What Does DPI Mean in a Gaming Mouse?

Modern day gaming mice come in all shapes and sizes. One very sought after and highly discussed aspect of a PC gamers’ most important tool is the DPI levels available and most optimal settings for the best crosshair movement and in-game performance.

So, what is DPI, and what makes it so crucial when selecting a mouse? Why are professional gamers always questioned about their DPI settings and how does it affect performance? This post will look to explain what it is and the role it plays in efficient gaming and better results.

Why Is Mouse Sensitivity Important?

DPI is a measure of mouse sensitivity. To understand and analyze its importance, you need to understand the role mouse sensitivity plays in gaming. Keeping an accurate and uniform sensitivity over a variety of games is crucial.

Having control over your mouse and controlling the crosshair wins you most of your battles. Take Shroud for example, who is one of the best FPS players. His aim and ability to consistently land headshots on multiple opponents earns his team wins. His ability to aim translates across games and is considered one of FPS’s most lethal players.

His understanding of mouse sensitivity is integral to his playstyle, much like other famous FPS pro’s across a multitude of games.

What is DPI?

DPI in a gaming mouse translates to dots per inch, which is a unit used to measure the distance and speed at which a cursor on the screen will travel with every inch the user moves the mouse on the pad. Non-gaming mice for everyday use are programmed at about 800 DPI which means that for every inch you move the mouse on the mousepad the cursor moves 800 dots (pixels) on the screen in that direction.

In recent years, gaming mice manufacturers have increased the DPI ranges with the upper limits sometimes reaching up to 4000 – 5000 DPI. These values are in place to facilitate a range of changes and accommodate players from various games. It is also beneficial as a feature for top-tier products in the market as it serves as another way for manufacturers to set their product apart.

Importance of eDPI in Gaming

eDPI is simply the: in-game sensitivity value x mouse DPI setting. All modern games on PC allow you to pick a sensitivity. This impacts the speed at which the crosshair moves with respect to the mouse being moves on the mousepad.

Both the selected mouse DPI and the in-game sensitivity affect the movement of the crosshair or cursor in the game. Therefore, knowing your eDPI for your favorite games will allow you to convert it accurately into new games that you try.

If your best FPS is CoD, you can use your eDPI from that game and use it on any online converter to see what your in-game sensitivity should be for other popular games. This makes eDPI almost more important than the DPI value of the mouse. Most pros have a low DPI and low in-game sensitivity and it is widely regarded in the gaming community that a lower eDPI setting allows you to make more precise movements in-game. But if a high DPI fits your style better, all power to you!

Knowing what DPI is crucial if you want to get better at games. If you constantly find yourself overshooting past a target when trying to accurately get a headshot, the DPI value might be too high and a quick change could drastically better your K/D ratio.

About Suraj Radhakrishnan

Suraj is a tech writer with a passion for gaming. A lifelong Xbox proponent, he enjoys sports video games and high octane shooters. A lover of long, story-driven campaigns, he prefers completing missions to hunting down friends online. He also takes a lot of pride in telling people he has never played Fortnite.