Mouse acceleration: What is it, and should you have it enabled?

Mouse acceleration is definitely something to consider if you’re trying to get the best performance possible from your computer mouse. But, there are different opinions about whether you should disabled mouse acceleration and have it switched on or off on your computer.

And depending on what you’re doing, it may or may not make sense to change its setting. So, we’ll first look at what mouse acceleration is, and then check out why you may want to take a look at your mouse’s settings.

Mouse acceleration: What is it?

Mouse acceleration is a setting or in-built software function that makes your mouse cursor travel faster depending on how quickly you moves your mouse in a certain direction.

For example, if you move your mouse 2 inches to the right very slowly, then it’ll likely move the cursor on your display around the same distance. But, if you were to move it the same distance in a much quicker motion, then it’ll move the cursor on your screen a lot further.

Most people think that mouse acceleration is controlled by a setting within your operating system. And this is true – your OS will likely have an option that you can turn on and off which controls this function. You can do this easily in Windows, and it’s a bit more difficult, but you can do it with the MacOS too.

But, it’s not the only way that you may have mouse acceleration with your current setup. It could be included in the drivers that you’re using with your mouse, so it pays to check this too. Often, gamers will use custom drivers to gain an advantage over their competition.

It can also just be part of the hardware of your mouse as well, which there’s not a lot you can do about. And finally, it could be a setting within the program or game that you’re currently playing. You’ll find that certain fps games will have an option for mouse accel in the settings.

So we know where to check for potential places where mouse acceleration can be toggled on or off. But should you automatically turn it off when you’re using a computer or laptop, or are there some circumstances where it may come in handy?

Should I disable mouse acceleration: switched on or off?

mouse settings

Mouse acceleration can be a good thing in certain conditions. If you want the utmost in convenience and navigation, then having acceleration activated can make things a little easier for you.

It’s also potentially a good thing for those that don’t have a ton of desk space to take advantage of. If you only have a small desk to use, then having it enabled can make it better for you moving around a small confined space.

Plus, if you’ve been using mouse acceleration for years already, then it may pay to leave it on. You’ve likely got used to it already and know how it works and the distances it uses. So, if you were to switch it off, it may have a big impact on your gameplay for a while until you adapt.

However for gamers, it’s usually much better to turn mouse acceleration off if you can. The main reason for this is the accuracy of your mouse or cursor is ultimately going to be better, as there’s going to be no compensating for the speed you move your mouse.

When it comes to your co-ordination, it’s going to be a lot easier for you to feel the distance that you’re moving the mouse than it is for you to gauge the speed you’re using it at. So, you want it to move the same distance no matter how quickly you snap from left to right.

It’s thought by most that having the setting disabled makes a mouse good for FPS (first-person shooter games) when the precision of your aim is one of the most important factors.

So, most gamers generally agree that it’s better to have the mouse acceleration setting off. When I say this, I’m referring to the setting you can change within your operating system though.

FPS, Quake and Raw Accel

Mouse accelleration for first person shooter games

It’s worth giving a quick mentioning probably two of the biggest caveats to the general rule of having mouse acceleration off.

One is Quake, which is a popular first-person shooter and has been for many years now. Tons of players have mouse acceleration activated with Quake and prefer it that way, as it works well with this specific game.

It’s pretty well known that having mouse accel works well in Quake, but not the in-game acceleration. Instead, you’ll want to use the software that comes with your mouse to adjust this. Or, you can look at getting specific software.

This is another caveat, as using an acceleration software can actually be really beneficial to your gameplay. The most popular of these is Raw Accel, which can be downloaded and used with your mouse to make your gameplay a little better.

But for the most part, you’re going to want to turn mouse acceleration off within your settings (or at least try it with and without). Here’s how you can switch it off if you’re a Windows user.

How to turn mouse acceleration on or off (Windows 10)

If you’ve decided to have mouse acceleration on or off, you’ll still need to know how to change it within your settings. Fortunately for Windows 10 users, it’s actually pretty easy for you to change. It’s fairly easy in other operating systems too, as they use a similar method to Windows.

When you’re going to turn this setting on or off, you’re not actually looking for something call mouse acceleration. Instead, in Windows you can turn it on and off with the Enhanced Pointer Precision toggle box.

You can find this within your settings. Simple go to Settings, then Devices, and then Mouse. Here, you’ll be able to make changes to how your mouse works with your computer.

Then, go into your mouse properties where you’ll find the Pointer options tab. Under this tab, you’ll be able to switch off the Enhanced pointer precision setting, which effectively turns this setting on and off.

It can also depend on the mouse that you’re using with your laptop or computer. For example, if you’ve got a Razer mouse, then you’ll be able to customize your mouse movement within the Razer Synapse software.

Conclusion

The truth is that there’s no definitive answer as to whether you should turn mouse acceleration off within your settings. As with most gamers, personally I’d say that it’s much better for your gameplay to have this setting switched off.

But in terms of convenience, for office and general computer use it may be better to leave it on. It can make things quicker if you’re accustomed to using a device with these settings already.

I’d advise anyone, especially those interested in gaming, to play around with the acceleration of your mouse. Try using it with it both activated and de-activated and see which works better for you.

About Nathan

Hello! I'm Nate. I work for an internet company during the week, so you'll probably see me on here jabbering about the internet and building websites, which is my main side hobby.

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