Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

During some games, my mouse cursor changes to some strange dotted line (like in the picture). It looks like that, but I had to draw it myself as the cursor is not visible in screenshots.

This is really bothersome as I do not see the exact point where I am clicking. Furthermore my mouse stays this way even if I Alt-Tab or close StarCraft entirely.

How can I prevent this and is there a fix except restarting my computer?

Cropped screenshot showing a likeness of the bugged cursor

share|improve this question
Does SC2 have a "Hardware Mouse" feature? I can't remember, but check around in options if there is one. – Resorath May 31 '12 at 0:51
lol that weird... never seen that before. – Nick122 May 31 '12 at 9:30
@Resorath: There is "reduce mouse lag", should I enable or disable it? – ayckoster May 31 '12 at 11:10
That is not the right one no. – Resorath May 31 '12 at 16:35
I had an issue like this while playing the Beta. It was related to my video card. – Biff MaGriff Jun 13 '12 at 19:01
up vote 4 down vote accepted

This happens in various games, and not just in games. It is most likely a hardware related issue. There are a few things you can do to either fix this, or confirm what is causing it.

Before doing anything, update your video card drivers. Visit your video card manufacturers website and download the latest drivers.

If the problem persists, you can boot into safe mode and try to reproduce the problem. Seeing as in your particular case the problem only occurs while playing Starcraft 2, you may not be able to reproduce the problem. However, if you do reproduce the problem, there's a very good chance your video card is on its way out (AKA it's dying). If you don't want to purchase a new one, you can wait and see if it dies, and just live with the issue.

One last thing you can try is to change the Window's mouse style. I don't own SC2, so I don't know if it uses a custom mouse. But it's a simple change and worth a shot!

However, one thing seems clear: This isn't Starcraft 2 related, or even video game related. It is probably OS or hardware related. You can try and Google this yourself and see if you can find any solutions. It seems to me like the memory where the cursor is stored is being corrupted, causing it to draw incorrect information. This behavior may be triggered by SC2, but the problem lies within the video card memory.

In response to Ender (I cannot post comments yet!):

The reason I say that the video card may be starting to 'die' is because artifacts like this appear when your card gets old and is ready to go. This is a graphical glitch that is not game dependent, or OS dependent, because I've seen it on XP and Windows 7. That leaves the video card to blame (I rule out the actual image file begin corrupted because this will happen with any cursor image). Before my old graphics card died, weird things like this would happen. I would get textures in games that were offset, and you got strange lines and dots in them. Some textures would also discolor, and I'd even get polygons ripping across the screen. After this, my video card died, and I had to purchase a new one.

Without proper image of the cursor in its glitched state, its hard to tell. A possibility is that one of these artifacts causes the cursor to shrink into a bunch of very small cursors. They would appear as a line of very small dots. Things like this I have also seen appear in games when your card is on its last legs.

share|improve this answer
Good answer, except its been proven that some games 'trigger' this issue, despite the fact that it does seem to rely within the video card itself and not the game. SC2, LoL:Dominion, Crysis, and other games have been documented to cause this bug. I personally receive it in LoL:Dominion quite often. Also, yours is the first statement I've read that mentions that it's a sign of the Video card starting to 'die', can you source proof to that? – Ender Jun 23 '12 at 7:21
Again, good answer. It's honestly not the answer I was hoping to attract with the bounty offer, but nonetheless, if I do not receieve the answer I was looking for by the end of the bounty week, I will certainly award it to you, as this answer is deserving. – Ender Jun 26 '12 at 16:02
This happens to me too, and definitely this has NOTHING to do with dying hardware. For me, it seems to be related to alt+tabbing. I play on windowed fullscreen mode, by the way. – Spidey Jun 26 '12 at 22:27
@Spidey Someone also mentioned it happens when they switch the cursor between monitors. For all we know, it could be an OS glitch. With the information we have, it's extremely hard to find a solution. The best we can do is try to find a general solution that works for most people, this is what I posted. – smoth190 Jul 2 '12 at 3:34

There is indeed a quick fix to it. But it is not a permanent fix. If you are using Windows 7 hit windows key + r this will open up a window where you can start a program, type main.cpl this will open a window where you can change options for a lot of things. What is of interest to us is the mouse of course so go to pointer options. Ok once here you want to check "Display pointer trails" and i usually put the slider to short cause this thing pisses me off. With the slider at short you wont even see the trail

So you can play without having pointer issue in starcraft 2 :P

share|improve this answer
I will try to verify this when my problem pops up again. – ayckoster Jun 26 '12 at 20:04
I cannot personally verify this as I have not tried it, however It has been confirmed by many users on League Forums to work. However, this is a 'workaround' and not a true 'fix'. All the same, +1 for mentioning it. – Ender Jun 26 '12 at 20:06
Yes this is why i said it was not a permanent fix, i should have used a workaround i guess :) thanks. And i hope this will work for you ayckoster. It works for me so i guess it "should" work... – Ben Lefebvre Jun 27 '12 at 14:08

If you are using an ATI/AMD card this should fix this. I had a similar issue in the beta.


Right-click task bar

Choose Properties

Under "Preview Desktop With Aero Peak"

Deselect "Use Aero Peak To Display The Desktop"

My guess why this fixes it is the same reason we commonly see it in League of Legends and Starcraft 2 because we use the mouse to pan the camera. Once you touch the Aero peak desktop. It causes the issue on the cursor.

share|improve this answer
This may work for others, but for myself personally this was already de-selected. – Ender Jun 27 '12 at 17:17
@Ender are you using a ATI card? If so what card do you have? – Halfwarr Jun 27 '12 at 17:21
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 - note that this bug is rampant in ATI Mobility Cards. – Ender Jun 27 '12 at 17:24
@Ender that makes sense, as I had the issue for my Desktop ATI card but it was patched and corrected. I would imagine the mobile drivers don't have the same luxury as frequent up to date drivers. – Halfwarr Jun 27 '12 at 20:09
some users seem to experience better results when they update their Catalyst Drivers, however this solution doesn't work for everyone, which is why I've offered the bounty. I was looking for a solution that would work for everyone, the amount of combined experience from the members here at arQAde is as good a place as any to look. – Ender Jun 27 '12 at 21:37

I figured out how to get rid of strange pointer. I run a browser when i am playing listen to pandora. when mouse mess's up alt tab and scroll on the top of browser window along the top where the [ _ window and X] buttons are and it goes back to original pointer. I dont know why it works but it does for me. before i had to restart computer to get it to change back. dumb luck i found the quick fix. I also have a ATI RADEON graphics card with the latest drivers and i even called their tech support number and talked to them they have no idea they are looking into it. alot of post i have found on google most have the ATI grahphics card that are having this problem. wierd good luck!

share|improve this answer

protected by Studoku May 11 '15 at 10:10

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.