Close mobile menu

With Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) now officially out, many first-person shooter (FPS) enthusiasts will be looking to tweak a few of their in-game settings to get the best possible performance and gaming experience from Valve’s Source 2 engine. And why wouldn’t they?

CS2 brings many new features and enhancements over its predecessor, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), including a new sub-tick system and responsive smokes. But what are the best settings that players should use to optimize their gameplay and get the highest frame rate in CS2? Leave that to us!

In the meantime, you can also have a look at the latest CS2 odds available at Thunderpick.

CS2 Video Settings

Before we begin, it’s worth noting that the best CS2 settings vary based on your setup and personal preference. For some, gaming at peak visual fidelity is non-negotiable. However, other gamers may willingly trade off particle and texture details for better frame rates and a lower input delay. 

In our explanation below, we’ve tried our best to strike a balance between the max frames for game performance and the highest quality possible in CS2—enough so that even Thanos would be proud.

Basic Settings

  • Main Menu Background Scenery: Personal Preference
  • Brightness: 140%
  • Aspect Ratio: Personal Preference
  • Resolution: Personal Preference
  • Display Mode: Fullscreen
  • Refresh Rate: 144 Hz or higher
  • Laptop Power Savings: Disabled

Advanced Video Settings

  • Boost Player Contrast: Disabled
  • Wait For Vertical Sync: Disabled
  • Current Video Values Preset: Custom
  • Multisampling Anti-Aliasing Mode: 8x MSAA (or Disabled)
  • Global Shadow Quality: High
  • Model / Texture Detail: Low
  • Texture Filtering Mode: Bilinear
  • Shader Detail: Low
  • Particle Detail: Low
  • Ambient Occlusion: Medium
  • High Dynamic Range: Quality
  • FidelityFX Super Resolution: Disabled (Highest Quality)
  • NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency: Enabled
  • HUD Edge Positions: Personal Preference

In the sections below, we’ll dive into more detail about some of these CS2 video settings.

Refresh Rate

Want smoother gameplay in CS2? Bump up the refresh rate! The golden rule is that the higher the refresh rate (like 144 Hz, 240 Hz, or even 360 Hz), the less “choppy” the game will feel, thanks to smoother motion and transitions.

Higher refresh rates also mean a lower input lag, which is critical in CS2 matches where every millisecond counts. There is a catch, though. The frame rate you choose should match the refresh rate of your computer monitor, or you’ll experience “screen tearing.”

But don’t worry. NVIDIA’s G-Sync and AMD’s FreeSync technologies are here to save the day, synchronizing your display and GPU for a seamless in-game experience even when your refresh rate and frame rate don’t match up. This will reduce the frequency of stuttering and screen tearing.


Visibility is a critical factor affecting performance in an FPS like CS2. Many pros opt for a brightness of 130-140%, but you’ll want to find the sweet spot that works best for you. After all, there is no one-size-fits-all setting.

Just be careful. Cranking the dial up too much can cause eye strain or make it nearly impossible to spot enemies or distinguish potentially game-changing details on the map. And if you put it too low, you won’t be able to see anything on your screen!

Pro tip: Try using the r_fullscreen_gamma console command to fine-tune the brightness in CS2. Too bright? Set the value between 2.2 and 2.6. Too dark? Adjust the setting between 1.6 and 1.8. You’re welcome.

CS2 Aspect And Resolution Settings

What is the best aspect ratio and resolution combination for CS2? That’s a great question. Many CS2 pros prefer a 4:3 aspect ratio at 1280×960 resolution instead of the traditional 16:9, 1920×1080 native resolution. It may seem weird, but there’s a good reason for it.

You may believe the 4:3 aspect ratio reduces the field of view, conferring a disadvantage, but this is not necessarily true. While CS2 looks less sharp, there is a performance benefit, particularly on mid-end PC systems with weaker graphics cards and CPUs. Don’t believe us? Take the pros’ word for it.

Many CS2 pro players, including s1mple, compensate for the lower resolution with 8x MSAA. This option minimizes pixelation and boosts visual clarity without a performance hit. They also play in “stretched” mode, where the 4:3 aspect ratio expands to fill the entire screen.

