The CS2 community appears to have found a fantastic (and, most importantly–simple!) way of boosting fps in Valve’s competitive shooter. By entering a simple launch command in Steam, players on Reddit claim to have gotten up to a 25 percent increase in fps, massively improving their game’s performance.
Reddit user u/smurfeNn posted a thread on Nov. 29, claiming to have discovered a new and straightforward launch option, -threads 9, which can boost performances by up to 25 percent. The user says the fix is specifically intended for Intel users, particularly those using older CPUs (going back to Intel’s 12th generation). The launch option fixes CS2‘s poor reading of one’s CPU cores, leading to severe underutilization and ensuing stuttering, low fps, and a generally unpleasant gaming experience.
“I have for a few days experimented with CS2 stuttering & frame time by completely disabling E-cores and efficiency mode via Process Lasso and forcing CS2 to use eight threads. The results are clear; using -threads X in launch options increases one percent lows by 20-25 percent, reduces stuttering, and also increases average and peak FPS,” the user wrote. Here, the X stands for the number of physical cores of one’s CPU plus one.
According to their benchmarks, their average fps shot up by nearly 100 fps, whereas their one percent lows (or stutters) saw a marginal increase of about 10 percent.
According to the post, -threads 9 isn’t a command exclusive to Intel’s CPUs. The user said that the fix could also prove helpful for owners of AMD CPUs, especially older ones, and there may be some truth to it. I did my own tests, and with -threads 9 enabled, the game performed exceptionally well regarding stutters. My one percent lows went from 166 fps to 195, about a 20 percent increase. The average fps remained the same, almost to the decimal, and there was no general improvement in that department. However, I will say that the game felt a lot smoother than with the option disabled.
CS2 loves high fps. It means everything, from lowering input delay to allowing you to see your enemies first. With all the shenanigans around peeker’s advantage in CS2, which is drastically more severe than in CS:GO, fps has become all the more important. But it’s not always attainable, and with CS2 being so CPU-intensive, some players have been left in the dirt to suffer performance issues seemingly coming from nowhere.
CS2 is a heavily CPU-intensive game with its fair share of internal issues that Valve will likely tackle at some point. Until then, this fix is a quick and easy way of getting a headstart in CS2 on the Intel (and, potentially, AMD) platform, especially if your CPU has a few growing grey hairs.