If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Counter-Strike 2 settings guide: Best CS2 settings for FPS

Give yourself the advantage with our ultimate CS2 settings guide

A player in Counter-Strike 2 inspects their knife in front of a wall with colourful graffiti on it.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Valve

What are the very best Counter-Strike 2 settings? Fine-tuning your settings is a lengthy process in any competitive game, and with Counter-Strike 2 now released and free-to-play, tens of thousands of players are now busy trawling through the game's settings menus trying to make sense of every last option in the game.

We're here to make the job easy with our ultimate guide to the best CS2 settings. We've brought all our previous Counter-Strike knowledge to bear, and updated everything ready for Counter-Strike 2 so you know exactly what to pick for every last setting. Below you'll find a table of CS2 settings used by the top pro players in the world, as well as explainers on mouse settings, video settings, game settings, resolution and aspect ratio combos, and much more besides.

We've even got some more advanced tips on how to boost your FPS in CS2 both in and out of game, as well as handy instructions on things like improving your radar visibility, setting up your audio correctly, and more. So let's get started!

In our CS2 settings guide:

Cover image for YouTube videoCounter-Strike 2 - Launch Trailer

Best Counter-Strike 2 video settings

Adopting the best video settings for CS2 is extremely important if you want the game to run smoothly at a high frame rate. Not only that, but you can gain a real advantage in combat with the right video settings options, allowing you to see more easily through smokes and the like.

These are the best CS2 video settings for maximum FPS:

  • Main Menu Background Scenery - Personal preference
  • Brightness - 105%
  • Aspect Ratio - 16:9 (Or 4:3 if you want stretched resolution)
  • Resolution - Set to your monitor's native resolution
  • Display Mode - Fullscreen
  • Laptop Power Savings - Disabled
  • Boost Player Contrast - Enabled
  • Wait For Vertical Sync - Disabled (Enabling causes input lag!)
  • Current Video Values Preset - Custom
  • Multisampling Anti-Aliasing Mode - None (Minor FPS gain)
  • Global Shadow Quality - High (Gameplay advantage at High or Very High!)
  • Model / Texture Quality - Low (Minor FPS gain)
  • Texture Filtering Mode - Bilinear (FPS gain)
  • Shader Detail - Low (FPS gain)
  • Particle Detail - Low (FPS gain)
  • Ambient Occlusion - High (Gameplay advantage at High!)
  • High Dynamic Range - Performance (Minor FPS gain)
  • Fidelity FX Super Resolution - Disabled (Avoid this smudgy setting!)
  • NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency - Enabled + Boost (Major FPS gain)
  • HUD Edge Positions - Personal Preference

The key to getting the best CS2 video settings is to set most things to the lowest setting but set Global Shadow Quality and Ambient Occlusion to High. This is very important because these settings both allow you to see enemy player shadows, which can give you a very serious advantage when peeking or holding corners in Counter-Strike 2.


Best Counter-Strike 2 game settings

Two players shoot at one another down a tunnel in Counter-Strike 2.
Image credit: Valve

If you want to give yourself the greatest advantage in Counter-Strike 2, you need to look not only at the video settings for max FPS, but also at your game settings to make sure everything is geared up ready to help you succeed in the heat of battle. Here are our recommendations for the best CS2 Game settings:

Game

  • Max Acceptable Matchmaking Ping - 80
  • Max Acceptable Game Traffic Bandwidth - Unrestricted
  • Community Notification Location - Top Right
  • Community Notification Horizontal Offset - 0
  • Community Notification Vertical Offset - 0
  • Enable Developer Console (~) - Yes
  • Install Counter-Strike Workshop Tools - No

HUD

  • HUD Scale - 0.90
  • HUD Color - Personal preference

Team

  • Show Team Positions In HUD - Show Location And Equipment
  • Show Teammate Colors In Competitive - Show Colors
  • Use Teammate Colors On Team ID - No
  • Friends Lobby Default Permissions - Friends Need Invites
  • Looking To Play When Counter-Strike Starts - Remember Last State

Communication

  • Player Pings - Display And Play Sound
  • Mute Enemy Team - No
  • Mute All But Friends - No
  • Text Filtering - Personal preference
  • Allow Animated Avatars - Personal preference
  • Hide Avatar Images - Personal preference
  • Clean Player Names - Personal preference

Spectator / Scoreboard

  • Spectator/Map Vote Number Selection Method - Use Number Keys
  • Scoreboard Mouse Enable/End Of Match Scoreboard Toggle - Secondary Fire
  • Survivors Always On - No
  • Smooth Spectator Camera - Yes
  • Smooth Spectator Camera Speed - 0.27

Item

  • Quick Graffiti (Apply With Key Release) - Yes
  • Delay Sniper Rifle Un-Scope After Shot - No
  • Auto Re-Zoom Sniper Rifle After Shot - Personal preference
  • Detach Silencer On M4A1-S And USP-S - Disabled
  • Viewmodel Position - Personal preference
  • Always Show Inventory - Yes
  • Open Buy Menu With Use Key - Yes
  • Buy Menu Number Keys - Number Keys Buy Items
  • Buy Menu Donation Key - Personal preference
  • Last Weapon On Radial Weapon Tap - Yes

Radar / Tablet

  • Radar Centers The Player - No
  • Radar Is Rotating - Personal preference
  • Radar Hud Size - 1.20
  • Radar Map Zoom - 0.40
  • Toggle Shape With Scoreboard - Yes

You can also check out our best Counter-Strike 2 crosshair settings guide if you want to customise your reticule to give you the greatest advantage in matches.


