What is DPI and eDPI? | Complete Guide

Updated: Jun 4, 2024
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In this guide, we thoroughly explain both DPI and eDPI, but if you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick summary:

  • DPI (“Dots Per Inch”) measures how many pixels your cursor moves for every inch that you move your mouse.
  • eDPI (“Effective Dots Per Inch”) is your mouse DPI multiplied by your in-game sensitivity.

You can jump to any point of this article using the links below:

What is DPI?

DPI stands for “Dots Per Inch”, which is used interchangeably with the term CPI (“Counts Per Inch”). DPI measures how many dots (pixels) your mouse will move for every linear inch the mouse sensor travels.

The higher your mouse’s DPI, the further the cursor will travel for every inch the sensor moves. In other words, a higher mouse DPI means a higher mouse sensitivity. DPI affects the sensitivity of your mouse in all programs on your computer.

DPI is a hardware setting configured on your mouse or through accompanying software from its manufacturer (e.g., Logitech G Hub, Razer Synapse, etc.).

Logitech G HUB DPI Settings

Many mice allow you to switch through a range of DPIs by pressing a small button below the mouse wheel. This is especially common among manufacturers without software to accompany their mice. For these manufacturers, they will usually change colors somewhere on the mouse to indicate the DPI level currently set.

However, some mice, such as the Logitech G305 pictured below, allow you to adjust your DPI with the press of a button. They also offer software (Logitech G Hub, in this case) that lets you adjust the DPI ranges on your mouse.

Change Mouse DPI Button on Logitech G305

Most professional gamers use a DPI between 400 and 1600. While many mice today allow you to set your DPI higher than this, higher DPIs can lead to less precision due to mouse smoothing and other issues. Mouse smoothing occurs when your mouse’s sensor reaches its limits, so your mouse tries to predict how you’re trying to move it rather than rely on raw input.

We recommend sticking to the DPI between 400 and 1600, which is what the majority of pro gamers use. This should avoid the issues that can occur with higher DPIs. If you need a higher sensitivity, we recommend adjusting your in-game settings rather than your mouse.

What is eDPI?

eDPI is an abbreviation of “Effective Dots Per Inch”. It’s calculated by multiplying mouse DPI by in-game sensitivity.

eDPI = Mouse DPI * In-game Sensitivity

The purpose of eDPI is to allow comparing “true sensitivity” or “effective sensitivity” between different in-game sensitivity/mouse settings for the same game. It’s useful for easily comparing sensitivity when two players of the same game use a different mouse DPI.

Note: Check out our eDPI Calculator

eDPI Example 1:

  • Player A uses 400 DPI and 4 in-game sensitivity for an eDPI of 1600 (400*4 = 1600).
  • Player B uses 800 DPI and 2 in-game sensitivity for an eDPI of 1600 (800*2 = 1600).
  • Player C uses 1600 DPI and 1 in-game sensitivity for an eDPI of 1600 (1600*1 = 1600).
  • Player D uses 3200 DPI and 0.5 in-game sensitivity for an eDPI of 1600 (3200*0.5 = 1600).

eDPI Example 1 shows that despite all four players using a different in-game sensitivity, they all have the same “true sensitivity” because of their differing DPIs. In other words, each player would rotate the same amount in-game if they all moved their mouse the same distance.

This example illustrates why it’s essential to factor in not only in-game sensitivity but also DPI when comparing settings. Let’s look at one more example to expand on this point.

eDPI Example 2:

  • Player A uses 400 DPI and 2 in-game sensitivity for an eDPI of 800 (400*2 = 800).
  • Player B uses 800 DPI and 2 in-game sensitivity for an eDPI of 1600 (800*2 = 1600).
  • Player C uses 1600 DPI and 2 in-game sensitivity for an eDPI of 3200 (1600*2 = 3200).
  • Player D uses 3200 DPI and 2 in-game sensitivity for an eDPI of 6400 (3200*2 = 6400).

Despite all players in eDPI Example 2 using the same in-game sensitivity, they all have different true sensitivities.

Player A, having half the eDPI as Player B, would have to move their mouse twice as far to rotate the same amount in-game.

Player D has an eDPI 8 times greater than Player A, meaning Player D would only have to move their mouse 1/8 the distance of Player A to rotate the same in-game.

While eDPI is very useful for comparing the “true sensitivities” of different settings for the SAME game, it CAN’T be used to compare sensitivities between two different games (unless both those games happen to use the same game engine and their developers configured in-game sensitivity the same way).

To compare sens settings for different games, check out our mouse sensitivity converter or compare the cm/360 (in/360) for both settings.

In-Game Sensitivity

When we refer to in-game sensitivity (or game sens), as we’ve done throughout this article, we’re talking about the sensitivity you set in your game. For example, the image below shows my Valorant in-game sens.

Valorant In-Game Sensitivity

Games are built on different game engines; even games using the same engines can scale their sensitivity differently. This is why you can’t compare sens (or eDPI) between two different games, unless you use sens converters.

Unlike DPI, which affects your mouse sensitivity everywhere on your computer, the sensitivity you set in-game is specific to that game.

As we showed in the eDPI examples above, you not only need to compare in-game sens, but also factor in mouse DPI to get a true comparison of the “effective sensitivity” of two players (unless you know that they’re using the same mouse DPI).

Turn Off Mouse Acceleration

Mouse acceleration in Windows can also affect your sensitivity. Mouse acceleration speeds up your cursor when you move your mouse faster and slows your cursor down when you move your mouse more slowly. This leads to less predictable aim, so we strongly recommend you turn it off.

Read our guide “How to Turn Off Mouse Acceleration In Windows” for step-by-step instructions.