Everything You Need to Know About the CPI Button on Mouse

Have no idea what the CPI button on mouse does? You’re not alone. Many PC owners, including ardent gamers, need to learn what this button does. For them, the mouse is still a basic PC peripheral. Click, point, & scroll: they think that’s all a mouse does. However, modern mice are way more complicated than that. 

They come with advanced sensors, complicated syncing features, & a lot more. That’s what a mouse CPI is: an advanced feature that most new-generation mice feature. If you want to buy the best gaming mouse for your setup, you’ll need to select a mouse with the right CPI. So, what is CPI mouse & what’s a good CPI that your future mouse should have? Let’s find out. 

Do you have a particular question about CPI button on mouse? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

What Does CPI Mean on a Mouse

CPI stands for “Counts per Inch.” Mice manufacturers use this term to designate the resolution measurement of their devices. The higher your mouse’s CPI, the more sensitive it will be to your movements. Your mouse’s CPI setting will determine how sensitive the cursor movements on your screen are. For instance: 

  • Let’s say you use a gaming mouse with a 400 CPI setting. When you move this mouse two inches on your mousepad, the cursor will move at least 800 pixels. 

On the whole, the term “CPI” or “Counts per Inch” refers to the sensitivity of a mouse. Sounds simple, right? Well, it’s not. There’s a reason why many PC owners are confused about the CPI mouse meaning. The reason for that is DPI or “Dots per Inch.” Both the terms CPI & DPI refer to the same thing: the mouse’s sensitivity.

Technically, there’s no difference between CPI and DPI, especially in a gaming mouse. Both terms refer to the same thing. So, what’s the confusion about? Well, mice manufacturers use both terms interchangeably. For instance, Logitech uses DPI, whereas SteelSeries uses CPI.  

What Does the CPI Button Do on a Mouse?

If the CPI button on your wireless mouse is set to a high setting, your cursor movements will feel extra-sensitive. As a result, you’ll have to make smaller physical movements on the mouse to move your cursor across large distances on the screen. Of course, such a setting can feel odd. So, most PC owners prefer using between 400 to 3000 CPI settings. 

How to Use CPI Button on Mouse?

The mouse CPI button on a new-age, high-end gaming mouse will feature advanced sensors. Thanks to these sensors, such a gaming mouse can easily have maximum CPI settings of 20,000+ CPI. But will you ever need such a high CPI setting for your mouse? Probably not. That’s why buying a mouse with a wide CPI range is important. 

Here are some ways you can use different settings on your mouse’s CPI button for different purposes: 

Regular Use: Using your mouse for work or everyday browsing? Then, you don’t need a super-high or a super-low CPI setting. Instead, using a mid-range CPI setting that feels comfortable to you is the best option. A good, mid-range CPI setting is around the 400 CPI mark. 

Gaming: Do you play fast-paced, competitive online games? Then you should consider giving your CPI button a higher setting. With higher CPI settings, you can make quick in-game movements. You can also move your cursor further across the screen without tiring your hand. CPI settings between 400 to 1300 CPI are ideal for most competitive games.

Photo or Video Editing: Your CPI mouse button should have a low setting whenever you need to make slow yet highly accurate movements on the screen. For example, while photo editing, editors must make precise micro-adjustments on the screen. CPI settings slightly below the 400 CPI mark are ideal for such a task.

How to Change CPI on Mouse? 

Most new-generation mice feature CPI buttons with switches. You can press these switches upwards or downwards to increase or lower your mouse’s CPI settings on the fly. Such hardware is especially useful for gamers because they don’t have to exit the game to adjust their mice’s sensitivity.

But what if your CPI mouse button doesn’t feature these switches? Well, then, you can change your mouse’s CPI settings manually. But, before you learn how to change CPI settings on your mouse, you need to learn how to find your mouse’s CPI settings. To do so, visit your mouse manufacturer’s website & search for your mouse model & its CPI settings.

For example, here’s what the Razer Focus+ product page looks like. As you can see, the maxi DPI setting for this mouse is 20,000+ CPI. 

This manufacturer uses the term “DPI” instead of “CPI,” but they both mean the same thing. Now, let’s learn how to change your mouse’s DPI settings. 

  • From the ‘’Start’’ section, click on the ‘’Settings’’ option 
  • On the settings window, click on the “Devices” option
  • Select “Mouse” from the list of devices   
  • Select “Additional mouse options” 
  • In the new window, select “Pointer Options” 
  • In the “Pointer Options” section, you’ll notice a slider
  • Adjust the slider to increase or decrease your mouse’s CPI settings 
  • Click on ‘’Apply’’ 
  • Click “OK” to finalize the changes 

Here’s a helpful video guide that further simplifies this process:


Counts per Inch (CPI) & Dots per Inch (DPI) mean the same thing in a gaming mouse. Both terms are used interchangeably to describe a mouse’s sensitivity. So what is the difference between CPI and DPI? 

The term CPI was created to describe a mouse’s sensitivity from the mouse sensor’s perspective. It directly refers to how many pixels your cursor will move when you manually move the mouse.

The term “DPI” is primarily used in the printing world. However, it too, is indicative of how many pixels your cursor will move when you manually move the mouse.

Best CPI for Gaming

There is no “best CPI gaming” setting. That’s because CPI settings vary based on the user’s personal preference. Most PC users stay within the 400 CPI to 3000 CPI range. But of course there are more sensitive options too. Try out different CPI settings to determine what setting feels the most comfortable for you.

Credits: Thanks for the photo to Canva.

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