Overwatch: Mouse Smoothing is a Feature You Want Turned Off

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Overwatch Mouse Smoothing

One of the huge advantages to playing a game like Overwatch on PC over a console is that a keyboard and mouse gives you more control over your weapons. But mapping the controls to the keyboard and mouse on shooter games can get complicated. The way the input works often results in weapons with far less recoil action. This makes them easier to control than on a console. To combat this aim disparity, however, developers include what’s called “auto-aim” or “aim assist” into their games. Aim smoothing or Overwatch’s mouse smoothing is an offshoot of that. While it doesn’t replace aim assist, it works with it.

What is Mouse Smoothing?

Thanks to optical sensors, modern gaming mice are quite accurate when it comes to tracking a player’s mouse movements. Older mice don’t have a high DPI count, which makes cursor movements jumpy. The latest mice have trackballs with a max DPI of 400. This helps them measure enough points per inch to deliver a smoothly flowing output.

Mouse Smoothing Genesis

Mouse smoothing was developed (as the name suggests) to smooth out mouse movement so the cursor isn’t as jumpy. The way that mouse smoothing works is that the PC tries to predict where the mouse will go and adds extra, virtual measure points to create a smoother, more visually appealing movement pattern. Using a mouse for everyday tasks doesn’t really require mouse smoothing. But there are certain tasks other than gaming that do require pixel perfect precession.

Do You Prefer Control or Accuracy?

Mouse smoothing refers to how sensitively the game registers your aim. The game literally, “smooths out” your input. The result is a lower turn speed and gameplay that’s less reactive to your aiming, albeit with a noticeable lack of precision.

Like all matters of gaming dynamics, whether mouse smoothing is a good or bad thing comes down to your preferences. It has the advantage of making game play smoother with better flow. It can also be an advantage to you if you’re the type of player that overcompensates with your enemy tracking or flicking.

Conversely, you give up the luxury of the assisted smooth gameplay in exchange for control benefits. You won’t like it if you prefer more control over accuracy. This could be you if you’re fast paced and require heightened sensitivity.

Mouse Smoothing Can Be Bad for Gaming

When it comes to gaming, you want raw inputs. Software and hardware attempt to alter the way your mouse movements are translated on screen, which can negatively affect your gaming performance. Since with mouse smoothing the movement of your mouse and the movement of the cursor aren’t 1:1. Your aim in Overwatch can feel off and dampened.

So, if you’re going for a quick, pixel-perfect shot on an enemy that’s barely exposed. And you drag your mouse toward the enemy even slightly erratically, mouse smoothing can correct your movement. But this can cause your cursor to skip past those few pixels of visible enemy, causing you to miss your shot.

For this reason, you want a mouse with a flawless sensor. This is one that doesn’t alter anything about the way your movements are translated on the screen. Unless you’re playing a casual single player game, you probably want to turn mouse smoothing off.  

Should You Opt for Mouse Smoothing or Not?

Are you a fast-paced damage dealer? Do you require split second reaction flicks and precise running and gunning? Then you’ll likely benefit from mouse smoothing.

If on the other hand you’re a slower, tankier player. Then mouse smoothing can only hinder you. But we recommend playing with mouse smoothing both on and off to see what works best for you.

Overwatch Pro Gaming Mouse Settings

Mouse settings are extremely important for helping you unlock your true potential. Using your mouse to move in a first-person shooter is completely different from the way your cursor moves when you move your mouse in games with a 2D perspective (isometric view).

In a 2D perspective, precision is limited by the monitor’s resolution. First person shooters have a 3D perspective. Movement isn’t limited by resolution. But rather, precision is limited by the game engine’s turning sensitivity precision, which typically allows for more precision.

Keep these things in mind as we go through the settings below. These instructions are best for a gaming mouse so you can become a headshot master.

Pointer Speed

In Windows, go to the Pointer Option tab. Then look at the Motion category. The pointer speed should be between 6 and 11 for 100% mouse accuracy. The default setting is usually in the middle (on the 6th notch).

Enhance Pointer Precision

Next, you want to uncheck Enhance Pointer Precision. This is a Windows’ term for mouse acceleration, and it’s typically checked by default. We don’t need to tell you how important accuracy is in gaming. Mouse acceleration limits your ability to make precise movements. But with mouse acceleration turned off, cursor movements in games are more precise.

Change DPI

This is a reference to Dots Per Inch (DPI) in a 2D setting like the Windows desktop and isometric games. A dot translates to one pixel. So, DPI relates to how many pixels the cursor will move for every inch you move the mouse. Like mouse acceleration, a higher DPI will make your cursor move faster.

If the mouse you’re using comes with adjustable DPI settings, you can adjust it through special software that comes with the mouse or the physical button on the mouse. The ideal DPI setting depends on you, your display’s resolution, and physical dexterity. Our recommendation is to play with this feature to dial in the setting that works best for you.

Polling Rate

This is a reference to the frequency with which your mouse reports your movements back to your PC. A higher polling rate means less mouse lag and increased precision. Similar to DPI, most gaming mice have the polling rate built into the software. Or there’s physical switch somewhere on the mouse for adjustments.

But if neither of these are an option, there are guides on the internet that will walk you through how to overclock your USB polling rate. The default polling rate for non-gaming mice is 125 Hz. Gaming mice will allow you to adjust this up to 1000 Hz.

Turn On Raw Input

Overwatch mouse movements will be more accurate using raw input. Raw input turned off makes aiming very inconsistent, especially with higher DPI settings. Raw input takes mouse input directly from the mouse instead of from the operating system. The operating system tends to change the input based on cursor position, which can limit maximum turning speed and cause inconsistent turning speed all together.

Lower In-Game Sensitivity

In-game sensitivity controls how fast your turn in Overwatch. A lower sensitivity allows more precise movements. Setting it as low as possible will yield the most precise movements the game engine can handle. This value is set in the options menu under input. You can set an exact value by using the game’s configuration file.