If you are into FPS gaming (first-person shooter) games, you know that having the right mouse and correct settings are crucial to your success. But how can you determine that “perfect” mouse setting?  Well, read on because you are gonna wanna use this information next time you play an fps game…

FPS Gaming Has Changed 

Anyone who ever stayed on the FPS gaming scene beyond the classic Counter-Strike 1.6 understands that it has come a long way.  Regardless of your skill level, your number one concern is having the right equipment.  No self-respecting gamer is going to settle with a gamepad or an Xbox game controller.  Honestly, if you even dare to try use one in one of the highly competitive PC FPS games, you’ll realize quickly enough what a mistake you’ve made  Simply put, you are just not going to be playing on the same level.  So a keyboard and a mouse combination is a must.

Then, you’ll need to choose a comfortable keyboard.  There are many different types of keyboard, some swear by mechanical ones, others are just fine with plain membrane-based keyboards.  There are also programmable keys that provide a limited function for typing, but totally enough for gaming, or the new silicone-based rollable keyboards.

It really doesn’t matter much which one you ultimately end up using in our opinion.  Just choose the one you like and feel comfortable with. Of course, if you are comfortable with mechanical keyboards, then, by all means, use it.  The major difference between a mechanical and all the others is keystroke feedback.  Many experienced typists will agree that you get a subtle feedback after pressing the key to the bottom on a mechanical keyboard, so you know exactly when you missed a key.

If you aren’t comfortable with that feeling, then use a membrane keyboard.  Although technically mechanical keyboard has a higher rate versus others, it should be negligible while fps gaming… But if you are a world class competitive speed typist, then it will matter.The other side of the equation is your mouse.  All of the PC fps gaming professionals competing in today’s tournaments use wired laser mice.  Although that may change soon, as of the time this article is written, wired laser mice are still widely used because of their dependability.  Wireless mice could be used during regular scrimmages where rankings or prizes aren’t part of the equation, but when push comes to shove, gamers always fallback to the old faithful wired laser mice.

Let’s also talk about mouse pads, if you are serious about fps gaming, you’ll invest in a decent mouse pad. They have a variety of designs and suit for different occasions such as for speed or control.  If you want to impress your friends, then check out this LED lighted mouse pad in our store.

FPS Gaming – DPI Affects Your Aim

In order to excel in FPS gaming, mouse sensitivity is probably the most important setting.  But what is the relationship between your sensitivity and DPI and how does either one of them affect your aim?

In order to answer that, let’s take a closer look at the following in comparison:

As you can clearly see, dpi matters. The first image uses a 400 dpi setting and the second image uses 1600 dpi setting.  With the same amount of physical movement, the higher dpi setting mouse covers much more ground.  The key is to start with a low dpi such as 400 then move up until you find the perfect one matching your playing style.

Now, what is the use of Windows Mouse Sensitivity and Acceleration? Or better known as Mouse properties in your Windows operating system’s control panel.

Windows Motion (Slow – Fast) Settings: This setting will “software” enhance your mouse movements.  Which simply means if you have an 800 dpi mouse and you want it to perform 1600 dpi’s speed, you can increase pointer speed to 11 (fastest), and theoretically it will work.  But any self-respecting fps gamer will tell you, due to the “bugging” nature of Windows, this kind of increase will cause skips in the movements.  The highest that you can safely go is a 6, just the default setting… so not that much wiggle room is there?

Here is a quick reference for those who want to experiment with Windows sensitivity settings:


  • 3/11 = 0.25
  • 4/11 = 0.5
  • 5/11 = 0.75
  • 6/11 = 1 (1:1 ratio of dots per inch)
  • 7/11 = 1.5
  • 8/11 = 2
  • 9/11 = 2.5
  • 10/11 = 3
  • 11/11 = 3.5

At settings 11, you will be skipping  3.5 times more dots per inch in order to achieve the speed, which means even if you have the right aim on your target you may still miss. So get a mouse that can do at least 1200 dpi for gaming, or 5500 to excel at it.

Another setting below the mouse sensitivity is called Enhanced pointer precision, which is also known as mouse acceleration.  Basically, the faster your movement is, the farther your pointer travels.  Because it is harder to master this precision, most fps gamers don’t use it.  Just imagine in the heat of battle you flick your wrist a little too fast due to adrenaline and your aim is off, even if you had your target in sight.

To sum up, don’t mess with Windows Mouse motion settings and uncheck Enhanced pointer precision if it is checked.  Then, start your game with 400 ~ 800 dpi, move your mouse across your mouse pad and see if you can cover enough distance without having to move too much.  Then gradually increase your dpi settings until you are comfortable.

FPS Gaming Training Techniques – Bonus 

When it comes to becoming an expert, nothing beats the old sweat and blood.  If you want to dominate FPS, you’ll have to do the same, that is, investing your virtual blood and sweat.

Practice makes it perfect, but playing aimlessly in your favorite games is not going to help much. You can spend thousands of hours making the same mistakes over and over until you learn, or you can progress systematically if you follow these guidelines below.

Before getting into the specifics, there are two types of aiming: tracking and snap (flick) shots.  Here is an example of both types of shots in fps gaming:

Tracking is basically just following your enemy along at all times and keep their heads in your crosshair while you fire at will. Snap or flick shotting is basically sharp snapping your crosshair at your target then back to a neutral position.  This is primarily using a powerful yet single-round weapon, perfect for those one-shot kill situations.

In order to master any FPS game, you need to get these 2 aiming techniques down like donkey kong! (I can’t help it :).  No, you need to be skillful with these 2 techniques and once you have mastered them at a lower dpi setting, gradually move up until you are owning at 2000+ dpi settings. Because as you increase your dpi, your reflexes are also being trained, pushed to the limits, and getting used to higher levels of play.

So how can you train your aiming? Well, playing with bots is definitely a must, especially when you just starting out.  It’s a lot of fun jumping into a newbie server and kills everyone in a free-for-all, but you are not really improving your skills.  To improve, follow these routines and spend most of your playing time to master them.

Level 1: Go to a map where you can find a single point of reference, such as the stop sign you see on the right.  Strafe, jump, run, duck, and just go wild but keep your crosshair squarely on the stop sign.  Make sure that the target is not center-leveled.  Because if you get into a habit of targeting center only, you will end up effective only when your enemy is at eye level. You need to be able to aim up, down, plus left and right while moving frantically in all directions, so practice until your crosshair never leaves the red area of the stop sign.  Then pick the “O” in STOP and maintain your crosshair there at all times.  If you can do that easily, move on to the next level.

Level 2: This is where crybabies become men in the game. You will have to learn to track properly.  We recommend setting up bots for this level because you are not going to fire at them.

Put your crosshair on the head of your opponent.  Track them through their entire path and anticipate their movements. Always keep the crosshair high to inflict maximum damage (headshot!). Make sure you track even through obstacles and anticipate where they will show up next.

Once you’ve become proficient with tracking, familiarize with every single type of opponents in the game.  Because everyone moves at a different speed and pace. It’s important to know all of that if you want to dominate the game.

Level 3: Final part of this level is an extension of the first 2 levels, but in addition, your assignment is to understand how each weapon handles.  You need to know the recoil, the reload time, and of course, it’s spray pattern and how to compensate for that.  Also, pay close attention to your area maps.  You need to know every nook and cranny of the map so you can take advantage of it.  Every professional FPS player must have spent thousands of hours per map played in competitions. They know about every single advantage/camping points on the map and they have a strategy/counter-measure for every one of them.

So, you now have a plan.  Get the right fps gaming gears and go practice, practice, and practice some more.

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