Written by Bas

What is mouse DPI?

DPI means dots per inch and affects how fast your mouse cursor moves across the screen. This is useful, for example, for gamers who need to move quickly while playing a shooter game. In this article, I explain briefly what DPI is exactly, how it works and whether it is of any use to you.

How does your mouse work?

Sensor G903

Before we look at specifications, it is important that you know how your mouse actually works. Your optical mouse has a sensor that consists of a light and a sensor, a kind of camera that takes pictures. These photos are processed by an internal processor that scans the patterns in the photos and this translates to movement. A laser mouse does the same thing, but with infrared light.

What is DPI?

Mouse with DPI button

Dots per inch (DPI) is therefore the hardware sensitivity of your mouse. The higher you set it, the more intense the mouse reacts to small movements. This setting can be adjusted with almost every modern mouse, often even via specific additional buttons on the mouse. You also use the software of the manufacturer to adjust these buttons as desired, so that you can increase or decrease the DPI in 400 steps.

Gaming with low DPI settings

Low dpi mouse

DPI settings are actually a kind of hot iron for many gamers. Many gaming legends from the Counter Strike 1.6 and Quake community swear by a DPI of around 400-800. This is of course very low, so you need a large mouse pad and make many trailing movements. Personally, I find this too low, although I find this setting nice when sniping. You make it easy to make minor corrections, without letting the goal pass by.

Gaming with higher DPI settings

Trust gaming mouse

I like to play with the DPI between 1500-3000, so I do not have to make large, lingering movements. Am I going above 3000? Then I feel that my mouse is really flying over the screen as soon as I touch it. When playing a shooter this is of course not recommended. Do you use a monitor with a high resolution? Then a higher DPI setting feels nicer.

Software settings

Razer Chroma RGB software atmosphere image

In addition to the DPI settings, you also have the in-game software settings for almost every game. Once you have found a fine DPI setting, I advise you not to change it in general. You use this setting as a constant factor, after which you adjust the in-game settings for each game to the 'feeling' of the game. It is also important that your DPI is high enough to prevent pixel skipping.


Many mice have adjustable DPI options that determine the sensitivity of your mouse at the hardware level. The ideal DPI value is personal for everyone. Experiment with it and choose the DPI setting that suits you. Continue tweaking the software settings per game until you hit those headshots again and again. A mouse with a high maximum DPI is therefore not necessarily better, but offers more settings.

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