Glossary:Mouse acceleration

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

Mouse acceleration is often confused with mouse smoothing although these two are very different things:

Mouse acceleration is a setting where the cursor distances increases if the mouse is moved quickly.
Mouse smoothing is the interpolation of raw input data from the mouse in order to prevent jerky movement in low resolution mice.

Unfortunately developers are using these terms very loosely so in one game smoothing can mean acceleration, in another some completely different system for enhancing mouse movement.

Mouse smoothing[edit]

As stated before, mouse smoothing is the interpolation of mouse raw input data and it was originally created for opto-mechanical mice. These mice didn't have a very high resolution (usually up to 400 DPI) so cursor movement appeared jerky - cursor jumped few pixels each time. To prevent this jerky movement mouse smoothing was introduced. System is interpolating raw data from the mouse and creating additional data points so the final mouse movement on the screen is smooth.

This feature should not exist today as every mouse on the market has at least 800 DPI resolution, however it is still used in some games and some mouse manufacturers are using it to further increase the perceived DPI. Unfortunately is not easily detectable apart from mouse movement feeling weird.

Mouse acceleration[edit]

Mouse acceleration is a different system to enhance mouse movement. Distance of the cursor on the screen is highly dependent on the speed which mouse is moved. Lets say user moves his mouse 5 cm in a 5 seconds - in this case the cursor will travel 200 pixels on the screen. Then the mouse is moved by the same 5 cm but in a 1-second and this time cursor will travel 1000 pixels - five times the distance of the slow movement.

This behaviour can be beneficial in desktop environment where you'd need low speeds for precision task (image editing) and simultaneously fast speeds for quickly moving cursor to the different parts of the screen. However it is highly undesirable in any game, where you are often in control of a camera. Every game will have different acceleration setting and it is impossible to achieve any consistent behaviour.

How to detect mouse acceleration in game[edit]

It is very easy to spot mouse acceleration in game as usually very fast mouse movement will result with several 360° rotation of players character. If you are not sure how to find out if your game uses acceleration, follow our guide:

Mouse acceleration detection in FPS/TPS games[1]
  1. Launch the game, find a quiet spot.
  2. Move your cross hair to some specific spot - edge of building, distant window etc. This will create starting point.
  3. Put your hand on the mouse pad on the one side of your mouse to create a barrier.
  4. Move your mouse slowly from your hand and create 90° or 180° rotation in game. This movement should take more than 2 seconds.
  5. Now move your mouse back to the default position marked by your hand as fast as you can.
  6. If your cross hair ended up roughly on the same spot, game does not feature acceleration. Usually when games uses acceleration, your cross hair will end up on vastly different location.

Types of mouse acceleration[edit]

There are two basic types of mouse acceleration: positive acceleration and negative acceleration.

Positive mouse acceleration[edit]

Positive mouse acceleration means that faster you are moving your mouse, farther cursor will travel on the screen. This is the most common implementation and you can find it in Windows (under Enhance pointer precision) and in many games. Some games let you even tweak strength of acceleration.

Negative mouse acceleration[edit]

Exactly opposite behavior - faster your mouse is moving, less distance cursor will travel. This is undesirable behavior and could indicate some sort of input or performance problem as game is dropping mouse input data, but more commonly mouse control implementation is botched and not tested properly. Examples are Dunia engine based games like Far Cry 3 or Far Cry 3 - Blood Dragon where you need to increase polling rate within game data files.

Combination of positive and negative mouse acceleration[edit]

Rarely you can also encounter a combination of these two (example Remember Me, Watch_Dogs), where the game practically ignores low speed mouse movements and camera just staying still. Positive acceleration is applied to medium speed movements and there is also strong negative acceleration to high speed mouse movements.

Recommendations[edit]

While the setting is a personal choice, it is recommend that you disable mouse acceleration to provide a more consistent aim in more competitive titles. While playing without mouse acceleration may initially be difficult for players used to playing with it, after playing without it for some time most players become used to it, and often may see an improvement in the precision of their aim.

If you want to be able to move the mouse around the screen with fewer swipes without enabling mouse acceleration, it is recommend that you pickup a gaming mouse with a high DPI sensor. This allows for the ability to move the cursor farther while keeping the cursor movement consistent.

Also it is almost impossible to achieve the same acceleration setting between different games as games rarely let users tweak acceleration strength.

The best option is to always use raw mouse input although not many game supports this feature. Raw input means the game is taking unchanged data directly from mouse drivers before it goes through operating system enhancements.

Issues fixed[edit]

Mouse lag in Windows 8.1[edit]

With Windows 8.1 Microsoft introduced new DPI scaling enhancements.[2] which is causing mouse lag and strange mouse behavior in games.[3][4][5]
Disable DPI scalling[3][5]
  1. Navigate to the game executable, right click on it and select properties.
  2. Navigate to the compatibility tab.
  3. Check Run this program in compatibility mode for and select Windows 8.
  4. Check Disable scaling on high DPI settings.
  5. Click OK to close the window.
Registry fix[citation needed]
  1. Download The MarkC Windows 8.1 + 8 + 7 Mouse Acceleration Fix.
  2. Set up your display DPI.
  3. Extract downloaded archive.
  4. Find corresponding .REG file for your system and DPI setting and run it.
  5. Reboot or log off to apply the fix.

Note: This will completely disable mouse acceleration for your system even in desktop environment.

Windows smooth mouse even if you disable pointer precision[edit]

Completely disable mouse smoothing[6]

1. Open regedit
2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Mouse
3. Edit SmoothMouseXCurve hex value like below and save

00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
00,a0,00,00,00,00,00,00
00,40,01,00,00,00,00,00
00,80,02,00,00,00,00,00
00,00,05,00,00,00,00,00

4. Edit SmoothMouseYCurve hex value like below and save

00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
66,a6,02,00,00,00,00,00
cd,4c,05,00,00,00,00,00
a0,99,0a,00,00,00,00,00
38,33,15,00,00,00,00,00 

See also[edit]

Glossary:Mouse

References

  1. |HOW TO| IS MOUSEACCEL ON OR OFF?
  2. Windows 8.1 DPI Scaling Enhancements - Extreme Windows Blog
  3. 3.0 3.1 WINDOWS 8.1 WARNING FOR GAMERS: ISSUES WITH UNPLAYABLE MOUSE LAG IN MANY GAMES - Reddit
  4. upgraded to windows 8.1 now have horrid mouse acceleration - Steam Users' Forums (retrieved)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Windows 8.1 Gaming Mouse Lag Fix (MS Please Permanently Fix This) - tek syndicate
  6. impossible to have smooth mouse control? - Troubleshooting - GTA Forums