Polling Rate: The Definitive Guide & Best Settings For Gaming

Polling Rate: The Definitive Guide & Best Settings For Gaming

Related Articles – Mouse DPI: The Definitive Guide & Best Settings For Gaming

What is Polling Rate?

Polling rate, or report rate, is a measurement of how often the device reports to the computer. It is measured in Hertz(Hz).

Your device, such as mouse, must report its position to the computer first. Your cursor or crosshair will not move until your mouse reports its position.

Why Is Polling Rate Important In Gaming?

Polling rate is important because you want your gear to respond to your movements as fast as possible.

If enemies are shooting at you, you may end up dying first if your mouse responds too slow while aiming.

Higher polling rate means the computer reads your movements at a faster rate, which reduces the input lag.

To put it even simpler: if two players shoot each other at the exact same time, the player with a faster polling rate mouse will win that duel.

How Does Polling Rate Work?

The Hz(Hertz) is how many times the device reports its movement to the computer per second.

So a mouse with 1000Hz polling rate reports its movement 1000 times per second, or every millisecond. 

And a mouse with 500Hz polling rate reports its position 500 times a second, or every 2 milliseconds.

Here are some polling rates, and their response times:

Polling RateResponse Time
125 Hz8 ms
250 Hz4 ms
500 Hz2 ms
1000 Hz1 ms
2000 Hz0.5 ms
3000 Hz0.33 ms

To find out response time of a different polling rate, you can use a Hz to ms converter.

Some people might not know how fast these polling rates actually are. If you want to see exactly how fast milliseconds are, try watching this video:

What Polling Rate Should I Use For Gaming?

In gaming, every millisecond matters. Use the highest polling rate available when you’re gaming for maximum performance. Most professional gamers such as Overwatch pros use a mouse and keyboard with 1000Hz polling rate.

But if you’re using a wireless mouse or keyboard, and you want to save battery, you should switch to a lower polling rate.

Or if your game is lagging, you can lower the polling rate to reduce CPU resources as well.

However, we don’t recommend going lower than 500Hz for competitive games because the input lag may be noticeable.

How To Check and Change Polling Rate

Usually, you would check and change the polling rate in the device software. Some of the commonly used software are Logitech G Hub and Steelseries Engine.

Polling Rate: The Definitive Guide & Best Settings For Gaming
Polling Rate: The Definitive Guide & Best Settings For Gaming

Some products, such as this Zowie EC2-B CS:GO Version, do not have a software. Instead, you can use these buttons on the bottom of the mouse to adjust DPI and polling rate.

Polling rate goes in a cycle of 125Hz, 500Hz and 1000Hz every time you press the Report Rate button.

For DPI, there are four colors that represent different DPI values. For EC2-B CS:GO version, red color is 400 DPI, pink 800 DPI, blue 1600 DPI and green 3200 DPI.

How To Test Polling Rate

If you want to make sure your mouse polling rate settings are working correctly, you can use the Mouse Rate Checker from Zowie.

After you click once, try moving your mouse around. We’re currently using a 1000 Hz mouse, so we saw values around 1000 get registered.

Did you learn something new? Or do you want to add something here?

Let us know in the comment section!

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