Gaming Mouse Settings Guide

So you bought a nice shiny new uber 1337 gaming mouse and you want to get the right settings. We will cover everything you need to know about your new mouse settings and there may be more than you would expect.

There is more to cover here than you may expect. Yes, you can just plug your mouse in and use it, however getting it set up properly may just take your game to the next level.

Choosing the Right Settings for your Gaming Mouse

So what settings do we need to cover in this guide?

  • Mouse acceleration (yuck)
  • DPI (Dots Per Inch)
  • Polling rate
  • Mouse Mats
  • In game sensitivity
  • Raw input
  • Differences between sensors

Mouse Acceleration and Gaming Mice

To put it simply… Mouse acceleration is evil and is the first thing you want to turn off before you play with any other setting. What mouse acceleration does is increase your DPI if you move the mouse faster. What this does is completely destroy any reflexes you are able to build up.

To turn this off look for your mouse settings in the control panel (just type mouse settings into the start menu on windows 10). Then go to “Additional mouse options” then to “Pointer Options” and unclick the little box that says “Enhance pointer precision”. Also while you are in here put your pointer speed to the center if it isn’t already.

Turning off mouse acceleration will mean that no matter how fast you move your mouse, it will always move the same distance relative to the distance you moved it on the mouse mat. This is absolutely the most important setting for your mouse.

Choosing the Right DPI for your Gaming Mouse

So your monitor is made up of pixels and DPI stands for Dots Per Inch, so it is only basic logic that your DPI is the setting for how many pixels (dots) your mouse moves in one inch. Essentially this is your main sensitivity setting.

You will see all the latest gaming mice advertising that they have silly high DPI ratings, when really no one in their right mind would use such a high DPI.

I can’t give you the one perfect DPI. You will have to figure that out for yourself. However, what I will say is don’t be tempted to turn it up to a high number just because your mouse can do it. In fact, I would recommend using a lower DPI because although you won’t be getting any 360 no scopes with a low DPI, you will be much more accurate.

No matter what you do if you change your DPI then it will always feel odd. So try changing it in small increments and playing a few games at the new DPI before deciding to keep changing it or to stick with what you had.

If you are playing a competitive FPS then I would probably recommend staying under 1500 DPI. I personally use 350 DPI! This may seem low to some people and it would have done to me 5 years ago when I was using 3500 DPI. However, the lower my DPI goes, the better my aim gets!

Choosing the Right Polling Rate for your Gaming Mouse

Simply put, higher is better.

The polling rate setting in your mouse settings is basically for how many times your mouse sends an update to your computer from the mouse. If you have a 1000 polling rate then your mouse will update your computer 1000 times in a second, which would give you a 1ms response time.

You will find this setting in your mouse drivers and you basically always want to set your polling rate to the highest setting for any gaming mouse.

Choosing the Right Mouse Mat for your Gaming Mouse

If you have just spent a small fortune on the latest and greatest gaming mouse and are using it directly on your table, then you have wasted your money. Even a budget cloth mouse mat will make a huge difference to your tracking and control of your mouse.

What a mouse mat does is provide a flat surface that is designed to help your sensor track efficiently. It also provides some even traction so that you can move your mouse more accurately, rather than it sliding about all over the place and affecting your aim.

Cloth vs Hard Gaming Mouse Mat?

This will depend on personal preference.

So which one should you buy?

Cloth gaming mouse mat

This is personal preference again. However, the general consensus seems to be that a cloth pad is the best for overall control and comfort. The only time I would consider a hard mouse mat is if I was gaming on a couch or uneven surface.

Cloth mouse mats also happen to be cheaper which helps.

The Steelseries QCK+ mouse mat is what you will see recommended on any gaming forums or blog posts and also happens to be the mouse mat I use. I would recommend this mat to anyone looking for a fantastic gaming mouse mat for not a lot of money.

In Game Sensitivity

So on top of your DPI and windows sensitivity, you also have in-game sensitivity. What you want to achieve is a neutral in-game sensitivity so that your sensitivity is the exact same in game as it is in windows.

Ideally, you want all other sensitivity settings including windows sensitivity and in-game to be set to 0 (in some cases this is 1). The reason for this is so that your DPI is the same in every game and when you are just browsing. This helps massively because you build up reflexes based on a sensitivity and if it changes constantly then you have to readjust and will overshoot or undershoot your target.

