A Windows feature has been messing up player’s aims since the early days of esports. It is enabled by default by Windows OS, and it is a bane of competitive First Person Shooter players. It’s called mouse acceleration and is named “enhance pointer precision” in the mouse settings of the Windows control panel.
What is Mouse Acceleration?
Mouse Acceleration is a setting that makes the cursor go a farther distance, the faster you move the mouse. This can be useful for people with limited mouse space, but is heavily detrimental for competitive gaming that requires accurate mouse movements.
Turning off mouse acceleration matches the mouse and cursor movement with no relation to speed, ensuring a 1:1 ratio of mouse to cursor movement. This consistency allows professional players to train their muscle memory a lot better. This is why most esports players disable mouse acceleration.
Why Does it Matter for Esports?
In games where milliseconds could define the outcome of the match, cursor precision plays a very important part in skill expression. Aiming is the core mechanic of any First-Person Shooter (FPS) game like Overwatch, CS:GO, and Valorant. While there are a lot of factors that contribute to the success of a professional esports player in the genre, such as game sense and team coordination. Aiming is arguably the most important skill to develop.
Any player looking to climb the ranks in any FPS game has to work on their game sense and map mastery, given that no player will be able to reach their potential without these fundamentals. There are some players that are naturally gifted in terms of aiming, but at the end of the day, it is simply muscle memory and reflexes, and it can be developed and improved with practice.
This is where mouse acceleration ruins the precision of the player’s aims. Muscle memory is a big part of aiming reflexively, and mouse acceleration will just be another factor to be considered if it is turned on. That is why esports players make it a habit to turn off their mouse acceleration before every match as to avoid the unpredictable nature of the setting.
Even RTS and MOBA games are affected by mouse acceleration. Competitive strategy games require a high level of efficiency which is usually improved upon by precise cursor movements and patterns through muscle memory. Mouse acceleration can be a cause for errors in micro for games like RTS and MOBA wherein small errors in mouse precision are easily punished at a high-level of play.
How to Turn Off Mouse Acceleration?
Step 1: Go to your Start Menu and type in “mouse settings”. Click on it.
Step 2: Click on “Additional Mouse Options”
Step 3: Click on the “Pointer Options” tab and uncheck “Enhance pointer precision.”
Step 4: Click Apply then OK.
Once you disable it you will notice more consistent mouse movement. This can be the edge that you need to climb the ranks!
Additional Tips to Improve Your Aim
- Adjust your mouse sensitivity – with a more consistent mouse sensitivity, now it’s important that you set your mouse sensitivity according to your preferences. Make sure that the sensitivity gives you full control of the cursor, and that your muscle memory is in sync with it. Watch a coaching video to adjusting your mouse sensitivity.
- Clean or Change your mousepad – The dirt that builds up on the mousepad usually goes unnoticed until it gets very disruptive. The extra friction caused by dirt on the mousepad might seem like a small thing, but it can be a gamechanger to those flicks.
- Invest in a better mouse – This is a no-brainer. A good mouse and keyboard is a solid investment not just for esports players, but even for casual gamers.
- Practice, practice, practice – Need I say more?
There are several reasons why your aim could be off, but don’t sweat it! It happens! That’s why so many guides have been created for just that one aspect of gaming, it is THAT important.
While there are a lot of guides out there to help you with improving your aim that can help in your gaming experience, at the end of the day, it will be your own efforts in improving as a player that will be most beneficial in the long run. So get those hours in! Git gud!
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