Microsoft fixes Windows 8.1 mouse issues, but not for all games
Microsoft appears to be getting a handle on Windows 8.1’s gaming problems, releasing a fix for mouse-pointer issues in certain games.
A software update is now available to download for both x86- and x64-based versions of Windows 8.1, along with Windows Server 2012 R2.
Users had previously reported stuttering and freezing with mouse input while playing games in Windows 8.1. Microsoft’s support document says the problems stemmed from “changes to mouse-input processing for low-latency interaction scenarios” in Windows 8.1.
Unfortunately, the fix may not work on all affected games. Microsoft’s support page lists 16 games to which the update applies, including six games in Activision’s Call of Duty series, including Call of Duty: Ghosts (shown above). Other games on the list include Counter-Strike, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Hitman Absolution, Hitman Sniper Challenge, Half-Life 2, Metro 2033, Portal, and Tomb Raider.
To fix any affected games not covered by the update, users must perform registry tweaks for each individual game, following Microsoft’s step-by-step instructions. Game developers can also apply the registry fix themselves and issue an update to players.
Other troubled games and fixes
Other games that users have reported as troublesome include World of Warcraft, STALKER: Call of Pripyat, Metro: Last Light, and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. However, some of these games may be affected by separate issues in Windows 8.1.
For instance, on devices with high pixel density, mouse input may scale incorrectly in some games. The workaround in this case is to disable display scaling for each affected game. Using an internal trackpad for gaming can also be problematic due to accidental click rejection, a Windows 8.1 feature that can be turned off.
Although Windows 8.1 is a must-have upgrade for nearly all Windows 8 users, it has caused driver problems for some users, and is incompatible with a small number of Windows 8 machines. But for PC gamers, at least, it looks like most of Windows 8.1’s issues are now fixable—especially if you’re comfortable with registry edits.