What’s The Best Mouse Polling Rate For Gaming?

By Robert David Orr / Last updated: Dec 23, 2022

Polling rate is an under-the-radar gaming mouse specification that plays a huge role in the competitive gaming world because every millisecond counts.

What is the best mouse polling rate?

The best mouse polling rate is 1000 Hz because it’s incredibly responsive, supports small and quick movements, and improves your aiming accuracy with small mouse movements in FPS games. Having a high polling rate will also help with high refresh rate displays of 120Hz or greater. High refresh rates on your monitors will be practically useless if your mouse operates at a 125Hz polling rate. The higher the polling rate, the less input lag you’ll experience in games. 

Whether you’re a regular user or a heavy gamer, the best mouse polling rates are specifically engineered for maximum responsiveness, enabling you to navigate and move quickly with maximum accuracy for the best possible gaming experience.

Because the quality of gaming mice determines the speed, accuracy, and precision of in-game characters and features, gamers are often obsessed with having the best mouse polling rate available.

For general office work, the polling rate doesn’t really make much of a difference. However, if you are playing games like CSGO or Overwatch, then you want to have a higher polling rate than what the a standard computer mouse provides.

But what exactly is mouse polling rate?

Why is that important?

Which polling rate is the best?

Does polling rate affect sensitivity?

Can you adjust your mouse polling rate?

Are high-end gaming mice worth the hassle?

What is the best Mouse Polling rate for FPS games?

I’m going to fill you in on all the secrets the best gamers know and use to get the most out of their gaming setup and cut through all the tech jargon so you can know what will work best for you.

BTW – before we get started: if you want to get more great ideas for your home office and connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Battle Station Setup here.

 What is Mouse Polling Rate?

Mouse polling rate is the speed at which your mouse interacts or reports its position to the computer. The standard unit of measuring polling rate is Hertz (Hz).

If a mouse is quoted as having a 1000Hz polling rate, it simply means it communicates its position to the computer 1,000 times per second or four times every millisecond.

Generally, the most common polling rates are 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, and 1000Hz, but nowadays, you can find gaming mice like the Razer Viper 8KHz with higher polling rates.

Polling Rate (Hz) Report Time (ms)
125Hz 8ms
250Hz 4ms
500Hz 2ms
1000Hz 1ms
4000Hz 0.25ms
8000Hz 0.125ms

125hz is basically the smoothest because the frequency it gets input from the mouse sensor is low enough, but it struggles with micro-movements. 500hz and 100hz can accurately track mouse movement due to their lower response time.

Which Polling Rate is the Best?

A 125Hz mouse polling rate should serve regular PC users just fine, but First-Person Shooter (FPS) games fanatics will require something more complex between the range of 500Hz to 1000Hz polling rate.

Most gamers get obsessed with numbers when deciding which polling rate would work better for them.

A higher polling rate doesn’t exactly make you a better gamer. Without adequate gaming experience and skills, even a gaming mouse with the best polling rate would be useless.

Higher polling rates will consume more CPU resources. If you have that luxury, it’s okay to go for top-class gaming mice – but if you don’t – it is rather advisable to buy a modest or lower-class mouse.

1000 Hz polling rate sends the computer more accurate & price information about the mouse’s current position and reduces input lag from the mouse.

But when compared to 500 Hz, there’s only a difference of 1ms.

Can a normal human notice such a small difference? Probably not.

Professional competitive gamers like ScreaM prefer using 500hz over 1000hz, and they still rock it when it comes to clutches.

As a general rule of thumb, if you have very still hands, 1000hz is a perfect option. But if you’re twitchy at all, 500hz will help smooth that out.

500Hz vs. 1000Hz Which is Better?

Technically, a gaming mouse with a 1000Hz polling rate is slightly better than one with 500Hz, but there isn’t much disparity between both; the line separating them is so close that the average gamer can barely tell the difference.

Let’s take a look at some of their features.

Pros Cons
500Hz       1000Hz 500Hz  1000Hz
Sharper  Very responsive Heavier (in some cases) Requires more CPU resources
Requires less CPU resources Supports small and quick movements Slower input time Some old games are not optimized to support 1000Hz
More consistent Supports better aiming It does not support quick movements Not consistent

How do I check mouse polling rate?

Checking your mouse polling rate is a seamless process that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Polling rates can be checked using the various mouse rate checker tools.

There are several online mouse rate checker tool like clickspeedtester and tecagile that you can use.

Alternatively, you can download any of the mouse rate checker software available on the Internet.

It’s often mentioned in the product specifications and at the back of the packaging too.

Can I change the polling rate of my mouse?

Yes, you can increase or decrease the polling rate of your mouse.

Most of the modern mice from Logitech and Razer have dedicated software that lets you change the polling rate and DPI with just a click.

Does mouse polling rate affect sensitivity?

Yes, buying a high polling rate mouse guarantees more sensitivity, especially for FPS games players, but in the end, the optimal sensitivity rate is determined by how responsive, or swift the player is. 

Does high polling rate cause lag?

Higher polling rate in mice will use up more CPU resources and ultimately slow down any low or mid-class quality computer system.

If you have a full-fledged gaming rig with decent hardware, 1000hz won’t be a problem.

