Disable Mouse Acceleration – Windows and Mac
Mouse acceleration changes the distance your mouse cursor moves on screen based on how fast you move the mouse. Essentially, the faster you move your mouse the further your cursor will move.
Mouse acceleration is enabled by default on most Windows systems and all Mac systems (due to Mac’s emphasis on touchpad use) as it makes it easier to move the cursor across large screens or on small desk spaces.
There is a simple test you can do to better understand the effects of mouse acceleration. First move your mouse from one side of your mouse pad to the other very slowly and take notice of how far your cursor travels on screen. Now do the same thing but this time move your mouse very quickly, again notice how far it moves. In the first instance you may reach the end of your mouse pad before your cursor reaches the end of the screen and in the second instance the mouse probably hit the other side of the screen very quickly. If you didn’t notice any difference then you may already have it disabled.
Why You Should Disable Mouse Acceleration
Although mouse acceleration can be quite useful for touch pads and small desk spaces it is not ideal for most gaming applications, especially Starcraft 2. In SC2 consistency is very important and every time you move your mouse from point A to point B you want your in-game cursor to do the same thing. A good example of where this consistency is important is in selecting a worker and telling them to mine. With mouse acceleration you may select the worker but then overshoot the mineral line if you try to move to quickly. With mouse acceleration disabled the mouse movement to send that worker to mine will be the exact same movement every time.
Having the same movement to perform the same action every time is great for the creation of muscle memory. We know from keyboard usage that muscle memory is very important in Starcraft 2, it allows you to perform actions without thinking about them. The same goes for mouse actions.
At first having mouse acceleration disabled will feel quite odd and your mouse movements will feel exaggerated but this is good and it does not take very long to get used to. So do yourself a favour, stop wrestling with erratic mouse movements and disable mouse acceleration.
How to Disable on Windows
Both fixes involves disabling the ‘Enhanced Mouse Precision’ feature and then installing a registry fix to prevent it from enabling itself again, which it seems to do for some reason. As for Vista it seems that just disabling ‘Enhanced Mouse Precision’ under mouse settings is the best you can get as I have not been able to find a registry fix for it. If you do know of one for Vista please let us know in the comments section.
How to Disable on Mac OSX
Install the fix provided and review the readme as there are a few things you have to be aware of so that mouse acceleration does not re-enable itself. The only strange thing I have noticed with this fix is that when Starcraft 2 is windowed and you click elsewhere acceleration re-enables itself for about one second before disabling again, however, this is only a minor issue.
Disabling mouse acceleration was a big step for me as I had always had it on prior to playing Starcraft 2. The drive to get better at the game made me willing to make the adjustment and I could never go back. The accuracy of 1:1 mouse movement makes controlling units much less frustrating and has really helped me improve.
What are your experiences with mouse acceleration? Chances are that if you’re fairly new to gaming this is something you did not realise was affecting your gameplay. Leave a comment below!