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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Mouse Sensitivity


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Counter-Strike has been around for about 15 years now, but it is really just getting starting when it comes to mainstream gaming acceptance and popularity. As it continues to make a name for itself in the rapidly emerging world of E-Sports, many new players are joining the ranks of CT’s and T’s in the epic struggle of blowing stuff up and rescuing hostages.

One thing that I see over and over again when I am spectating inexperienced players is that their aim is all over the place. 9 times out of 10, their high mouse sensitivity is to blame for this. It is true that your mouse sensitivity is largely based on personal preference, and that there are some pro players that play with high sensitivity, but if you are just getting started you should start with a manageable sensitivity and then fine tune it as you become more accustomed to the world of Counter-Strike.

In this blog entry I am going to show you how to initially configure both your Windows and in-game mouse settings to give you a starting point where you can begin to find your ideal sensitivity. Keep in mind that this is what has worked for me, and there are lots of other guides out there that may have different approaches.

Let’s start with your Windows mouse settings.

Go to the Windows control panel and click on the mouse icon to bring up your “Mouse Properties,” then go to the “Pointer Options” tab.

First thing to do here is make sure that your pointer speed is set to the 6th position out of the 11 possible positions (6/11). You can see this in the picture below. This makes it so that the mouse sensor and the Windows settings are running in a 1:1 ratio with zero mouse acceleration, or modification going on behind the scenes.

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Mouse acceleration is undesirable when playing FPS games because it makes your mouse sensitivity adjust on the fly based on how quickly you swipe the mouse across your mouse pad. This leads to inconsistent aiming and makes it difficult to develop the muscle memory that is required for high level play.

Next, make sure that the “Enhance pointer precision” box is unchecked. This is another Windows mouse acceleration setting that is not desirable in FPS games.

Alright, now that the windows settings are configured, jump into CS: GO and head to the Keyboard / Mouse options.

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Configure the following settings:

Mouse Sensitivity: 1

Raw Input: On

Mouse Acceleration: Off

Some of these in-game settings may seem redundant since we already turned off mouse acceleration in Windows, but I would suggest setting them anyway to be sure that mouse acceleration is off and stays off.

With the settings we have changed so far, your mouse sensor is now delivering raw data to the game without any modification from Windows or in-game settings. Basically, the DPI value on your mouse is 100% in control of your mouse sensitivity, without any modifiers being applied.

From here we can start to adjust your mouse sensitivity via the DPI settings in your mouse software.

I have been playing CS: GO with the Corsair Gaming Sabre mouse since it was released a few months ago, so I am going to use it for this example. Other gaming mice manufacturers should have similar DPI adjustment settings available in their own software.

So let’s open up the software for your mouse and find the DPI settings. In Corsair’s CUE software you will find the “Performance & DPI” tab under the “Profiles” section, seen below:

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Before we continue, let’s quickly talk about what DPI is. It stands for “Dots Per square Inch” and will determine the resolution of the sensor in the mouse. Higher DPI means that the sensor is more sensitive and more accurate, but that doesn’t mean that higher is always better. Think about a steering wheel on a car, you want it to be sensitive enough to be responsive to your movements in a controlled manner, but not so sensitive that every little minor twitch movement is detected and sends you veering off the road.

I currently play with 1050 DPI, and you can see that it is in the No. 3 position, right in the middle of all available DPI stages. With the Sabre mouse, there is a color coded indicator on the mouse which shows you which DPI setting is active, so you can be sure you are on the right one while in game. The DPI stages are very useful since you can easily switch your DPI using the hardware buttons on the mouse, based on what you are doing. For example, you may want a higher DPI when you are on the desktop and other DPI settings for games other than CS: GO.

(By default, on the Corsair Gaming Sabre mouse pictured below the red light on the side of the mouse will change based on which DPI is selected via the two hardware buttons above it.)

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I would suggest starting with a DPI that allows you to do a full 360 degree turn with one swipe across your entire mouse surface. If you are looking for a starting point, you can use this handy calculator.

http://www.notalent.org/sensitivity/sensitivity.htm

Below you can see the calculations for my own settings:

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In CS: GO, once you figure out your own starting point I would suggest gradually decreasing your DPI over time. Lower sensitivity gives you more controllable accuracy, but it also means that you will need to be more aware of where your mouse is on your mouse surface and reposition it more often based on what is going on in game. If you get to a point where you are unable to counter unexpected enemies that have crept up behind you, you will either need to get better at resetting your mouse position, or raise your DPI back up a few notches.

I started out at about 1500 DPI and have slowly decreased it in 50 DPI steps over the last few months. I’m close to finding my ideal sensitivity, but I think I can still go a little bit lower to maximize my aiming precision, while still being able to accurately maneuver and react to threats from all directions. Hopefully this blog entry helps you get a handle on your mouse sensitivity, which I believe is the first step towards improving your aim!

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