You might know DPI for printing. But what does DPI mean for a gaming mouse? Well since they use the same acronym, its meaning doesn’t change much.
If you want to take a detour and learn if a gaming mouse is worth buying, check out my relevant article.
What Does DPI Mean For A Gaming Mouse? – FAQ Part 1
First let’s take a peek at what DPI means for printing.
Question 1 – What Does DPI Mean In Printing?
DPI in printing means the number of dots that can be placed in a line that occupies 1 inch.
Question 2 – What Does DPI Mean For A Gaming Mouse?
DPI for a gaming mouse means how many pixels the mouse cursor will move on your monitor based on an inch of physical movement of the mouse.
Question 3 – Why Use DPI If It Isn’t Dots In Reality But Pixels?
Probably because the industry wanted people to learn it faster so they used an already known acronym even if it’s not technically accurate. A more technically accurate term is PPI (Pixels Per Inch).
Question 4 – Is CPI The Same As DPI?
Yes it is. It’s again Pixels Per Inch. Check out the quote from SteelSeries who uses this term mostly.
“Simply put, CPI is an acronym for Counts Per Inch, and often mislabeled as DPI, or Dots Per Inch. In other words, with a CPI setting of 800, a one-inch movement of your mouse moves your cursor 800 pixels. “https://steelseries.com/blog/the-cpi-lie-18
Question 5 – Does More CPI/ DPI Make A Better Gaming Mouse?
Not at all. Imagine for example the 16000 DPI Gaming Mice that exist nowadays. That means 16000 Pixels for an Inch of mouse movement.
Now let’s count some pixels. Let’s say you have the standard 1080p Monitor (1080 Pixels vertically and 1920 Horizontally). If you enable 16000 DPI you will move 16000 Pixels with an inch of mouse movement.
How many 1080p Monitors your cursor must travel. If you do the math (16000/ 1920 = 8.3 Monitors!). That would be cool if you had 8 Monitors and you had some domino effects so it looked cool haha.
So jokes aside, DPI after a point becomes non practical. But let’s count some pixels with the 4K Monitors that exist today. 4K Monitors have usually 4096 Horizontal Pixels.
So with 16000 DPI you still will travel 4 4K Monitors with an inch of mouse movement.
Question 6 – How Much DPI/CPI Is Ideal?
It depends on the monitor you have. For example, for a 1080p(FHD) which has 1920 Horizontal and 1080 Vertical Pixels, you won’t need more than 4000 DPI (and even that is quite high).
If you do the math, 4000 Pixels for an inch will move 2 1080p screens. You will only enable the 4000 DPI when playing games where you need to go from one end of the screen to the other. And 4000 might be high enough even for that.
Check the following Youtube video for a visual on how DPI affects the monitors (1080p).
DPI Difference Video On Youtube (On 1080p Monitor)
The usual DPI used in most cases is about 1000 – 1500 DPI.
So Why So Much DPI Exists If Not Used?
It’s used, but not very often. Maybe you have heard about 8K Tvs. In those cases 16000 can be useful. Also you might have heard or seen about multi screen setups.
If you have 4K multi screen setups for gaming, design or music production or anything else you might use the 16000 DPI. Having a mouse with 16000 DPI can be reassuring knowing that if you buy a more expensive gaming setup, the DPI won’t be a problem. Of course as the mouse holds it together.
Question 7 – So What About DPI Increments?
Cheap gaming mice usually have standard DPI Settings so you can’t change them. Medium budget to high budget gaming mice have software that enables you to program the DPI scales.
Most mice offer from 40 to 100 DPI Increments so it’s enough to customize it to your needs. One case I can think of is when you are zooming. You need less DPI then to make a more accurate shot.
What Does DPI Mean For A Gaming Mouse? – Music Lobby Part!
Here in this part we stay on the bench a bit and relax, pump the brain up with some noise, and we get to know each other better haha!.
Then for some KPop madness haha!
I hope you like Lady Gaga because she is next. !
And this Cyber-Brain Cocktail will end with a futuristic tech song from a Swedish Power Metal Band, Amaranthe! Well not so futuristic if you ask me haha.
What Does DPI Mean For A Gaming Mouse? – Conclusion
With all the above said, there is not really much to worry about DPI. Just do the math (If you like math!) or you can have as a rule that 4000 DPI needed for an 1080p (or even a 1440p) monitor.
Check out Steam’s Survey On Hardware and Software for June 2019. 74.22% use Multi Monitor Resolution 3840 * 1080 (which is basically 2 1080p Monitors) and 64.5% 1080p as Primary Desktop Resolution.
If you wanna build this Multi Monitor Setup, you might want more than 4000 DPI – just for safety. You need to have “DPI air” because you may need that.
My Gaming Mouse Suggestions.
The following links point to reviews that contain affiliate links. If you purchase using these links, I will get commision based on the price you paid. The commision is not like a tax to you. The price is the same with or without my affiliate link.
Cheap But Good
If you don’t have much to spare, get Pictek T7 as it’s cheap and with 7200 Max DPI, you can use a Multi-Monitor Setup as well.
Medium Budget And Worth It (Not for MMOs)
If you have some budget but need to use it on something worth it, and you don’t play MMOs, get the Logitech G203 Prodigy. A well known mouse that you can play at the pro level. With its 8000 Max DPI, you can easily use it for a multi monitor setup.
Medium Budget For All Kinds Of Games
If you want a gaming mouse very popular across gamers that can play all kinds of games and is in the medium budget range, get Logitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse. With Maximum DPI of 8200, you can use it in Multi-Monitor Setups easy.