Challenge Series 2009: Challenge 06

21st October 2009

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Welcome to Challenge Number 06.

If you don’t know what the Challenge Series 2009 is all about, please read the Introduction.

Onto the sixth challenge.

The Challenge

Increase your mouse sensitivity by at least 25%


It’s all happened to us: We download a mod, install it and launch it, only to find the keybindings and mouse sensitivity have been set by somebody superhuman. The strafe left is Q and the strafe right is P. These players have huge but sensitive hands. The mouse sensitivity is set to 10 and pressing the fire button makes you spin around. At least that’s how it seems to me.

I am sure there is a machismo element involved here, in that the higher the sensitivity the better a player you are. That might even be true, I don’t know, but I do accept that the less movement you need to make with your hand the better.

The downside is that you need to be very accurate otherwise you will spend half your time over compensating.

A lot will depend on your mouse too. I doubt having a roller ball mouse will allow you to have a high sensitivity. It’s probably one of those things that most players don’t pay much attention to yet could make a noticeable difference to their game. We spend thousands of Pounds/Dollars/Euros on the PC but them balk at 70 or so for a proper gaming mouse.

I have added this challenge because it’s a small change that could pay big dividends once you get used to it. I normally play at 3 and I will up mine to just under 4. Of course if you already have a high sensitivity setting then 25% will be too much. In this case, just up it a little.


Once you are in whatever game you choose to perform this challenge in, go to the Options menu, then to Mouse and simply adjust the slider to suit your chosen change. Alternatively, enter the exact figure in the box.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. It might be better to make a very small change and play with that for a few hours and then increase it very slightly again. How you make the change is entirely up to you.

I’m curious

I am curious to hear how many readers how a proper gaming mouse, how many have a proper gaming mat and how many have a wireless mouse. I’ve wanted to buy a gaming mat for a while but I want to see and touch one in a shop first, and nobody stocks them where I live. I am hesitant to buy it on the Net until I’ve felt one. I have quite a good mouse, which was a present, but it’s a few years old now and I might be convinced to get a gaming one too if enough readers recommend them.

Your Experiences

Don’t forget a major part of the challenge series is to share our experiences. Don’t let my questions limit you but here are some to get you started:

  • What was you starting sensitivity?
  • What did you up it to?
  • How easy was it to become accustomed to?
  • Did you adjust it gradually or in one go?
  • Once the challenge is over will you continue playing with this challenge?


  1. I normally play with sensitivity at 10.5 which I find about right.
    Bumped it up to 14 which I quite enjoyed at first but soon realised it was too much.
    Dropped it to 3 – awful. I cannot play well that slowly.
    Interestingly, Mrs Jasper plays at 3 and plays very well, beats me.
    I suspect that there are 2 considerations; Playing style and computer capability.
    Older systems with less RAM, especially on the graphics card, may need to have the lower settings.
    I do not use a mat for gaming or work – too restrictive.
    Mrs. Jasper does use a mat – opposites attract they say!
    The mouse is standard 2 buttons + wheel but I hardly ever use the wheel. USB wired and the heaviest I could find (stops the flipping thing wandering around my desk of it’s own accord).
    I’ll be sticking with 10.5

  2. Hoyy

    i started usin 10 mouse sensitivity as soon as I played gmod and now I used in in all my valve games aand its better this way with mouse sensitivity in windows right balanced in the 5th dot and mouse filter off in da games and in windows

  3. Hoyy

    i have a mat and a mouse 600-2000 dpi n play with 600 dpi

  4. WizardExt

    I tried this challenge while playing through an HL2 mod. I usually play with sensitivity 2. So I set it to 4. It worked fairly well, but was a bit annoying with precise weapons such as revolver and crossbow. The ammunition for those are often rare so you want to make each round count. Also with the high sensitivity all the fast movements just made me feel like a monkey. AND GORDON IS NOT A MONKEY! A higher sensitivity wasn’t really much harder, just less comfortable for me.

    I will not continue use a higher sensitivity. I use pretty much the same sensitivity for most my games. I am really used to it and comfortable with it.

    I use a Razer DeathAdder, 3500 dpi, 1ms response time. Works really great for both gaming and working. Fits the hand nicely due to its shape and size. It’s not too weird or doesn’t have 1 million buttons. AND it glows blue and I love blue. I also have a large QPAD mat. A great combination I must say, really happy with both mouse and mat.

  5. I usually play Source Engine games at 3, it suits me well. But I can play at higher sensitivity settings either. I play Quake 3 Arena much more sensitive than my Half Life 2 settings, because Q3 requires more speed and precision to play.

    For example if moving the mouse three cm to the right makes me turn right 90 degrees in Half Life 2, it gives me 360 or 450 degrees in Quake 3, and yes I can play the game that sensitive. When I’m playing Q3 I barely move the mouse, but when playing HL2 I move quite a lot, and that fits HL2.

    I’ve played HL2 at 7-8-9 (I guess) sensitivity settings, and it wasn’t that fun. Because in HL2 I like to make little moves, like hiding, peeking, looking around for things and stuff.

    I guess I’ve made point. That’s it. Nice challenge 🙂

    1. That’s an interesting point. I wonder how many other players have different sensitivities for different games.

  6. Ade

    Hah, was talkin about this with someone yesterday (who is btw absorbed by Strider Mountain) and is not too keen on changin his configuration back to what he had before losin his last gaming gear.. This challenge shouldn’t take more than a few minutes 😛 I’ve come to the conclusion that 6.9 is best for me (yeah, I know, weird number, but 7.0 was a tad too sensitive).
    “A good measure is the ability to turn 180 degrees in one mouse motion. Use something as a target behind you and practise turning with one motion and shooting the target.” This is the last paragraph of this page:
    And I think it applies to all fps, sp and mp, don’t you? You can read the entire paragraph or the entire page, for more details 🙂
    You know, I was expecting something mouse config related, right after key configuration… Interesting challenges, I might add!

    1. That’s a really well written guide.

      1. Ade

        I’m glad u liked it and glad I could help 😀 The whole site is well written, imo 😛 I think ppl can use it for sp, also, even if it’s for dm.

  7. Pingback: Episode #54 » Podcast17

  8. Mabilis

    I usually use 10 but I do change alot, ive had it at 3 and played fine (after about 5 mins) and ive also had it on 20 before nd played fine!
    I could take this challenge, but it would make no ifference to me..

  9. Wozzle

    I normally play around 7-8 (I just select somewhere around there on the bar) but for this I decided to bump it to 20 to see what it felt like.

    I played for about ten minutes and gave it away because it felt like I had had 20 cups of coffee on a sugar high. It was just too twitchy.

    But to keep the challenge going I selected 11 and found that it was reasonable to play at. After an hour or so I found that I was fairly well accustomed to the higher level and lowering it to what I normally play at actually felt kind of slow.

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