Blacklight Retribution Mouse Optimization Guide

Blacklight Retribution Mouse Optimization Guide by candamile

Hello everyone,

I found a nice guide on the internet about how to tweak your mouse, so you can get the most out of it. It’s written by Antigen on a CS:S forum, so most credits go to him.

There seems to be a fair amount of misunderstanding about mouse related concepts like resolution, in game sensitivity, acceleration, USB report rates, Windows settings, etcetera.

I have created this guide to give comprehensive information on about how to make whatever mouse you currently have, provide the best response, control and smoothness in Blacklight: Retribution. Although this is specifically for BL:R, many of the tips may be useful for all FPS games.

Some of this guide is my personal opinion about things, but I will say so if it is. Most of the it however, is proven knowledge about the way to tweak a mouse and optimize it’s settings. I consider myself an expert in this subject, as my college major is electrical engineering. I also know an engineer who works for Logitech and have learned a lot from him as well.

Now about the tweaking, whenever you make a major change (such as turning off acceleration for the first time) you will probably play worse before adjusting to it. It is no different than anything. Just stick with it for a few days and practice in CSSDM to see if you improve. You will.

Basic Optimization (Updated)

1.1 – Disable mouse acceleration.

It is absolutely vital to disable all mouse acceleration when playing any game. With acceleration on, you will not be able to play consistently. 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.

The easiest way to make sure any variable mouse sensitivity is disabled is to uninstall your mouse driver from the ‘Add or Remove Programs’ part of control panel, afterwards in mouse properties uncheck ‘Enhance Pointer Precision’.

After doing this, some residual acceleration may remain, as Windows gives no way to completely eliminate all cursor acceleration from the control panel. This is where the CPL mousefix comes in. To use the CPL mousefix simply unzip the folder and click on the .reg file and say yes to anything that comes up. All it does is change two lines in your system registry to completely stop all mouse acceleration. Remember if you have used Mouse Acceleration for sometime, and have gotten used to it, this is one of the hardest settings changes to get used to. It is completely worth it to adapt to playing without accelleration, so stick with it and you will slowly notice the improvement.

You can download it, (at any of the links)

You can remove it, BUT ONLY AFTER you have given it an honest effort for like a week,

1.2 – Adjust Windows mouse properties.

When I see people list their mouse settings, many players are putting themselves at a big disadvantage. Windows has a slider for setting pointer speed, but that doesn’t mean gamers should use it. The reason is that changing a setting here can in no way make up for the dpi (resolution in counts per inch) a mouse has or doesn’t have. Increasing the pointer speed even one notch, will make your cursor skip pixels. Losing pixel accuracy is not worth it when sensitivity is adjustable in-game. Lowering the setting here, throws away dpi from the mouse forcing you to use a use a higher, less precise sensitivity in-game.

At the highest setting, the cursor goes two pixels for each count. If you open up MS Paint, use the pencil tool, swing the mouse around to make circle patterns and notice how terribly notchy the edges are. This is not normal aliasing if you have the wrong settings in mouse properties it will make easily visible notches, not jaggies, it will look like teeth from a saw blade or something else bad. This is not the same as the normal stair steps on the edges of non antialiased graphics.

On the other hand, if you reduce the pointer speed setting, even by one notch, you get two different mouse sensitivities and your cursor will move, slowly to the right, and faster to the left. This is probably even worse than raising it, so KEEP THIS ON DEFAULT!! The default setting is the 6th notch in the middle and it wont interpolate or filter your mouse inputs, so you get the dpi your mouse is advertised. This may take some getting used to but it’s worth it, you need to live with it if you do not want your per pixel targeting or sane mouse response compromised.

3 – Adjust driver specific control panels.

If you’ve not installed or have uninstalled your mouse drivers you can skip to Section 1.4!

Although I recommend against installing the drivers on most mice. I will briefly cover how to optimize the driver control panels for people who have installed their mouse drivers. The above settings usually have limited or no effect on such systems. First make sure any mouse acceleration settings are turned off completely, and if there is an option so you can have acceleration on the desktop but not in games, I recommend you turn it off as you need to be used to no acceleration all the time.

The same problems of section 1.2 will apply to most all mice and drivers. The cold truth of the matter is that raising your pointer speed in a control panel or driver, does not and can not make up for the true physical dpi limitations of your mouse. If you do try increasing your pointer speed and still have precise pixel targeting, you are getting the faster response through some sort of mouse acceleration where the mouse does it’s native speed until a certain unknown point where it speeds up and becomes non linear. With Logitech Setpoint, the mouse shows acceleration even if you increase pointer speed one notch and even have acceleration turned off, including within the driver. I tested this myself.

