Configs, Mice, and Mousepads

This was something I started a long, long time ago with the intention of finishing. This is as good as it is going to get. I hope you can enjoy the read anyway, and maybe take some advice from it.

image: computer-nerd

I see a lot of journals and forum posts on that enrage me heavily, its mainly people asking for help with mice, or sensitivity, I do not understand it at all, I get these people doing research or asking for advice, but the comments are usually littered with people simply posting their mouse and models, with no added remarks except, perhaps a 'it's the best :)'. The number of these posts that actually get listened to is unknown, but I know that I asked people that knew something about the topic when buying my gaming equipment such as advice on a headset and mice from people like Sol a few years back.

I also see a severe lack of knowledge on the subject on Crossfire, so this tutorial will give a brief summary and a few tips from known players within the scene. I’m hoping this will make current, and new players alike look into what they buy properly, and hope that it will spark an interesting into the more complex side of it all.


There are a lot of questions that you ask when you decide to take your gaming experience that little bit further, one of these is the hardware you undertake, gaming mice and pads alike seem very alien to the common computer user. Beneficial to the way you play? Definitely.

I am pretty sure most of crossfire browsers have a mouse they use for gaming, whether it a mouse with lights, mouse with weights, or just a mouse like the Wheel Mouse Optical, that excels as a budget mouse. There are many variables in mice, some consumers know are not needed such as LEDs being put into to give them a different ‘nicer’ look such as on razer mice and in my eyes, the weight system that can be seen in mice like the G5, or the MS Sidewinder. More important to the mouse buyer will be the things that actually make a difference, for instance the shape of the mouse, or the sensor, these two should be the much larger factor for people looking to buy a new mouse.

Mouse sensors is a big topic, there are many variables that the users have to work with, this changes due to different sensors, but there are mainly a few things buyers should take into account when buying: is it laser or optical? These are the two major types of mice on the market. Laser mice generally have a higher DPI with their sensor, however optical mice, although lower when talking in terms of dpi, are still the favorites for many gamers due to the consistency that they promote. Laser sensors are also extremely accurate, but at the moment the mice which use them all seem to have certain problems, such as the xai's prediction for example, although the mouse itself should be top notch, and this error is fixable, the company has not taken steps yet to fix it. The DPI is something that we should also consider, most gamers only really need 400, but it has been noted that the accuracy of mice increases at a higher DPI, although this generally causes problems due to the acceleration some of these mice have when working at a higher dpi (requiring dinput created by abort, for example). For the Quake 3 engine, 400/50DPI is usually the way to go. But these are variables that change company to company, mouse to mouse. What you should really focus on is yourself. A big part of gaming is experimenting with different things, mice, mousepads, sensitivities, resolutions.

However, one thing that is over looked most of the time is the fact that if we keep switching then you generally lose your focus on what is important, and don't notice that it is you yourself that play the game, the hardware just makes it easier, and hence you should find the mouse that is most comfortable for you. For instance, for me a I used to switch mice an awful lot when things went wrong with my game play, between my deathadder, mx518, ime3 and wmo in order to get that placebo boost from them. It wasn't until I realised that I should probably use my DA because my sensitivity is too low that I started getting better at playing the game again. If you are someone that switches around configs/mouses/mousepads a lot then you need to look at the bigger picture, either of these variables may, indeed, make things easier, and everyone will have gone through a stage of testing out configs to get that placebo effect, eventually though, you have to settle down and realise that your config is not making those decisions, aiming, or giving you game sense in any form, it's simply making your game look/feel different, which means you're playing inconsistently, often changing mouse pitch, as well as resolution while using that 'pro' player's config. This is a slippery slope, and one which a player needs to get out of the habit of, for instance to make my Deathadder seem special, I bought some hyperglides for it, knowing that I would have the argument in my head that would make me continue to pick my Deathadder, even though my IME3 was in a box constantly behind me. You have to get used to what you have, and maximize your potential by doing this. If you can get 125FPS, why the hell are you using 76FPS? If you can track well on a lower sensitivity due to you being a arm using player, why the hell are you using a high one because you think it'll change things?

