Images Explained: What is DPI and When Does It Really Matter?

Dots Per Inch (DPI) can be an important factor in gaming, but many people aren’t sure of what it is and what use more of them are.

While the average person may not need or even think about things like DPI, gamers should because the DPIs can dramatically change your gaming experience. They offer high-precision movements with your mouse, allowing you faster reactions time than a mouse with lower DPIs. Here’s a quick primer on DPI and what it can mean for you gaming experience.

What is DPI?

Dots Per Inch indicates how many pixels a mouse can cover when moved one inch. For instance, if you have a mouse that is rated at 1600 DPI, then it will cover 1600 pixels (dots) when you move the cursor one inch.

This means that the higher the DPI, the more sensitive the mouse is: 3200 DPI would cover 3200 pixels, 4000 DPI would cover 4000 pixels, etc. The upshot of all this is that you can find a mouse that is sensitive enough for any of your gaming needs. If there are times when you need quick reaction times, then a higher DPI mouse may be able to help you out. If you want deeper precision, then maybe a mouse with lower DPI will suits your needs better.

When Do You Need High DPI?

If you only use the mouse to click on webpages or are even a casual gamer that plays first-person shooters a few times a week, then you probably don’t need a mouse with high DPI. Even the basic mice today have 1600 DPI, which is more than enough sensitivity for anyone not seriously into gaming.

If you are a serious gamer, then you may want to look into a FPS Mouse that provides you with extra sensitivity. But, again, they’re not for everyone. Unless you have a high-density monitor screen, a high DPI mouse may be overly sensitive, causing you to consistently overshoot your cursor and ruining your reaction time. A high DPI mouse should compliment your existing hardware, so do a little research to see if a high DPI mouse will help or hinder your gaming.

Polling Rate is Important, Too

A high DPI mouse needs to be compliment with a good polling rate as well to get the most out of it. The polling rate is how often the mouse reports its position to your computer. This means that if your mouse has a polling rate of, say, 500 Hz, then it reports 500 times every second.

If you have a high DPI mouse with a low polling rate, you may experience some lag. Generally, it will not be noticeable, but to those who spends hours upon hours in front of the screen, it may become noticeable. Experiment with the two specs if you are able to so you can find a combination that works.

The DPI rating of a mouse can help you find precision or quick reaction time.