How to Optimize your Video Settings in CS:GO
You need more FPS in CS:GO? Just follow our simple guide and adjust your settings to optimize your experience.
Frames per second alone are not enough to become better at Counter-Strike, but a clear and game experience is the foundation for success. In our guide we will show you how to optimize your video settings in CS:GO
1. Windows Settings
Before we start optimizing the settings in-game, you should doublecheck if Windows is slowing down your system. Go to Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Power Options to do so.
Click on Additional Power Options and make sure that your settings are at “High Performance”.
Another option you should take advantage of is deactivating the Xbox Game Bar and the Windows Game Bar. Both can also impact your system’s performance and can be safely disabled when not utilising a Xbox over your PC.
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2.1. NVIDIA settings
(If you are using an AMD card, skip to 2.2)
The next options we take a closer look at are part of your NVIDIA Control Panel. You can open it by clicking on the NVIDIA icon in your task bar.
Under the tab “Change Resolution” you can fix the frequency of your monitor. If you have a screen capable of 144Hz you should also adjust your setting to that. The higher you can go the better.
Nvidia 3D Settings
The tab “Manage 3D settings” allows you to use customized settings for different applications. Go to Program settings and pick CS:GO from the dropdown menu.
Our recommended settings are the following:
- Image Sharpening (Off)
- Anisotropic Filtering (Off)
- Antialiasing – Gamma Correction (On)
- Antialiasing – Mode (Off)
- Preferred Refresh rate (Highest Available)
- CUDA – GPUs (All)
- Triple Buffering (Off)
- Power Management Mode (Prefer Maximum Performance)
- Background Application Max Frame Rate (Off)
- Max. Frame Rate (Off)
- Low Latency Mode (Off)
- Multi-Frame Sampled AA – MFAA (Off)
- OpenGL rendering GPU (Auto-select)
- Shader Cache (On)
- Texture Filtering – Anisotropic sample optimization (On)
- Texture Filtering – Negative LOD Bias (Allow)
- Texture Filtering – Quality (High Performance)
- Texture Filtering – Trilinear Optimization (On)
- Threaded Optimization (On)
- Vertical Sync (Off)
- Maximum Pre-rendered Frames (1)
Should you run into performance issues after changing your settings you can and should roll back your settings.
2.2. AMD Settings
Go to the “Gaming” tab in your AMD settings. Pick CS:GO there to prevent meddling with the global settings for other games.
Here are our recommendations:
- Antialiasing Mode (Use Application settings)
- Antialiasing Method (Multisampling)
- Morphological Filtering (Off)
- Anisotropic Filtering Mode (Use Application settings)
- Texture Filtering Quality (Performance)
- Surface Format Optimization (Off)
- Wait for Vertical Refrehs (Always Off)
- OpenGL Triple Buffering (Off)
- Shader Cache (On)
- Tessellation Mode (Use Application settings)
- Max. Frame Rate (Off)
3. In-Game: Resolution and Aspect Ratio
In order to optimize for a fluid picture with a constantly high frame rate you need to also adjust your in-game settings. Most CS:GO pros play with a low resolution and a 4:3 aspect ratio instead of the more common 16:9.
One reason is obviously being used to the lower settings from Counter-Strike 1.6, but also because CS:GO is quite heavy on your CPU. If you use a lower resolution your PC usually performs better.
We recommend a 1280×960 resolution on a normal 4:3 aspect ratio.
The other reason for this choice is that these settings will display opponents that are further away larger than if you used a higher resolution, making them easier to hit.
4:3 Streched Mode
If you don’t see any black bars on your monitor with a 4:3 aspect ratio you should head back into your NVIDIA settings and go to the “Adjust Desktop Size and Position” tab. Change your options there from “Adjust Desktop Size and Position” to “Fullscreen”.
Now your image should be stretched out to the full 16:9 monitor.
*For AMD you head to “Scaling” in your Control Panel and adjust your settings for 4.3.
4. In-Game: Video Settings
If you are optimizing for performance you need to tune down the video quality. Use the following settings for the highest FPS gains:
- Global Shadow Quality (Very low)
- Model / Texture Detail (Low)
- Texture Streaming (Disabled)
- Effect Detail (Low)
- Shader Detail (Low)
- Boost Player Contrast (Enabled)
- Multicore Rendering (Enabled)
- Multisampling Anti-Aliasing Mod (None)
- FXAA Anti-Aliasing (Disabled)
- Texture Filtering Mode (Bilinear)
- Wait for Vertical Sync (Disabled)
- Motion Blur (Disabled)
- Triple Monitor Mode (Disabled)
Obviously you can adjust individual values according to your own preference.
Hint: If you are used to better shadows for lining up greandes you can also improve the global shadow quality as well as the shader detail.
5. Updating Drivers
Always remember to keep your drivers up to date. Outdated drivers are the main reason for unstable FPS rates or low performance.
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