What are the impacts of PPI and DPI on PC and mobile gaming?

Daniel Westrop
Daniel Westrop
7 Min Read

To start with, before we drill into the impacts that PPI and DPI have, let us gain some information about what these abbreviations are and the definitions these terms have. PPI (Pixels per inch). In mathematical terms, it defines the count of pixels that exists in one square inch of area. This is a different term as compared to DPI (Dots per inch). DPI is usually shown on paper instead of a visual screen. 

How does DPI impact gaming quality?

There is no doubt that both DPI and PPI have their impacts on gaming quality in terms of screen resolution and quality.

1. Impact of source of display

The impact of DPI is not restricted to one source only. It has an effect on various components that can change the DPI in one way or the other. One of them is the screen itself. When the DPI is higher, the clarity of the images will be better as well. Similarly, with small DPI’s, gamers face problems because they have to strain their eyes to focus on the pictures. Games like PUBG and Counter-Strike work well with higher DPI values.

2. Impact created by the mouse

The mouse that the user uses also has its own DPI and an effect is created on the overall gaming experience. If you change the DPI settings of the mouse, the appearance of images will change as well. Therefore, check the screen resolution and then pick a mouse so that the best gaming experience is attained.

Some mice give users the option to automatically change the DPI according to the requirement of the game. From the user’s perspective, they come in handy as he does not have to try different combinations to get optimum view.

It is commonly said that higher DPI has a positive impact on image quality and gaming experience. However, this is not a rule of thumb and for some games, a lower DPI works better. For instance, when it comes to mission-oriented games where characters move around a lot, the DPI should be on the lower side.

How does PPI have an effect on gaming experiences?

Just like DPI, PPI also has its effect on how good or bad the game quality is. There are no default measures that a high or low PPI value may be suitable for all gaming environments. It all depends on the specific game which the user is playing. Action-packed games have a different PPI requirement, you can calculate the PPI by using Calculators.tech PPI calculator,  while games like Candy Crush would have a different set of specifications.

Why are PPI and DPI so important for gamers?

A lot of people fail to understand why DPI and PPI are so important for people who are regular gamers.

·       Gaming experience

Can you play a game that requires you to zoom and see each character before making a move? It is obvious that you would provide no as an answer. This problem is usually faced when you do not choose the correct DPI and PPI options. The overall gaming experience is completely ruined as a result of incorrect selections.

The gaming experience covers a lot of areas and is not restricted to how images look. If you have the wrong DPI or PPI selections, character movement will be hampered. Even if a character is moving, you would feel as if it is standing at the same place.

·       Image Quality

How would feel if your favorite gaming characters cannot be clearly viewed? Even if you are playing one your all-time favorites, the interest level will be reduced. This is exactly what happens if you have not picked the correct combination of DPI and PPI. Mainly when the user is playing action-oriented games, low image standard can distort viewing.

How much does PPI affect screen size and device option?

There is a diverse selection of screen sizes and devices which gamers consider in according to their preferences. One user may be using a 6-inch Android smart phone while the other may be gaming on a 32-inch screen. Hence, screen size has a major impact on the DPI and PPI settings that the user should enable.

  • Even if the screen size is same, the values of DPI and PPI may vary from one device to the other. As an example, we can consider the comparison of an Android phone and iPhone with both having a screen size of 5.5 inches. Due to build quality and other developmental practices, the preferred options of DPI and PPI would not be the same.

Summing it Up

There are various factors which have an impact on how good or bad a gaming experience is.  DPI and PPI can surely be counted among the important ones. The reason being that they have a relationship with the quality that users experience. For instance, if you have not chosen the correct PPI and DPI combinations, it would be hard to see the characters clearly or even get high quality resolutions. In addition to that, there are not flay values of PPI or DPI that users can apply.

There are some key components on which the selection depends. One of them is the screen size. A smartphone of 6 inches and an LED of 32 inches will have different selections. Along with that, selections also vary with the specific game being played. Even if the screen size is same, things will depend on the device being used. For instance, two smartphones of the same screen size but different operating systems will not have the same PPI values.

Photo by Alexey Savchenko on Unsplash

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Daniel Westrop, Executive Editor for WhatifGaming. Dan has always been an avid gamer and tech lover, he enjoys exploring all areas of technology with a focus on gaming and hardware.
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