Welcome to the ultimate guide on improving maximum FPS in CS:GO. There are many aspects that we have to focus on to achieve best results while playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive. By best results, we mean winning, nothing else matters, right? Well, some say they play CSGO for fun. No matter what your goal is, your game should run as good as possible, hence the need to optimize it. You can spend thousands of hours improving your aim, movement and learning new nades, but you are just not doing it right when CS runs like crap, with low frames per second or constant stutter around the corners for example.
UPDATED 2021! This article has been updated with additional steps. Check out our Launch Options optimization guide. Keep your laptop / PC running cool with Thermal Paste / Liquid Metal guide.
More FPS is always better
The higher the FPS, the better the mouse feels. It feels more snappy, more responsive to your actions and your aim becomes more consistent at the same time. You should always aim for higher frames per second, with few exceptions, where few percents less in exchange of better ‘shadow settings’ is acceptable and rather better choice. This guide will help you to optimize your CSGO, a small tutorial for everyone, with low end laptops to high end PCs. Better performance means you can be in control at all times, increasing the chances of fragging that guy around the corner or hiding in a smoke.
If you have ever experienced massive stutter when entering the bombsite for the first time, game suddenly freezing when enemy is just around the corner, your FPS dipping aggressively when there is too much action going on the screen during execute, then some of the things we will talk about down below will definitely help you, at least to reduce the issues. There are many myths on the internet about what works and what you should have in your configs to improve FPS, but it’s year 2020 and let me tell your right now that most of them are outdated and no longer work. Some might even impact your CSGO performance in a negative way causing less FPS, more stutter and get you more lost games.
The key things to understand at the start is it is always better to invest in better hardware. Counter Strike is 20 years old game, designed to run on very low end specifications at the start, but over these years we have received so many patches and upgrades to the engine, that the performance has dropped. Bad news, it will keep going downhill unless we will see CSGO ported to Source 2 engine, could this happen in 2020? We will see, right now it’s better to do what we can do – revisit your configs and settings, especially if you can’t afford that new shiny i9 and 2080Ti (which is overkill, but it’s different topic).
TIP: Counter Strike favours CPU, research it properly before making decisions
We will take a look on how to optimize your Counter Strike Global Offensive performance, make it run faster, display more frames per second, stutter less and possibly look better – less cluttered. To do that, we have to think about CSGO itself, startup options, Windows settings, graphics and sound drivers, autoexec, main config and even check the condition of your gaming machine. More FPS for 2020 and it’s not even Christmas yet, nice.
Run Benchmark To Asses Current Performance
Before we start, let’s run a simple workshop map to check what is the current condition and how many FPS we can get. We can compare these results later on, after optimizing everything.
Head to the Mr. uLLeticaL™-S-‘s workshop page and download his FPS Benchmark map, by clicking Subscribe underneath it.
Run your CSGO and select Play – Workshop and select the map we’ve just subscribed to. It’s as easy as loading onto map and hitting big, green Start button, then just sit back and watch your FPS counter in the top – left corner.
You will get a nice summary with average, lowest and highest FPS at the end of the benchmark test. Console window should open and print out all the results – just screenshot them with F12 or highlight and copy and paste into text file on your desktop for comparison.
TIP: Keep in mind, that you should always run the benchmark several times to average the results. If they are all over the place, look for issues within your Windows installation and processes running in the background affecting CSGO performance.
Step 1: Reset All Settings To Default
It’s been said many times by Valve employees on Reddit, that people use depreciated config commands, useless cvars that do nothing at best or even worse the way that game runs. If you have been playing with Counter Strike optimizations for years, chances are you have tens if not hundreds of unnecessary commands cluttering your inside your configs.
Guess what. They are stored in the cloud on Steam and downloaded again when you fresh install, so you don’t actually do fresh install except the game files. All that unwanted crap is still out there, hindering your performance. Think twice, before you cry that your game has FPS loss next time there is an update, where it should work fine, but is not really, as your custom settings are still the same and may be no longer supported.
