If you’re constantly getting stuck in a game because you’re too slow or are frustrated by the fact your mouse sensitivity is set to 100 at 800 DPI, this blog post will help. The number of times per second that the operating system polls your mouse position is called the mouse polling rate.
Most computers use a default mouse polling rate of 125 Hz, meaning your mouse position is polled approximately 8 to 9 times per second. If you have a high-DPI mouse, this can cause you to end up in places you didn’t intend to go because the computer only receives input from your mouse every few frames. This article dives into why PC gamers use different polling rates and how to change them in Windows.
What is the polling rate?
Polling rate means how often your computer “polls” your mouse’s position. The polling rate is measured in hertz (Hz), representing how many times per second it pollutes the mouse. Most people have a polling rate of 125 Hz or 125 times per second. It will help you perform better because it reads much faster than the default 125 Hz that most people use.
With the faster polling rate, you will encounter a minor millisecond delay. The polling rate is how often your mouse sends movement data to your computer. The higher the polling rate, the more you communicate with your computer. Most gaming mice will have a standard 125 Hz, 500 Hz, or 1000 Hz polling rate. If a low polling rate is too slow for you, but you can’t handle a high one, check out this article on how to change it.
The polling rate is different from DPI (dots per inch). DPI has nothing to do with machine accuracy. The DPI mouse tester tells you how high the monitor is positioned on the screen horizontally. DPI sets your sensitivity, which we will talk about next.
How to Change the Polling Rate of a Mouse?
These steps will help you change the polling rate:
- Use the dedicated mouse buttons:
Some high-end gaming mice have dedicated buttons that can be programmed to do something else, like forward and backwards. These buttons are usually not used by the average gamer. You may have to adjust your browser settings for these buttons to work correctly.
Check out this forum post for more information on using these extra buttons on specific mice. Using a greater polling rate can adversely affect your mouse’s battery life. Press the dedicated buttons on your mouse if it has them to alter the polling rate and see if it makes a difference.
- Use the number keys on the keyboard:
On the Windows keyboard, you can use the numbers 1–9 to change the polling rate. Pressing one will advance to the next higher polling rate, while pressing nine will go to the next lower polling rate. This can be very useful if you are sure your mouse sensitivity is set incorrectly or without realising it is too slow for your personal preference. If you are successful, you should see the mouse wheel illuminate. If you face an error while testing the number keys, you can test your keyboard to detect whether the keys work.
For 125 Hz, remove your mouse’s USB cord. While reconnecting your mouse, simultaneously press and hold buttons 4 and 5.
For 500 Hz, remove your mouse’s USB cord. While you put your mouse back in, press and hold 5.
1000 Hz: Remove your mouse’s USB cord. As you reconnect your cursor, press and hold 4 for four seconds.
- Using third-party software:
Windows will only go up to a polling rate of 1000 Hz. If you want more, you are going to need third-party software. Without additional software, no mouse natively supports 1.5 Hz, 500 Hz, or 1000 Hz on Windows. This programme lets you assign your mouse buttons to anything and allows custom cursor movements and mouse wheel scroll rates. It’s possible that you won’t be able to change the polling rate if this doesn’t function on your mouse.
Several web-based programmes allow you to change the mouse polling rate.
- Using Mouse’s official application:
Many mice support the ability to change your polling rate without any third-party software. Logitech has a programme called Logitech Gaming Software, and many of their mice allow you to change the polling rate. This software shows several frequencies ranging from 125 Hz to 1000 Hz. If you are unsure, 1000 Hz is usually the top option for most gamers.
Razer mice also have the option to change the polling rate in their driver software.
Why is there a need to change the polling rate?
It cannot be easy to handle the sensitivity of your mouse. To clarify, we are talking about the sensitivity of your mouse wheel. The higher the DPI (dots per inch), the easier it is to control your mouse wheel. Use a high polling rate if you want to play at a high DPI and don’t want any delay.
On the other hand, if you don’t mind some delay and low DPI, use a low polling rate. If you are on a budget or have specific hardware requirements and are having trouble gaming because one of these reasons is at the root of your problem, try increasing the polling rate until you find a sweet spot or you may also try the best mouse for butterfly clicking to make the gameplay smooth.
The Need to Change the Polling Rate
- To improve mouse speed and accuracy.
- To extend battery life.
- To shorten the time between a keystroke and a response.
In the end, how you change your polling rate is up to you. You won’t be able to go beyond 1000 Hz on Windows, but if you have a mouse that can do it and your hardware supports it, use it.
Also, make sure the computer is not slowing down your mouse or causing other problems by changing the polling rate. You can always revert to 125 Hz after testing. It may take some time to get used to faster polling rates than 125 Hz, but once you do, it will work. You can conduct a mouse polling rate test to test your mouse polling rate.