Have a gaming mouse? Turn down your dang DPI


If you’re only getting into PC gaming or playing competitively, you may have some misconceptions about how to get the most from your Razer DeathAdder EliteHyperX Pulsefire , or other gaming mouse . That input device, which is famous for its accuracy and speed, can lose a lot of those benefits (and a lot of rounds of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds ) if you don’t have it set up correctly. Chances are, you have your mouse’s sensitivity or DPI (dots per inch) set way too high. This creates situations where you have to make nearly microscopic movements with your hand to make precision shots. It’s time to fix that.

Here is the HyperX Fury S Pro mouse pad :

Above: That’s a big boy.

Image Credit: HyperX

That mouse pad is large enough to hide a Buick. It is absurdly large … or, at least, it seems absurd if you have your mouse DPI set over 1,000. Pro gamers and people who play at a competitive level use overly large mouse pads because they control their aim with their arms. By doing that, pro players can make hyper precise headshots without having to worry about micron-level mouse movement.

Sure, that HyperX mouse pad is still a bit much, but a lot of pros use mouse pads that are at least half that size. It’s the only way to compete.

Fix that DPI, kid!

Most pro players use a DPI setting in the range of 400-to-800. Let’s explain that.

DPI is the number of dots per second that your mouse registers when you move it. Based on that understanding, it is fair to assume that a higher DPI means you are getting more accurate tracking. But that’s not how it works. Your mouse is always tracking its position about 500-to-1,000 times per second, depending on the make and model. But the DPI enables you to turn down how many of those tracked positions factor into your control of the mouse. It still has all of that data at a lower DPI, so you’re not going to lose the accuracy of where you are moving your hand. Instead, DPI breaks down to a simple equation: how many centimeters do you need to move your mouse before your in-game character does a complete 360.

YouTube creator WackyJacky101  posted a video with his mouse set to do a 360 every 80 centimeters and how that gives him the edge in a game like Battlegrounds.

At 80 centimeters, WackyJacky has to move his mouse more than 2.6 feet before his character will spin in place. In his video, he keeps a camera focused on his mouse while he plays Battlegrounds, and you can see how he is able to target enemies at range without using magnifying scopes because precise movement is so much easier when it requires bigger mouse movements.

Here are WackyJacky’s settings:

  • DPI: 800
  • Windows sensitivity: Default (6/11)
  • PUBG general sensitivity: 27
  • Targeting sensitivity: 27
  • Scoping sensitivity: 30

And while I’m not quite as accurate as WackyJacky is in his video, I have my mouse set up to do about 60-to-70 centimeters per 360-degree turn. Here’s what I have my mouse set to:

  • DPI: 600
  • Windows sensitivity: Default (6/11)
  • PUBG general sensitivity: 55
  • Targeting sensitivity: 45
  • Scoping sensitivity: 48

If you want to start dropping that DPI and experimenting for yourself, you can try using the settings you see above. But keep in mind that dialing in what works for you will take time. If you have a gaming mouse, I suggest using any software that comes with it to enable you to change DPI with the press of a button. This will give you the chance to experiment with different sensitivity levels.

Here are some other tips:

  • If your mouse enables you to change your DPI (you might need to install software from the manufacturer), adjust that first. You’ll find that in Razer Synapse, Logitech’s G software, and similar apps.
  • Start with a DPI of 800, and move this setting down and then back up between 400 and 800 before messing around with any other settings.
  • Once you get that locked in, try adjusting the sensitivity settings in your game of choice in the control options.
  • You probably should never adjust the Windows mouse settings. That can cause way too many headaches, and it is usually unnecessary.
  • Try to think about using your arm instead of just your wrist.
  • And move your keyboard as far to the side as you can so that your arms can spread out in a wide stance.

This isn’t an instant fix, and you’ll see the biggest benefit in situations where you have some distance between you and your target. But I suspect that if you are dropping from a DPI of 1,800, 2,200, or (I hope not) over 3,000, you’ll find yourself performing better after a handful of matches.

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel®‘s Game Dev program.

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