Open up your Steam, right click on Counter Strike: Global Offensive and bring up Properties window – Updates tab.
Remove the tick under ‘Enable Steam Cloud’, so we can delete all the important for us files cluttered with unused commands and bring CSGO back to how it should be at the start of this 2020 FPS guide.
TIP: Don’t worry, we will backup everything at every stage.
Next, go to your steam profile to find out your account ID. We need that if there are multiple users on your PC.
Browse to Inventory – Trade Offers, then click on the menu called ‘Who can send me trade offers?’. At the bottom of this page you will be able to see your steam account ID number, like shown below.
Note down your Steam ID number (it’s 12345678 in the above photo example), then open windows explorer (hit Windows + E) and browse to where your Steam is installed, for example:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\YOUR ID\730\local\cfg
Highlight all the files stored there, including:
config.cfg, video.txt, videodefaults.txt
and copy them somewhere else just in case if you want to have a look at them later on. Delete all the files in this folder. We will launch CSGO again and these configs and video settings will get repopulated by the game itself.
Run the game once and go to video settings. Always setup full screen for best performance, your preferred resolution and your choice of advanced settings. We will talk about how much FPS all the advanced video settings use in separate guide, stick with LOW for now if you aim for the highest FPS possible, except maybe Shadow Quality, which is recommended at MEDIUM.
TIP: Keep Global Shadow Quality between medium – high. Anything lower will stop rendering enemy shadows on the ground.
The only option you will have to remember is Multicore Rendering, which in most scenarios should be set to ON, but some older machines and slower laptops might benefit from switching it to OFF. You will have to run FPS Benchmark map few times, with this setting turned both ways.
Here are example settings for i7 7700k and GTX 1070 to achieve stable 300+ FPS on 1440 x 1080 4:3 144Hz.
Now you should have blank config.cfg and fresh video settings. You can go back to this folder and set video.txt and videodefaults.txt to read only, as future updates might change some of your settings and you will randomly get less FPS and worse performance blaming Valve – oh, how we love to do that.
Go back to Steam – Properties – Updates tab and enable Steam Cloud again. Your fresh configs and settings will be send to the cloud.
Congratulations, step 1 to get your FPS back has been completed. We have purged all the depreciated ‘boost your CSGO frames’ cvars, we have revisited Video Settings and locked them down in read only files, we have sent everything back to Steam Cloud.
Step 2: Launch Options
Open up Steam, right click Counter Strike and select Properties. Click Set Launch Options and remove everything you have there. Counter Strike client is designed to run optimally without any additional parameters. All you need is:
-novid (disabled CSGO startup animation - recommended) -language YOURFILENAME (custom language - highly recommended) -tickrate 128 (if you prefer local servers to be 128 tick, to practice in ESEA or FaceIt conditions, otherwise if you don't play these services, don't use this command) -nojoy (sometimes required by FaceIt, some users experience issues with being kicked out of the server without this command in launch options)
Your Launch Options should look like this (with tickrate and nojoy being optional choices – if playing 3rd party servers):
-novid -language YOURFILENAME -tickrate 128 -nojoy
If you have any other options there, try to find them below and read the description on why they are no longer needed. Here is the list of what we shouldn’t use anymore:
-high (does not give you higher min fps and on some systems even causes heavy input lag) -threads # ( will either have no effect or make it absolute worse to a point where the game becomes unplayable due to heavy lags. Multiple players have reported that their game has lags/stalls every x seconds even thou it runs fine otherwise/apart from those lags and there is no problem with their connection. Removing -threads # solved the problem instantly. (CSGO developer comment) -processheap (don't use it at all, mattwood_valve, CSGO developer said himself the issue has been fixed and you should rather look into your CPU over heating) -nod3d9ex (depreciated since 2019, doesn't do anything now)
Please take -processheap out of your guide. As I said in the original post to the user who needed it, it was a bandaid to help that user get lower, but more stable framerate in a time where there was an issue that has long been fixed. Running with processheap now will certainly make your system run worse than it would without it. Thank you.https://www.reddit.com/r/GlobalOffensive/comments/1ruy4q/how_to_fix_stuttering_frame_drops_in_csgo_quick/cdrifuw/
To sum it up, in the year of 2020 and probably for the whole 2019, the best launch options to optimize your game are minimal. Like it was said many times, Counter Strike Global Offensive client is designed to run optimal without changing anything.
