What is DPI & eDPI?

ProSettingsLibrary39 Comments

What is DPI & eDPI?


DPI stands for Dots Per Inch, which is a measurement of how many times your mouse reports its position to your PC. eDPI stands for ‘effective Dots Per Inch,’ which is a formula used to calculate the effective sensitivity of any given player, regardless of hardware or software settings. We explain this in depth below.

DPI


Note: in PC gaming, CPI (Counts Per Inch) is used intermittently with DPI. 

DPI stands for Dots Per Inch. If you’ve got your mouse set at 1000 DPI it means that the mouse will ‘measure’ 1000 points of movement per inch that you move the mouse. The higher your DPI is the more your cursor moves when you move the mouse, so the higher the DPI, the more ‘sensitive’ the mouse, from a hardware point of view. If your mouse is set to 800 DPI it will travel 800 pixels (‘counts/dots’) on screen per inch of movement on your desk.

DPI is always set on the mouse itself (or via software) and as such translates to the sensitivity of the mouse in Windows, internet browsers, and so on. So in general the DPI of your mouse will determine how sensitive it is throughout your entire system.

It is a common marketing gimmick to advertise gaming mice with absurdly high DPI counts, but most professional gamers set their DPI anywhere between 400 and 1600, making these absurdly high DPI possibilities virtually useless. Aside from that, some sensors will introduce smoothing at higher DPI levels, so it’s always safer to stay at 1600 or lower. If you want a higher overall sensitivity you can always up your ingame sensitivity.

Most mice have a DPI button located below the scroll wheel, allowing you to cycle between different DPI settings.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity (or ‘sens’) is the ingame sensitivity setting. Contrary to DPI this only applies in the game where you set it in, so it’s perfectly possible to have multiple different sensitivities across a variety of games installed on the same machine whilst using the same mouse. Different games also use different ways of measuring sensitivity, so ‘1’ sensitivity in game A won’t necessarily mean the same in game B.

Looking at DPI or ingame sensitivity on its own to compare is usually a bad idea. Player A can have his mouse set to 1600 DPI with an ingame sensitivity of 2, whilst player B can have her mouse set to 400 DPI with an ingame sensitivity of 8. These look like wildly different configurations, but in reality both players’ mice will be equally sensitive to movement.

eDPI

eDPI:
DPI * Sensitivity

Since gamers like to compare settings, gear, and so forth, and comparing raw sensitivity and DPI can get confusing we use eDPI when comparing ‘true sensitivities.’ eDPI stands for effective Dots Per Inch, and it’s calculated by multiplying the mouse DPI with the ingame sensitivity. This gives gamers a way of comparing the true sensitivity of different players, regardless of their hardware or software settings.

Player A has a DPI of 1600, and an ingame sens of 2.
Player B has a DPI of 400, and an ingame sens of 8.

Player A's eDPI = 3200 (1600*2)
Player B's eDPI = 3200 (400*8)

Both players have the same true sensitivity (eDPI), though their DPI and ingame sens are very different.

39 Comments on “What is DPI & eDPI?”

    1. Try googling “How to convert desktop sensitivity to ingame sensitivity” and you will find a couple of threads that will help you with your question. 🙂

  1. One interesting observation is that if you decide to use motion blur reduction by strobing (e.g. ULMB, ELMB, DyAc), is that without motion blur, mouse microstutters are much more visible.

    Blur-reduced modes look much better if you use a accurate ultra-high DPI (1600dpi+) and compensate by lowering in-game sensitivity.

    Your Windows desktop will move too fast, but you can configure mouse profiles to automatically raise DPI when your game launches (or steam.exe launches) and lower DPI when your game (or Steam.exe) exits.

    You want your mouseturns left/right to be as smooth (stutterless) as keyboard strafe left/right. That can be very hard.

    But by carefully raising DPI, it makes ULMB look so much better at all mouse movement speeds (slow mouse movements & flick mouse movements), especially if your framerates are matched with refresh rate. Ultra-high DPI with recent mouse sensor, on a very good mouse (1000Hz or true-2000Hz like Cougar Minos X5), with very clean mouse feet, on a very good mousepad. Makes a huge difference in making ULMB look better, it actually looks like my mouseturns are TestUFO-smooth.

