Tech, eSports, and Gaming!

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Posted by Mike ApocTV - - 46 comments


"How does IdrA do 2-2-2 worker splits so perfectly?"
"HuK is multitasking a 3 pronged attack on 3 different bases, how has he not misclicked once?"


Ok, so, I could have split this into 2 different posts, but I'm going to put it all into one.  If you are a gamer, this info is essential.  Trust me I've spent years researching and as time passed re-researched to keep myself up to date.  There are many things to learn on this topic but for any competitive gamer it's a must-have. Now, mice are kind of an interesting thing because there's quite a bit of preference that goes into play on the way that people hold their mouse, configure it's sensitivity in Windows/games, and how people configure the dpi on the laser or mouse optics. There's a right way of doing things aside from the personal preference specifics though. I will be covering topics such as the mouse itself (Logitech G9X), grip styles, and specific Windows/driver settings for both Windows and also StarCraft 2 for those that play. 


The sources for this post are very important and should all be looked over in depth. I'm explaining the overall "juice" of the respective topics, but if you want very detailed and specific info beyond what I'm going over in this post, you will want to refer to the sources as you'll find the answers there.  There's only so long of a post I can write before people 'TL;DR', lol.


Ok let's dive right in...


Part I: Logitech G9X Review


Logitech is a respected mouse manufacturer.  They've made quality mice for years and hundreds of gamers I know personally love Logitech mice.  Right now the G9X is widely considered their #1 mouse for coorded mice.  And seriously, what gamer in their right mind would use a coordless mouse? lol.  The G9X features a whopping 5700dpi, 1000hz polling rate (allows your computer to check for movement updates 1,000 times per second), includes two different exterior grip shells ("wideload" and "precision" - I personally prefer wideload), on-board memory that allows saving your dpi/sensitivity/etc profile settings, 2 scroll wheel options (clicks on each notch or just fully rolls with no clicks), side scrolling on the scroll wheel, weighting system (up to 28 grams / 1 oz), and high quality braided USB 2.0 cable that's made to last.


As we all know, preference is a big factor when it comes to what mouse is best for each person.  Although, most people don't know there are different grip styles and certain mice are made for each respective grip style. (Grip Styles explained more in Part 2)  I personally use a Fingertip grip, and the G9X is excellent for this grip.




Part II: Grip Styles


There are three widely used mouse grip styles, Palm, Claw, and Fingertip.  With the grip style, it's purely personal preference.  Over my 13+ years of gaming, I've used all 3 styles and have personally found Fingertip to be by far the best grip for me, and many friends of mine have found it to be the same. 


Typically, Palm grip is the least fatiguing.  It also has proven to be the least accurate.  If you need to make a very small and precise movement, it will be most difficult with this grip.  The key to the palm grip is that like the name hints, your palm rests fully on the mouse.


I've found the Claw grip to be the least popular of the three grips for gamers.  Although, some powerhouse gamers I know swear by it and perform very well, so who knows.  It's almost a hybrid between the other two grips.  Your palm slightly rests on the mouse but your fingers are in a more upright position.


The Fingertip grip is by far my personal favorite as well as a few of my close friends.  Many believe it to be the most fatiguing of the three grips.  With this grip, your palm does not touch the mouse at all.  You have full control of your mouse with just your fingertips.  If you are trying out this grip, make sure you have your thumb on one side of the mouse and your ring finger and/or pinkie firmly on the other to give you full control of the mouse for precise movements.


Part III:  Configuration - Hardware and Software



The G9x comes with the Setpoint software which is easy enough to navigate in. There is an option in it to allow your OS (Operating System) to handle your sensitivity settings instead of Setpoint; I recommend doing this. I configured the 5 custom dpi settings to levels that vary from 1600-5700. Using the small - and + button below the left click and above the LED display I can switch between the 5 custom levels. Though, I pretty much use 5000 dpi all the time.

As for software-side configurations, here's where things are going to get rather specific.

* As a competitive gamer, what is important to me is an un-accelerated predictable cursor moving on a 1:1 mouse movement to cursor movement ratio. What this means is that my mouse moves one pixel at a time, all the time. This is the only way I know to achieve ultimate precision in mouse use.  For those that are familiar with muscle memory, this is how you achieve it in gaming *

Boycott of MOUSE ACCELERATION. DO NOT USE IT! Learning how to use the mouse consistently will be extremely difficult unless you turn mouse acceleration off. The reason that mouse acceleration is bad is that it changes the distance traveled by the cursor based on the speed of your mouse flick. Specifically, your mouse's cursor speed will not be constant.  For example, let's say you were to move your mouse 1 inch on your mouse pad slowly, it would move 500 pixels.  But if you moved your mouse the exact same distance but at a faster speed, maybe it moves 1000 or 1500 pixels. In order to develop a sense of muscle memory with your mouse, a mouse flick of a certain distance on your mouse pad always needs to result in the same distance moved on your computer or in-game. As Antigen states:

"For example, you might move the mouse 6 inches to turn 180 degrees, then you move the mouse 6 inches another time, and depending on how fast you move the mouse you might turn 100 degrees, you might turn 270. This uncertainty in mouse response inevitably limits everyone's potential." 

