Before buying a gaming mouse, you need to know what mouse polling rate and DPI are, as these are two of the most important features of a good gaming mouse. A gaming mouse is sometimes the difference between a good and a great gaming session. The extra time you spend learning more about polling rates will help you get the best for your setup.
So what is mouse polling rate? How do you test to know your mouse polling rate? How do you change your mouse polling rate? And what is the best mouse polling rate for FPS games like Fortnite and COD? This article will be discussing all of that and more.
What Is Mouse Polling Rate? And What Does It Really Mean For You?
A mouse polling rate is how often a mouse communicates its position to the computer. The unit of measuring the polling rate is Hertz (Hz). The higher the polling rate, the more times a mouse reports its position to the computer every second. So if a mouse has a 500Hz polling rate, it means it reports its position to the computer 500 times every second. That means a 1000Hz mouse reports its position to the computer 1000 times every second, or every 4 milliseconds.
The polling rate of a mouse shouldn’t be confused with its DPI or Dots per Inch. The DPI is a unit of measurement used to rate how sensitive a mouse is. When the DPI is higher, the cursor on the monitor screen tends to move farther, while the polling rate refers to how fast the cursor moves, or how fast the computer responds to the cursor movement.
500 vs. 1000Hz: Is Higher Mouse Polling Rate Better?
A higher mouse polling rate is generally seen to be better, but a lot more is required if you want to see the difference between a 500Hz polling rate and a 1000Hz polling rate. You need to consider factors like what you expect from a gaming mouse, what your experience and skill levels are, and in some cases what the response time of your gaming monitor is.
If you use the average gaming monitor, you’d hardly be able to tell the difference between a 500Hz and a 1000Hz report rate. It’s only a 1ms deference, which means it’s quite negligible. So we can summarize everything like this: a 1000Hz polling rate is snappier, while a 500Hz polling rate is smoother.
If you use a higher polling rate, you’ll use more CPU resources. When there aren’t enough CPU resources, a higher polling rate – in this case a 1000Hz polling rate – could become unstable, in which case you’d need to revert to a lower, and almost-as-effective one, a 500Hz polling rate.
How to Take a Mouse Polling Rate Test [Best USB Mouse Polling Rate Checker Online]
To test what your gaming mouse’s polling rate is, use this online tool from Benq. On the tool, you will click on the page and will be required to move your mouse. You should then have a pretty good estimate of what the average polling rate for your mouse is. The tool from Benq remains one of the best if you need a free online USB mouse polling rate checker.
How to Change Mouse Polling Rate
- First Unplug Your Mouse from the computer.
- To change mouse polling rate to 125Hz, Hold Buttons 4+5, and then Plug the Mouse Back into the USB port. When the wheels light up, the polling rate will now be 125Hz.
- To change the mouse polling rate to 500Hz, Hold the Button 5 and Plug the Mouse into the Computer. The rate will become 500Hz as soon as the wheel lights up.
- To change the mouse polling rate to 1000Hz, Hold the Button 4, then Plug the Mouse into the USB Port. As soon as the wheel lights up, the polling rate would now be 1000Hz.
These changes won’t take effect if your gaming mouse doesn’t support the report rate you’re trying to use. So if the highest polling rate for your mouse is 500Hz, you won’t be able to upgrade to 1000Hz, but you’d be able to downgrade the polling rate to let’s say 125Hz.
I also noticed that not all brands of gaming mouse can be adjusted, here are some of the best gaming mouse with support for DPI and polling rate adjustments.
[125Hz vs. 500Hz vs. 1000Hz] Adjust Razer Polling Rate on Windows 10 with Razer Synapse 2 Or 3
Razer remains one of the few brands of gaming mice online that offer you an Ultrapolling feature out-of-the-box. This feature allows you to adjust the polling rate to your preference. A Razer mouse comes with support for adjusting the polling rate from 125Hz to a max of 1000Hz.
To change the polling rate with Razer Synapse:
- Download the Razer Synapse 2 Or 3
- Open the app >> click the Mouse tab
- Click on the Performance tab
- You’ll find the polling rate adjustment on the Right Side of the Display
- Open the dropdown for a list of polling rates to choose from
- Select your preferred polling rate, between 125Hz, 500Hz, and 1000Hz
Best Polling Rate for FPS [Fortnite, Destiny 2, COD]
1000Hz is the best polling rate for FPS games like Fortnite, Call of Duty, Destiny 2, CO:GO, and many others. The rule of thumb remains that if you want higher perfect control with lower responsiveness, the 500Hz is great, but if you want lower perfect control with more responsiveness, 1000Hz mouse polling rate is the sweet spot.
Gaming Mouse vs. Regular Mouse
The differences between a regular mouse and a gaming mouse are that a gaming mouse has better sensitivity, a higher polling rate, and better DPI compared to a regular mouse. A gaming mouse also has a lot more buttons, which means better customizations, while a normal mouse doesn’t. A gaming mouse is also more ergonomically friendly and is designed for long sessions while a normal mouse doesn’t come with all of that in features. Generally speaking, the average gaming mouse is built to be more rugged and last longer than the regular mouse.
The Types of Gaming Mice
There are four main types of gaming mice.
- Trackball Mouse
- Laser Mouse
- Optical Mouse
- Wireless Optical Mouse
Is a Gaming Mouse worth It?
A good gaming mouse is pricier than the regular gaming mouse, and they worth every dime invested in them. The rule of thumb is knowing what you’d like to use the mouse for. If you spend more time gaming on your PC, and rarely ever use a console for gaming, then get an all-purpose gaming mouse.
Which Gaming Mouse Should I Buy?
In case you’re among those asking yourself “which gaming mouse should I buy” this article has shown a couple of things to look for in a gaming mouse. It should have a minimum of 500Hz polling rate and should have a minimum of 400 DPI for best sensitivity. Considering these two important factors, the gaming mouse we will recommend that you buy is the Razer Basilisk Ultimate HyperSpeed Wireless Gaming Mouse. You can easily program the gaming mouse, change between its different levels of DPI and polling rates. It’s the best for FPS games, its wireless and it comes with a software that makes setting it up a breeze.
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