This makes in-game character models appear larger and wider, offering a psychological advantage in aiming precision. Other pros opt for the “black bars” approach, which retains the original 4:3 aspect ratio to focus their attention on the screen’s center and reduce eye movement.

Ultimately, the choice between aspect ratio and resolution settings in CS2 boils down to personal preference, balancing gameplay performance, visual clarity, and your comfort and familiarity with the settings. Each option carries its own advantages and challenges, so choose wisely.

What Settings Do CS2 Pros Use?

When it comes to the elite CS2 players, the settings they use can greatly impact their performance. Curious about what settings the pros use in CS2? Let’s dive in. Below, we detail the individual settings of some top players worldwide.

PlayerSensDPIeDPIResolutionAspectCrosshair Settings
ZywOo2.004008001280×9604:3 (S)CSGO-ErUez-uLxht-aAcZJ-tTy5G-4MchQ
ropz1.774004001920×108016:9 (N)CSGO-QAeVv-nitWR-tZAud-WkrH7-eWfOQ
flusha1.754007001440×10804:3 (S)CSGO-Qk7JZ-Ktv7X-VrXkL-ZUOWo-JkA6Q
s1mple3.0940012361280×9604:3 (S)CSGO-mbV5Q-RLJqb-WstFn-JooyC-5BZ2Q
AdreN1.108008801280×9604:3 (S)CSGO-hkqsC-hXjZS-edaPs-SaZ7r-Cp74E
shox3.004009001280×9604:3 (S)CSGO-Lc3qw-NRDu9-hQUx3-uno35-x3zkG
Dosia2.8040011201920×108016:9 (N)CSGO-ibaYU-wVPPH-tbyJz-oJHdb-qDZ2Q
kennyS2.204008801024×7684:3 (N)CSGO-BfEmW-k5n33-vfAAj-4Zcaw-TkA6Q
smooya1.804007201024×7684:3 (S)CSGO-Wfrtc-WcQW4-bV5Ch-8knHU-85hWA
Karrigan1.404005601600×102416:9 (N)CSGO-QXZmB-AyVFE-wcWBa-N24wm-E5hWA

Note: Sens = Sensitivity; DPI = Dots Per Inch; eDPI = effective DPI; (S) = Stretched, (N) = Native.

Each player’s settings are highly personalized, catering to their unique playstyle and preferences. Feel free to use this as a reference, but remember, the optimal settings can vary for each individual. Also, it’s worth mentioning that CS2 pros may change their settings over time.

CS2 Game Settings

We’ve adapted these CS2 game settings from Counter-Strike pro s1mple. However, feel free to tweak them to your liking.

  • Max Acceptable Matchmaking Ping: 80 (or as low as possible)
  • Max Acceptable Game Traffic Bandwidth: Unrestricted
  • Community Notification Location: Bottom Right
  • Community Notification Horizontal Offset: 0
  • Community Notification Vertical Offset: 0
  • Enable Developer Console: Yes (default key: ~)
  • Install Counter-Strike Workshop Tools: No


  • HUD Scale: 0.90
  • HUD Color: Personal Preference


  • 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: All Friends Can Join
  • Looking To Play When Counter-Strike Starts: Remember Last State


  • 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: Show All
  • Clean Player Names: No


  • 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
  • Automatic Kill Replay: Yes


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

Note: As mentioned earlier, removing the silencer on the M4A1-S and USP-S is generally considered not beneficial, as it is believed to reduce the weapons’ accuracy and stealth. That said, disabling the “Detach Silencer On M4A1-S And USP-S” will prevent you from mistakenly detaching it during gameplay.

Radar / Tablet

  • Radar Centers The Player: Yes
  • Radar Is Rotating: Yes
  • Radar Hud Size: 0.83
  • Radar Map Zoom: 0.45
  • Toggle Shape With Scoreboard: Yes

CS2 Audio Settings

  • Master Volume: Personal Preference
  • Audio Device: Default Device
  • EQ Profile: Crisp
  • L/R Isolation: 50-100% (recommended: 70%)
  • Perspective Correction: No
  • Enable Voice: Press To Use Mic
  • VOIP Volume: 50%
  • Streamlined Push-To-Talk: Yes
  • Play Audio When Game In Background: No

As always, you can feel free to tinker with these values until you find the best CS2 audio settings for you. Not sure what some of these audio settings mean? No problem! We’ve broken down some of these technical audio terms below.

