What Is Polling Rate?

Posted on September 10, 2019

The polling rate (measured in Hz or Hertz) of a mouse is how often it reports its position to the computer.

If you’ve ever seen the specifications of a mouse, you’ve probably seen the polling rate specification. But what exactly does it mean and does it matter for gaming?

Let’s find out!

In layman terms, the polling rate of a mouse simply refers to how often it tells the computer where it is positionally. It is measured in Hz or Hertz, which is the unit of frequency.

So for example, if a mouse has a polling rate of 500Hz, it reports its position to the computer 500 times per second (or every 2 milliseconds).

Higher polling rates decrease the delay when you move your mouse physically to when the action shows on the screen. This, in turn, uses more CPU resources.

You can easily adjust the polling rate of most mice with their corresponding software or via physical switches.

Note that polling rate ​is not the same as DPI.

Does Mouse Polling Rate Matter For Gaming?

When you are gaming, it is very important that your gameplay feel as smooth as possible.

Most gaming mice advertise fast response times and this is directly correlated to the polling rate. Here are common gaming mouse polling rates (in Hz) and their corresponding response times (in ms).

Polling Rate (Hz)Response Time (ms)

Logically, you’d want a high polling rate, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of too much performance.

Most eSports professionals use a polling rate of at least 500Hz

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