Mouse DPI is often talked about in the gaming community since it affects gameplay drastically. It is one of the considerations when buying a new mouse and it is even a dealbreaker for some players.
But what exactly is mouse DPI? Does it matter? What are the best DPI settings for gaming? This is what we are about to find out.
What Is Mouse DPI?
The DPI or dots-per-inch is simply the number of pixels that a cursor moves as the mouse moves as well. Basically, it refers to mouse sensitivity. The higher the mouse DPI, the faster the cursor moves.
It is also referred to as the relationship between your mouse movement on your mousepad and the cursor movement on the screen.
To understand further, here is an example. The usual mouse DPI is 800. If you would move your mouse exactly one inch on your mousepad, then the cursor would travel 800 pixels across your screen.
If you would go for a higher mouse DPI, it will only take you a few hand movements to travel from one end of your screen to the other end. Going lower means you need to move your hand more to cover the same distance.
High DPI vs Low DPI: Which One Should You Use?
The debate between high DPI and Low DPI is never-ending since it all boils down to preference. High DPI might work on you but low DPI works on others. The secret to finding the right DPI is to experiment and test it out for a few days or weeks.
In addition, the in-game sensitivity also affects gameplay. There is also an in-game sensitivity setting that would match either low DPI or high DPI.
Understanding Effective DPI or True Sensitivity
The combination of in-game sensitivity and mouse DPI is equal to effective DPI (eDPI). It is sometimes called True Sensitivity.
Knowing your eDPI is important since you can mix and match DPI and in-game sensitivity and it would still have the same effect on your gameplay.
For example, a 1600 DPI with 0.4 in-game sensitivity in Apex Legends has the same effect as 800 DPI with 0.8 in-game sensitivity. Both settings have an eDPI of 640.
To get your eDPI, all you have to do is to multiply your mouse DPI and your in-game sensitivity. The answer is your effective DPI. Try it on the example above and see if you would get 640 as the answer.
Using a Higher DPI to Reduce Mouse Latency
There were reports that a lot of players are switching to a higher DPI and compensating for the increase through in-game sensitivity adjustment. The reason is that a higher DPI reduces latency (ms) and the mouse movement registers quicker compared to a lower DPI.
Ali of Optimum Tech did a YouTube video regarding this topic. There is a latency difference as the DPI goes higher.
The graph above shows that the Logitech G Pro X Superlight at 3200 DPI has an average latency of 17.9 milliseconds. The latency gets higher as the DPI gets lower. This means that the mouse clicks and movements register to the computer in just 17.9 milliseconds.
The difference might be small but it might be enough to sway you to switch from a lower DPI to a higher one. For a more detailed explanation, check out Optimum Tech’s video here.
What Is The Best DPI Settings for Gaming?
Short answer – there is none. DPI, like mouse sensitivity, differs from one player to another. There are no best DPI settings for gaming that works for everyone.
There are a lot of reasons why mouse DPI settings vary from one player to another. One of these is the genre of the game being played. FPS players might use a lower DPI while MOBA players love to use high DPI settings. There are no one-size-fits-all settings when it comes to mouse DPI.
However, we managed to collect the mouse DPI settings of the top players from different games. You may use the following data as a guide or basis as you find the perfect DPI that works for you.
Professional Valorant Player’s DPI
|Name||Mouse DPI||In-game Sensitivity|
Apex Legends Professional Player’s DPI
|Name||Mouse DPI||In-game Sensitivity|
As you can see in the table above, different games require different DPI and mouse sensitivity settings. Fast-paced FPS games such as Apex Legends require a higher EDPI while tactical shooters like Valorant have a lower eDPI.
Moreover, Dota 2 and other MOBAS are usually played with a high DPI. The reason for this is you need to move your mouse quickly to cover vast distances. This means you can easily move your screen to see what is going on around the map.
How To Change Mouse DPI
This depends on the mouse you are using. Top companies have software for their gaming accessories. Logitech, for example, uses the Logitech G Hub. You may use this app to change your mouse DPI.
However, there are mice out there that have a dedicated DPI button. This makes it easier for the user to switch from one DPI to another depending on the program. Popular brands like Razer already have this feature on their products.
A lot of gaming mice today can be configured to use certain DPIs only. Tecware, for example, has software wherein you can only activate certain DPIs and ignore the ones that you will not use.
What Is Mouse Polling Rate?
Mouse polling rate talks about the number of times that a mouse and the computer communicates. This feature is usually highlighted on gaming mice since players would want continuous communication between their input and a computer.
The most common polling rate at the moment is 1000Hz. This means that the mouse is talking to the computer 1000 times per second. Some mice can even go higher than 1000Hz.
Mouse DPI has an effect on your gameplay. However, there is no perfect or best DPI for gaming. It all depends on personal preference and muscle memory. The best thing you can do though is to try different settings from professionals and work your way from there.
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