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Underappreciated gaming accessories and over-hyped marketing terms

By: Chris Smith | Editorials in Gaming | Posted: Mar 1, 2015 6:40 pm

Roll up, roll up


In this third and final section of the article, I'm going to go over various marketing hype and what I feel are public misconceptions when it comes to gaming peripherals. All of what I'm going to say here is coming from my own personal experience and may not suit you personally, however, I hope you will at least take away parts of what I have to say and apply it to your current situation.





I touched on this previously in the article, but now it's time to expand.




Taking a look at numerous professional CS 1.6 gamers, their settings and peripherals of choice, one of the first things you'll notice is that fact that most of these players don't exceed 400 DPI and 500Hz.


There are many mice released on the market that brag its 6,800 DPI will provide you with 'precision' in all games. However, when your sensitivity is that high, any minute movement is going to see your crosshair or cursor soar across the screen. Lower sensitivity gives you more precise control and therefore advanced precision. Sure, it will feel weird at first, but it's honestly worth it in the long-run for the best accuracy.


You'll find that players who need extremely quick 'flicking' movements to be completed with their mice will be running DPI levels more around the 1200 mark, with Starcraft II players being the first that come to mind. But if you're an FPS fanatic, the highest most commonly seen sensitivity settings are those of people like Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg with 400 DPI and 3.5 in-game sensitivity.




As for Windows sensitivity settings, there's some rumors out there that anything besides 6/11 (the sixth notch in your control panels' mouse settings) will cause some funny acceleration issues with the mouse. Now there's certainly a lot more to go over, however, here is just a small insight and something for you to think about when choosing your weapon of choice.





There are some games where macro buttons and keys will come into play (World of Warcraft, for example), whereas I generally feel they are overplayed for the common consumer. As seen with quite a lot of peripheral marketing, users are led to believe that Starcraft II players are heavy macro users.




Taking a look at the above image for example, you can see previously mentioned professional Starcraft II player, Jared "PiG" Krensel, using a 'tenkeyless' CM Storm mechanical keyboard, whilst at the DreamHack Valencia tournament. For those who aren't aware, tenkeyless means that the numpad has been removed from the keyboard completely, alongside there often being no macro keys involved.


Seemingly started by the Korean scene, tenkeyless keyboards mean that players can have an easier transportation option, a more compact design for cramped tournament conditions, and also a cheaper offering (for those who are not sponsored).


Keyboard macro keys are useful in some situations, but you'll find that they generally go unused by most competitive and professional gamers spanning a wide variety of games, due to them often being located in hard to reach areas and can mess up the flow of your game play.


However, mouse macro's are one feature that you will see utilized more. For example, many Counter-Strike series players will use their two side buttons for various features. One popular method is using the forward button of the two as a flashbang or grenade select button, alongside the rear side button being your push to talk button. You may have noticed that I only mention two side-buttons - once again referring back to the previously mentioned professional Counter-strike player survey, most of these players are using mice with side-buttons ranging from zero to two in number.


As for Krensel's views on tenkeyless keyboards, his discussion with me included the following statement: "Personally, SC [Starcraft] players just want a compact key layout especially with the f keys and brown switches for ease of double tapping hotkeys."



Closing Thoughts


Hopefully you've learnt a few tips and tricks today by reading this article. There's plenty of marketing hype out there and sometimes it just takes a person with a little background-knowledge to help you on your way.


As a very quick summary of what I've written, take a look at the dot points below:


  • Buy a mouse that's comfortable
  • Try lowering your sensitivity
  • Purchase a mouse pad
  • Keyboard macro keys don't always matter
  • Mouse macro buttons are sometimes used


If you're really wanting to improve in your game of choice, I suggest you search for some professional gamers, send them a message and organize some kind of coaching service. Most professional gamers will coach you for $20-$45 per hour, and help give you some more tips and tricks more tailored towards yourself and your game.

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