Windows Fixes – Flickering cursor in 3D

Why should running 3D games in fullscreen mean that Windows users can’t see their cursor? I’ve come up with a possible solution that you may not have considered before.

My computer was running Windows XP, and I was using a fairly new GeForce7600 graphics card. When I played 3D games in fullscreen, I did not have a cursor. Sound familiar? The solution is below if you want to skip ahead.

The Problem

I first noticed the problem when playing Requiem Bloodymare – when I was in full screen mode, my cursor was invisible! Moving it around caused it to flicker on and off, so playing was possible (just inconvenient!). World of Warcraft did not cause me that grief, so I assumed it was another bug in the long list of problems with Requiem.

When I bought Spore, the same problem started up in that game. That’s when I really started searching for a solution. Obviously this was a computer issue, and not a software-specific issue. The answers I found didn’t help – my hardware’s not broken, my drivers are up to date, I wouldn’t rather play in windowed mode. And that was the weird part; playing the game in a window solves the problem.

I played all the way to the Space stage and could not find any solutions online. The space stage is nearly impossible if you can’t see your cursor at all times. My ship was destroyed multiple times during every ship-to-ship fight (targeting has a steep learning curve, by the way).

The Solution

If you turn on hardware acceleration, cursor flickering will go away. No, that setting is not in the NVidia control panel. It should be, and I cannot understand what possessed them to omit that control.

Here’s the step-by-step instructions for enabling this setting:

  1. Right-click on your desktop and click Properties.
  2. Select the Settings tab.
  3. Click the Advanced button.
  4. Select the Troubleshoot tab.
  5. Push the slider labeled “Hardware Acceleration” to Full (my slider was one tick away).
  6. Click OK on the Advanced window and the Properties window.
  7. Reopen your game and the cursor should be back to normal.

Why would Windows place 3D cursor support on the last tick? Shouldn’t the cursor be supported separately from other 3D effects? Did they purposefully hide that setting?? I found that solution through pure luck, so now you won’t have to!

If you have any alternate solutions, post them in the comments.

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3 responses to “Windows Fixes – Flickering cursor in 3D

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