Archive for June, 2006

Counter-Strike: 1.6 : Mouse Acceleration and Settings

June 3, 2006

[In game Settings]
After starting up Counter-Strike, go into Options. From there, select the “Mouse” tab from the menu.

Many of the options are self explanatory, but let us go over them a little just to be clear.

Reverse Mouse: Ticking this option will invert your mouse's up-down axis. Up will become down and down will become up.
Recommended: Off, unless you're Rambo

Mouse look: Mouse look should be checked if you are using a mouse, allowing you to “look” with the mouse.
Recommended: On

invokePan("bannerid:43", "rectangle");

Mouse Filter: Mouse filter smoothes out mouse movement. This may sound like a good idea, but it is best left unchecked. Enabling it will only distort your aim, moving your crosshair slightly off cue from where you want it. If turned on, Counter-Strike will calculate all your mouse movements over the last two frames to find an average and attempt to give you a more fluid feel. This means using older data to move your mouse instead of the most up to date information. Theoretically, with mouse filter off, you could also receive a slight FPS boost on lower end systems.
Recommended: Off

Joystick: Enable this if you prefer to use a joystick over a mouse. Disabling Joystick and all it's byproducts can in fact decrease load times slightly, which will be more noticeable on a slower system. This is because your game does not attempt to detect and initialize a joystick at startup.
Recommended: Off

Joystick look: Joystick look is the same concept as Mouse look, except this time for the joystick.
Recommended: Off

Auto-Aim: Aims at enemies automatically. This option is checked by default. Auto-Aim is disabled on most servers as many believe it to be a very cheap feature. This also will hurt you in the long run, not only will your aim cease to improve but those already skilled will find this option to be unhelpful as it throws your aim off.
Recommended: Off

Mouse sensitivity: This option allows you to change your in-game sensitivity, which sets how fast your crosshair moves. While a sensitivity of 5 or below is recommended and generally accepted, your choice is totally dependant on your current mouse and surface selection. Check out GotGear if you are looking for a new mouse or mousepad.
Recommended: Pure Preference

[Console Commands]
These commands can be adjusted before or during game via the developer's console ([~] key).

m_filter [0|1] – This would be the console equivalent of the Mouse Filter command. 0 = Off, 1 = On. Recommended: 0 (Off)

m_forward [x] – Adjusts the sensitivity of forward and backwards mouse movement.
Recommended: Default

m_pitch [x] – Adjusts the sensitivity of up and down mouse movements.
Recommended: Default

invokePan("bannerid:43", "rectangle");

m_side [x] – Adjusts the sensitivity of sideways mouse movement.
Recommended: Default

m_yaw [x] – Adjusts the sensitivity of turning left and right with the mouse.
Recommended: Default

sensitivity [x] – The console equivalent of “Mouse sensitivity.” This is the most effective method for changing sensitivity as not only can you include decimal values, but you can also adjust it faster on the fly.
Recommended: Pure Preference

zoom_sensitivity_ratio [x] – Temporarily adjusts the sensitivity of your crosshair upon zooming dependent on the ratio set. What does that mean? Let us say you have an in-game sensitivity of 4, and a zoom_sensitivity_ratio of 0.5. With this ratio your mouse speed will be cut in half (0.5), changing it to a sensitivity of 2 while zooming.
Recommended: Pure Preference

[Launch Option Commands]
Right click the steam icon on your taskbar -> Play Games -> Right click Counter-Strike -> Properties -> Launch Options.

The following three commands are the most used commands you will find in a users launch options. Luckily, they have a direct correlation to your mouse so you get to learn all about them right now.

invokePan("bannerid:43", "rectangle");

noforcemaccel – reverts to desktop mouse acceleration settings. For the most part (when it comes to gaming and precision accuracy) mouse acceleration is a fickle feature. The noforcemaccel command will make sure Half-Life does not try and manage mouse accel when it is disabled in your windows options.
When to use? When mouse acceleration is disabled on your desktop and you want the same results for your in game experience.