To check your mouse acceleration in Windows 7 go to >> Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Ease of Access Center\Set up Mouse Keys.

The next boycott is against ANY notch in the sensitivity settings that isn't 6/11 - or the very middle notch on the level selector.  6/11 is the only way to get 1:1 movement ratio, every other notch will change your pixel ratio, the different notches effect ratio as such. Huge sensitivity adjustments will mean that you will either skip whole pixels every time you move your mouse or extra pixels will be added that you didn't move your mouse for, and that's not precision.

Each notch in the sensitivity will yield the following movement ratios.
Mouse:Computer
  1. 32:1     (0.03125)
  2. 16:1     (0.0625)
  3. 4:1     (0.25)
  4. 2:1     (0.5)
  5. 4:3     (0.75)
  6. 1:1     Ratio 1.0 - Perfect!
  7. 2:3     (1.5)
  8. 1:2     (2.0)
  9. 2:5     (2.5)
  10. 1:3     (3.0)
  11. 2:7     (3.5)


If you're interested in seeing if you have mouse acceleration on or if your mouse is moving at a 1:1 mouse to cursor ratio, let's dive into the world that is MarkC's Mouse Fix Pack. 

If you think you have configured everything in Windows correctly, you might be fine! Open up MouseMovementRecorder.exe (after downloading/extracting the mouse fix pack) - it will show you exactly what pixel ratio you are experiencing right in cmd prompt. (For anyone paranoid, this pack has been checked for virus/trojan/spyware/etc by 20+ people, it's clean) If your ratio is correct you won't see any green or red bars.

If you do see red and green bars (indicating imbalanced pixel movement ratios), double check your windows mouse settings - if everything appears to be correct run the Mouse_Fix_Builder.vbs - that should set you up just fine. That is MarkC's method of forcing non-accelerated mouse into the windows settings (I think via registry?) Any other issues email/tweet/skype me we'll work on it.

"So Apoc, if I'm not allowed to change my sensitivity in windows and I'm not allowed to use mouse acceleration, how the hell do I increase my mouse speed/sensitivity?"

DPI is how! DPI is now the only way you can make your mouse move faster without distorting your mouse inputs. That's why you buy the hardcore gaming mouse with high rates of DPI! Higher DPI or (dots per inch) changes the amount of pixels you will move over a given distance of mouse travel. High DPI would mean shorter movements with more pixels traveled by your cursor while low DPI means you need longer mouse movements to move the same distance on screen.

Part IV: StarCraft 2

Great, you've configured your mouse settings in Windows successfully, woot! So now you open SC2 (with your mousemovementrecorder.exe on to test it) and younotice you're getting green and red bars again, wtf! Starcraft2 ignores mouse sensitivity settings from Windows. Instead of 11 notches in SC2, we have 20 notches... despite the fact that there are 100 different % notches, the only changes in sensitivity occur between the increments of 5, e.g. in SC2 1-5% is notch 1, 6-10% is notch 2, etc.


"umm, Apoc, so what notch do I want use in StarCraft II?"

I'm going to use a direct quote from hide.X's post on TeamLiquid.net to summarize this complex and rather mathy answer:

"for 1:1 ratio of mouse movement to cursor movement, set your in-game sensitivity to anything between 51%--54% [with "enhance pointer precision" turned off in windows] -- not 50% as people previously thought (although it sort of is 50%; it's just that you can't see what the decimal point on the number is so it's safer to use 51--54) (that is, 51%, 52%, 53%, and 54% are all exactly the same mouse speed)."

So if you followed this guide correctly, set your sensitivity in SC2 to somewhere between 51% and 54% and you will be on the correct notch.

Conclusion:

If all of this is new to you, it may take some adjusting.  But it won't take too long to adjust and you will notice a drastic increase in your performance in games.  If you're skeptical, just give it a try and see for yourself.  I'll end this on a quote from bananaconda who followed my guide before it was a written guide and it was just me helping friends on ventrilo:

"As a musician, I respect the power of muscle memory - and without disabling mouse acceleration and getting a 1:1 ratio your muscles aren't going to be able to find the consistencies they need to memorize mouse movements. After switching to a whole new mouse and config, it has taken a lot of grinding to get acclimated but, the differences in accuracy and consistency are absolutely 100% noticeable and worth it. While the most important thing to gamers is finding a config that makes one comfortable, I strongly support giving these settings a try." -bananaconda of bananaconda.net

Also a big thanks to bananaconda for taking some of the pictures used in this review/guide.


