What is Mouse Spin Out?

what is mouse spin out

What is mouse spin out?

On forums and reviews here and there, you might have come across the term “spin out” regarding some mice. What causes it and how to fix it are usually not discussed. What you may have gathered already is that mouse spin out is a bad thing. But you might not have heard anything other than that. Honestly, some reviewers should step up their game when it comes to conveying information. So what is mouse spin out? I’ll explain in the most coherent way I can.

What is it?

what-is-mouse-spin-out-exampleSimply put, spin out happens when an optical or laser mouse loses track of where you’re pointing. It’s mostly a gaming issue. This usually happens if you swipe the mouse sideways while coming down at an awkward angle, AKA, a Tilt Slam. This causes the cursor to go up or down when you’re trying to move left or right, or vice versa. But in some extreme circumstances, it can even cause the cursor to uncontrollably spin or go off to one side. Subtle movements become erratic and unpredictable spins. While this may be ideal for Figure Skating Simulator 2017, it’s hardly ideal for any other program. In most games, you’ll end up looking up at the sky, or staring at your toes.

Tilt Slam Test

If you’re unsure if your mouse will spin out when gaming, you can always do a tilt slam test. All you gotta do is swipe the mouse sideways while bringing it down at an awkward angle onto your desk or mousepad. You’ve got to be a bit violent with it, but it should reveal how great the mouse really is.


First thing’s first, it’s time for the moment of truth. Is this problem caused by software, OS, or other hardware, or the mouse itself? An easy way to check this is to test the mouse in multiple games and try to make it spin out. If the mouse only spins out in one or two games, the mouse probably isn’t at fault.


Sometimes certain programs can trigger this behavior from a mouse. With certain games, the mouse will become confused and aim you right towards the sky after lifting the mouse. Some games can even cause rapid spinning. This’ll make a game unusable. There are a few ways you can fix this though. For less extreme cases, you can always turn down the sensitivity or turn on angle snapping. Sometimes enabling mouse acceleration can help solve the problem too.

Some programs are buggy and are prone to some issues. If a game is notoriously buggy, there might be patches from the developer to help fix the spin out. There might also be a fix online for the spin out by modders or a third party program. Search online and there might be some incompatibilities between certain mice and certain games as well.

Defective Mice

what is mouse spin out sensor
The sensor on a mouse is often the cause of spin out problems.

Unfortunately, many times mouse spin out is caused by the mouse itself. There is always a chance that there is a defect in the mouse cable or fault in wireless transmitting, but the fault usually lies in the sensor. Some optical and laser sensors are just worse than others. Some are too slow. In other words, you can go faster than they can comprehend. During a rapid swipe in a game, the mouse could misread it and send your character into a whirlwind.

Then of course, there are always faulty sensors. These are simply defective. These are usually the culprits behind extreme spin out from delicate movements. In this case, you can always send a mouse back to the manufacturer and request another one or a refund. Most companies will comply when it comes to broken products.

Obviously, no sensor is perfect and some are just better than others. Sometimes it’s simply a cheaper sensor that causes spin out. But, some higher end sensors like ones from Pixart are practically flawless. Changing mice for one with a better sensor can solve many problems.


In the case that your mouse is spinning out, and if you’ve ruled out software, your OS, faulty cables, and any other hardware malfunction, it’s clear that your mouse is the problem. But you’re not out of options quite yet!

What is mouse spin out dust
Dust can get into your mouse and hinder its sensing abilities.

Change up the surface you’re using. This could very well be a cause of many problems without you even knowing. Now if you’re using the mouse on the armrest of a chair, that might be your problem. That’s not a super reliable place to use a mouse. Make sure that the surface you’re using is a single color for the most part and is flat across. This could help immensely.

On a side note though, some software allows for custom sensing options. One of these is Surface Tuning. This allows you to make profiles for certain surfaces, including unorthodox ones. So you could game on your armrest if you employed one of these and made a profile for your armrest.

Another thing many people overlook is the cleanliness of their desk. Dust that sucker. Bits of dirt can get wedged in the sensor and cause problems with the sensor. Also you can always carefully clean out the little sensor on the underside of your mouse. This could solve some incorrect sensing if there is too much dust there.

Then there is the permanent fix. You could always get a new mouse. If you’ve tried all these before, then there might be no other option than to get a new mouse. Either by sending yours back to the manufacturer for a replacement, or just getting a new mouse. It’s a bummer but there might just be something wrong with yours.

So now you know.

While it’s not as a huge of an issue as mouse jitter, it’s a shame not many people or companies are talking about mouse spin out. It’s rarely ever talked about, yet affects a number of gamers. I hope this article helped you understand the term a bit better. Though it’d be nice if companies started addressing it more than they do now. But fortunately, it is a relatively uncommon issue.


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