What is mouse jitter?
We all know it doesn’t sound good, but what exactly is mouse jitter? Simply put it’s when your mouse cursor jumps around and makes sudden, unexpected movements on the screen without you having made those movements. This is not to be confused with angle snapping or mouse smoothing, since these are deliberate attempts (from either the software side or hardware side) to predict and alter mouse movement. Mouse jitter (or stutter) is unpredictable and inconsistent.
Mouse jitter (or mouse stutter) in practice and how to fix it
If a mouse stutters or jitters right from the get go and you’ve had no issues with previous mice then it’s probably best to just return that product and ask for a replacement or go for another product entirely if jittering is a known issue with that mouse. There’s simply no excuse in today’s market to produce a gaming mouse that jitters, and mouse jittering is definitely one of the biggest ‘cardinals sins’ for gaming mice since it’s so unpredictable and can absolutely destroy your ingame performance.
That being said; it is entirely possible that your perfectly functioning flawless sensor mouse suddenly starts messing up, and luckily that can most often be fixed pretty easily.
One of the most common causes of sudden onset mouse stuttering is also one of the most simple ones, namely dust. Modern mouse sensors are extremely delicate and precise instruments, so something as simple as a tiny speck of dust lodging itself in the hole where the sensor goes can cause the mouse to freak out. The simple fix? Clean your mouse or gently blow away the dust from the sensor.
It’s also of importance to have the appropriate playing surface. If you’ve got a state of the art gaming mouse you should put it on a mousepad, and ideally one that’s designed for gaming. If you put your super sensitive sensor on a reflective glass surface, for example, it’s going to have a way harder time accurately tracking your motion.
Always make sure that your mouse is on a flat surface, ideally a surface that’s designed for gaming or at least designed to ‘accommodate’ a computer mouse. It’s also worth noting that some mice have trouble with brightly colored/patterned pads (though that ideally shouldn’t be the case) so if you’re having trouble with jitters it might be a good idea to try and test your mouse on a solid color pad.
The following tip is basic ‘troubleshooting’, but if your mouse (or any piece of hardware) suddenly starts malfunctioning after installing a certain piece of software it’s obviously also a good idea to disable those programs or to roll back your drivers.