Not long ago, high-refresh-rate monitors became a big deal in competitive gaming. They brought an extra layer of competitiveness, giving players that much-needed edge over their opponents. And these techs have been getting only better over time. Nvidia Reflex was an advancement incorporated into many competitive titles, including Valorant. Nvidia Reflex minimized frame losses and made games more responsive, and players could finally show off their actual skills without their PCs hindering them.
Valorant is also an FPS title that can utilize all the advantages a player can get to win games. Starting from in-game mechanics to the external peripherals and supplements you use dramatically impacts your performance and win conditions.
The developer, Riot Games, has also introduced these new settings into Valorant that help you enhance your gameplay by minimizing the input and output latencies. The latest setting they introduced to the game is the “Raw Input Buffer” setting which came with the VALORANT Patch 3.07.
Riot introduced this setting as a way for players to improve the “performance of input device processing.” You might have already come across it in the mouse settings section. But what exactly does this new Raw Input Buffer option in Valorant mean? We have gathered everything you need to know about it in this article.
What is Raw Input Buffer in Valorant’s Settings?
Raw Input allows your mouse to directly work with the game instead of going through the operator. Your mouse will send data to your game instead of the operating system. While this setting was already enabled in Valorant at launch to all players, the newly introduced Raw Input Buffer setting further enhances its effects.
This setting adjusts which APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are used for processing the raw inputs from your mice, making the input delay of your mice minimum. In other words, the Raw Input Buffer setting makes your camera movements snappier in-game.
However, this setting relies on the polling rate of your mouse. While most mice come with a polling rate of 1000Hz, some even go up to 8000Hz. But what exactly are polling rates in mice, and how does it affect your gameplay?
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What is Polling Rate in Mice?
Polling Rate is a specification of mice that often goes under buyers’ radar. The polling rate is how often a mouse reports its position to a computer. Or in other words, it is the frequency at which a mouse signals the computer its whereabouts on the screen. The polling rate is calculated in HZ (number per second) and usually ranges from 125Hz to 8000HZ. Having a lower polling rate means it takes slightly longer to update the pointer on your screen when the mouse is moved.
Below is a table of what the latencies are at different polling rates.
|125 Hz||8 ms|
|250 Hz||4 ms|
|500 Hz||2 ms|
|1000 Hz||1 ms|
|4000 Hz||0.25 ms|
|8000 Hz||0.125 ms|
Should You Turn On Raw Input Buffer in Valorant?
As you can see in the above table, the differences aren’t that massive. A couple of milliseconds (ms) does not feel like much of a difference. Yet, it can be a big deal in competitive environments. And most gaming mice come with a 1000HZ polling rate which is already pretty good. Turning on Raw Input Buffer wouldn’t make a drastic difference unless you have a mouse with a higher polling rate.
The default raw input for 8000Hz mice was limited on Valorant before patch 3.07 hit the game. And now, owners of these mice can use their higher polling rates and experience the instant difference in the snappiness of their camera movement. Even though you own a high polling rate mice or not, Raw Input Buffer is a setting that you should leave turned on, even if you can feel a difference or not. The setting reduces the input lag of your mice either way.
However, there is also an instance where you should turn this setting off. If you struggle to get decent frame rates and own a low-end PC, it is recommended that you keep Raw Input Buffer off. It can affect the performance as this setting requires slightly additional processing power. This means that your CPU will get a greater workload than usual.
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High-Polling Rate Mice
So if you need to take advantage of this new setting to get better aim in Valorant, you should consider getting a mouse with a polling rate higher than 1000Hz. The following is a list of some of the best high-polling rate mice that you can get right now;
- Razer Viper 8K: The best overall high polling rate mouse you can get right now and the go-to 8000Hz mouse for many. Ergonomics are excellent for FPS games and ideal for a fingertip grip. However, ensure you get the 8K version to get the higher polling rates, as the other versions only come with 1000Hz.
- EVGA X17: The best budget 8000Hz mouse on the market right now. However, the mouse’s design and ergonomics might not be appealing to everyone. The mouse also comes with a customizable weight system.
- Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE Wireless: This is the best wireless high-polling rate mouse on the market. If you aren’t a fan of wires and prefer a wireless mouse, this Corsair mouse will give you twice the responsiveness of regular gaming mice. This mouse has been rated for a polling rate of 2000Hz.
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The Raw Input Buffer setting in Valorant is usually best for most players to leave on, assuming they have a decent PC with a high-quality mouse. If you have a low-quality mouse, it may be best for your operating system to perform some interpolation before sending the data to Valorant.
For more insights into playing Valorant competitively, check out our guide on how to use pings in Valorant to communicate effectively with your teammates. Good luck!