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What Is DPI in a Mouse: How Does It Affect the Mouse

What is DPI?

What does DPI mean?  DPI – “dots per inch”. This is the number of pixels that the cursor will move if the mouse moves one inch. Many users call this figure a resolution, but this is not entirely correct. DPI is the speed of the sensor. And the resolution is displayed by the CPI parameter (counts per inch). That is the number of sensor readings per mouse movement per inch.

  1. What does this mean in practice?

We already know that DPI is the resolution of a mouse expressed in dots per inch. What does this mean in practice? DPI in the mouse determines the distance that the mouse cursor can cover on the screen after moving it on the surface of a desk, table, tabletop, etc., by one inch, i.e. 2.54 cm. It means that as the resolution increases, the cursor will take a shorter distance.

DPI – how does it affect the mouse?

Some people find it uncomfortable to be less sensitive. This is because you need more wrist movements. The greater the degree of sensitivity, the higher the DPI will be. On the other hand, the mouse should be selected and set in such a way that all its parameters correspond to your preferences. What is the usual DPI resolution? The average value in the most common mouse models ranges from 800 to even 16,000 DPI.

How to choose DPI in the mouse?

For the way the mouse works to suit you, DPI must be strictly matched to your needs. If you want the highest precision and the fastest response time, choose a mouse with high sensitivity. This is especially important when you are looking for equipment for a typical gaming computer. Greater precision helps aim tasks. In computer games, reaction speed is often decisive, and every slightest delay is powerful for winning or losing. High accuracy is also a desirable feature when editing photos.

How to check DPI?

The question is, how to check the DPI of the mouse? There are two ways to do this. The first is to find this value, e.g. in the technical parameters on the manufacturer’s website, by entering the device model.

If you still do not know how to check the DPI in the mouse because you do not have the data you need, it is also easy to do this using the settings on your computer. In the case of Microsoft software, you need to run the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center, then select the mouse you are using and click Basic Settings. Finally, look for the “Sensitivity” section. There you will find the information you are looking for about DPI.

DPI vs Sensitivity

DPI is often confused with sensitivity. Sensitivity is a configurable parameter in the interface of the operating system or game. That is, it is only a modifier of the CPI parameter. You can set a high resolution and low sensitivity, or vice versa: low resolution and high sensitivity. For example, 2400 CPI and sensitivity 5. Or 800 CPI and sensitivity 15. In both cases, the cursor will move in the same way. But which one is better? 

If you’re not buying a mouse for gaming, the DPI value doesn’t matter. 

Why do you need a large CPI?  

As we found out, the higher the CPI, the more distance the cursor will travel for the movement of the mouse per inch. In the current reality, when a monitor resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels is the most popular, large CPI values ​​are equal to 2400, 3600, 4800, etc. – simply to nothing. Working and gaming on a Full HD screen will be inconvenient with such numbers since the cursor will move a long distance abruptly. 

Of course, this can be partially compensated for by a decrease in sensitivity, but not every game and operating system has many values ​​available for selection. In the same Windows, there are only 11 divisions for selecting the pointer speed. Hence, it turns out that high CPI values ​​are intended for monitors with higher resolutions: 4K and 8K. 

In gaming, a high CPI only gets in the way as hover accuracy decreases. When the enemy is at a great distance from you, you move the cursor just a few pixels. Try this with a CPI of 5000. You are unlikely to get the desired result. Therefore, the optimal values ​​for games are in the range of 400 to 2400 CPI.

When is the DPI change in the mouse the most noticeable?

Changes to the DPI parameter will be noticed only by those who work at the computer with great precision – e.g. computer graphic designers, 3D designers or photographers processing photos. For such people, every hand movement is essential, and therefore they can easily detect differences in the quality of a computer mouse, including its DPI parameter.

Another group for which the DPI on the mouse will be essential are gamers. In particular, DPI changes will be noticed by fans of shooters, action games, action-RPG and FPS games. In productions of this type, as in the work of a graphic designer or designer, precision and quick action are essential. Therefore, the higher the resolution of the mouse, the greater the chance that we will be able to meet the challenges of fast and dynamic video games for modern gamers.

