What is DPI?
DPI stands for dots per inch or in gaming terms, pixels per inch. DPI determines how far a cursor moves per inch of mouse movement.
400 DPI = 1 inch mouse movement, moves the cursor 400 pixels.
The lower the DPI, the less sensitive your mouse.
Best DPI setting
A mouse with super high DPI is not better.
There is no distinct optimal DPI setting, pick the DPI setting that you’re most accustomed to. Generally, whatever you’re playing at now is going to be your best setting, you’ve built up muscle memory at this setting whether you know it or not.
You do want to avoid playing at too high of a DPI, anything past 12000 is likely excessive, but more importantly, some sensors at this DPI accelerate and emulate the dots per inch, causing inconsistencies, it’s not a true raw DPI.
If you’re trying to improve, making small steps down in DPI is a good practice, lower sensitivities give you more granular control over your mouse and allow you to fine tune your aiming, as long as you have the room on your desk to move your mouse around.
In addition to DPI, there are sensitivity settings that act as a multiplier to your mouses’ DPI. The first, is Windows native mouse sensitivity setting, this setting should always be set to the 6th notch.
Any higher than 6/11 and you run the risk of skipping pixels on your mouse movements. A lot of games do have a raw input setting that ignores the Windows sensitivity setting, but you might as well set this to be safe.
And make sure Enhance pointer precision is off, this introduces prediction and acceleration from Windows.
Every game has their own sensitivity setting as well, and their scales are often quite different. A mouse sensitivity calculator is a great way to translate settings from one game you’re familiar with to another.
EDPI or effective DPI (DPI x sensitivity)
This is really your true sensitivity. This combines your DPI setting in conjunction with your in-game mouse sensitivity. You can boil down eDPI has a multiplication of these two numbers. You can have a really low DPI but a really high in-game sensitivity to combine for an average eDPI.
- 400 DPI x 2 in-game sensitivity = 800 eDPI
- 800 DPI x 1 in-game sensitivity = 800 eDPI
Because of how sensitivity works, eDPI is a per game comparable metric, the universal comparison metric is how much distance it takes to make a full 360 in an FPS, measure in Centimetres or Inches.
Notable pro and streamer DPI and sensitivity settings
You’ll see that most pros have a DPI between 400-800 where all gaming mice are going to track perfectly.
- 400 DPI
- 30% Sensitivity (Fortnite)
- 1,236 eDPI
- 450 DPI
- 2.4 Sensitivity (CS:GO)
- 1,080 eDPI
- 800 DPI
- 0.077 X Sensitivity (Fortnite)
- 0.079 Y Sensitivity (Fortnite)
- 62.4 eDPI
- 400 DPI
- 0.11 X Sensitivity (Fortnite)
- 0.11 Y Sensitivity (Fortnite)
- 44 eDPI
- 800 DPI
- 5 Sensitivity (Overwatch)
- 4,000 eDPI
- 400 DPI
- 0.13 X Sensitivity (Fortnite)
- 0.13 Y Sensitivity (Fortnite)
- 52 eDPI
- 400 DPI
- 3.09 Sensitivity (CS:GO)
- 1,236 eDPI
- 400 DPI
- 2.0 Sensitivity (CS:GO)
- 800 eDPI
How to change your DPI
All gaming mice have two standard ways to change their DPI. Either through software like Logitech G Hub or Synapse or through a dedicated DPI button with pre-determined steps.
Take a look at our mouse reviews to see how a specific mouse changes DPI.
What are polling rates?
Polling rates in gaming mice refer to how often a mouse reports back to the computer its tracking. For example, 1000 Hz means that the mouse is reporting 1000 times every second.
You basically want to set this to the highest polling rate the mouse can go with one caveat, if you want to save battery life setting a lower polling rate will give you that.
How to aim better
Now that we all understand that there’s no “best” DPI, here’s how to get better at aiming at a high level.
- Make sure you have a mouse that fits your hand and a good sensor. Check out our best mouse post if you need a new one, otherwise the one you’re used to is best.
- Take note of your current DPI and sensitivity settings, this is where your muscle memory is built up
- Decide whether you want to be a low sens or higher sens gamer, either can work, but generally most people aim better with lower sensitivities, you can look at the pros sens to have an end goal
- Depending on where you’re starting off from, you have to make small steps down to your end DPI goal, do not make big leaps of eDPI, it’ll be discouraging and you’ll be way worse than you previously were.
- Good luck and have fun!
Thank you for sharing such an amazing guide. As a gamer, I would recommend 1k to 1600 for MMO games, and for a shooter game, 400 would be enough. What are your thoughts about it?
I have played stacraft for a long time now and i must say i failed… I have had over 8000 dpi with normal mid windows settings. I thought maybe i would just adapt and it would work out. The problem with high sensetivity in relation to high dpi settings on your mouse. Is the fact that not only does the mouse move over the screen much higher, even when you control it very much like i have, it puts so much pressure on your hand and your hand position. Your will dapt sure, but even than your accuracy wont improve at one point. Just more stresss on your hand, it will hurt a bit and the reality is even when you have the high consentration on your hand and dominate high dpi on your mouse. You just cant hold it and it will slip. Now imagine playing any game, like starcraft remastered at a moderate level and even after years/ months you still have problems sometimes to click perfectly. I mean sure i can play snipers map> a map which consists on click a+ direct click on the unit to kill it. So i guess i have some accuracy, but often it still slips, takes concentration away because i need to focus to make the mouse go where it should. And even though my precision isnt bad, i think lower would be better. The question for me now is how much dpi ?XDD I mean shouldnt i use my gift to control fast dpi ? How much low do i go ?
Either way i think, its a balance about how much pressure you can support with your hand, while not going over board with the dpi. Or the question how low or high is reasonable… I think either way i would like to have this bullshit over while just focusing on the gmae, what a pain. Earlier at least you just had mouses and picked one…
Oh yeah I used to be at a higher DPI too, I think you should make small adjustments until you feel like you aren’t stressing your hand too much. I would drop increments down like 50 or 100 at a time, until you feel like your hand is more comfortable without sacrificing performance. A big jump to a lower DPI will make it much harder to adjust.
thank you for the help
Pointar speed bhadhna