I myself used to tweak sensitivity by 0.2 or 0.3, to see if that helped, but in reality, if anything, it makes it worse because you have to adjust to a sensitivity that you've not been using for the last few months, this will not change how you play, instead you must realise that you're playing the wrong type of game yourself, and adjust yourself to combat how your enemy plays. This adjusting is what makes the top players what they are. Keep your settings the same, and your sensitivity becomes natural to you, the only time you may notice it feeling weird is when you're on a different computer for instance, if you're attending a LAN. Mouse production companies, such as razer, have brought out their 'profile saving' technology to solve this issue. One of the worst players I have seen for doing this is Panic, who will change his sensitivity if something goes wrong, not noticing that he has to change the way he approaches things. Some players will simply out aim you or push unexpectedly, but that is their job, and if they are causing raging teammates and push when it seems stupid too, then they are vulnerable, look out for it next time and make sure you get the gib, that player than has to adjust himself.


Which one? The question every person has to ask himself. Personally, I've been using cloth mousepads for most of the time ive played ET. That combined with some hyperglides is what I find most effective, but that does not mean that cloth pads come without their weaknesses. I will discuss variables here. I am, however, not going to go deep into each pad. You can do that by googling.

Cloth pads:
QCK, Everglide Titan, Puretrak Talent, Mantis Speed, all these pads are big and clothy. They don't wear too badly over a long period but at the same time they get dirty and need maintaining by simply giving it a wipe from a damp cloth every few weeks. Cloth pads are generally harder to start tracking from static. If you are camping somewhere, and stop moving your mouse, the initial friction is different to to friction that will occur when you track after it. Glidz also need addressing, they dont wear much at all which is a major benefit to the pad, as you do not have to constantly buy them.

Plastic Pads:
Such pads include the Qpads, NOID pads, and others such as the steelseries 5L and Razer Soma. These pads are generally smaller, but have a higher level of friction and personally, I would say more controllable. I like the feel of these pads, but they also wear extremely quickly compared to a cloth pad which is why I stayed away (my Puretrak is over 2 years old at the time of writing). This is a very interesting fact, as I would have said that plastic generally wears slower than cloth, but that is not the case.

Glass Pads:
The spanish player dr3am also wrote a tutorial here about home made glass pads. I made one once and liked the feel of it but it just plain and simply destroyed my mice feet. Buying mice feet is not a hard task, but as any gamer related item, it is expensive. I would recommend this pad due to the fact that it lasts a long, long time. Its comfortable to use and apart from the weird glassy noise I experienced, I had no issues with it while tracking. If you want a pad to last, look at icemat, aka steelseries experience pads. Otherwise, I would say stick elsewhere.

Hybrid Pads:
Such as the xtrac-hybrids, these pads are mousepads designed to be a little different to the conventional mousepad, but that also means that they have variation in performance. I like some of these pads, but I cannot say I have tested a great deal of them.

I asked for some input from various people within the community on the topic to do with mice, mousepads, and configs:

Netherlands Perfo:
I've been using my current MX518 since 2006. Had one before that, which broke down after 1 year of usage (broken mouse1 button which I couldn't fix myself). Have had Hyperglides under them since forever, and has successfully helped me rape scrubs in every game on the following pads: Steelpad 4D (BAD MOUSEPAD), Steelpad QcK (better but not for long), QPAD CT (alright for 2 months), Everglide Titan (very good, still works after a year of usage), and the Puretrak Talent (best carmat I've put my mouse on). Currently still rocking the Puretrak with Hyperglides, it's easily cleanable (dropped lots of shit on it and you just wipe it with water and cloth, and it's just as good as new).  Didn't take me long to adjust to the shape, the mouse is pretty big but my hands are pretty big as well so that kind of works well. Haven't really tried any other mice over a long period, just used a Deathadder once and it was shaped really awkwardly compared to MX518 (but is supposed to be 'better').
Poland Dialer:
 I've been using the razer diamond back plasma now for five years. It's the only mouse I’ve used for A long period of time, and i love it. Used to use a Qpad mortal teamwork pad, best mouse I used, used it for Around 3/4 years, now use Roccat Taito since Qpad is far too old to use (and it was free from h2k :)) so i didn’t Need to buy new Qpad; the Taito is very similar to my Qpad, so the difference isn’t too bad. I used to use low sensitivity On my Qpad, (180 over 44cm) and the size didn't change and it worked fine. I think config is important too, I’ve used the same one for five years. Sensitivity need to be player unique, someone using my sensitivity might find it too lowBut some may find it too high; it all depends on the player. Everyone should get their own.
Germany Urtier:
Whenever you play you should use the settings you feel comfortable with. If mAus is doing crazy headshots with a certain sensitivity, it doesn't mean you will get the same amount. If Night is doing awesome panzershots with fov 105, it doesn't mean you will have the same experience and so on.
Always play on public or in pracs with settings you think fit your gameplay and keep on using them or adjust them by small values. Same goes to the hardware. Even though the DeathAdder or MX518 might be the best mice on the market performance wise, it doesn't mean you can play with it.
Take the mouse you feel comfortable with. That might be the rather big Microsoft IME 3.0 or MX518, or a rather small one like the Razer Salmosa. It's all down to personal preference.
Latvia Clown:
About mice: I started with a cheap OEM Logitech mouse, which was spinning on its own a lot, until i saw Logitech MX510 in the shop and bought it sometime at 2004. Used it until around 2006, when it broke, and i had to replace it with MX518, which somehow never felt the same. That made me switch later to highly hyped DeathAdder, but I had two of them break, so that turned me down, so I had to switch back to mx518. And now, I’m back to mx510, thanks to crumbs and some guy whose nick I don't remember. They gave me their old MX510's at cic7. So after cic7 I've been using one of them in an mx518 shell, because of the new MouseSkates of the mx518 which i prefer. The other one stays for back up :P I know that many people hate that shape, but for me it’s the most comfortable one (together with mx300/G1). Could play with either of those in ET, but playing a lot of COD4 for fun, I need the  side buttons for iron sighting, so I decided to keep playing with the mx5** shape. I've tried quite a lot of mice, but as I said, none of them have been comfortable for me, especially the ambidextrous Razer mice, which have those stupid curved sides. Anyways, back to mx510, it feels more precise and smoother than mx518 for some reason, I thought its placebo the first day I went back to it, but now I've been playing with it quite a while since LAN already, and I still believe it to be true. This mouse just feels better than mx518. Concerning Mousepads, I used desk for such long time when I started, probably until 2005, when I finally gave in and bought an Icemat. I could barely control my mouse on it at first, but when I got used to it a bit more I understood how bad the desk was compared to it. Icemat had its faults, even if you are the cleanest person in the world, somehow that thing gets dirty, and you have to clean it almost every day to have consistent feeling, and if you drop it, it breaks :( That's what happened to my icemat, so I had to switch to a cloth mousepad from steelseries, since I didn't want to spend much, I bought the smallest QCK version which was only 9 euros something. It was the same size as icemat, but had way more friction, so I had to get used to that again. Then came the Qpad, titan, Qck heavy, and now for some time I'm using Puretrak Talent. Best mouse pad I've used. It's big, thick, doesn't cost much and for me it hasn't worn out at all.
Sensitivity? I just think everyone needs to play what they are comfortable with, it’s hard to focus on the game when you don't feel comfortable. It probably isn’t the best idea to go hyper high sensitivity, but I'd say go as low as you can while still being able to move around normally. Don't take my word for it though, I'm not some mAus or something. But that's how I feel after playing ET for such a long time.
United Kingdom Syk:
I started with an mx510 back in 2004 and a large Qpad. The 510 was perfect for me in terms of the shape and size, and the weight was perfect for quick reaction games such as quake 3 CPMA. When i started playing ET, i upgraded to an mx518 which i have used ever since (I’ve had the same one for 5 years) 800 dpi and a lower sensitivity works perfectly for me. I've never had to use Hyperglides or any 'add ons' that people buy to perfect their equipment. What i feel is more important is to find a mouse that fits your hand size and is the right weight, and then to use it repeatedly. I find that it's not about perfecting your equipment, It’s about finding something comfortable that you know you can use for a long time and practicing with it.If you focus too much on what equipment you use, then you’re wasting time. The large Qpad is the best mouse pad I’ve ever come across, it’s smooth but has the perfect amount of friction for accuracy and simple to clean. But as I say, i find the mx518 & Qpad to be perfect for me, I would say that it is a great combination for somebody who needs something comfortable but doesn’t have the funds to keep trying new things. Feel it is more important for gamers to find something durable and comfortable for you rather than asking somebody else’s opinion and copying it.