Is it possible to change the DPI of a computer mouse and thus increase or decrease its sensitivity? When we have a special DPI button on the mouse, it is possible to press the DPI button to adjust the controller’s sensitivity to our requirements and manoeuvre between the value from 800 to even twice as high DPI parameter. The button also allows you to switch between pre-configured different modes, depending on your needs.

Another way to change the mouse’s DPI resolution is to change the Control Panel settings manually. To configure the device, go to the Hardware and Sound tab and select the mouse currently connected to the computer. In the properties of the mouse, we find Pointer Options and there, with a simple slider, we can set the value that interests us. If we want, we can even activate the option to leave traces of the mouse pointer on the screen.

What happens when we set the CPI / DPI wrong? The phenomenon where the mouse cannot keep up with the sudden movements of the user’s hand is called backward acceleration in IT jargon. It occurs when the mouse resolution (DPI / CPI) is set too high, and the cursor slows down as much as possible. To avoid this, the sensitivity of the mouse should be lowered by software.

What is acceleration?

These are the acceleration of the cursor with sudden movements of the device. That is, the faster you move the mouse, the more distance the pointer will travel. This parameter is configurable but rarely seen. If you disable it, then regardless of the speed of movement, the cursor will pass a fixed number of points, which is equal to the CPI value.

For office work, this parameter is hardly applicable. But in fast dynamic games, it can give a specific advantage. Because you can set the DPI or sensitivity to low, this will keep the aiming accuracy high.

But thanks to acceleration, you can make fast movements that do not require moving the mouse over the entire carpet. For example, acceleration is useful in games with 180 ° turns.

What is worth paying attention

If you want to choose a high-quality gaming device, then you shouldn’t chase CPI. Better pay attention to the following parameters:

  • Ergonomics. Whatever fancy filling is in the mouse will not help you if the device does not fit well in hand.
  • Sensor type and version. Laser gadgets are unpretentious to the surface and also more sensitive to movement. Please read about the differences between laser and optical sensors in our article.
  • Polling frequency. The higher, the more relevant information about the position of the mouse is received by the processor.
  • The type of switches and their resource. The better the switches, the less likely you will encounter a double or fake click. And the higher the help, the more time the rodent will remain in the ranks.

Perfect DPI

What levels of sensitivity can be found in popular mouse models? In the case of cheap DPI models, the mouse takes a value of 800 DPI, while more expensive devices will offer a sensitivity of up to 3200 DPI and even more. The package also includes additional options in higher-quality controllers, e.g. easy and quick sensitivity adjustment depending on the needs and situation. Some of them will even have the function of temporarily limiting the DPI so that you can play shooting games without hindrance.

When choosing a computer mouse, it is worth carefully considering your needs. The high DPI in the mouse is not the only indicator of its quality. Contrary to appearances, when the DPI parameter is too high, we can encounter many difficulties using the device. Therefore, one should exercise moderation and look for the optimal value for our needs and wallet. Models with a DPI of 800 – 1000 will work well in the office, while those with Dots Per Inch above 2000 – 3000 DPI are dedicated to players 

Household mice

Models with DPI sensitivity on the mouse equal to 2000 – 2400 DPI and the possibility of adjusting the Dots Per Inch parameter will prove themselves in most everyday applications. We offer both right-handed and left-handed controllers. Carefully made construction – buttons, recesses, and protrusions ensure perfect precision of the device’s operation and the highest comfort.

Mice for use in the office

You can also order modern mice for office use in the online store. The mouse resolution of 2000 DPI or more will be perfect for graphic design, and those who perform professional tasks involving multimedia processing will also not be disappointed. Depending on your preferences, you can order both wired-powered computer mice, equipped with flexible and solid cables, and wireless models from us.

The wireless mouse, equipped with a DPI appropriate to the needs, will be perfect for any situation. Such equipment can be used anywhere without the need to reconnect the device or unplug numerous cables constantly. More and more people use mice connected to the computer via Bluetooth – this equipment is not expensive at all.

Mice for gamers

You’ll find high-quality gaming computer mice. We offer equipment that is equipped not only with a DPI button on the mouse, but also with a sensitivity adjustment mechanism. It is a solution that allows you to quickly and dynamically change the DPI to one of several previously configured sensitivity levels. Such a mouse can be adapted to a specific game, preferences, and even the skills of a given character.


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