Raw Input

Raw input is an in-game option which takes the input directly from the mouse instead of the operating system, removing any additional lag or the potential for the operating system to interfere with the mouse input. You’ll want to turn this on if your game as the option.  It also means that you have one less sensitivity setting to worry about.

Difference Between Gaming Mouse Sensors

Now that the mechanical ball mouse has long been forgotten for most PC users, the majority of mice today come with either “optical” or “lazer” sensors. The old ball mice were mechanical beasts which had a ball which would spin two wheels that rotated rollers that blocked and unblocked a li— you know what, it doesn’t matter), but the newer mice use an LED or laser reflected off the surface to determine the mouse’s movement.

So both types of mouse sensors use essentially a camera sensor, the difference being that an “optical” mouse uses an LED light as a light source and a laser mouse uses… a laser. Both illumination sources enable a CMOS sensor to rapidly take pictures of the surface in order to detect movement.

So Optical vs Laser mouse sensor?

So what’s the real world difference and why use one over the other?

Laser sensor

A laser mouse has some benefits in that it has more accurate tracking and will work better on more surfaces. However, the problem with this is that it can sometimes be just a little too accurate and can cause jitter. Most high-end gaming mice don’t have too much of an issue with this though.

Another possible benefit would be that a laser allows for a higher maximum DPI… But as we have discussed, it doesn’t really matter all that much once you get past around 2000-3000, because you are going to have a hard time being accurate above those sorts of DPI’s. Most decent optical mice will get you into that DPI range so this shouldn’t be an issue.

Optical sensor

An optical sensor doesn’t suffer from the same jitter that you get on a laser mouse, but on the other hand you will definitely want to be using a mouse mat with an optical mouse and not your leg… But if you are playing competitive CS:GO then we are going to bet that you have a decent mouse mat like the Steel Series QCK+ that we mentioned earlier.

Most high end optical sensors will also handle different surfaces well enough for occasional use too so it’s not really something to worry about.

Optical sensors tend to be around the 2000-3000 DPI range which is more than enough for most sane gamers.

One more benefit of an optical sensor will be that they tend to be more competatively priced so you can save some of your precious money for a nice mouse mat and gaming keyboard!.

Which one then?

Unless you spend your days doing 360 no scopes while using your mouse on your leg then really either mouse sensor will do.

I know… all that for us to just to tell you it doesn’t really matter! But one or the other may fit your needs better than the other.

Choosing a Gaming Mouse

So I already did a Top 5 Best Gaming Mice post. However, if you are lazy and just want the outcome then see what I came up with below. If you want the full details though then click here to read that post.

Best Overall Gaming Mouse – Logitech G903

This is a masterpiece of a mouse and won’t disappoint anyone who picks one up. It’s wireless and crazy comfortable.

Logitech G903 Specs

  • 200-12,000 DPI – Laser sensor
  • Both wireless and wired.
  • Wireless Charging
  • 9 Buttons total
  • Adjustable RGB lighting

Best Gaming Mouse for MMO’s – Corsair Scimitar Pro

If you play something like World of Warcraft which requires a massive amount of keybinds, then a mouse with more than 3 buttons is going to be needed. This mouse has 17 buttons!. The mouse itself is more robust than the Razer Naga and more comfortable than the Logitech G600 so thats why it made it to our top pick.

Corsair Scimitar Pro Specs

  • 17 Buttons!
  • Left and right scroll wheel
  • 200-8200 DPI – Laser Sensor
  • Braided Cord

Best Budget Gaming Mouse – Logitech G402

This is just a budget version of the G903 which we crowned the best overall mouse. It has a similar shape (which is good) and a fantastic sensor

Logitech G402 Specs

  • 250-4000 DPI – Optical Sensor
  • 8 Total buttons
  • Adjustable RGB Lighting


Hopefully I have helped you pick the right settings for your gaming mouse. If you want to be competitive and have spent or are about to spend a lot of money on a gaming mouse, then it makes sense to spend a little more on a mouse mat and use the right settings.

So to recap.

  • Turn off mouse acceleration!
  • Find the right DPI for you
  • Don’t set your DPI too high
  • Use a decent mouse mat (Steel Series QCK+)
  • Lazer vs Optical doesn’t really matter much
  • Neutralise any sensitivity settings or even better set “Raw Input” to on.

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