When looking to buy a gaming mouse you often see them advertised with high DPI. The most common question regarding this is what does it mean and how useful is it.

These specifications which are found on mice matter the most to gamers, which is the reason why these specifications are found on gaming mice mostly. The reason for this is because you do not need to have a fast reaction time when browsing the web or when working on office documents but when gaming comes into the equation a fast mouse can make all the difference between life and death in the game. So let’s get into what these specifications mean.

DPI Explained

DPI (Dots per inch) is a measurement of how sensitive a mouse is. A higher a DPI setting on a mouse will mean that there is less movement needed to reach your destination with the mouse cursor. The lower the DPI setting is on a mouse will mean that more movement will be needed to reach your destination with the mouse cursor.

A high DPI settings is not always the better option, since you do not want to make a movement and have your crosshair move all the away off your screen with a small movement that  you make. A perfect scenario of where a high DPI setting becomes useful is the following.

You are playing an FPS game and you zoom into your scope to kill an enemy with your gun and you are trying to aim a small sized target, a high DPI would be valuable here since you will make small movements with your mouse. the high DPI setting will help you aim smoothly and precisely here since you will be more accurate when zoomed into the scope. If no scope was present and you were using your iron sights the higher DPI setting would be to sensitive to aim at the small object. This is why many high-end gaming mouse have buttons that you can flick to switch between DPI settings on the fly when playing a game.

DPI is different from sensitivity and the two should not be confused with each other. DPI refers to the mouses hardware capabilities while sensitivity is just a software setting for the mouse. A high DPI mouse can also be paired with a low sensitivity setting so the cursor won’t jump all around your screen when you move it.

A high DPI mouse is useful most when you have a high resolution monitor. Let’s say you are playing on a resolution of 1366×768 then a high DPI mouse is not needed since the area of the screen will be small already. On the other hand if you have large resolution such as 3840×2160 then a high DPI would be beneficial due to the large area on the screen.


DPI is a subject which will cause great debate and everyone has their own opinion regarding the subject and even some gaming mouse manufacturers have said that DPI is a fairly irrelevant specification to talk about. An extremely high DPI would cause the mouse cursor to fly across your entire screen when you nudge the mouse. For this reason, a higher DPI isn’t necessarily a good thing. The ideal DPI depends on the game you’re playing, the resolution of your screen, and how you prefer using your mouse.

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