EQ Profile

This setting adjusts the frequency response of CS2’s audio. This means it changes how you hear different parts of the game’s sounds (like low, medium, or high pitched sounds). The game offers three coloration options:

  • Natural: Looking for a balanced sound? This option is the default choice for CS2 players looking for an enjoyable gaming experience.
  • Crisp: This is the best setting for competitive CS2. It enhances the mid-frequency band, making important game sounds like gunfire and footsteps more distinct and easier to differentiate.
  • Smooth: This setting is softer and less harsh on the ears, making it more suitable for lengthy gaming sessions. However, it might block some in-game sounds, in which case certain audio cues might be harder to hear.

L/R Isolation

This setting affects how the game blends sounds between the left and right audio channels. By adjusting this setting, you can mix the audio to sound more natural (lower isolation) or separate the audio more distinctly between left and right (higher isolation).

Higher isolation helps to pinpoint the exact direction of sounds (like enemy footsteps or gunfire) but may reduce depth perception (forward and backward direction). An L/R Isolation setting between 50% to 100% is recommended, but you should also experiment to find what’s best for you.

Perspective Correction

Perspective correction changes how sound relates to what you see on-screen. Turning it off will make the game’s audio more similar to CS:GO. However, if you’re trying to adapt to CS2’s audio, keeping it on may provide a more immersive and realistic sound experience.

CS2 Mouse Settings

Want to make sure you land headshots every time? Keep your aim sharp by using these CS2 mouse settings. In this section, we’ll also expand a bit more on DPI and eDPI, including the optimum ranges for accuracy and control.

  • Reverse Mouse: Off
  • Duck Mode: Hold
  • Walk Mode: Hold
  • Zoom Button Hold: Repeat Disabled
  • Mouse Sensitivity: Personal Preference (default is 2.50)
  • Zoom Sensitivity Multiplier: 1.00

Pro Tip: Besides these mouse settings, we highly suggest disabling “Mouse Acceleration” in your Windows Settings. If you don’t disable it, your cursor movement will be inconsistent and unpredictable, potentially losing you kills.

What Is The Best CS2 Mouse Sensitivity?

The best mouse sensitivity in CS2 is player-specific. However, the general consensus is that the lower your DPI (i.e., how many pixels the cursor moves on your screen per inch of mouse movement), the better it will be for your competitive performance.

A more useful metric is eDPI or “effective DPI,” which is calculated as the product of your mouse’s DPI and your in-game sensitivity setting (or DPI x Mouse Sensitivity). For example, a mouse set at 400 DPI with an in-game sensitivity of 2.5 results in an eDPI of 1000 (400 x 2.5).

Why Is eDPI Important?

eDPI basically gives you a more accurate and standardized depiction of the sensitivity you’ll experience in your matches. While there’s no specific number to recommend, most professional CS2 players use eDPI in the range of 600 to 1200.

That said, AWPers may favor a higher eDPI for quick aiming, while riflers could benefit from a lower eDPI for more accurate shots. It’s crucial to choose an eDPI that aligns with your playstyle and role. Once selected, stick with it for consistency and to build muscle memory!

Optimizing Your PC Settings For CS2

With our help, you should be well-equipped to configure the best graphics settings for CS2. Feel free to adapt our tips to fit your needs. Not getting the visuals you were hoping for? You may just need to upgrade your PC. Have a look at our guide to the CS2 system requirements to check for any bottlenecks.

We also have a guide to CS2 weapons, outlining the current meta, and which are the guns that are getting most use.

At Thunderpick, we provide the world’s premier crypto esports betting platform, where you can enjoy a range of betting markets and competitive odds on games like CS2, VALORANT, League of Legends, and many others. Check out what’s on right now on our live CS2 betting section.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.