noforcemparms – reverts to desktop mouse button settings. What does that mean? Usually when you start up Half-Life (or in this case Counter-Strike) your mouse configuration will switch to application mode, allowing the assignment of keys already assigned to your desktop (like mouse3). This variable turns that feature OFF. There is really no benefit to this command, and in actuality it is quite buggy at times.
When to use? When you are experiencing difficulty with button assignments. A part from troubleshooting this command has no practical use, despite popular belief.

noforcemspd – uses desktop mouse speed settings. Noforcemspd forces Half-life to use whatever speed settings you have applied to your desktop via mouse properties. Whatever the value, Half-Life will use it as guidance.
When to use? When you want your out of game speed to set the bar for your in game sensitivity. Think of sensitivity as a speed (de)amplifier.

[Windows XP Mouse Acceleration]
Mouse Acceleration is perhaps the most important factor to good mouse control. While it is all preference, the key advantage to disabling mouse acceleration is consistency in movement. With mouse accel on you will notice your mouse movement will start slow and then speed up, only to slow down again. It is consistency in movement that is key to good control. It is highly recommended to turn accel off. However, even after un-ticking “Enhanced Pointer Precision” in your Windows mouse options, mouse acceleration can still find itself locked in the XP system. The easiest way to fix this is to install CPL Mouse Fix.

This “mousefix” will remove all mouse acceleration from your windows registry. I would not advise using this fix unless you are absolutely sure you want to disable mouse accel, as adding anything to your registry can be quite the pain to undo.

[Windows XP Mouse Speed]
Windows Classic View: Start -> Control Panel -> Mouse.
Windows Category View: Start -> Control Panel -> Printers and Other Hardware -> Mouse.

Another setting that must be examined is Windows mouse movement speed. Selecting “Pointer Options” from the Mouse tab menu, notice the bar at the top right under “Motion”. This bar dictates how fast (or slow) your mouse motion is. This can have a direct effect on your in-game sensitivity. If you have very low Windows speed, you will probably need a very high CS sensitivity, and vice versa. Adjust this accordingly, and do not forget that anything you change here will likely implore you to change your in-game settings as well (depending on which, if any, noforce commands you applied).

[Mouse DPI]
Start -> Programs -> Your mouse software (if applicable).

Mouse DPI stands for Dots Per Inch. Most optical mice have a resolution of 400-800 DPI. In translation that means that the cursor on a standard optical moves 400-800 pixels across the screen for every inch the mouse is moved on the display. Mice like the mx518 can perform as high as 1,600 DPI. What this means is that the higher the DPI, the more accurate, precise, and sensitive your mouse will be. Just because your mouse is capable of higher DPI does not mean it is set that way. Just like an 8x motherboard shipped at 4x, your mouse could be set lower than it is easily capable of performing at. Consulting your user manual or company's website you can find out your current mouse limitations. By downloading the latest drivers, and then installing the proper software, you can likely raise the DPI for your mouse higher than it is boxed at.

invokePan("bannerid:43", "rectangle");

[Mouse Frequency]
One of the most overlooked aspects of mouse performance is mouse frequency. What is mouse frequency? Well, the reported frequency is expressed in Hertz (Hz). It is the amount of data your optical mouse device sends to your system in the matter of one second. Think of it loosely as frames per second, the higher the better. There are two major factors that can drastically alter the amount of Hz you are getting. One is, of course, the mouse you have; the second is the port you use. Generally, if you are using your mouse in the USB port, you can reach in excess of 125Hz. A PS/2 port mouse can perform anywhere between 40Hz on the lower extreme, and about 97 Hz on the upper. On average most people probably get around 60Hz. Variables can show up as well, such as whether or not your mouse is wireless. There are a few utilities you can use to increase your PS/2 mouse performance. The best way would be to purchase a PS/2 to USB adapter; the other involves downloading a third party PS/2 rate adjuster. Even with a tweak utility, your USB port will still out perform, so if I had to choose I would get the adapter.

How can I test my own mouse frequency?
There are actually quite a few third party programs out there you can use. I would recommend "Andrea Binello's Mouse Frequency".

Phew! I warned you! Thankfully that is everything you need to know. Now go put all of this new-found knowledge to good use!

Hopefully this will be of some help to the gamers.