The ultimate guide to the best settings for playing CS:GO in 2022
March 8 2022
CS:GO is a highly competitive game. Even the most minute settings can give you a slight edge that boosts your performance. While there are no black-and-white choices, there are specific settings most high-performing players use that enable them to unleash their full potential. Let's dive into those choices.
CS:GO video & display settings
4:3 vs. 16:9 aspect ratio
CS:GO’s aspect ratio settings affect the shape of your game view and can be adjusted from the Video menu. The Aspect Ratio dropdown offers two solid options:
A 4:3 ratio is meant to mimic the square-ish shape of older CRT monitors, which was the standard when CS 1.6 dominated LAN parties. When switching to this aspect ratio on a widescreen monitor, the sides are cut with black bars. At first glance, this may seem like a straight-up gimp to your performance as it also cuts a bit of the action. However, it’s pretty rare for you to get jumped from that far to the side, which is why many pros prefer this ratio.
It’s about comfort. If you’re a veteran CS player who’s been playing the game since the early days, a 4:3 aspect ratio will make you feel right at home. If you’ve been tearing it up in modern games like CoD and Apex Legends, a 16:9 aspect ratio will feel more familiar. That said, it’s never a bad idea to try a different aspect ratio, as this boils down to personal preference.
Resolution & FPS
It goes without saying that your game’s resolution dramatically affects your performance. Apart from picking one that fits your monitor, you also need to check what gives you consistent FPS. The main bottleneck here is your graphics card, but other factors can lead to a dip in frames.
Start by turning off settings like V-Sync and G-Sync, as they’ll significantly limit your FPS. From there, you should enter the game, hit up the Video menu, and set your resolution to your monitor’s highest. For instance, a Full HD panel goes up to 1920x1080. From there, you can check your FPS consistency in-game, and if you’re dropping frames, you need to move to a lower resolution.
CS:GO visibility settings
Tuning some of your other video settings can significantly improve how clearly you see enemies and objects in the game.
Global Shadow Quality under the Advanced Video section affects the distance you need to be to see shadows. At low settings, you’ll find yourself well on your way to being gunned down before you can see the shadows of camping enemies. As a bonus, shadows still show when enemies are hiding in smoke, so crank that up as far as your FPS will allow.
Furthermore, all of the texture-related settings will come down to how capable your gaming rig is. The rule of thumb here is that highly detailed models don’t win games. Frames do. Instead of trying to make the game look pretty, you should squeeze as much FPS as you can by keeping these settings on the lower end.
Additionally, here are two settings you should turn off to fully optimize the game’s performance:
Multisampling Anti-Aliasing Mode
Shutting these down won’t give you a significant boost, but they’re not options that enhance it either, so they’re pointless for competitive play.
Finally, the Boost Player Contrast option is a godsend to enable. It essentially gives player models higher contrast from the background, making them more prominent. You’ll have to check if your FPS is taking a hit but if your rig can handle it, then set it to Enabled.
CS:GO audio settings
Apart from any personal preferences, you may have for volume and mix, there are only a few things you need to set as a standard for audio settings.
The first is ensuring you have set your output to Stereo Speakers or Stereo Headphones. While you may have a killer 5:1 speaker setup for your rig, surround sound is only suitable for immersive and story-based games. In a competitive game like CS:GO, you want to have all of your levels clear.
With that in mind, you also need to turn 3D audio on. This will enable you to hear noises coming from their respective directions as accurately as possible.
CS:GO game settings
Under Game settings, there’s only one option you absolutely need, and that is Show Location and Equipment for the Show Team Positions in the HUD option. This setting will enable you to see where your teammates are, even beyond walls and objects. It’s incredibly advantageous to be able to see where your squad is with a glance.
CS:GO minimap settings
The most crucial option to set for your Radar is its Map Zoom. By lowering it to 0.40, you’ll be able to see your teammates across the entire map. However, you may have issues seeing exactly where the bomb is if you’re in a low visibility situation. For these cases, it’s worth binding a minimap zoom-in to a key so you can zoom your map in at a moment’s notice. You can use the command bind “v” “cl_radar_scale 1.0 0.4” to set this to your V key in the console.
CS:GO crosshair settings
The finer details of the crosshair in CS:GO are always up for debate. However, the lion’s share of the pro scene seems to agree that a small static crosshair with no dot is preferable. The more you develop as a player, the more you pay attention to your opponents’ player models rather than your crosshair. This is why you want as few points of obstruction on your screen as possible. At the same time, a small crosshair can act as a point of reference to orientate your aim.
CS:GO mouse sensitivity settings
Arguments can be had for days about mouse sensitivity settings, with many arguing you should just use what works for you. However, when analyzing pro players, it’s clear that most of them favor a particular eDPI range.
eDPI is a calculation of your mouse’s Dots Per Inch (DPI) setting from its own software times the in-game sensitivity setting. What most high-level players choose falls somewhere in the 600 eDPI to 1000 eDPI. These are calculated as follows:
400 DPI x 1.5 in-game sensitivity = 600 eDPI
400 DPI x 2.5 in-game sensitivity = 1000 eDPI
The goal of these ranges is to give you access to a near-instant 180-degree turn without giving you a high error margin. You can experiment with what works for you and your wrist flicking range of motion by setting your mouse to 400 DPI then playing around with the in-game sensitivity setting.
Once you've tweaked your settings, you can start working on your skills. First up, you'll want to install a stat tracker so you can see how you're progressing. Learn more about the importance of stat tracking in this article. Once you've done that, you could start competing in G-Loot Missions and Brawls to make sure you're improving consistently.
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