One of the first things that you’ll notice about a mouse is its DPI. But what is DPI? And more importantly, how high or low a DPI do you need when it comes to gaming?
We’ll answer all of that in this guide. Let’s start with the basics.
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What Is DPI?
DPI, short for dots-per-inch, indicates how sensitive the mouse sensor is. Note that we said “sensitive,” not “accurate,” as those are different things – a sensitive sensor (a sensor with a high DPI) is not necessarily an accurate one!
Now, each dot correlates directly to a single on-screen pixel. So, if you’re gaming in 1080p and you move a 1000 DPI mouse vertically one inch, the cursor will have moved by 1000 pixels, which is almost the full height of the display. And if we were talking about a 2000 DPI mouse, the cursor would move from the top to the bottom of the screen in half an inch – you get the picture.
However, gaming mice are all very sensitive and have relatively high DPI ratings in 2020. There are mice out there with a DPI as high as 16000, which brings us to the main question: how high is high enough, and how low is the bare minimum?
How High A DPI Do You Need?
With the above in mind, how much is enough when it comes to DPI? After all, there are relatively affordable mice out there that come with 8000, 10000, and even 16000 DPI sensitivity, and most gaming people currently use 1080p or 1440p gaming monitors. That said, even an 8000 DPI mouse can be seen as overkill when paired with a 4K display, so is there any point to these insanely high DPI specs?
Well, there is one advantage to having a mouse with high DPI, and it’s adjustability. Virtually all gaming mice now allow the user to switch between different sensitivity settings on the fly using a button that’s usually placed above the scroll wheel.
This is a handy feature that allows you to cycle between low-sensitivity and high-sensitivity settings based on what the situation requires, something that can be quite convenient in shooting games. For example, you could use a high-sensitivity setting as your default setting and switch to a low-sensitivity setting for sniping, allowing for a steadier and more accurate aim.
So, all in all, we’d say that the minimum DPI that you should aim for should roughly correspond to the horizontal resolution of your display. Fortunately, this isn’t something you need to worry about now that even the absolute cheapest gaming mice come with a DPI of 2400 or 3200.
And as for the maximum DPI, there is no such thing. Extra sensitivity cannot hurt, but DPI definitely shouldn’t be something to judge a gaming mouse by. As we have already mentioned, sensitivity does not equal accuracy or quality.
What Should You Look For In A Gaming Mouse?
Now that we got DPI out of the way, what are some of the essential things to keep in mind when choosing a new gaming mouse? Well, we have a full article devoted to that very subject, and you can check it out here.
What’s more, you may want to check out our selection of the best gaming mice for 2023, as it features all sorts of gaming mice across a broad price spectrum, so you might find one that suits your needs!
The Final Word
So, there you have it – DPI isn’t all that important when it comes to gaming mice today, and there are other more vital features to consider, which we elaborate on in the two articles linked above.