Muscle Memory is an effect not only known in gaming. It is an effect stored in your brain which is in gaming responsible for your capability of aiming with a mouse in e.g. First Person Shooters. I used a G5 Logitech Mouse for almost 8 years and the last few months it was half broken, but still worked. However, compared to my new mouse, Logitech Proteus Core G502, it was not really sensitive. My new mouse has higher polls, way higher sensitivity (up to 12.000 DPI@1000 polls/s) and, as expected, my aiming sucks.

Therefore I would like to know if there are any known exercises for gamers to retrain muscle memory for a new mouse effectively besides playing the games you play over and over until you stop sucking?

  • 10
    play over and over until you stop su... wait.
    – Braiam
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 1:41
  • Does that mouse have an option to turn down sensitivity (either hardware or software)? If so, you could start by setting it close to what you had before and gradually increase it with time.
    – tpg2114
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 1:49
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    Just because your mouse can go to 12,000 DPI doesn't mean you should use it at that sensitivity. Set windows mouse sensitivity to 6/11 and adjust DPI until you feel comfortable with it. Honestly I don't know why anyone on a single monitor setup, at 1080p would go above 2000 dpi.
    – Elise
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 1:51
  • 1
    @tpg2114 Of course it does, but it still feels a lot different than the G5, due to increased accuracy which has nothing to do with the DPI per se, but the sensor being a lot better.
    – user28015
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 2:00
  • 2
    I noticed this a number of years ago (e.g., when CS 1.5 was new); my solution (to preventing it from occurring again) was to buy multiple copies of the same mouse.
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 14:32

3 Answers 3


Making your new mouse work for you

I found for a long while after getting a new mouse I used to have this issue. However unfortunately, though it does improve with practice I found generally it is more necessary to reconfigure the new mouse.

Specifically, though many mice offer very high DPI, this does not actually help your game-play at all unless your style revolves around fast twitch like movements with minimal accuracy.

Mouse acceleration

My first suggestion if you have not done so already would be to disable mouse acceleration, mouse acceleration makes the movement much less predictable to your brain and therefore makes your "muscle memory", which is all about your brain predicting and recalling what a movement of your arm will do to the game, much less accurate. This article explains some of the issues with the unpredictability of mouse acceleration.

DPI adjustment

Next, if this does not help, you will need to try and fine tune the dpi of your mouse, doing this is difficult, but the only sure technique is to adjust it up or down incrementally and then try it out of a little while until you get a feel that it is moving "right" when compared to what you feel it should be doing, it is difficult to explain but if you experiment with this you will understand when you find it.

The application that comes with the mouse driver usually has the ability to adjust the DPI, however if not there are a number of free downloadable tools that can do so for common mice, I shall leave it an exercise to the reader to find the right tool for your model.


Finally, as I said at the start, a new mouse does take some training to regain former performance, however if you have configured it correctly, this adjustment will be based around the shape, grip style and weight, not a problematic sensitivity.

Changing your play style for a new DPI

Note, it is valid to change sensitivity if you do wish to change your play style, however it is a poor plan to combine this with a new mouse and getting used to that, if you wish to try this wait until you are used to your new mouse, then adjust the DPI fractionally up or down as required, doing this by only a little each time until you are used to the new setting, then if you need to do so further do it again.

Baby steps

Do not try and make a big jump or change many things at once as you will be practically thrown back to square one and practice will not help much as you will not be adjusting your style but building a completely new one.

  • I use the same DPI as with my G5, but the sensor is really awesome and it was also adjusted to accommodate my wooden desk, a feature which my G5 did not have. So even at the same DPI, the Proteus feels different and is more sensitive than the G5 by a very large margin. It is basically everything at once: A lot better sensitivity, surface optimization and a new grip to learn, since the proteus was made for clawing while the G5 was not.
    – user28015
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 5:44
  • @NoneOfYourBusiness I particularly get you there, I tend to pivot between razer mice which mostly facilitate a claw grip and logitechs which are mostly palm grip. It takes a lot to get used to and both have different strengths. However with time you can adapt to either, though I have personally found claw mice feel like they have higher sensitivity even when they do not, as a crutch you may choose to lower it a little until you get used to the responsiveness.
    – Vality
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 6:48
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    I made a bit of an improvement by adding more weights. That was actually something I did not think of. My G5 had 4 weights in, I added 2 to the G502 (3.5g each) and it feels a lot better now.
    – user28015
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 8:25
  • @NoneOfYourBusiness Wonderful, I am really glad that you found an improvement there and am pleased to have been of some help.
    – Vality
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 16:22

Buying a new mouse does not mean you must change your sensitivity. You should maintain the same sensitivity when going to a new mouse so your gameplay remains the same.

That said... if you do want to change your actual sensitivity than you will only improve after spending a lot of time with your new sensitivity. I would recommend doing some "mouse exercising games" to get use to the sensitivity (same idea as doing scales for a musical instrument or the typing exercise "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog").

  • 2
    The link is actually awesome, but the other answer is more detailed. Also, sensitivity does not only derive from the DPI, but also the quality of the sensor and the Proteus really nails that. Even at playing with 1600 DPI it feels a lot different than my G5 has.
    – user28015
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 5:40

DPI when referring to a mouse usually refers to its hardware capability in terms of the sensor's accuracy. How it actually maps to screen movement will vary from mouse to mouse and be dependent on the driver's implementation. So just because they advertise the same DPI doesn't necesarily mean your effective sensitivity will be the same. This is why there are some programs that allow you to measure your effective sensitivity:


For this to be of much use you'd really have to measure both your old and new mouse so that you'd have an idea of how you need to adjust sensitivity settings.

Not of much use to you now probably, but if you take the time to measure your current mouse then next time you change mice you will have a reference point when measuring the new mouse.

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