CS:GO is one of the oldest competitive titles on the market. Starting with CS 1.6, the level of competition only rose higher, and you’ll need all the advantages you can get to rise above the rest.
Most players in CS:GO are already familiar with the game either through playing the older versions or simply due to how long they've been playing. While you'll only be able to fill in the experience gap by playing the game, it's essential that you do so under the most optimal circumstances.
When you first launch CS:GO, the game will automatically configure your settings according to your hardware. Though you'll most likely have a smooth gaming experience, the automatic configuration will often focus on providing the best visual results with minimal losses in performance. It may sound like there's nothing wrong with that, but you'll want all the extra frames you can have on your side if you're serious about achieving that Global Elite rank.
Professional and veteran players rely on high-refresh-rate monitors, and higher frames will allow you to unlock their full potential. A high-refresh-rate monitor will essentially enable you to acquire visual information faster than anyone with a 60 Hz monitor, giving you a slight competitive edge in the process.
Alongside adjusting your settings for the better, you can also use launch options/commands that offer quality-of-life improvements. If you've been annoyed by the intro video that you always thought you had to watch before making your way to the main menu, you'll be delighted to hear that a command that automatically skips that video exists.
Here are the best CS:GO settings that'll help you take your game to the next level alongside console commands that'll make your life easier.
The best CS:GO settings
The "best" is a subjective term when it comes to settings. It may depend on whether a player values visual quality over performance vice versa. Upon taking a closer look at most top-tier players' settings, however, you can notice a pattern.
Most have similar layouts, meaning there's a close-to-best settings layout that you can apply. Though the following settings are based on multiple household names like ZywOo, s1mple, and shroud, you can only make them better with your own adjustments.
The best video settings for CS:GO
- Brightness: 80 percent
- Your brightness settings will heavily depend on your monitor's brightness, but 80 percent is a sweet spot when it comes to in-game settings.
- Aspect ratio: 4:3
- Resolution: 1280x960
- The above aspect ratio and resolution settings will basically stretch out your game. Things will look slightly off at first, but player models will enlarge by applying these settings, making them easier to shoot.
- Display mode: Fullscreen
- Laptop power savings: Disabled
Advanced video settings
- Global shadow quality: High
- While veteran players prefer keeping most of their settings at the lower end of the spectrum, global shadow quality is an exception they all make. Keeping this setting at high will make spotting enemies by their shadows easier, which will increase your overall map awareness.
- Model / Texture detail: Low
- It's quite hard to tell the difference between low and high-quality in-game models unless you're staring at them at a point-blank distance.
- Texture streaming: Disabled
- Effect detail: Low
- Shader detail: Low
- Boost player contrast: Enabled
- Boosting player contrast makes player models more distinguishable compared to other in-game elements.
- Multi-core rendering: Enabled
- This is a must-have setting if you have a multi-core processor.
- Multisampling anti-aliasing mode: 8x MSAA
- Anti-aliasing is mostly considered as a performance hog. While it requires some level of resources, it makes the game look a lot more smoother by making edges clearer. This setting is crucial for players looking to increase their headshot rate. If you notice your frames dropping significantly after turning on the anti-aliasing features, we recommend turning them off.
- FXAA anti-aliasing: Enabled
- Texture filtering mode: Anisotropic 8x
- Texture filtering mode usually has almost no impact on your frame rates, and enabling it makes the game look noticeably better.
- Wait for vertical sync: Disabled
- Keep vertical sync disabled since it introduces input lag.
- Motion blur: Disabled
- Motion blur adds a small blur effect when you move your camera too quickly while playing CS:GO. Despite adding a realistic feeling to the game, it makes it more difficult to spot enemies while you're moving.
- Triple-monitor mode: Disabled
- Use uber shaders: Disabled
The best audio settings for CS:GO
Your audio quality will heavily depend on your headset while playing CS:GO. Top-tier headsets will have an easier time while distinguishing more quiet sounds like footsteps. The only recommendation you can apply to your settings is turning off the music option.
Though CS:GO has some bangers to allow everyone to switch to their game-faces, the beats can sometimes be distracting.
The best crosshair settings for CS:GO
A general rule of thumb while adjusting your crosshair settings is picking out a color that you can easily tell apart from other surfaces in the game. Colors like grey will be harder to keep track of, and bright tones of green and red will make sure that you never lose your crosshair in messy fights.
- Crosshair style: Classic static
- Center dot: No
- Length: 3.0
- Thickness: 1.1
- Gap: -3.0
- Outline: Disabled
- Red: 255
- Green: 255
- Blue: 165
- Alpha: 255
- T-style: No
- Deployed weapon gap: No
- Show player crosshairs: Everyone
The best launch options in CS:GO
There are many other settings in CS:GO that you can adjust. The in-game settings are filled with different configuration options, but they don't include everything that you can tinker with.
Launch options or commands allow you to change settings that your game will apply every time you launch it.
Here are the best launch options in CS:GO.
- CS:GO itself doesn't take a lot of time to launch, but the interaction video may make it feel like years. Things will only get worse if you also have your sound maxed out, so make sure to use this launch option to save time and your hearing.
- This launch command disabled the joystick support of CS:GO. Most players believe that it reduces the amount of memory CS:GO needs, thus increasing the overall performance.
- This command will set CS:GO's priority to high for your CPU. This means that your CPU will focus more of its resources to help CS:GO run better, increasing your total frame count by a couple of numbers in the process.
- -tickrate 128
- The competitive servers on CS:GO run on 128 tick rate while others keep it at 64. This command sets the tick rate to 128 for all "Offline with Bots" matches which comes in handy if you're looking to practice some in-game mechanics.
- +cl_forcepreload 1
- Not everyone plays with a fast SSD that allows them to load into matches in a matter of seconds. If you have a slower hard drive and find yourself still loading while others get into the game, you can try out this console command to preload most map details and sounds. This will decrease your loading times, but CS:GO may start using slightly more memory.
- All old school CS:GO players will have a bunch of commands that they'll need to enter or want to try out upon launching CS:GO. While there's a hotkey for opening the console, you can also have it open by default every time you launch CS:GO.
You'll need to right click on CS:GO from your Steam library and click on "Properties" to use the above launch options. Head over to the "General" tab, and "Launch Options" should on the bottom of the window.
You can find a complete list of available launch options for CS:GO here. Note that most of the options were added to the in-game settings menu over time, so we recommend double-checking that you aren't changing a setting that you can customize through the in-game menu with a launch option.