Gaming Mouse DPI, Acceleration and Polling Rate

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Most of the high-end gaming mice these days come with dpi, acceleration, and polling rate numbers for mouse settings. To help you make the right choice as you shop around, here is a quick overview of those terms and some recommended products.

DPI for a mouse

DPI defines the speed and sensitivity of the mouse sensor. Simply put, the higher dpi the faster your cursor will move across the screen when the mouse is moved.

What is DPI for a mouse?

DPI is touted as one of the main features in almost every mouse, but the information can sometimes be misleading. Below we will discuss the benefits of higher DPI and whether or not they make a difference. We want to help you to pick the best-suited mouse for your gameplay.

Dots Per Inch, or DPI, is one of the most advertised features in gaming mice. The DPI is a general measurement of how fast your mouse responds to external stimuli. A mouse with a higher DPI will react not only faster but will also react to smaller and more precise movements.

Although DPI is very important for all gaming mice, too much of a good thing can be bad. The last thing a gamer wants is their mouse cursor flying all over the screen in every direction. It’s important to get a feel for your mouse’s DPI and to practice with different settings. One of the great benefits of the increased sensitivity is the direct translation into improved accuracy. Improved accuracy can make all the difference in a fast-paced setting or game.

If you find that the DPI of your gaming mouse is too high, you can try to pair it with a low sensitivity setting. This gives you the precision you need, but with a smoother and altogether friendlier response. A high DPI mouse paired with a low sensitivity setting helps to ensure that the cursor won’t fly across the screen when you need it to be stable. For a larger resolution screen, High-DPI gaming mice can make all the difference. The ability to move long distances with little relative movement can be the difference between success and failure. The key point is to always test your settings before jumping into a task.

How Does Mouse DPI Work?

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Mouse Acceleration

Mouse acceleration: This topic has drawn a lot of attention in most online forums. While most argue that mouse acceleration is generally bad for gaming, some still feel that it’s an important setting that should not be underestimated.

What is mouse acceleration?

Mouse acceleration refers to a mouse setting that changes the distance moved by the pointer based on speed. A simple analogy should explain this. Move your mouse from point X to point Y slowly and mark the distance traveled by the pointer on the screen. Now, move the mouse again from X to Y, but this time faster, and note the distance traveled by the pointer. With acceleration on, the pointer moves a greater distance when the mouse has moved faster and a smaller distance when the mouse is moved slowly between the same points, X and Y.

There are two types of mouse acceleration.

Positive acceleration

This means that the faster you move your mouse, the farther the cursor will travel on the screen. Thus, increased mouse movement results in an increased pointer/cursor movement. Most operating systems come with this setting and can be accessed under mouse settings.

Negative acceleration

It’s the opposite of positive acceleration. The faster your mouse moves, the less the distance traveled by the pointer and vice versa. It’s not common and can only be used in specific applications and games.

In the world of gaming, accuracy and consistency are key attributes that define a professional gamer, attributes that are hard to achieve with mouse acceleration turned on. Though debatable, most gamers recommended no mouse acceleration to achieve precision and accuracy, especially when playing more competitive games. In windows, this can be achieved by un-checking the enhanced pointer precision under pointer options.

On the other hand, I would say that it’s a setting that depends on a person’s choice and preference. For instance, a gamer who normally uses no mouse acceleration will find it difficult to aim in a mouse acceleration environment.

Polling Rate For Mouse

Understanding the difference between Polling rates and DPI can make a world of difference in your gaming experience. Polling rates are often confused with a gaming mouse’s DPI. This can cause a decrease in overall performance and an understanding of how your mouse works. Below we will explain in detail what your polling rate is and how it differs from a gaming mouse’s DPI.

What is mouse polling rate?

Your mouse’s polling rate, or level, is how frequently it messages back to your computer. These measurements are measured in units labeled HZ. If a mouse has an HZ rate of 200, this means it reports back to your computer 200 times per second. A mouse with a higher HZ will often result in more accurate movements and responses. These are vital settings for any gaming mouse.

Gaming Mice with advanced polling rates will often allow you to set them at the level you wish. This lets you find what settings work best for your game and environment. Some mice even come with built-in buttons that let you switch profiles while on the move. This allows you to swap back and forth depending on the situation or environment you are in.

Where DPI is dependent on your game and screen resolution, HZ is a consistent rate that is paired with your CPU. One of the key points to remember is that with higher HZ comes a higher demand on your CPU. Simply put, the higher your setting the more resources are needed to communicate with and run the mouse. You must find a polling rate and dpi setting that not only work well together but that works well for you. These higher levels often come with a very steep learning curve. With practice and time devoted anyone can get the most out of their gaming mouse.

Related Products

If you are going to invest in a Gaming Mouse, you should probably look into a Gaming Keyboard as well. Sometimes a mouse – like the Redragon S101 – comes as part of a combo package, but more often these will be separate purchases. Be sure to look at our buying guide for the Best Retro Mechanical Gaming Keyboards.

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