If you have ever peeked inside controls options in pretty much any PC game, then you have undoubtedly seen an inconspicuous and seemingly irrelevant tick box somewhere in there – one that had “mouse acceleration” written next to it. In this article we will be talking about Turning Off Mouse Acceleration.
But what exactly is mouse acceleration and Turning Off Mouse Acceleration? Can it help or harm your performance in games? How do you turn off mouse acceleration in the operating system?
What is Mouse Acceleration Turning Off Mouse Acceleration?
As the name implies, mouse acceleration: Turning Off Mouse Acceleration creates a direct correlation between the distance your cursor moves and the speed with which the actual mouse is moved. In layman’s terms, the faster you move the mouse, the faster the cursor moves on the screen.
Mouse acceleration is usually quite useful for office work or just regular web browsing. Essentially, it allows you to make the most of the movement space that you have available.
You have probably found yourself in the situation where you had to lift your mouse, move it to the center of the mouse pad and keep on moving the cursor in the same direction because you just don’t have enough physical space to “cover” your whole screen. This is a commonly occurring problem if you prefer lower sensitivity settings.
Now, this is the exact sort of scenario that mouse acceleration aims to prevent: the movement of the cursor can either be short and precise or fast and zapping from one side of the screen to the other just based on how quickly you’re moving the mouse.
Turning Off Mouse Acceleration: Disadvantages
Unfortunately, mouse acceleration can often have a detrimental effect on your gaming experience, and for several reasons:
- Movement inconsistency and lower accuracy
If you are playing any shooter game, then aiming accuracy can be severely impacted by mouse acceleration. Since there is a direct correlation between the speed with which you move the mouse and the speed with which the camera moves, high-tension situations that need quick reactions will inevitably lead to your jerking the mouse with more force than usual and, in turn, likely missing your target.
- Lack of muscle memory development
Muscle memory plays a vital role in any task that requires precise movement. It allows you to make these movements accurately and instinctively, without needing to think about them.
How do you develop muscle memory for certain tasks? Simply, through repetition. However, the inconsistent movement response created by mouse acceleration does not allow you to develop muscle memory. As such, disabling mouse acceleration can lead to better, faster, and more accurate aiming in the long term.
How to Disable Mouse Acceleration in Windows 10
- Finding mouse settings
- Open the control panel
- Open Hardware and Sound
- Open Devices and Printers
- Select your mouse in the “Devices” section
NOTE: Your mouse may show up simply as “USB Device” or “Bluetooth Device”. If this happens, you will have to open mouse settings by right-clicking the relevant icon and selecting Mouse settings from the drop menu.
Finding acceleration options
- From the newly opened window, select the Pointer Options tab
- At the very top, you will see a section titled Motion
- Uncheck the Enhance pointer precision tick box located directly under the sensitivity slider
- Click OK or Apply, and you’re done!
Just like that, mouse acceleration is disabled in Windows 10, and you can enjoy precise and linear mouse movements both on your desktop and in games.
To be on the safe side, make sure to always uncheck the mouse acceleration box in every game that you play.
What Is Mouse Acceleration?
In layperson’s terms, the faster you move your physical mouse, the further your onscreen pointer moves on the screen.
So if you move your mouse slowly, then your pointer moves basically as much as you moved your mouse. But if you move it rapidly, then your pointer can fly across the screen. At this point, the distance the pointer travels is based more on the speed of the mouse and less on the actual distance you moved it on your desk.
What Is Mouse Acceleration Useful For?
Because of the above, turning mouse acceleration on is helpful for general use. When browsing the internet or working in limited office space, you will surely benefit from turning your mouse acceleration on.
Think of it this way, your screen size is probably about 18 inches diagonally. With mouse acceleration off, to get from your bottom right corner to your top left corner, you’d need to physically move the mouse a combined 18 inches through a series of short swipes. But with acceleration on, one fast, short swipe could get the job done.
Why Do You Need To Turn This Off When Gaming?
To. Hit. Your. Target.
Okay, but seriously. Since mouse acceleration is almost solely based on how fast you move your mouse from one point to the next, it’s not very accurate. By turning this off, your pointer reflects your mouse movements 1:1. This gives you particularly accurate aim in FPS titles due to the way their camera works.
Turning mouse acceleration off can also make it easier to develop muscle memory, which allows you to instinctively repeat movements without having to think about them.
Psychologically speaking, mouse acceleration fundamentally changes the way your brain processes your movements. Without it off, your actions are accurate: movement in physical space is correlated to movement in digital space. With it on, your actions aren’t about a specific location, but rather the speed and direction you moved your mouse.
This means physical speed and direction are abstracted into digital movement, which can be a jarring transition. Throw in the speed threshold for activating mouse acceleration and you have a lot more info being pushed through your brain during important, split-second decisions.
In short, it’s easier for your brain to get used to having mouse acceleration off.
Let’s put this all together in a hypothetical situation:
Imagine you’re playing. You’re camping inside a house because of YOLO. Now you hear footsteps behind you and you’re 90% sure you could shoot them first.
Let’s see how this plays out both with and without mouse acceleration.
With Mouse Acceleration: You to turn around as fast as you can, but you subtly moved your mouse too fast in the heat of the moment and overshot your target by a few inches. You got in a couple good shots, but she hit first and it was a battle of attrition at that point.
Without Mouse Acceleration: You whip around the corner, land your mouse dead center on her forehead, and then headshot. You’re dead. Turns out you weren’t as fast as you thought. But you were accurate!