We will mention additional command:
It lets Windows Window Manager (DWM) to handle the game’s frame directly rather than copying it twice, shouldn’t really affect performance much on higher end PCs, but if you are on slower specifications, try this command. It also should speed up your alt-tabbing ability, where in our case it made it instant, but results may vary.
UPDATE! Here are the latest Launch Options that you must use to get the best performance.
Step 3: Disable Steam Overlay
Easy way to boost your FPS by disabling what is not really necessary to play CSGO. One of the things is Steam Overlay that opens when you press SHIFT + TAB while in-game. To disable it, right click on Counter Strike Global Offensive on your games list on Steam and select Properties.
Remove the tick from Steam Overlay, that should yield more frames per seconds while playing. Notice that we can do that per game basis, so if you need better performance from other games, just repeat that process for whatever game you want.
If you don’t have HTC Vive or other VR headsets, remove Desktop Game Theatre at the same time. It’s clogging system resources, while we are actually trying to limit what is running in the background.
Step 4: Verify Local Files
While we are at Counter Strike’s Properties window, you can also verify integrity of you game files. It won’t do any harm, might download some corrupted files again. Find the button on the photo below and just run it while we are at it:
Step 5: Disable Panorama Videos
This step is optional and has no impact on in-game performance. It can be followed to disable Panorama Update videos playing while in Main Menu. Keep in mind that some people report that it breaks their game and it doesn’t start, but it’s very easy to reverse this step.
Go to this folder location (or something similar, depends on your installation drive etc):
C :\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Global Offensive\csgo\panorama
You will find a folder called ‘videos’ inside it. Simply right click on it and rename it to something else. We recommend ‘videos123’ for example. From now on, Counter Strike won’t be able to access the background video files played in the Main Menu, which should make your game menu more responsive on slower PCs.
Step 6: Full Screen Optimizations
This is a great tip to improve your CSGO overal performance and it worked for many users all over the internet. Games are usually designed to work in full screen exclusive mode, which makes sense. If you decide to play a game, then nothing else matters, right? Find your Counter Strike main .exe file location, it usually sits there:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Global Offensive
Right click on csgo.exe and select Properties. Browse to Compatibility tab and then tick Disable Full Screen Optimizations.
Step 7: Empty Steam Web Browser Cache
We will have a look at Steam’s build-in web browser, that you can open while in-game by pressing SHIFT + TAB and then selecting Open Browser. The cache gets cluttered over time with temporary files you download when visiting websites while playing CSGO. Make sure to empty it, especially if you decided to remove Steam Overlay in previous steps.
Just open main Steam window and look for top menu, select Properties and access Web Browser tab, where you can click Delete Web Browser Cache.
Step 8: Optimize Sound Settings
Open up your Windows menu by hitting the Windows key and type ‘sound settings’. Open it up and scroll down to find Sound Control Panel. This should bring up the old style window with all your sound related devices (eg. headsets, external cards, speakers). We will have to go through all the devices you can see and use and right click them to access their Properties.
In our example we have started with Headphones. Go to Enhancements tab and deselect all and click Disable All. Go to Advanced and make sure it’s at maximum of 2 channels, 16bit, 44100 Hz. This gives you great sound quality, there is no point selecting anything higher than that, unless you know what you are doing (eg. you are music producer etc). Follow up with Spatial Sound tab and deselect everything there. You don’t need any of that and sound is a very specific subject for CSGO, you want stable, quality sound without any enhancements to pin point enemies locations easily.
