If your mouse lags in-game, you can lose that awesome loot that you’ve been striving to achieve, die in a boss fight, or get so frustrated to the point of turning your fun time into a not-so-fun time.
Fortunately, mouse lagging in games can be easily fixed in most cases, while in others your system is simply struggling to run your game due to graphic requirements.
However, even if this is the case, you can stop your mouse from lagging. Here is why your mouse stutters in games, or lags, and what you can do to fix it.
Why is your mouse lagging?
It can be a simple connection problem if you have choppy mouse movement in games or your mouse stutters in games. This can happen to both a wireless mouse and a wired one. However, here are some other possible reasons.
1. You are too far away from the Bluetooth receiver
When you try to achieve that perfect position with your mouse in games, you can sometimes end up too far away from the Bluetooth receiver with your mouse. As the signal weakens, it can cause your mouse to stutter, or it will produce a lagging effect.
A heavily tangled cable can also cause this problem for a wired mouse, especially those made out of plastic/rubber. A low battery or wrong seated ones can also lead to mouse glitches due to poor wireless signal.
2. Damaged USB port/cable or mouse
It’s very easy to have your mouse cable damaged. Sometimes, you might just not realize it as you may not be the perpetrator. If you have a pet in your house, they can easily chew on the mouse cable when you’re not at home or aren’t looking.
The same thing can apply to children. Children can easily damage cables with their toys or in other situations, such as tripping. If they fall or your pet drags on your mouse cable, it might not damage just the cable but your USB port as well.
Such events might be responsible for mouse glitching, even leading to mouse cursor stuttering effects. However, this is the best scenario, as the worst implies that your USB port is damaged, leading to mouse glitches.
Frequently dropping your mouse on hard surfaces will eventually damage it, and it may also cause mouse stuttering.
3. Bad surface/pad
Most people use mousepads. However, in time, they wear off, or they can get damaged due to negligence, leading to mouse cursor stuttering.
Bad surfaces such as glass, polished stone, or other transparent surfaces can also lead to mouse glitches.
The mouse movement is not smooth on these surfaces, leading to choppy mouse movement in games or even apparent lags.
4. Dirty lens or wrong USB port
If your mouse cursor is stuttering, sometimes, it may be because your mouse lens is dirty or obstructed somehow, sometimes even with tiny hair strings that can get inside.
In other cases, the USB port is the one to blame. Most mouse models use a USB 2.0 interface. It may be that you simply connected it to the wrong port, or you are using USB 3.0 ports, which are known to be often defective.
5. CPU and GPU usage
Mouse stuttering in games can be caused by high CPU and GPU levels. If the game you are playing isn’t using too many resources, you might have too many programs opened, leading to mouse lags when playing games.
Software that doesn’t have a high system usage, such as Cortana, can also cause mouse stuttering and latency.
6. Drivers might not be up to date
Keeping your drivers up to date is very important, as outdated software or the wrong mouse driver software may cause your mouse glitching problems.
7. System temperatures are too high
On certain systems, especially laptops, high temperatures can create all sorts of problems, including mouse lags in games or mouse stuttering in games.
8. Game settings are on maximum capabilities
Certain games, especially the newer ones, typically have high system requirements. Although everyone wants to play with the best settings, sometimes, you may need to lower them if your mouse keeps stuttering in games.
Overclocking can also cause mouse stuttering as every component is pushed harder than it was designed for.
9. Wallpaper slideshow settings
Various Windows 10 users have their mouse pointer stutter and freeze when their wallpaper slideshow changeover happens. It might be a Windows bug or a changeover frequency problem that results in mouse glitching frequently.
10. Fast Startup
Windows 10 users might have mouse stuttering issues due to having their Fast Startup enabled. This feature allows your computer to start faster after reboot; however, many Windows 10 users reported that this feature caused their mouse stuttering problems.
11. Windows screen scaling
The Windows scaling feature is another glitchy application that may cause mouse lagging in games. If you have vision problems, it increases your text size, but sometimes the feature can become buggy.
Overlays are usually enabled automatically, mainly if you use AMD’S Radeon or NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience software on your PC. These programs can drain your system and generate mouse lag.
13. Third-party mouse software installed & mouse settings
Certain mouse settings can cause the feeling of lag or stuttering in your games. A mouse’s sensitivity is measured in DPI – dots per linear inch – and these settings can make your mouse movement not smooth.
Third-party mouse software, such as Logitech’s G HUB, can also cause mouse stuttering in games or lag. It happens because the software automatically changes your mouse’s DPI.
How to fix mouse lag in games?
As you can see, there are various reasons why your mouse stutters in games. Though your mouse lags when playing games, it may also affect other activities sooner or later.
Here is what you need to do to fix mouse lag in games, and in general!
1. Move closer to the Bluetooth receiver
As we mentioned, the most common cause for a mouse cursor stuttering depends on the distance between the mouse and the Bluetooth receiver.
Luckily, this is also the easiest fix to do. Try to move your mouse closer to your system and see if anything changes.
2. Change/clean your mouse pad/lens or surface
If you use a mouse pad and don’t properly clean it from time to time, it can cause some mouse glitching problems. If it’s damaged, then you will need to replace it. Simply fill a bowl with cold water to clean your mouse pad and soak the pad.