So I advise you to put this on the middle setting or the mouse defaults. I have checked in SetPoint, Mouseware and IntelliMouse and it sometimes is possible to get the ideal pure raw input from the mouse without it being accelerated, interpolated sped up or slowed down. If you wish to decrease the mouse speed, I advise against this. Especially for people who play BL:R at higher screen resolutions or faster sensitivities. Lowering the pointer speed in the driver is basically throwing away valuable mouse inputs, which will hurt you in the end if you want smooth as possible aiming with a wide range of sensitivities in the game. You will also get the issue with different speeds in different directions problem from 1.2 although it will be very much unnoticable for the most part.

1.5 – DPI related to in-game sensitivity

If your mouse does NOT have adjustable dpi then you can skip this chapter if you want to!

People who do not use the driver may have preset options like: 400, 800 or 1600dpi. The important thing is to use the full capability of the mouse when playing BL:R. No matter what sensitivity you play the game at, you really should use your mouse on it’s highest dpi setting while in-game. This gives the finest precision and makes movement feel noticeably smoother. The only exception to this rule is players using a very low sensitivity may sometimes be able to reduce negative acceleration at a lower dpi setting.

At higher sensitivities and resolutions there is certainly some benefit of extra dpi. Once you go beyond what this formula says you actually need there will be a point where you can’t even notice it anymore. Because you get aiming precision way smaller than one pixel. Having more dpi than you need does not hinder you. Having less dpi than you need does.

1.6 – Find a good sensitivity.

I have to touch on this subject as there are far too many questions about it and I have my own opinion about it, but I just want to lay out some facts. Your sensitivity is a preference, low sensitivity is not always better than high sensitivity, high sens is not better than low sens. If you were to experiment around with a range of different sensitivities you would find there would probably be some sensitivity for you. You know it’s a good setting if above it you play worse, and below it you play worse.

People debate about high and low sensitivity often. The benefit people most often claim about lower mouse sensitivities is that it separates looking and turning from precise movements like aiming or controlling recoil. With a low enough sensitivity you will be able to look and turn by moving your whole arm, and then precisely target and shoot moving just the hand. For some players this is very beneficial. I have also heard things like, because the arm is closer to your brain stem it takes less time for the nerve synapses to reach the muscles so you can react faster than by just moving your hand or wrist.

On the other hand higher sensitivities have advantages too. Being able to turn very quickly to defend yourself can save your life. Some players find it uncomfortable or fatiguing to have to move their arm long distances to turn. Some mice just plain can’t handle the speed needed for low. Lastly if you have a small mouse surface to play on this can be an only option. I am not a high sensitivity user so there are other benefits I may be neglecting to list.

Never use a mouse sensitivity because someone else uses it. It’s a preference and it varies from person to person. If you are going to use a lower sensitivity you need to have good sound to know where to be looking to minimize the slow turning disadvantage. If you’re going to play a high sensitivity you need steady hands and a mouse with good DPI. On the other hand optical mice are ideal for lower sensitivity because they tend to malfunction at higher speeds. To use a really low mouse sensitivity you need to be able to move your mouse blazing fast at a moment’s notice. Many pros in CS use large mouse pads with a very slow sensitivity and it takes a lot of skill to play well with such low settings.

Find a sensitivity that balances turning speed with your desire for accuracy. It also needs to be appropriate for your mouse surface, if its small you may need to go higher, if it’s cloth you may need to go lower because of friction. If your mouse skips easily with quick movements go to a higher sensitivity, if it’s only 400dpi stay at medium and low sens. The key concept is balance, you need one speed that embodies and makes the most of your skills and what you have to work with.

As with other settings in the guide, take some time to get used to a new setting. When you feel you are getting close to your ideal mouse sensitivity make smaller adjustments by going by .1 until you get it perfect, spend at least 10-20 minutes practicing with a setting before tweaking it again. Good Luck.


Most important things for tl;dr:
1. Disable mouse acceleration
2. Mouse sensitivity in Windows at notch 6
3. Adjust your mouse drivers
4. Select the highest polling rate in your mouse drivers (very important!)
4. Adjust to the highest DPI possible
5. Find a suitable sensitivity

At this moment, I use a Logitech G400 at 3600 DPI / 0 ingame sensitivity for walking around and spraying and 2650 DPI /-3 ingame sensitivity for aiming with 4x CR-rifle.

I noticed that BLR has a mouse acceleration option and that its unticked, but I don’t know if it disables all mouse acceleration Windows uses. All I know, with the current settings I can aim damn well

There is much more information about mouse optimization in the original thread (see link above), so if you want to get really deep into the stuff I suggest you take a look there.

Good luck


To check and force the polling rate of your mouse, you can download Direct Input Mouse Rate (link)
1. start dseob3b.exe
2. Select Test Mode
3. Restart computer
4. Start Setup.exe
5. Tick Filter On Device
5. Select the highest possible pollen rate supported by your mouse
6. Click Install Service
5. Click “Install Service”

Other Blacklight Retribution Articles

Leave a Reply