The BEST way to Setup Your Mouse DPI for StarCraft 2

Originally published at: The BEST way to Setup Your Mouse DPI for StarCraft 2 - ESChamp

OK, you know that having your mouse settings set right is important and so you just look up what your favourite pro is using and set that. Right?

Not so simple, just adjusting your sensitivity without proper setup can lead to misclicks, jittering cursor or just plain poor accuracy.

Build it from the ground up

Our goal is to set up your mouse for high speeds without sacrificing precision. Which will give you a good foundation to build your muscle memory up for accuracy.

Before we start it’s important I define a couple of settings and talk about how they affect our accuracy


Ok let’s start with CPI, Yes, you heard right CPI which stands for Counts Per Inch and is the real term the mouse measure in. A count is a number that your mouse reports to the operating system to tell it how many pixels to move the cursor when moved one inch.

Often referred to by everyone as DPI, dots per inch. DPI is more applicable to printers than mice

But somewhere along the lines, DPI caught on and manufacturers wanted to use what people knew. So here we are, oh Except for Steel Series who are out there using it properly, shout outs to you.

So If you see CPI or DPI, know they refer to the same thing. The more raw counts your mouse transmits, the more pixels your mouse will move your cursor.

CPI can be changed via your mouse’s manufacture software or via the mouse itself

From here on out though we’ll use DPI because that’s what you’re all used to but secretly know, I am judging you for doing it wrong.

The second is Sensitivity, which is the amount your cursor moves on the screen relative to how much you move your mouse. This is how you perceive the speed of the cursor.

moving your hand a lot for little on-screen movement feels slow, and moving your hand a little for a lot of on-screen movement feels fast.

While DPI is configured by your mouse, sensitivity can be changed by your Operating System or StarCraft and is applied to your DPI.

You can have situations where you have low DPI and high sensitivity settings or vice versa and it feels perfectly normal to you but there is a catch.

Increasing the sensitivity through Windows or the game takes the number of pixels the cursor should move according to your DPI and multiplies it. Creating a scenario where there are certain pixels the mouse cursor cannot land and causes pixel skipping which can add up to a misclick.

The absolute best way to set the speed of your mouse is to get windows and StarCraft out of your way and adjust your DPI.

Creating what’s called a 1:1 ratio, that is for every raw count our mouse sends to windows or StarCraft 2, your mouse cursor moves one pixel on your monitor.

Free of pixel skipping or inconsistencies


Two pieces of equipment we need to confirm.

First up is your monitor, believe it or not, your monitor plays a role in your sensitivity

Screen Size doesn’t matter rather the resolution is what’s important.

The higher the resolution of the monitor, the slower the mouse cursor will feel to move. Remember 1 DPI = 1 pixel

So if you have your DPI set for 1000 and your monitor set to 1920 x 1080 moving your mouse one inch from left to right will cover just about halfway

but if you drop your resolution to 1280 x 720 moving from left to right 1 inch will almost take you across the whole screen.

so if you change resolutions you need to adjust your DPI by a similar ratio to get back your default.

Let’s talk about what kind of mouse you have. You’re going to want a gaming mouse.

The brand is a personal preference but something to watch for is it lets you adjust the DPI and its polling rate.

It should let you change DPI either by a button or the driver software

While Polling Rate is the speed at which your mouse communicates with your PC, regular workstation mice have a Polling Rate of 125hz, while gaming mice typically have 1000hz, which is ideal, more than that is diminishing returns as far game engine, and CPU usage is concerned.

anything lower than 500hz on a 120 or 144 Hz monitor you’ll feel a noticeable lag

This is why you’ll want a wired over a wireless mouse

Wireless Bluetooth mice typically have polling of 133hz or lower and you’ll need to start looking at a pricer 2.4ghz wireless mice if you want to match wired mouse connectivity speed.

Even then you run a risk into possible connection stability issues

While wired gaming mice are cost-effective and reliable if you go to LAN events. Plug it in and It just works.

Bonus to travel if your mouse has the ability to save DPI settings onto the mouse itself.

Setting Up 1:1 Ratio

Let’s talk about getting that 1:1 ratio

To get that golden 1:1 ratio we need to make sure Windows or StarCraft 2 aren’t messing with the pixel counts.

Starting with Windows, open control panel, mouse, on mouse properties click pointer option

in the motion section we want to turn off ‘Enhance pointer precision’, this is a type of acceleration that if left on will limit your ability to make precise movements.

Windows will monitor your mouse and try to adjust your sensitivity on the fly based on how fast you move the mouse.

This will make it difficult to predict how far your cursor will move because it becomes a variable.

Windows has it on by default, so make sure you turn it off.

alright here is where the magic happens

You want to set your mouse to the 6th notch which is known as 6/11 in gaming circles

these notches apply a multiplier to your mouse’s sensitivity

problem is above or below 6, windows will add or deduct inputs - like this… notice the greens and red? Those are lost inputs and skipped pixels. Only when we set it to 6 do we get our 1:1

Now time to open StarCraft, navigate to Options, Mouse and Keyboard

First, we are going to tackle ‘Enable Mouse Sensitivity’

When checked, StarCraft will use a Microsoft API called DirectInput to bypass windows to read your raw mouse movements from an input method called WM_Input.

unchecked, let window’s handle it using input method WM_MOUSEMOVE to tell the game where your mouse is

because StarCraft isn’t reading mouse movements directly but reading something else that is, there is a bit of overhead created that makes allowing windows to handle nanoseconds faster. Something I promise you won’t feel

No, The real advantage of having StarCraft handle sensitivity comes if you’re the kind of person that changes gaming setups often for LAN events. Then you have the peace of mind that your settings will be correct no matter where you go because it saves with your battle net account. No need to mess with that PC’s settings.

So if you’re giving StarCraft the power to control your sensitivity we still want our 1:1 ratio so we can make sure our mouse stays golden.

So You See this slider? You will need to choose either %51, 52%, 53% or 54% because these represent 6/11 as we have on windows. The slider applies similar sensitivity as windows but increments of 5% and rounds it, which is why you want to stay in this range.

Going above or below those numbers will cause the same skipped pixels as we saw when we had windows handling it.

Adjusting your DPI

From here its time to open your Mouse’s driver software and adjust your DPI, While First Person shooters generally use low DPI, StarCraft players range on the higher end but not too high that they sacrifice accuracy

Typically Players will use anywhere from 600 - 1400, so start somewhere in there

You can now go ahead and practice being precise! Go ahead and load up a map by yourself and start playing a game of SCII.

Focus on making very precise movements; when you box your units make the
box as small as possible; when you issue commands to your army, try to issue a single command instead of multiple successive ones until you hit the spot you want.

Load up an arcade game like Iceman’s Mouse Accuracy Trainer practice grabbing individual units without overshooting your target

You can even tweak it outside of the game browser-based or OSU to test your accuracy and give you a sense of how precise you can be with your clicks while moving quickly. Keep tweaking your DPI on your mouse until you nail the sweet spot

Alright, by now, you should be well on your way to set up your mouse’s sensitivity so it’s right for you, with no skipped pixels and adjusting it for any gaming setup changes that come your way.

Good Luck and Have Fun out there!