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Understanding DPI in First Person Shooters

You’ve got your new gaming mouse with 12,000 DPI. But once you plug it in and set it to max your mouse goes flying across the screen with the slightest nudge.

So what the hell is DPI? What should you set it too?

DPI Explained

DPI stands for DotsPer Inch and controls how sensitive a mouse is – increasing DPI increases sensitivity. So even though your mouse has 12,000 DPI it will never need to go that high.

Finding the right DPI-Settings combination for you depends on a few different factors. What kind of games are you playing? What kind of screen are you using? What mousepad do you have?

What DPI Settings Do the Pros Use?

For first person shooters the majority of pro players and top streamers use low DPI (around 400-800) and/or low in-game mouse sensitivity settings.

This means that the player will have to move their mouse further to aim, but it also gives them more control and precision. 

For most of us this will mean using the mouse in totally different way – moving the mouse with your arm instead of your wrist. You may have noticed that gaming mousepads are way bigger than standard office ones. This is why. It may not seem like an important part of your gaming rig but a good mousepad can make a huge difference.

Control is the main reason you would want to have lower settings. The finer movements required for tracking are easier to pull off, and snapping to targets is more accurate. Just make sure you have to room to work with. Seriously, watch the way Tfue’s moves his arm and mouse when building in Fortnite!

Should I Use The Same DPI Settings as the Pros?

That said, a low DPI might not be right for you.

If you don’t have a big fancy mousepad or just prefer to control the mouse with your wrist, then higher sensitivity would be better for you. Low sensitivity may not be best for your play style.

Higher DPI is better for running and gunning while low DPI is better for sniping. Most high end gaming mouses will have buttons that toggle between DPI settings, allowing you to easily switch between styles.

Finding your ideal DPI and mouse settings will come down to preference. Play around with some settings and see what works best for you!

Josh Justesen
Josh is the older of the two GGEZReviews bros. He owns more PC games than can fit on his hard-drive and hopes to be sent a game (to review) for free someday.
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