If you’ve ever picked up the box of a gaming mouse and looked at the specifications on the box, you might think you’re reading another language completely. The specifications of a gaming mouse are very specific and understanding them will help you make a better choice about which mouse will be best for your particular playstyle or game genre preference. Let’s have a look at the three most important of these specifications and what they’ll mean in real-world usage.
The Sensor Type
The mouse sensor is the eye of the mouse, which is responsible for translating the movement of the mouse into the movement of the cursor on the screen. Without the sensor, a mouse is useless and won’t work at all. In modern gaming mice, we find two different sensors, both of which work in almost the same way – optical and laser.
The optical sensor uses an LED light that will light up the surface (sometimes using light you can’t see with your eyes). This light is bounced off the surface and back into the mouse’s actual sensor (called the CMOS). These reflections are then translated into movement. The laser sensor uses a tiny infrared laser to accomplish the same thing very much, but it is fired many times a second instead of the constant light from an LED.
Both have advantages and disadvantages, but it’s the type of surface you’re using that should dictate your choice. An environment where dust and pet hairs might be present will lean better to optical, while a cleaner environment will bring out the advantages of a laser mouse.
The Sensor Resolution
The resolution of the sensor is how detailed an image the CMOS sensor will use to make its movement calculations. In gaming mice, such as Lenovo Gaming Mice, it’s measured in DPI and currently ranges from the office mouse range of around 200 to 400 DPI to the extremes of gaming mice reaching 20,000 DPI. A higher DPI means a mouse is more sensitive to movement and precision.
The actual DPI count isn’t that important when it comes to gaming mice – what you actually want is a way to adjust the DPI on the fly, usually using a DPI button to change the sensitivity of the mouse as you play, to lower it for quick movements and make it higher for precisions shots.
The Polling Rate
The polling rate is simply the number of times a mouse reports back to the computer every second with its position. The higher the polling rate, the more accurate the mouse will be and the quicker it will respond to movement. It’s measured in Hz. Generally, a gaming mouse should be around 1000Hz for the best results but do bear in mind that older or slower computers might become lagged by this higher polling rate, and thus might not be suitable for a gaming mouse.
Now that you understand gaming mice and their specifications better, you should be in the right position to choose the correct gaming mouse for your needs. Fancy marketing terms and hype can muddy the waters of knowing exactly what it is you’re actually buying, so having the facts handy is essential.