Use a gentle shampoo/hand soap to clean the surface. Scrub the mouse pad with a soft bristle brush. Rinse the soap using cold water and dry the pad with a towel. Leave the pad to dry for one day.
You will need a pure contact cleaner to clean your optical mouse lens. Apply it to the tip of an ear stick and clean the inside of your mouse where the sensor window is located. It will remove accumulated grease and dust that might be responsible for your mouse issues.
You can also use a canned air tube to further clean your mouse and get rid of dust. Use short bursts to remove impurities and a plastic toothpick if something is stuck there.
Consider using a different surface if you aren’t using a mouse pad and still experience mouse cursor stuttering. Optical mice work best on opaque diffusely reflective surfaces such as paper. Consider using a dark field illumination optical mouse if you don’t want to try out a different surface.
3. End tasks
Mouse lagging in games can be caused by too many active processes on your system that use too many resources. Consider closing these operations that aren’t necessarily. Use the CTRL+ALT+DEL command to open up your task manager and inspect which processes spike during mouse stuttering.
The programs that strain your CPU resources might be malware or unnecessary programs that you don’t need or you don’t have to use during gameplay. Use an antivirus to check up your system.
Use the end task option to close the programs. Some tasks that don’t use up too much memory on your PC may also be responsible for mouse stuttering. For example, the Cortana app on Windows 10 has been noted to cause mouse stuttering and latency.
Another common reason for mouse stuttering in games is related to high temperatures. This is especially true when it comes to laptops. If closing various tasks in the taskbar doesn’t cool down your laptop, dust accumulation may be the issue.
You need to check if the air vents are covered or take your laptop to service for a quick cleanup. Sometimes, you need to replace your laptop’s thermal paste, which can be done at a service center as well.
4. Disable Overlay
Mouse lagging or glitching in games can also be caused by overlays since they drain your system. Check your AMD Radeon or NVIDIA GeForce Experience software for such settings, and disable them.
Other programs such as Steam or Discord also use overlays. Check their settings, disable the overlays, and see if you still experience mouse lag or glitches in games.
5. Update or reinstall the mouse driver
Sometimes, an outdated mouse driver won’t become apparent until you play a game, resulting in lag, glitches, or stuttering. Make sure your mouse driver is updated, or simply reinstall it. Click the Windows icon at the bottom left of your screen.
Go to Settings, and select Updates and Security. Hit the Check for Updates option and see if any updates are available. You can also use other automatic device programs such as the Iobit driver booster to keep your drivers updated.
6. Lower game settings
A common reason for mouse lags in the game is graphic settings. It might be that your system doesn’t have the necessary resources for your game to function correctly, resulting in mouse lag, glitches, or stuttering.
Lower your game settings and see if the problem persists. You can always upgrade your system by purchasing more RAM. However, if your graphics card or processor is too weak, you might need to buy a new PC to enjoy the newest games.
If you are overclocking your PC, it can also end in mouse lags or stuttering in games since the components weren’t designed to be pushed so far. You will need to get rid of the overclocking procedure.
7. Change/disable display settings
Though lowering your screen resolution might be the best way to get rid of your mouse stuttering in games, other display settings, such as the wallpaper slideshow or scaling, may be responsible.
Your game resolution needs to match with the native resolution of your monitor, and this is where Windows scaling may cause your mouse glitches, as it modifies the interface on a higher resolution screen.
You need to turn off Windows scaling to eliminate mouse lag in games. Before doing so, you can go to the Start Menu, type display, click on Display Settings, and select the display resolution you want to work with.
If that doesn’t resolve the issues, open the Start Menu and search for the game with which you have mouse issues.
Right-click on it, click Open File Location, select the file, left-click, select Properties, select Compatibility, and click on Change High DPI Settings. Mark the Override High DPI Scaling Behaviour, and at the Scaling Performed by Option, select System or Application, and press OK.
Due to wallpaper changeover cycles, Windows 10 users often face mouse stuttering in games. You need to reduce the changeover frequency or disable the slideshow entirely. Simply go to Start Menu>Settings>Personalization and change the background to a picture instead of the slideshow.
8. Check mouse settings
If your mouse keeps stuttering either in games or in general, you might need to check your mouse settings and your DPI speed. Go to Start>type control panel>click on the mouse.
You can adjust your mouse cursor speed in real-time and achieve the right speed through different takes.
The real issue with mouse settings appears when you have installed third-party software, as they are susceptible to errors. The third-party mouse software might randomly change your settings while playing games, causing DPI reduction.
You need to remove it or adjust the proper mouse settings in the Start Menu.
9. Try another USB port
A faulty USB port device can also cause mouse stuttering. Most mice models use a USB 2.0 interface, while USB 3.0 is known to be defective. Try out different devices on that USB port to see if the problem persists.
If it does, avoid using that USB port and either buy a USB port extender or get it fixed by a professional.
10. Buy a new mouse
Suppose all the solutions mentioned above won’t help your mouse lagging, stuttering, or glitching problems. In that case, it is possible that you simply need another mouse as the one you are currently using is defective.
Consider buying a new one, and opt for a high-quality mouse if you are an avid video game player.