But remember, some game engines do not perform well with a 1000hz polling rate. You might want to lower it down to 500hz.

Which polling rate is best for FPS games?

A polling rate of 1000Hz or higher is necessary for intense First-Person Shooter games like CS: GO, Valorant, and PUBG, which require more speed, precision, and accuracy.

But before buying a 1000Hz polling rate mouse, be sure that you have a monitor that supports a high refresh rate (120Hz or above) to prevent lag.

How does the polling rate affect monitor refresh rate?

The perfect combination would be for your mouse polling rate to be greater than your monitor refresh rate.

Using a low polling rate mouse with a high-end monitor that has a refresh rate of 120Hz or more would result in input lag.

This is because the monitor would refresh data faster than how the mouse can report it.

But thankfully, most modern gaming monitors are built with a 240Hz refresh rate and should work well with any 1000Hz mouse.

Wired vs. Bluetooth vs. 2.4hz polling rate connection types

Your connection type also determines how much speed you get to enjoy from your gaming mouse. But which connection type is the best?

Features of the Different Connection Types
Wired Bluetooth 2.4Hz
Very reliable Most convenient for modern computers Faster than Bluetooth polling rate mouse
Cost effective Limited polling rate (125Hz or less) A 2.4Hz receiver requires a clear line of sight to the transmitter to function well
Supports a broader range of polling rates Not ideal for gaming Signal quality reduces as distance increases
Users may experience cable drag issues Better signal strength than 2.4Hz polling rate mouse A USB extension cable is sometimes needed

Polling rate: gaming mouse vs. regular mouse?

A gaming mouse offers more sensitivity and polling rate than a normal mouse because of the difference in dots per inch (DPI).

While a regular mouse would typically have 1000 dpi, a gaming mouse can have up to 4,000 dpi (or more), making it the ideal option for gamers.

With a higher DPI your mouse and computer can read smaller mouse movements.

A regular mouse will not even let you change the polling rate because of its average sensor. If you force a higher polling rate using a 3rd party software like ATSIV, mouse cursor movement will be jittery, and the sensor might as well stop working altogether.

Difference between gaming mouse and regular mouse:

Gaming Mouse Regular Mouse
Has at least 8-12 buttons It has only three buttons
Button functions can be customized by the user Button functions can only be assigned by the manufacturer
Mouse weight can be adjusted Mouse weight cannot be adjusted
It comes with different modular parts to aid adjustability Does not have modular parts
Enhanced polling rate Normal polling rate
Premium aesthetics Poor aesthetics

What makes a good gaming mouse?

If you ask a thousand gamers this question, you will probably get a thousand different answers. But from what we know, there are some basic features that must be present in a good gaming mouse.

  • High DPI
  • Durability
  • Number of buttons
  • Ergonomics
  • Good polling rate

What’s the highest polling rate for a gaming mouse?

Introduced in January 2021, the Razer Viper 8KHz mouse carries the highest polling rate (8,000Hz) ever installed in a gaming mouse. The Razer Viper 8KHz, with the help of its HyperPolling technology, reduces input delay time from 1ms to 1/8th of a millisecond.

Features of the VIPER 8KHz:

  • Gaming-grade tactile scroll wheel
  • On-The-Fly Sensitivity Adjustment (Default stages: 400/800/1600/2400/3200)
  • True ambidextrous design with ultra-durable integrated rubber side grips
  • 100% PTFE mouse feet
  • Hybrid Cloud storage and on-board memory (4+1 profiles)
  • Razer Chroma™ RGB lighting with true 16.8 million customizable color options
  • 7+1 programmable buttons
  • Up to 650 inches per second (IPS) / 50 G acceleration/industry best 99.6% resolution accuracy
  • 2nd-gen Razer™ Optical Mouse Switches rated for 70 million clicks
  • Advanced Lift-off/Landing distance customization
  • True 8000Hz (0.125ms) polling rate
  • True 20,000 DPI Focus+ optical sensor
  • Razer Synapse 3 enabled
  • 8 m / 6 ft Speedflex cable
  • 73 mm / 4.99 in (Length) X 57.6 mm / 2.27 in (Width) X 37.81 mm / 1.49 in (Height)
  • Approximate weight: 71 g / 2.5 oz (Excluding cable)

Best high polling rate mouse:

Mouse polling rate is quite not as well-known as DPI; however, it is just as crucial to the success of your gaming career.

High polling rate provides low mouse latency input for intense gaming sessions, which is especially useful for professionals and gamers with premium display monitors.

A gaming mouse with a polling rate of 1000Hz should be sufficient for the average gamer, but as technology continues to evolve by the second, we expect the invention of new high-tech gaming mice that will raise the bar in terms of speed and responsiveness.

Are high-end gaming mice worth the hassle?

While normal users can make do with a regular mouse, getting a gaming mouse is not negotiable for gamers who prefer First-Person Shooter (FPS) games.

If you want a higher polling rate and DPI range, gaming mice are the way to go.

Next Steps

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Robert David Orr

I'm an old school gamer from way back as a kid of the 80s - My first console was the Commodore 64. Since then, I've been gaming on everything from PC games to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System to the Xbox One. Learn more.

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