Counter-Strike 2 pro settings

A line-up of five Counter-Strike 2 players on the same Counter-Terrorist team at the beginning of a match.
Image credit: Valve

If you're not sure how to get started figuring out your ideal CS2 settings, then a great first step is to copy a pro player's settings and see how you like them. To help you in this endeavour, we've put together a list of mouse settings and resolution settings used by some of the top pro CS2 and CS:GO players in the world.

CS2 pro settings list:

CSGO Pro DPI Sens eDPI HZ Resolution Aspect Ratio Scaling Mode
s1mple 400 3.09 1236 1000 1280x960 4:3 Stretched
NiKo 400 1.3 520 1000 1920x1080 16:9 Native
ZywOo 400 2 800 1000 1280x960 4:3 Stretched
XANTARES 400 2 800 1000 1024x768 4:3 Stretched
coldzera 800 1.1 880 500 1280x960 4:3 Stretched
dev1ce 400 2 800 1000 1280x960 4:3 Stretched
m0NESY 400 2 800 1000 1280x960 4:3 Stretched
Twistzz 400 1.4 560 1000 1280x960 4:3 Stretched
ropz 400 1.77 708 1000 1920x1080 16:9 Native
shroud 400 2.4 960 1000 2560x1440 16:9 Native

If you're unsure what any of these stats and values mean, like eDPI and HZ, then just keep reading. We're about to explain everything you need to know about giving yourself the very best Counter-Strike 2 settings possible.


Best CS2 mouse settings

Two players shoot at one another around a corner outside in one of the Counter-Strike 2 maps.
Image credit: Valve

If you want the very best mouse settings for Counter-Strike 2, you'll need to make some changes both in-game and in Windows itself. Assuming you already have the hardware sorted with a good gaming mouse, below we'll walk you through everything from Mouse Acceleration to choosing the right sensitivity and DPI for you, so you can have the easiest possible time clicking on enemies in CS2.

We'd recommend keeping all the settings in the Keyboard & Mouse Settings section of CS2's settings menu at their default values, except for the Mouse Sensitivity value, which you should change to whatever you prefer. For reference, here are the default Keyboard & Mouse Settings in Counter-Strike 2:

  • Reverse Mouse - Off
  • Duck Mode - Hold
  • Walk Mode - Hold
  • Zoom Button Hold - Repeat Disabled
  • Mouse Sensitivity - 2.50
  • Zoom Sensitivity Multiplier - 1.00

What is the best Sensitivity?

Sensitivity is a very personal thing, particularly in a game like Counter-Strike 2. There is no universal best CS2 sensitivity for everyone, but to find the best sensitivity for you, the only thing you can do is play around with a variety of different sensitivities until you find something that feels like a natural fit with your muscle-memorised mouse movements.

Turn off Mouse Acceleration in Windows

Mouse Acceleration subtly alters the way your cursor moves depending on how fast or slow you move your mouse. Most Counter-Strike players turn this setting off, and for good reason - they don't want anything messing with the flick-shots and precise cursor placements you need to win any round in CS2. Counter-Strike 2 doesn't have a built-in Mouse Acceleration setting like CS:GO had. But Windows has its own built-in Mouse Acceleration, and if you want the best mouse settings for most competitive shooters, you should turn this setting off in Windows before playing Counter-Strike 2.

To disable Mouse Acceleration in Windows for CS2:

  1. Hold down the Windows Key and press "R".
  2. In the command box that appears, type "main.cpl" (without quotes) and hit Enter.
  3. In the Mouse Properties window, select the "Pointer Options" tab.
  4. Untick the "Enhance pointer precision" box and then click "Apply".

DPI and eDPI: What's the difference?

Every mouse has a DPI setting. DPI stands for "Dots Per Inch", and it's the built-in sensitivity of your mouse itself. The higher the DPI, the faster your cursor moves, and the less you have to move your mouse. The trade-off is that high sensitivity can make it harder to do small, precise movements.

Things tend to get confusing when you talk about sensitivity in Counter-Strike 2 or any other shooter, because you have to take into account both your in-game sensitivity and your mouse's DPI. That's why eDPI exists. eDPI ("effective Dots Per Inch") is your sensitivity multiplied by your DPI, and gives you a better overall idea of how your sensitivity compares to other players'. For example, a DPI of 1000 and a sensitivity of 0.8 means your eDPI is 1000 * 0.8 = 800.

