What is angle snapping?
Terms get thrown around a lot in marketing. From DPI, to jitter, and also angle snapping. Rarely though do companies ever take the time to explain what these buzz words are. So what is angle snapping? From time to time, you might have heard the term angle snapping regarding certain mice. You’ve also probably heard it talked about in a negative way. It’s no secret that most people dislike it. It’s mostly spoken of as a handicap rather than a feature. But it’s not inherently bad. In fact it can be useful to some people. So here I’ll explain angle snapping in the plainest English I can manage.
So what is it?
When you move your mouse in a straight line, you’ve probably noticed that it’s incredibly hard to do. We’re human and we have imperfections. Angle snapping fixes these imperfections. It predicts your movements to make lines straighter. It “snaps” to the line it thinks you’re drawing. As a result, your lines are straighter.
In some ways it is similar to mouse jitter. The cursor generally gets to where you want it to. But instead of adding imperfections to the line you’re making, it does the opposite. It removes the human imperfections to make the line almost perfectly straight. Angle snapping’s main goal is to smooth your mouse movements.
While this might sound like a good thing, it definitely has its downsides. Angle snapping ignores and smooths out fine movements. The snapping is trying to predict your movements, but nothing can predict little adjustments you make along the way. Swiping in a perfect line isn’t always helpful. If you’re trying to aim for something a little higher up than you originally realized, angle snapping is a hindrance rather than a help. For gaming this is annoying. In fact, it can be a hindrance for just about any task.
But although it can hinder, it has the ability to help. For FPS players, it can help with spinning around without ending up looking at the sky. If you just want to get from point A to point B smoothly, it can help you. It can also help with drawing straight lines in art programs. But, this is kind of pointless because there are always built-in ways to make a straight line without drawing one.
But with all those negative points, there is one big positive. Angle snapping can be used as a temporary counter to mouse jitter. Several mice have the ability to change the amount of angle snapping. If adjusted to how much jitter there is, you can effectively nullify jitter. Of course, this isn’t going to be as good as getting a new mouse or fixing the problem yourself, but it can help.
Now you know.
Fortunately, angle snapping is rarely built into mice. Usually it is an option in software that comes with the mouse. If there is angle snapping on a new mouse, it’s most likely an option you can turn off. But remember to check this and be an informed buyer.
In simple terms, angle snapping smooths your movements. But in return, the mouse doesn’t do exactly what you tell it to. This can be good or bad. Do you want angle snapping? It’s up to you.