    Thanks,
    Mark Rejhon
    Founder, Blur Busters

  2. i dont understand my eDPI . . . . .i play CSGO and I use 400 DPI and my sensivity in-game is 1.5 so whats my eDPI??? can u guys answer me??

  3. edpi is a strange use, it’s not actually an effective dpi, since in a game we are talking about measurements of angle, not inches on a mouse pad, the math is superficially easy, but it’s not intuitive, like if someone says they use “960” edpi, I can’t quickly see in my head what that means, I much prefer a term like “400 equivalent” or cm/revolution.

    If I use 0.6, and a 1600dpi mouse. I can take 1600/400 = 4.0, and then do 4.0*0.6 and I get [email protected], note that “edpi” is special case of “1 equivalent” -> [email protected], the reason why I like this is that most people have tried 400dpi, basically every non-gaming mouse is 400dpi, and so we can quickly figure out in our minds what means in real terms, and to people not familiar with “pro settings”, they don’t have to do any heavy lifting they just drop their mouse down to 400dpi and they can feel the sens.

    Even better is cm/rev because it’s game agnostic, I can just do `2.54 × 360 / (sense × yaw × dpi)`, where yaw is 0.022 (for counter-strike), and I get 43.3cm/rev, plus this standard has been used since early quake pro days.

    1. In the software of your mouse, or by looking at the manual and seeing what indicator LED corresponds to what DPI level.

    1. Zoom sensitivity is calculated differently in every game so it’s not taken into account when calculating eDPI or talking about DPI.

    1. 400 multiplied by 2.9 is 1160. With windows sensitivity 5 you have to multiply that value by 0.75 which is 870, so that’s your eDPI.

  4. “Different games also use different ways of measuring sensitivity, so ‘1’ sensitivity in game A won’t necessarily mean the same in game B.”

    According to your logic, if different games have 1 as default setting and are not the same sensitivity then eDPI would be completely useless
    Game A: 1 * 400 dpi = Game B: 1* 400 dpi
    If they do not feel the same, how would eDPI work?

    1. That’s correct; eDPI can’t be used to compare sensitivities across games, unless they use the same engine. People usually measure the amount of centimeters of travel on their pad that are required for a full 360 in the game to compare sensitivities across games. eDPI is a super handy tool to compare sensitivities within one game though, since it doesn’t require finnicking around with a ruler and so on.

  5. If I play cod:mw my normal dpi is 5700 ingame sense is usually 5. From what I’ve read I should turn my dpi down but I like quicker turns. I’m having trouble lowering my dpi and finding a good in game sense. What would might you recommend?
    Hardware is 2080ti extreme gpu and logitech 502 hero pro mouse

    1. Ingame sensitivity is all down to personal preference, but there is definitely an upper limit whereby it becomes almost impossible to make micro adjustments. There are two methods that can be used to get used to a lower sens: gradually lowering your sensitivity or going cold turkey and just lowering it to (for example) the pro average.

      We’re more fans of the second method since that is the fastest (your aim will obviously suffer tremendously during the adjustment period so we don’t recommend going into super competitive games or whatever during that period) but both methods have their merits. Once you’re somewhat used to the lower sens you can still gradually raise or lower it to reach your perfect sensitivity.

  6. How does mouse sensitivity in Windows settings affect the eDPI? There is a scale with range between “1-10”. Does anybody know what multiplier this scale uses? I keep mine in the middle at “5” as I believe it does not affect other settings. Can anybody advise?

    1. This isn’t counted in eDPI because pretty much everyone uses ‘raw input’ in competitive games which means that the game ignores your windows sensitivity.

  7. I’m confused. I play Warzone with 3550 mouse dpi and 8 in-game sensitivity. The formula posted doesn’t make sense. I’ve tried going down to 500 “like the pros” but it’s literally unusable. I can’t even browse the internet. The cursor moves like 1 inch on screen for every 10 inches on the mouse pad. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Well with that eDPI (which would be 28400) you’re coming from an insanely high effective DPi so it’s only natural that switching to a pro-average eDPI will feel slow. You’ll notice that all pro players use a large mousepad to accommodate for their large swipes so there isn’t really anything ‘wrong’ it’s just that pros use a much lower sensitivity than what you are using.

