As expected, Microsoft has released a fix for the mouse movement issues that have affected some users of Windows 8.1.
The hotfix, available here, is described as addressing this problem: "Mouse pointer stutters or freezes when you play certain games in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2." The KB article explains the root cause of the problem, which involves some new mouse input handling code, like so:
This issue occurs because Windows 8.1 introduced changes to mouse input processing for low latency interaction scenarios. Therefore, games respond to mouse inputs differently in Windows 8.1 than in previous versions of Windows.
The hotfix only applies to a specific set of games. Here's the list:
- Call of Duty: Black Ops
- Call of Duty: Black Ops - Multiplayer
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II - Multiplayer
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II - Zombies
- Call of Duty: Ghosts - Multiplayer
- Call of Duty: MW2
- Call of Duty: MW2 - Multiplayer
- Call of Duty: MW3
- Call of Duty: MW3 - Multiplayer
- Call of Duty: MW
- Call of Duty: MW - Multiplayer
- Counter Strike: Global Offensive
- Counter Strike: Source
- Deus Ex : Human Revolution
- Deus Ex : Human Revolution Director's Cut
- Hitman Absolution
- Hitman Sniper Challenge
- Half Life 2
- Metro 2033
- Tomb Raider
Hmm. That list sure contains a lot of very popular games—shooters that are especially sensitive to mouse input issues, too. Makes you wonder what other games may need the same kind of help. Fortunately, the KB article includes instructions for extending the fix to other games. Hope you're not afraid of regedit!
Oddly enough, this one hotfix doesn't appear to solve to every Windows 8.1 gaming-and-mousing-related issue, either. The knowledgebase article links to two more KB entries for related problems. This one offers a workaround for games that have input scaling issues on high-DPI displays, and this one addresses too-aggressive tap filtering on touchpads.
I've been using Windows 8.1 on my GPU test rigs, which are connected to a 4K display, so I should be a candidate to have all sorts of problems. So far, most of 'em are related to the dual-tile panel config, which is kind of a sad thing. (It's manageable, but not fun.) I expect I'll install this fix and neurotically apply it to every game I have installed, though, since that's how (pathetically) I roll.
Oh, and thanks to TR reader Kannan for the heads up.