Understanding Polling Rate

When discussing the polling rate of a mouse or other peripheral, we are referring to how often the mouse reports its position to the connected PC. This measurement is in Hertz (Hz) and should not be confused with .

Polling rate in practice


When gaming, it is crucial for your equipment to respond as quickly as possible. If you have to wait even half a second before your mouse reports your movement to the PC while being attacked by enemy bullets, you may already be dead before being able to react.

That is why gaming mice promote fast response times. The faster a mouse responds and reports your movements, the less input lag you will experience.

The polling rate of a mouse simply indicates how many times per second the mouse reports its position to the PC. For example, if your mouse has a polling rate of 500Hz, it will report its position 500 times per second, or every two milliseconds.

Most modern gaming mice allow you to choose the polling rate, usually offering options of 125, 250, 500, and 1000Hz. It is commonly believed that a higher polling rate is better, but keep in mind that a higher polling rate also places more strain on your system, particularly the CPU. Therefore, depending on your setup, it may not be advisable to set your mouse to the highest polling rate it can handle. However, it is worth noting that the majority of professional gamers we analyzed use a polling rate of at least 500Hz, so we do not recommend going below that.

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In the table above, we have listed the four most popular polling rates and their corresponding response times. Currently, there are mice available with polling rates of up to 8000Hz, but they are still relatively uncommon. Additionally, these polling rates are not compatible with all games, so it will take some time before they become the standard.

Different polling rates can also feel different, so it is perfectly reasonable to feel more comfortable with 500Hz compared to 1000Hz. This is evident from the fact that a significant number of professionals we analyzed still use 500Hz instead of 1000Hz.

Update at 3:01 - 31/07/2023
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