Finland Feuersturm:
About mice - whatever feels natural in your hand. I have favored both the fingertip grip with smaller mice but eventually grew into the palm grip with mx518. Any technical specifications are completely secondary since any modern optical mouse will go exactly where you take it. There was a time when optical mice had vast differences, but does it really matter anymore if your mouse runs with 1600 dpi or 3000 dpi? The point being, always prefer shape and comfort and overall design before specs. The FUNC 1030 was an eye opener in the sense that it made me aware of how much your own game will transform once your mouse glides in an entirely different fashion. You will react differently, move differently, focus differently, warm up differently, it all changes, more or less. I guess the slow, heavy feel of an everglide destrukt suits me best however. I got that one in 2005 and I still use it today. While others may favor a fast, responsive mouse pad (much like I did with an xtrac hybrid), I do find the slowness of the destrukt pleasing and more suitable for my style.  About sensitivity... sure it's best to use whatever feels right for you instead of copying everyone else, but I'd also stress the importance of your own movement. You don't need to slow down to snail pace in order to aim well, just keep your sensitivity within the limits of reason and slow YOURSELF down. You will find yourself maintaining maneuverability and keeping track of targets better. This is also one reason why I use destrukt - it helps me to keep things slow. Hint: you can use a moist microfibre cloth to dampen a cloth mousepad a little bit to change its responsiveness and keep it clean. Don’t scrub! And I do mean doing this right before you play. I've tried all kinds of wicked stuff over the years but that one's something I still do.
Finland Slarto:
I currently use the Razer DeathAdder and Razer Goliathus Speed, switched from mantis to Goliathus 10 months ago, besides that i have used same settings/setup for 2 years. This combination has been really good for low sensitivity.. Only thing I dislike is that I don’t always manage to pull my mouse back to middle of the pad, resulting in enemy sometimes managing to move out of my reach. The worst mistake is to change sensitivity after one bad game - If you have played well with it in the past, you will surely do it again countless of times in the future.
United Kingdom Owzo:
I use a Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical, I have previously used a Logitech MX518 (which I will admit is a cracking mouse if you can get used to the weight which I can't since I have used the WMO (Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical) for quite a while.
I have used an Icemat since the start (which was a custom one that I had made after reading a tutorial about them by Dream I think) this is my personal favorite because it lasts forever, and is perfectly smooth for the way I like playing games have used this combo since forever so I am very used to the "friction" you get from the pad and from old MouseSkates on the bottom of my mouse
My sensitivity is 10cm/360, this is a nice sensitivity (for me at least) because I can look around everywhere with ease, I can move around the map with ease, I can aim at people and switch to different targets with ease and it is just a really nice sensitivity to have I find it really easy to use seeing as I have always used a high sensitivity, I can't imagine many people who are playing ET (at least now) to use a high sensitivity, I know that perfo uses a rather similar sensitivity to me who I think we can all agree has been one of the most insane aimers on his day ;)
  I have already mentioned Perfo having a reasonably similar sensitivity to myself, I think that it takes more skill and is a lot more satisfying when you watch/frag someone with a high sensitivity such as this than compared to watching someone like (sorry about this) meez who gets a massive amount of frags simply because of the low sensitivity he has (which is something like 40cm/360 i think, something like that) in my opinion at least.
I have tested other mice and mouse mats to see if they suit my sensitivity more to my icemat but from what I can tell they just simply don't, I can't get the same "feel" to my sensitivity or from my mouse when I use a cloth pad or if I use a heavier mouse. Your sensitivity has to be unique to you, you can't simply ask somebody what their sensitivity is and then play off the park with it. If you really, really want to be a good aimer, don't change your sensitivity in all the different games you play, keep it the same! With a sensitivity like mine, sure it MIGHT take you a while to get used to the spread that you might think you are getting in games such as ET or RTCW but if you have played with this type of sensitivity for the sad amount of time that I have you really don't notice it and you start to move / play around how bad this spread could be if you like. I'd also like to add I think that 180 scripts should not be allowed in games seeing as it is not a "natural" thing to do considering if you played with (again a sensitivity like me or perfo) you could do it yourself, but we don't want to start an argument about this again!

United Kingdom Shuki:
Gaming is no different to any other activity, if you are going to invest a lot of time into it, you should also spend some time getting a setup you feel comfortable with. Obviously buying the best equipment won’t turn you into an amazing player but it will ensure that the only thing limiting your improvement is yourself, and not your equipment.
In looking for a mouse the most important factor is the shape and if you feel comfortable using it. If you have a mouse with a great sensor but an awful shape for your hand you are not going to be comfortable and hence your performance will suffer.