      An easy fix for the browser problem is to play at a higher DPI and set your ingame sensitivity lower, for example. If you’re at 1600 DPI and you use 0.3 in the game you’re at an eDPI of 480 in the game while still having a decently fast cursor for browsing. Another thing you can do is configure two different profiles on your mouse or through the software of your mouse where you use a higher DPI for browsing and then switch to your lower DPI gaming profile once you’re going in games.

  8. shadow90810, in that case, dont change the DPI of your mouse, just go in-game settings and change the sensitivity to “0.11”. That will give you 390 eDPI (3550 dpi * 0.11 = 390 eDPI). You will browse the internet like usual and you’ll have pro sensitivity ingame.

  9. So what’s the best way to find sensitivity in a new shooting game? My friend told me use a ruler to measure the length of moving 360 degrees in the old game then use the same number in the new game.

    1. Yes that is indeed a good way of doing things. Aside from that there are also a number of websites that convert your sensitivity for you (just google ‘sensitivity calculator’) so you can use those as a baseline and then measure your cm/360 to ensure that it’s exactly the same.

  10. Can you answer me if the chipset driver version of a motherboard can influence the accuracy of a mouse? I tested a few different versions and I feel a little difference in my gameplay .. That much AMD Intel, I tested with several mice

    1. I haven’t heard of that happening yet so I’m not sure if that should be possible, though you never know of course. Sorry that I can’t be of more help!

  11. Does your monitor resolution affect the DPI a player would use?

    For instance, if I play a game at 1440p I might need a higher DPI since to move 100 pixels at 1080p would result in 1 inch of movement on my screen, while, 100px at 1440p might only be only 1/2 an inch on a higher resolution screen. Am I thinking about this correctly?

    I ask because most pros are playing at 1080p and I play at 1440p, so if I use the average pro eDPI, I have to move my mouse a literal mile to turn around in-game which doesn’t seem realistic.

    For reference, in Valorant, I play at eDPI 516 compared to average 277(I think it’s closer to 330) which is 1.86x(1.56x) higher and 1440/1080 is 1.33x higher which is enough to correlate the difference to me.

    Side comment: the infographic posted yesterday on the /r/valorant claims that the average eDPI is 277 but I think the average is skewed low because of how the calculation and statistics are done.

    1. It depends. For some 2D games it could make a difference but rotation in 3D games is usually based on angles, not pixels, so the game doesn’t really care about your resolution. That’s why CS:GO pros don’t have to change their sensitivity when they change resolution, for example. If you want to be absolutely sure you can always measure your cm/360 though. As far as the infographic goes: that was definitely the average sensitivity of players at that time. Our list and guides have been updated since last week, but even if we look at the median eDPI we can see that it’s on the ‘lower’ side at 251.

  12. Can u help me ? I was using 3.0 in game sens, and now that i’ve changed to 800 dpi, my sens is very low, i have to put 7.0 now.. whats wrong ? i see the pro players here using 0.75 with 800 dpi … HOW ?? it’s impossible to play like that… can u help me ?

    1. I don’t know what game you’re talking about but pro players in general have a really low sensitivity compared to ‘casual gamers’. The average VALORANT pro, for example, has to move their mouse 47 centimeters to do a 360 degree turn in the game. It’s something you do get used to after a while.

  13. Thank you for sharing such an amazing guide. As a gamer, I would recommend 1k to 1600 for MMO games, and for a shooter game, 400 would be enough. What are your thoughts about it?

    1. Thank you for the kind words!
      With modern sensors it actually doesn’t matter as much: we find that most pro gamers are using either 400 or 800 DPI, with 1600 being another very popular option. Most don’t go any higher than that though (and there’s no need to since you can scale your sensitivity in the game if you want a higher overall sens) so we’d say your recommendations are pretty solid.

  14. Does this mean i have 75600 eDPI? I have 30 sense in R6 which translates to 36 (1.2*R6 sense for CSGO sense), and if I multiply my CSGO at 36 with my dpi at 2100 I get 75600?

    1. Your calculation to convert from Siege to CS:GO seems to be a bit off. Your sensitivity in CS:GO would be 7.18. Your eDPI in CS:GO would as such be 16380.

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