It seems that mouse DPI is getting pretty high these days. How much DPI do you really need?

Update: This question is targeted at gaming, by the way :) I'm interested to know what is noticeably different (and important) between 2000 and 5000 DPI when playing high speed games like Quake and SC2?


5 Answers 5


It depends on your monitor resolution. Larger monitor resolutions have more pixels (or dots). So, for example, if your screen resolution was 1920x1200 and your mouse was capable of a maximum DPI of 600, you'd have to move your mouse two inches to get to the bottom of the screen to the top of the screen. If your mouse was capable of a DPI of 1200, it would only take one inch to make the same movement on the screen.

In short, as long as screen resolutions keep increasing, mice resolutions will need to continue to increase as well to prevent people from having to move their mice uncomfortable lengths to cross the screen.

  • 1
    That last part is just blatantly untrue. Every computer I can think of has a mouse sensitivity control which can adjust regardless of mouse DPI. Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 23:52
  • 1
    You're misinterpreting the functionality of the software-based adjustment on your OS. At maximum sensitivity on your OS, it's basically allowing your mouse to max out whatever DPI setting it happens to be using. Adjusting the OS mouse sensitivity just limits your mouse's capability so it actually functions at lower than its maximum, meaning you have to travel further across the mousepad to achieve the same distance on your screen.
    – Shaun
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 17:22
  • @Shaun You forget (urgh) mouse acceleration, allowing the OS to fake higher than max dps by making speed non linear. Though this is really nasty.
    – Vality
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 1:35

I currently run at 3200 because that's what I feel is comfortable.

You only need as much sensitivity as makes your hand feel comfortable.

If you find that you're picking up your mouse a lot and getting fatigued, you should probably use a higher DPI setting/mouse.

My low setting is 1k which is what I set it to when I deign to let others touch my computer.

If I had larger screens, I'd probably consider bumping up to 4k+.

  • This. Think of it as a secondary sensitivity scale, but make most of your adjustments with the actual one first as extreme DPI settings can cause tracking issues.
    – VoidSixx
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 9:14

Higher DPI settings allow you to move faster on the screen with less mouse movement, or increase precision by using reduced sensitivity in conjunction with higher DPI.

Higher resolution displays require higher sensitivity or higher DPI to attain the same amount of on-screen movement, and higher sensitivity settings with a low DPI mouse can limit precision. This is manifested by movements occurring in increments of more than one pixel, making it difficult to precisely aim or otherwise make fine movements. Higher DPI allows you to increase movement speed without increasing the sensitivity setting, giving you more precise control.

Note that this really isn't that big a deal with a lower resolution display. I use a ROCCAT Kone XTD, and I have the mouse set to 1800 DPI with sensitivity at -2 (on a scale of -5 to +5). This is on a run-of-the-mill HP laptop with a 1366x768 display, so DPI settings much higher than this (up to 8200 DPI) are essentially unusable for me. Higher DPI will definitely make a difference on larger displays, though.


DPI is really just how fast your mouse cursor moves at all times, whether you're playing a game, surfing the web, working on word document, etc. Yes it depends on your resolution, but that's relativity.

There is a term "eDPI" that gamers use to communicate how fast their sensitivity is. You get eDPI by multiplying your mouse DPI by your game sensitivity.

For example my Razer Deathadder has DPI of 800, and in Overwatch my sensitivity is 5. So 800 * 5 = 4000. When I talk with other Overwatch players about sensitivity, I say that my eDPI is 4000.

Source: Overwatch Pro Settings & Setups

  • The question was asking how important DPI was, not what it was...
    – Vemonus
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 4:31

DPI doesn’t matter for everyday life, for games the higher the better. Because you can turn up the resolution, giving you more pixels, which makes your mouse more accurate, if your computer can handle it. So I guess it’s a matter of what works for you and your computer.

  • I forgot to add that polling rate is more important than DPI, because a mouse that updates every minute is useless Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 14:44

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