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 have mouse acceleration 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 inbuilt 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.

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.

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.

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 have it switched on or off?

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

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.

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.

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.

Quake and Raw Accel

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 in Quake and prefer it that way, as it works well with this specific game.

Another caveat is using an acceleration software that’s actually 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.

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.

Conclusion

The truth is that there’s no definitive answer as to whether you should have mouse acceleration on or 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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