If you want to (learn) how to aim better with the mouse in PC games, we give you the most important tips for more precise hits in almost all games in our Aiming Guide, but especially in shooting games like CS: GO, Battlefield 1 or Call of Duty.
The basis for higher hit accuracy is initially to set the mouse behavior as ideally as possible in the preferred game.
In the second step, it is advisable to make the crosshair behavior uniform in different games, ie. as smooth and reliable as possible – for this purpose a 180-degree rotation should e.g. require the same distance of mouse movements in each game.
In this way, the mouse’s hand and arm can adapt to this and do not have to constantly relate to a different crosshair behavior when changing games.
The key word for this is ‘muscle memory’, the muscles need to get used to mouse behavior, remember it and be able to trust it, regardless of the game.
As a rule, the hit accuracy increases noticeably – especially if you play several titles in turn.
Which mouse settings are important?
Haircut behavior is basically determined by three factors: The Windows cursor settings, the mouse dpi setting (found in the driver) and the mouse sensitivity in the game itself.
The cursor speed slider is located in the Windows mouse settings under “Control Panel / Hardware and Sound / Devices and Printers / Mice”. Here, the default setting on hyphen 6 out of 11 has been established for years.
However, according to our information, most games from the last few years no longer use the setting at all, so it is largely irrelevant to games and only determines the sensitivity (pointer speed) under Windows – but you can leave it at 6 out of 11 to be on the safe side.
Ditto for “Improving Pointer Acceleration” just below. Because Windows acceleration is not smooth in newer versions of Windows, the setting does not match for the most consistent mouse behavior possible.
Some games also have the option of pointer acceleration or an item like “Mouse Smoothing” – experience has shown that the following applies here: off!
Some games like CS: GO, on the other hand, offer a “raw input” option in their settingsusing the mouse signals directly without being affected by the Windows settings – if available separately, you should enable raw input (the name may vary depending on the game).
For many titles, raw or direct input is now standard anyway, regardless of the Windows mouse settings.
How many dpi?
Most professional shooters use a sampling rate for mouse sensors between 400 and 800 dpi (“dots per inch”), with deviations in the high and even low end.
And though marketing has been claiming something else for years: the maximum possible dpi for a sensor is ultimately pretty irrelevant to hit accuracy.
Because 400 or 800 dpi already allows extremely precise aiming and in practice has no disadvantage compared to a sensor that can work a maximum of 16,000 dpi.
Even for high-resolution displays, 400 to 800 dpi is still sufficient for pixel-precise screening. But 1,000 to 2,000 dpi (or more) is also fully practical if the sensitivity setting in the game is right.
However, since some games ignore your mouse sensitivity setting in their menus (as opposed to the actual gameplay), 12,000 dpi can be quite frustrating.
For example, when you try to find the right option in the menus and the slightest movement causes the mouse cursor to end up in the opposite corner of the screen.
In relation to dpi, it is more important whether the sensor works exactly at the desired level or not. As a rule, native sampled values are better than interpolated values, ie. values calculated in between by the sensor.
Interpolated settings can lead to an unwanted loss of precision. Often, even the maximum dpi setting for a particular sensor is less accurate than lower – the most important thing is promotional numbers, regardless of the ultimate precision!
Unfortunately, nothing can be said about this in general, but it depends on the individual mouse’s individual sensor. If you are still unsure, it is best to research your exact mouse model and sensor on the internet.
A fairly modern gaming mouse from the usual manufacturers’ portfolio usually no longer has significant precision problems at any dpi level.
Logitech G403 Prodigy Review – 12,000 dpi Wireless Gaming Mouse
High-sens vs. low-sense sight
Games with high (“high sense”) or low (“low sens”) mouse sensitivity are often associated with the respective dpi setting, but it’s much more the combination of dpi and sensitivity setting in the game (and possibly the Windows pointer speed).
Low-sense players must move the mouse further than high-sense players to cover the same distance on the screen.
With low-sense, the mouse is often guided with the entire forearm from the elbow rather than solely with the wrist, as many high-sense players do. But this is only a generalization, all intermediate forms are possible.
What are the benefits of one and the other?
With low sensitivity, the mouse needs to be moved further, for example, to quickly look over your shoulder or into the side aisles, so it takes longer to target an enemy off-center.
On the other hand, with low sensitivity, it is easier to aim pixel-precisely without exceeding the target. Moving opponents are usually followed more reliably with the crosshair with lower (re) sensitivity, as you do not have to make corrections as often because the higher sensitivity makes it easier to deviate from the target or overcompensate.
Bottom line, the lower sensitivity tends to let you beat more consistentlysince minor errors are not as important, while high sensitivity allows faster panning and movement, but responds more sensitively to small inaccuracies.
The right mix, which is different for the individual, determines whether the game is fun or frustrating.