Downloads:

Sources:
           Explains mouse sensitivity and how it works in Starcraft II, important.
           An old post (about CS 1.6) but an important one. Explains and illustrates some of these concepts deeper than I could fit into this post.

46 Responses so far.

  1. Great review! Seriously thorough
    May I suggest a 'vs.' post a la Engadget?

  2. ApocTV says:

    'vs.' post? What do you mean?

  3. ReMs says:

    i totally agree man, cordless mice SUCK ^^, i havent found the right gaming mouse yet, but im gonna try logitech mice now

  4. retrak says:

    mouse acceleration = off is best advice you can give to noobs!

  5. gman says:

    i have already commented on this... im sure i have... but i hav an excellent g9x myself

  6. Dejch says:

    ok this mouse looks wicked but i don't think i would use it

  7. Noises says:

    thank you i will try that at home :)

  8. Thanks i love this mouse I think I'm going to go get it

  9. Wow that is what I call a killer mouse!

  10. rakoth says:

    Great review and very useful information about no acceleration, I have to try it asap.

    As for the mouse, I love Logitech but they are a bit expensive for me. For the time being i'm using a Razer Lachesis and I love it, suits perfect my grip style. As you said it's very important to know what you grip is or you'll end like a friend of mine who got the Razer SC2 mouse and couldn't use it because it's very small and designed for Claw grip (favoured by Korean pros afaik) :P

    Love your blog, following :)

  11. Zach says:

    Logitech makes some quality mice. I've got an Mx518 and I love it. I prefer the 'claw' grip because my hands are so big that it's the most comfortable for me

  12. cheshire says:

    Woah, seriously detailed review there man; awesome post. Need a new mouse myself :(

  13. I have never even heard of this. interesting information though

  14. I use the Logitech G9. Such a great mouse.

  15. Earo16 says:

    How you managed to write this much about a mouse is beyond me. But it looks pretty neat.

  16. Unityx says:

    Nice blog, really in-depth aswell. +follow

  17. carlesb says:

    I'm on my G5, I can't imagine how G9X will look.

  18. i own a g9x by myself. i just love this mouse!

  19. jim says:

    i want this mouse so bad it hurts! im stuck on a shitty logitech $20 one haha

  20. irdumb2 says:

    sweet info on this blog! definately following it

  21. usually go palm grip, my arthritis wont allow anything else

    nice mouse though

  22. Alex says:

    that mouse looks like a mouse for lefthanders :P
    my mouse is from genius and i´m happy with it,but this looks really neat..

  23. Gionni says:

    Really useful, i should buy a G9X !

  24. Hey, my brother has that mouse! He got it just for Starcraft.

  25. Dola says:

    that first mouse reminds me of the terminator xD

  26. This is awesome. The only computer game I really play anymore is AOE 3, but I can see how it can have an impact on gameplay.

  27. Vav says:

    Wow very nice post! Very informative!
    I got a similar mouse, it's the g5 logitech and it has similar features except it doesn't morph :p

  28. awesome gear!!!! keep up the great work

  29. Genj0 says:

    I need a mouse atm, my imperator is double clicking D:, gotta check this one out

  30. bruno says:

    I'm a claw type... maybe I'll change to fingertip...

  31. Gifz says:

    Looks like a pretty nice mouse for gamming

  32. phosports says:

    such a good review!
    i need a new sc2 gaming mouse, i think i will get this one.

  33. BJ says:

    Thank you really nice!

  34. cheshire says:

    I want this mouse. NOAW.

  35. Damn, I'm using the mouse that came with my pc. I feel like a luddite.

  36. Alphalpha says:

    Wow, this is an EXTREMELY detailed post, great work!

  37. Bj says:

    I used to have those, they are really trustworthy.

  38. blaack says:

    My friend got this baby it's pretty sick mouse . Great review by the way.

  39. I like the info on the grips. That was a cool thing to give a thought to.

  40. Dralel says:

    Sounds like a good mouse actually, I might consider buying it lol.

  41. Pentele says:

    Tried it, didn't like it. :/ Good review though, man.

  42. Magnum says:

    I might be missing something, but... where's the price? I don't think buying an expensive Logitech gaming mouse is really worth it. Maybe, if you're a pro-gamer. I don't see the point. Even when it comes to graphic design - if you need better tools, then you'll probably go for a graphic tablet.
    On the other hand... it's a cool gadget! Treating it this way... who knows? Maybe I'll give it a go someday.

  43. norbi_nw says:

    i am Roccat fan, sorry :D still nice post.

  44. Foxzero says:

    is true mmm that one seems interesting i think i should try out

  45. BlackJack says:

    I got a Micrsosoft Sidewinder which is pretty similar to this one.
    Nice reviews. When my Sidewinder give up its work ill get this G9!

    greetings

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