Mouse Polling Rate (HZ) explained

Another term you might hear in talks about the best CS2 mouse settings is your mouse's Polling Rate or HZ. The Polling Rate is measured in Hertz (HZ), and determines how often your mouse hardware sends data about the cursor position to your PC.

Most gaming mice have various Polling Rate options to choose from, but in nearly every case you should choose the highest possible polling rate. 1000HZ is a great option, meaning your mouse updates its cursor position every millisecond, which is very fast indeed.


Best CS2 resolution and aspect ratio

A top and bottom comparison of the same view of B bomb site on Dust II in Counter-Strike 2, with two different aspect ratios. Top: Native 16:9. Bottom: Stretched 4:3.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Valve

Picking the best combination of resolution and aspect ratio for Counter-Strike 2 is largely down to personal preference. Many professional Counter-Strike players prefer to play at what's called a "stretched" resolution, which means setting the aspect ratio to 4:3 while playing on a 16:9 or 16:10 monitor, and setting the Scaling Mode to "Stretched".

This results in a horizontally stretched appearance, which has the benefit of zooming the screen further into the centre (which is where the action tends to take place), and increasing the size of enemies' hitboxes in that central region to make shooting them easier.

There are pros and cons to any aspect ratio and resolution option though, and it's up to you to decide which one you prefer. We've laid out the main advantages and disadvantages below:

Type Pros Cons
16:9 / 16:10 (native) • See more around you
• Greater visual clarity
• Higher resolutions mean lower FPS
4:3 (stretched) • Enemies seem bigger and easier to hit
• Zooms in on the centre of your screen
• Increased FPS
• Restricted view
• Game looks worse visually
4:3 (black bars) • Focuses on the centre of your screen
• May be familiar to Counter-Strike veterans
• Increased FPS
• Very restricted view

For the average Counter-Strike 2 player, we'd recommend you start at 1920x1080 resolution (or whatever is the native resolution of your monitor), and 16:9 aspect ratio.


Other important CS2 settings

A revised de_overpass in Counter-Strike 2.
Image credit: Valve

Here are a few more settings you may want to configure before starting your journey into the highly competitive world of Counter-Strike 2.

Refresh Rate

As with all competitive shooters, the higher the refresh rate in CS2, the better. It's far easier to click on heads when everything is running and moving smoothly. Your refresh rate is limited by your monitor, with the most common maximum refresh rates being 60hz, 144hz, and 240hz. 60hz is considered quite poor if you want to play Counter-Strike 2 competitively, with 144hz, 240hz, and 360hz far more widely used by professionals and players.

Brightness

Your brightness setting in CS2 is another option where there is no universally accepted "best" setting. As long as you can clearly see everything you need to see in both dark and light areas, then you should opt for whatever brightness is most comfortable for you.

Audio

Counter-Strike 2 has a few brand new audio settings to play around with, including EQ Profile, L/R Isolation, and Perspective Correction. Here's our take on each of these new audio settings:

  • EQ Profile - Personal preference. Play around with all three!
  • L/R Isolation - Keep this set to 0% for the most accurate spatial audio.
  • Perspective Corerction - Keep this set to YES for the most accurate spatial audio.

We'd also recommend turning off all music except possibly the "Ten Second Warning" audio in Counter-Strike 2, so that no sudden bursts of mid-round music distract you from your shooting.


Windows Graphics settings for CS2

The location of the CS2 executable file in Windows Explorer.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

To make sure your machine is running Counter-Strike 2 at the maximum possible performance, here's a little trick you can do inside Windows:

  1. Tap the Windows Key and type "Graphics".
  2. Click on "Graphics Settings".
  3. In the dropdown menu, select "Desktop app".
  4. Click "Browse".
  5. Navigate to "steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Global Offensive\game\bin\win64".
  6. Select "cs2.exe" to close the window.
  7. Click on "csgo.exe" and select "Options".
  8. Check "High performance" and click "Save".

Steam settings for CS2

A screenshot of the Steam settings menu on the Library tab.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Valve

This isn't exclusive to Counter-Strike 2, but there are a few easy settings that you can change within Steam itself to ensure that it isn't taking up too much power in the background while you play CS2.

  1. In Steam, click "Steam" in the top-left corner and select "Settings".
  2. Navigate to the "Interface" tab.
  3. Untick "Enable GPU accelerated rendering in web views".
  4. Navigate to the "Library" tab.
  5. Tick "Low Bandwidth Mode" and "Low Performance Mode".
  6. Navigate to the "Broadcast" tab.
  7. In the dropdown, select "Broadcasting disabled".
  8. Click "Okay".

That wraps up just about everything you could ever want to know about perfecting your CS2 video and game settings. Now why not check out our guides on the best CS2 console commands for FPS, and on how to create your own jump throw bind in CS2?

Rock Paper Shotgun is the home of PC gaming

Sign in and join us on our journey to discover strange and compelling PC games.

In this article

Counter-Strike 2

PC

Related topics
About the Author
Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.

Comments