The sensor itself is important and always something you should look at secondly in order to judge if it is good enough to suit your needs. For example the Microsoft mice use a sensor which will skip if you move it past 1.5m/s. If you have a play-style which relies on making movements of over 1.5m/s then this is something you should take into account. For example I use a Razer Krait at 500 Hz. The small shape means the mouse is very easy to control for me and the sensor is able to cope with fast movements 4m/s< at 400dpi. 400dpi is necessity for me and I use a lowish sensitivity ~55cm/360 and anything higher causes negative accel in ET. This means I can move my mouse as fast as I want and it will always give me a perfect response.
Other things such as polling rate and mouse prediction are features which will be a matter of preference but ensuring you try out the different settings you will be able to find which you perform best with.
The final things you should consider are the mousepad and glides. This is also personal preference e.g. if you prefer a cloth surface (puretrak talent, everglide titan, razer mantis speed), a hard surface (icemat, steelpad etc) or even a hybrid (qpad noidpad SS5L). I prefer clothpads over a hard surface because a hard surface has very little friction making your mouse harder to control, whereas a cloth surface has more friction allowing more precision. A smooth surface is especially important in games which require much tracking which is why I use a Puretrak Talent (a very durable pad, and the smoothest of any clothpad I have used).
Something you should consider in conjunction with this is what glides you use with them. This is especially important on cloth pads (contrary to popular belief) as it will change the friction between you mouse and mousepad more significantly than on a hard pad (which will always be low). Different brands of mouseskates seem to have different qualities, some seem to have less friction than others, however the main factor is having a consistent feel. Hyperglides and Everglides are your best bet for mouseskates, hyperglides are slightly smoother and thicker but are more expensive. Everglide mouseskates for most models of mice work very well and are better value for money. One brand to avoid though are Corepad as their glides are very flat and cause scratching between the mouse and mousepad which is something you should look to avoid. I personally use Everglide glides on my current mouse as Hyperglides do not make mouseskates for the Razer krait.
The most important thing to note is that once you have a setup you are comfortable with, don’t change it. By keeping the same setting this will allow you to improve consistently. Only change something if it’s causing you a problem. If you play badly one day that doesn’t mean you should change your sensitivity, mouse or anything. Changing anything is in fact more likely to make you inconsistent and this is something you should be trying to avoid.

That concludes the article.

Questions? Feel free to /q Scarzy

Big thanks to those that input to this, and sorry it took so long for me to actually want to post it.
Related, though maybe out-dated article by Feuersturm.
Good input, and good stuff. Thanks :)
Goood stuff
Any good glides for the Steelseries Xai ?
mAus fanboy
Got it before him nerd, I'd say H0M3 fanboy instead
good job cutie ^^ how are you doing?
I'm good dude, got back recently from traveling around Europe! Ended up in Krakow too. Really good time doing that, now just back to RL and trying to sort myself out with a new job etc etc

How're you? :)
Nice hearing that. Well, my real life just got a lot more complicated than it was before. I have so many things to do, I don't know how I can possibly do them all..

Passing my A-level exams, driving license, percussion at music school and a lot, lot more.

I have got no time for Quake whatsoever, not to mention fucking ET. Seriously bring back 6on6! I want to play just one more war before this game dies.
Complicated lives are much nicer than quiet ones, though. You'll be bored if you stopped doing what you are doing, gaming is fun but it is no alternative to real life and instead should be held as a passtime in between going out, and used when you are free. At least that's what I see it as now.

Sounds like you have quite the busy life, though. Which is good to hear. I am mixing when I get time but that is maybe one every 2/3 days at the most at the moment, and its the summer holidays! Life is fun.

Have 5 years old mouse.Not MX series,just random office mouse!
Nice read scarzy :)

Also pleasing to see myself there with Feuersturm, representing Finland
What a fantastic read, I was shocked to find that it was written by Scarzy also! Normally I associate him with monitors failing to be delivered ;)

Personally I have a rayer deathadder (old edition) and it's fantastic. I took the no drift control drivers which I didn't seem to notice any difference....

I have a goliathus speed, but it performs really strangely... some areas of the pad are fast and some are slow and I swear it depends on the temperature in the room also!

One problem I have though, is when I replace my mouse feet from razers store (which are damn expensive!) it still feels like the mouse clips. Has anyboy tried sticking their mouse feet ON TOP of their old ones for the deathadder?

I used to have a QcK+ for about one month but found the pad had far too much friction for my liking, perhaps it was due to my feet being totally worn down?
The method of sticking it ontop for a deathadder is widely practiced, if you look at your feet you will see they're slightly indented, just put some on top of them to make sure that the contact will be with the teflon and not the plastic.

For skates, hyperglide do them at a reasonable price.

However, they can take a while to arrive (my last set took 3 months).
Not sure about hyperglide, 3 months is a joke. Anybody else got a decent website for them?

I might make a topic on the forums and check if hyperglide are sold anywhere else in the uk!
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