightly high £100 price point, you’re likely to see it for considerably less both on and off the SteelSeries website. Its modern and on-trend design, when paired with its dual-wireless approach, is good value even at its launch price, but the discounts put it ahead of most other wireless lightweight mice on the market.
The mushy side buttons would benefit from a redesign, and its grip won’t suit those with larger hands, but following months with this mouse, I still think it’s one of the best clickers around in terms of versatility and usability.
How we test
We use every mouse we test for at least a week. During that time, we’ll check it for ease of use and put it through its paces by playing a variety of different genres, including FPS, strategy and and MOBAs.
We also check each mouse’s software to see how easy it is to customise and set up.
Used as a main mouse for over a week
Tested performance on a variety of games.
Tested the battery life.
You might like…
Absolutely. The included 1.8m cable is braided and suits the SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless perfectly. Just switch it ‘off’ and you’ll be in wired mode.
The SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless lasts around 80 hours on 2.4GHz and 200 hours on Bluetooth.
The SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless can get 40 hours of battery life from a 15-minute charge.