Counter-Strike is a twitch-based shooter
. Your success in this game will be directly related to how well you can control your character and his crosshair placement, which means how well you play is going to be directly affected by how good your mouse is.
This post will have some of the basic information about how to pick and configure your mouse for Counter-Strike. If you would like more in-depth information, I highly recommend the overclock.net "truthful mouse guide"
Mouse pads are generally about personal preference. Make sure you pick one that is large enough for your area and your playstyle. Laser mice work better on hard, flat surfaces; and optical mice do better on solid-colored, textured surfaces.Types of mice
The most important thing to consider when picking a mouse is what type of sensor it has
. A good sensor will not interpolate
or predict mouse position and will have a very low lift-off (meaning it will stop moving as soon as you lift your mouse off your mousepad).
- ADNS-9500/9800: Avoid this sensor at all costs; it is not worth the problems. These are in the most common heavily-marketed "gaming" mice, including the Logitech G500, Steelseries Sensei, and M65/95. Do not fall for the marketing jargon - no matter how many times the word "gaming" is written on the package, if it has this sensor it is not a good mouse for CS:GO.
- Philips Twin-Eye: These sensors do not introduce acceleration but they suffer from lift off problems and tend to break.
- Pixart 3305DK: Considered near-flawless, they do introduce a very limited amount of prediction.
- ADNS-3090 and its variants: These are considered flawless.
A comprehensive and frequently updated list of the best gaming mice available can be found here
. The mice are categorized by shape. It is important to pick a mouse that is comfortable for the size of your hand and your mouse grip preference
The polling rate of a USB mouse refers to how frequently the computer will scan the mouse for its current position. That means that, generally, the higher you set your polling rate the more accurately your computer will read your mouse's position. 500hz is usually recommended as higher polling rates do cause more CPU load and can sometimes be unstable, but there can be stability variations even between two mice of the same model, so it's important to make a decision based on your specific mouse. Try different polling rates and see if one is more accurate than the others.DPI
You can read more about DPI at the overclock.net "truthful mouse guide"
, but generally speaking, your DPI has nothing to do with how good your mouse is. The most important thing with DPI is not getting the "highest" DPI or even getting the "lowest" DPI like many "experienced" CS players will claim. The most important thing is to make sure that your mouse is operating at the native DPI of the sensor. If your mouse is not operating at its native DPI, it is using the firmware to interpolate the position of the mouse. Remember, interpolation introduces guesswork into the mouse positioning, which makes it inherently less accurate. Make sure you don't fall into the hype of setting your Razer Deathadder (which has a native DPI if 1800) to 400 because everybody is telling you that lower DPI is better.
If you absolutely cannot play on your mouse's native DPI, playing on a multiple of the DPI usually results in acceptable performance. Any problems are usually more noticeable if you scale up than if you scale down. So for example, playing with the Deathadder at 900 DPI (a multiple of 1/2 of the native) shouldn't produce noticeable problems.Raw input
When you move your mouse, your mouse sends positional data to the program it is communicating with. This program is generally Windows. Your mouse tells Windows "The user moved the mouse X distance, please move the cursor Y distance".
In the options in-game, you can choose to have raw_input either on or off. Having raw_input on takes your mouse position directly from your mouse, bypassing any communication with Windows. Having raw_input off tells the game to take the mouse position from where Windows says it is. There is still debate about the efficacy of raw_input in game. It is possible that the implementation of raw_input in CS:GO introduces inaccuracy or smoothing, but that having raw_input off introduces acceleration when your cursor reaches the edge of the screen in windows
and has to be snapped back to the center. I suggest playing a bit with both settings and deciding which is more comfortable to you.Windows settings
I recommend using these settings even if you have raw_input on, but you must use them if you have raw_input off.
In Windows, make sure your sensitivity is set to 6/11 and you have "Enhance Mouse Precision" unchecked. Setting your windows sensitivity to anything but 6 will cause interpolation, and "Enhance Mouse Precision" will introduce mouse acceleration.Mouse acceleration
Mouse acceleration is an added property of mice that takes not only the distance traveled but also the speed at which the mouse traveled to determine new position. For example, with mouse acceleration off, the cursor will move the same distance if I move it slowly one inch or if I move it quickly one inch. With mouse acceleration on, the cursor will move a smaller distance if I move it slowly one inch and will move a larger distance if I move it quickly one inch.
There are two main schools of thought with mouse acceleration. Most members of the Professional Counter-Strike community believe that disabling mouse acceleration is advantageous. This allows your body to only have to develop one type of muscle memory - moving your mouse X distance physically moves your crosshair Y distance in game, all day every day, no matter what. A few professionals, however, think that developing muscle memory around mouse acceleration is an important skill. By using mouse acceleration, a person could have the ability to easily spin around a full 180 degrees (by moving their mouse quickly) while maintaining the ability to make one-pixel changes to their crosshair for long distance AK sniping. Generally, though, new players will be advised to turn mouse acceleration off.Mouse sensitivity
Once you've gotten all of these other settings down, you can finally adjust your in-game mouse sensitivity. When picking a sensitivity, you need to consider all the things you might be doing. For example, you may be playing a 1v1 with no more flashbangs, and you have to come around a corner and quickly peek left and then swing 180 degrees to peek right. You also may be standing at the back of A platform on de_dust2 with an AK, trying to hit the tip of a guy's head in pit, having to move your mouse very slightly to pick him. You also need to consider how much of your arm you move when playing - do you play more with your wrist or with your elbow?
Generally, the lower the sensitivity you can comfortably play at, the better. It is much more likely that you will have to make precise few-pixel movements to catch a guy than you will have to turn a full 180 degrees with one swoop of your mouse. When you are new, you may find yourself in more situations that require a complete 180, but as you continue to improve and learn the game you will be able to position yourself so that it is much less likely that you will need to make such drastic movements. As you play, continue lowering your sensitivity as much as possible as you begin to rely on good positioning to avoid 180 degree turns.
Here is an interesting video
about how to find your "perfect" CS:GO sensitivity. The ideas within the video are very good (finding a sensitivity that allows you to maintain accurate position on a small target while moving), but I do caution against such a prescribed method of find a "perfect" sensitivity. Personally, I think preference goes a lot further than following an algorithm such as this exactly, but at the very least it provides a really great starting point for you and a great explanation of what to look for when fine tuning your sensitivity.A word about the placebo of changing mouse sensitivities and importance of being consistent
A lot of players, as they start improving, will "hit a wall", and begin changing all their settings in the hope that it will improve their game. DON'T DO THIS. Maintaining a consistent mouse sensitivity is important for developing muscle memory, and maintaining muscle memory is key to continuing to improve. Changing around your settings might make you feel like you're doing better for a game or two, but in the long run it will hinder your progress. The only changes to your mouse sensitivity you should make are planned reductions in mouse sensitivity as you improve.