What is mouse DPI? Mouse DPI explained

What is mouse DPI? Mouse DPI explained
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There has been a discussion for a long time among gamers about mouse dpi. Does higher dpi mean better performance? Or is it a parameter that can strictly define your mouse quality? In the market you see super duper mice promoted with their high dpi rate. And people who don’t really know the stuff intensively go like ” wow dude this monster has 16000 DPI!!!”. But does DPI really matter while choosing your gaming (or some other classic) mouse?

But what is DPI (or better described as CPI)? Definition goes like this: DPI=Dots Per Inch (CPI=Counts Per Inch) There is just one single thing that you should know about DPI. DPI is the pixel count that we can place in an inch of our mouse movement. That simple. Not a question of any kind of quality of tracking. People just tend to connect dpi with non-relevant things or just overwhelm themselves with incorrect information. Also dpi is directly in relation with your screen resolution. Here is a video that shortly explain dpi:

A short informational: Highest mouse dpi you can see in modern gaming mice is usually 16000 DPI. As an example, think you have a screen with 1280 x 720 display resolution and 1600 DPI mouse. Moving this mouse an inch will be enough  to move the cursor completely across the screen. So, it also means that with unnecessarily high dpi your mouse will be flying across the screen, during when you will have to control your mouse with micro-movements. You can make the logic.

Bear in mind – your choice of dpi is about your preferance. There is no single perfect dpi for all. It’s about your own comfort and it can vary for everybody. If you would like to listen to a professional approach from an insider, here’s a video of a Senior Engineer from Logitech:

Well, actually the industry has done a great job at making people believe that dpi is themoney-greed most important fact
determining the mouse. Sorry but your dpi doesn’t determine your mouse’s overall quality. But why the hell companies are promoting their mice usually with high dpi rate? The answer is simple. MONEY! When people see a higher number, they think they have a good mouse. This is for marketing purposes.

Find your mouse dpi. How to adjust mouse dpi?

How to change your mouse dpi? There are several ways. The simplest way is to change it from your mouse buttons if you have a dpi adjustable mouse. These kind of mice usually come with the manufacturer’s own software to adjust mouse settings and dpi.

If you don’t have a dpi adjustable mouse, you can learn it’s dpi by searching the brand and model from the internet. You can regulate it with your sensitivity options. Think of your sensitivity as your dpi multiplier. Your sensitivity multiplies your dpi by a given coefficient. Better to test various dpi and sensitivity values together and find your sweet spot while adjusting your dpi and sensitivity settings.

So, we can list 3 types of sensitivity:

-OS Sensitivity
-Mouse sensitivity
-In game sensitivity

To adjust your operating system (Windows) sensitivity, Press Windows Button + R. There will pop up a little column. Write “control main.cpl” to the popped up screen aand you will be directed to mouse settings screen. From there you can adjust your mouse sensitivity and other settings.

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17 Responses to What is mouse DPI? Mouse DPI explained

  1. Riaz Shah says:

    Hey Duru,
    i’ve always wondered what DPI stands for, thanks for clearing that up! Just like what you said, I usually buy a mouse when I see huge numbers especially DPI but frankly, I have no idea what they do. But there is something else that’s bugging me now, what determines a good mouse if we set a side ergonomics and DPI?

    • admin says:

      Hey Riaz! thank you for your interest)) And about your question, else of ergonomics and dpi, another and maybe one of the most important thing is your sensor. There are different types, but there are 2 major used types which are optical and laser sensos. I’m working on another post about that and you may see it published in a day or two). Optical vs laser mouse. Else of that other futures like adjustabl buttons, customisable ergonomics, weight adjustment and etc will be one of your main concerns while choosing one.

  2. Ananomyx says:

    Wow, great post. I was never aware of the big deal about dpi when concerning gaming but do recall salesman trying to focus on the dpi of a mouse once and now I wish I would have known this then so I could have corrected him. Lol. Thanks a lot, great information. Keep it up. 🙂

  3. Paul says:

    Duru,

    Thanks for the enlightening explanation of DPI. I too have seen so many people make the mistake of equating dpi with quality. I just like to think of DPI as sensitivity — how far the cursor moves for some fixed movement of the mouse. I’d say that something like max polling rate would be a better measure of quality.

    • admin says:

      Hey Paul! thanks for your interest) yeah we can also think it as a sensitivity element. There are other things that qualify your mouses quality like sensor,. Actually every mice is so similar in their working principles but every mice has a different thing of his own. Like adjustable features and etc. It’s about the persons preference

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  8. Brittny says:

    Interesting I didn’t know DPI was a thing. Do gamers with higher DPI somehow have a advantage? And if it just increases mouse speed then I’m assume it only makes you move faster than the average player? Is there any situation where it would be worth it to buy a high DPI mouse?

    • admin says:

      Hey Brittny!

      Thank you for your interest)) It is actually a matter of preference. Higher DPI woud suit better if you have a high resolution screen. But for the best gaming experience i prefer adjustable DPI which provides you higher and lower DPI for different situations.

      It doesn’ increade you mouse speed, but it determines the sensitivity of your mouse movement relative to your hand speed. Your mouse will cover more distance at same hand displacement on different DPI.

      I think for casual gaming purposes 4000 DPI is completely enough. Maybe max 8000 DPI.

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  10. I’m an old guy 58 years old and not a gamer, but still there are some aspects of the G502 that I liked . I definitely think its a cool looking mouse for starters.I also thought the weight system was quite innovative and functional. As well as the fact that I learned something about mouse and cursor movement. But for a non gamer theres to many bells and whistles to keep up with.But I can see where a gamer would love this thing, but the one thing that did have me wondering is when the comment was made about its not for larger hands. I can see where a true gamer would love this thing though.

    • It’s actually not a mousefor starters because some even professional gamers use it. You can come across with Logitech G502 at professional gaming events and e-sports tournaments.

      Yes, weight tuning is quite the hype around ow on the gaming mice industry. You can see it now on many mice, even at chrap ones.

      It’s actually suitable for most hands, only the extreme may not fit into this diapozone. But I think 80% of the hands around will fit quite fine.

  11. John Rico says:

    I’m thankful for explaining to us the mouse dpi. Many people don’t know what’s mouse dpi is. at first I don’t know what’s dpi means and what is that. Now I can pick my gamig mouse with dpi. Which dpi is better for first person shooting games like cs:go? Any gaming mouse you can recommend under $150? Is razer products good?

    • admin says:

      I’m happy that you liked the content)) Feels good to see that there is some good served to people.

      Your DPI is actually related to your screen resolution. More resolution you have, more DPI needed to track effectively with less mouse movement.Under 150 bucks you can find almost every mouse)) Logitech G502 is pretty ideal for FPS games and CS:GO. You can also take a look at many Razer products like Razer Derathadder, Mamba, Taipan, Ouroboros and etc. I also like very much Sentey Revolution Pro.

      I recommend you looking to our Reviews section. You may find many great things there.

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