What DPI Should I Use For Gaming?

by Lisa Hayden
What DPI Should I Use For Gaming

Wondering about "What DPI Should I Use For Gaming"? Let's find out!

Did you know that your mouse can truly affect your gaming performance? If you love playing computer games and want to up your scores, then you should invest in the best gaming mouse. 

Tons of products out there are manufactured for gamers. They offer so many features like button placement, ergonomics, and RGB lighting. While these are important, you will notice one detail featured in the packaging. Mice have a DPI, which stands for “dots per inch”. 

What Is DPI?

DPI, which is also referred to as counts per inch (CPI) and mickeys per second, measures the number of pixels the cursor moves for every inch the mouse moves. Simply put, it refers to mouse sensitivity. However, sensitive is different from accurate, so they are two different things. 

Each dot actually correlates to one pixel on the screen. So if your game has 1080p resolution and has a 1000 DPI mouse that you move one inch vertically, it means your mouse moved 1000 pixels, almost reaching the top of the display. But if you have a 2000 DPI mouse, then you will get from the bottom to the top in only one-half inch. 

best dpi for gaming

You might be tempted to go for a higher number, but there are actually some mice out there with a DPI that goes all the way up to 16000. You can simply imagine how very sensitive they are, and it will definitely take some getting used to. The most important thing is to know how high a DPI is high enough and how much is too high or too low?

The point is, the DPI talks about how much you need to move your hand to get your cursor to move from one part of the screen to another. With a higher number, you only need to move the mouse a tiny bit and it will move from left to right. If you have a lower DPI though, you will need to make more effort and move the mouse to move the same amount of distance. This also means that your character will move slower with a low DPI number than a high one when you are playing FPS games. 

A 100 DPI is obviously quite low and a 16000 DPI possibly too sensitive and fast. Some games will benefit from a higher DPI, like when you move the mouse to make the character move. But if you are playing something that requires precise aiming, a super fast and sensitive mouse is not a good idea. Otherwise, you will find yourself missing the target often, and to aim properly, you need to make much more effort. 

How High a DPI Do You Need?

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Do not get tempted with the good price of mice for sale that has 8000 DPI and higher just because you automatically think it is better. The most important question is, “where is the sweet spot in the middle, where your DPI is high enough to improve your game performance?” 

One of the first things to do is to consider your monitor’s resolution. Since most gaming monitors have 1080p or 1440p resolution, an 8000 DPI mouse is still too fast and sensitive especially when accuracy is important in the game.

Fortunately, many of these mice with a DPI have one huge advantage. While they may have insanely high DPI specs, they can actually be adjusted based on your needs. Not only can you change between different sensitivity settings, but you can easily and quickly do it just by pressing a button you can normally find above the scroll wheel.

This very handy feature makes it possible for you to switch between a low-sensitivity and a high-sensitivity setting depending on your needs. In certain situations, like when you are playing shooting games, it can be very convenient. Thus, you can keep a high DPI as your default and switch to a lower-DPI setting in a second when you need an accurate and steady aim. 

Gaming Mouse Buying Guide

gaming mouse buying guide

As with many things, there is no one perfect option for everyone. You need to ask yourself, what exactly do you need? This is based on which games you love to play and what the horizontal resolution of your monitor is. It will help you decide whether you really need that ultra-high DPI mouse.

If you just want something cheap, you will still end up with a mouse that has a DPI of 2400 to 3200. Compared to ordinary mice, this is quite good. If you ever try to use a low DPI mouse with gaming, you can expect jerky cursor movements when you are moving it. Although, with a 2400 or 3200 DPI, you are very far from that max of 16000, so if your games need the higher sensitivity, you might be better off investing in a better one. 

Because of the possibility of shifting the settings of your mouse, a very high DPI is no problem. But while it is a good thing to have, it is not the only thing you need to consider when buying a mouse. After all, a high mouse sensitivity does not mean top accuracy. 

Final Words

What is the ideal DPI for gamers? You can also refer to these recommended settings for the common types of computer games.

  • You need a 1000 DPI to 1600 DPI for MMOs and RPG games.
  • A lower 400 DPI to 1000 DPI is best for FPS and other shooter games.
  • You only need 400 DPI to 800 DPI for MOBA games.
  • A 1000 DPI to 1200 DPI is the best setting for Real-Time strategy games.

Based on these suggestions, you will see that a 16000 DPI-mouse can already be overkill for most of these games. But thanks to their capability of shifting settings with just a press of a button, they can be quite good when you are playing different kinds of games. This means you can easily prioritize accuracy over sensitivity any time you need it. However, if you keep a lower DPI setting often, you should opt for a bigger mouse pad!

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