When you hear the term “mouse accel”, you probably remember all those times someone directed you to make sure mouse acceleration was turned off. Mouse acceleration has an infamously-bad reputation and for good reason; reliability. Mouse acceleration has been known to be very unreliable and for the purpose of Valorant, a tactical-shooter, an FPS game, precision is everything. But what if I told you that mouse acceleration has gotten way more reliable in the last few years, thanks to some brilliant people behind the scenes of the gaming community.
For the uninitiated, mouse acceleration adds velocity as a measurement for your mouse’s movement. Currently, most people use the traditional measurement of distance, meaning that your mouse will only move relative to how much distance is traveled on your mousepad with a fixed sensitivity. Mouse accel however, uses velocity as a factor, this means that the faster or slower you move your mouse, the more or less it will move on the screen and it does not have a fixed sens. Of course, you will choose the sens you want, but the highs and lows of the sens will be based on how well you control the velocity of the mouse, which you can increase the cap of the highs and lows by increasing the sens or vice-versa for decreasing the cap. If it sounds confusing, just imagine throwing a baseball, it will always travel “distance”, but your velocity is what influences how far and how fast it will travel, the same is true for mouse accel.
Because mouse accel is software-based and is not hardware, choosing a mouse to fine-tune for mouse accel should be more about the weight, size, and shape, rather than the actual optical-censor or DPI capability, because the “feel” of the mouse is what you must get used to the most, rather than how responsive it is on a hardware-level. A lot of people who use mouse accel probably came from arena-shooters, since “Quake” (a very popular arena-shooter back in the day and also what helped shape FPS as a genre) used an “in-house” mouse acceleration that was linear. The problem with mouse accel is that with Microsoft incorporating it’s own mouse accel for users who have limited-room to move the mouse (as with velocity, you don’t need large mousepads to support the distance) and also ironically for people who have sensitive wrists. The reason I say ironically, is because most people who use mouse accel, are wrist-users, they don’t often use their arm to move the mouse and the reasoning is quite obvious. With the wrist being a more precise tool for movement, hence why a lot of physical-sports require you to master techniques with the wrist while using the arm to support those techniques, it’s easy to see why mouse accel influences wrist-movement rather than arm-movement (primarily).
Now that we understand what mouse accel is, for the most part, let’s talk about the reason many people opt-out of using it in the FPS genre or opt-out of FPS games all-together. Reliability, as I mentioned before, the software has been notoriously unreliable, I’m not a coder myself and only have limited knowledge in this area of nuances if you will, but the “curve” that mouse accel uses to attribute the property of “acceleration” (velocity) to the mouse via the software, uses random-elements that cause it to be unreliable, the algorithm itself I assume. Microsoft is plenty capable of producing high-quality content/software, so to make this commercially-available as quickly as possible, they probably decided to put less-resources into it and make it intended for “productivity” and not gaming, even if games have introduced mouse accel in the past.
I want to shed light on the technological advancements via human ingenuity, the software that is available right now, for free. It completely removes the once mocked and unreliable, mouse acceleration. Nothing is perfect, from the latency you receive when playing Valorant and why “peeker’s advantage” or “ferrari peeking” exists in the FPS gaming community or the input-lag/delay that you receive from your own hardware, everything comes with limitations, but I want those who have been using velocity as a way-of-life for many years to be able to partake and compete in Valorant and other FPS games alike, because remember, the only genre of FPS that really supported a less “reliable” mouse accel was Quake and when it comes to the tactical-shooter genre, no one can afford to be missing shots due to unreliability or the fact you couldn’t previously maintain any kind of muscle-memory due to the inconsistency built into the software itself.
The software is called “Raw Accel”, feel free to do some research yourself, it’s open-source (GitHub). I will provide a tutorial/beginner video (Youtube), but to respect the skeptical nature (and rightfully so) of the more astute on the internet, I will point you guys in the direction of the actual software, once again that’s “Raw Accel” (Google it; instead of just linking it). It’s completely-free, it’s not illegal by any means, and most importantly, it’s the most 1:1, reliable, mouse acceleration out there, made by gamers, for gamers. I felt remorse for those who would look at a game like Valorant and say what I used to say, “I’ve been using mouse accel for so long that it’s just second-nature to me and I could never compete in an FPS game like that, it’s just not reliable enough”. Not to mention with the reliability of this software, you can actually build muscle-memory!
As you can tell, I don’t usually interact with Reddit directly, I specifically made a Reddit account today, to spread this PSA, that mouse acceleration is NO LONGER a disadvantage and CAN BE an advantage. I had heard that pros in some games were known to use a form of mouse acceleration, but never really was it shared in a public-consumption fashion, let me be one of the first to bring truth to this situation. Lastly, I’ll touch on who I am, I’m just a League of Legends player that moved to Valorant a year after it’s launch to try out the “newer” Riot Games title. I did the research, found this software, and I put it to the test, less than 2 months later, I’m now Gold 2 in Valorant (on my way to Plat this act), with the last FPS game played 6 years prior to starting League of Legends, and the game itself was not a tactical-shooter or like CS:GO in any way. If this isn’t proof, that Raw Accel, that mouse accel, is no longer the unreliable, Microsoft-grade, designed for the elderly software, then I don’t know what is.
Remember, the biggest plus to mouse accel (outside of getting used to it prior to ever playing that game that makes you question the reliability of mouse accel in the first place) is that you can have both HIGH and LOW sens at the same time! I will now share some clips of mouse accel in action and link a tutorial/beginner’s guide on Raw Accel, to understand the software, and what it wants to accomplish.
Just in-case it only allows me to share one clip, please pay attention to how the mouse moves, both highs and lows of the sens, notice how it is not a fixed sens and it is based on my velocity, also how accurate it can be! Remember this is only 2 months and I’ve constantly tweaked my sens to my liking, as it’s based more on my velocity than the fixed sens itself. There is hope for us mouse accel gamers (please remember to up-vote for visibility, I want other gamers stuck in mouse accel limbo to know)!