It is also HIGHLY recommended to go through all the devices you can see and find the Driver tab there, check the date of the driver and try to look on device’s specific manufacturer website for updates drivers. So many people out there are using very old drivers causing in-game stutters. Update your drivers to make CS more stable and increase it’s overal performance and desired framerate.
TIP: If you have branded laptop for example, check the manufacturers website for sound drivers, instead going straight to other websites. Always check dates of drivers and try to go for newest ones. For example Dell might have newer Realtek drivers for their laptops. Just double check everything.
Step 9: Autoexec FPS Increase Commands
It’s not a myth, some commands that you can store inside your autoexec will generate more FPS simply by disabling some in-game effects that can be just too much for slower systems. We will have a look at few of them, starting at force preload command that is frequently advised to be put into your launch options, where reality is you are probably stuck with freezing / stuttering game:
cl_forcepreload [1 or 0]
This command has massive potential to cause massive stutters while popping around the corners. It could however help very slow laptops / PCs. It’s definitely recommended to keep it switched off  and look for your freezing or stutter issues elsewhere. Here is CSGO developer comment on the topic.
Ahh, cl_forcepreload 1. Or as I like to call it “cl_massive_hitches_at_surprising_times 1”
We removed this from TF2 because it causes exactly the behavior that the OP is seeing. You almost definitely do not want this var set, ever ever ever.https://www.reddit.com/r/GlobalOffensive/comments/adq2a4/never_install_csgo_on_an_old_hard_drive/edlbh3d/
r_dynamic [1 or 0]
It disables certain dynamic shadows, which we don’t use many in CSGO and are not very useful. It will, for example, stop rendering flash effect when flashbang is thrown. Use it with  to disable these effects, just improve FPS a little bit.
Very useful command that will clear blood, bullet holes etc from the map. Less things on map, less resources needed, more FPS. The disadvantage is that when you clear decals you won’t see that enemy has been hit in that specific location as the blood stain on the walls / ground will be gone. Recommended to have this option binded to, for example RELOAD key and clear the map environment every time you reload. INSPECT key would also be alright for the job.
All these commands should be stored in your autoexec. config. We have a separate, custom autoexec config generator that have these commands build in, just select them and generate your custom autoexec file.
To read more about autoexec, just head up to our How To Create Autoexec Config File For CS:GO.
TIP: Always have a copy of you autoexec config in the cloud, eg. Google Drive. You can store all the useful commands there, including your custom crosshair, viewmodel and binds.
Step 10: Disable Startup Services
You have to keep your system in the best form, run as less programs in the background as possible, to achieve the best Counter Strike frames. We will look into Task Manager Startup Programs and msconfig Services Tab to kill unneccessary programs that might be hindering our machine’s performance.
Go ahead and hit Windows + R key, type
Click on ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ first, we don’t look into them this time as it’s very advanced stuff and would be for separate tutorial. Look at the names and disable everything that is not ESSENTIAL. You don’t need FaceIt service to run at the start, you only need to run it whenever you feel like playing some pugs for example, that’s why we have it disabled. We don’t need Google services to run all the time. As you can see some services there are in ‘Running’ status, because it’s been few months since we’ve last checked them. It’s a good idea to revisit msconfig every now and then as they will start piling up with possible negative impact on your PC’s performance and FPS drops in-game.
TIP: Disable ‘everything’ and see what breaks, if anything at all. Most services will restart itself when needed. Revisit this app every few months.
The next step would be Windows Task Manager.
Hit CTRL + SHIFT + ESC together to open up Task Manager. Browse to Processes tab and look over what is taking up the resources. You might get some nice tips on what to uninstall from your PC that you don’t really need. Also look at Startup tab and disable everything that you don’t need to run all the time. Do you really need Skype to start up with Windows? Disable everything and then you can always comeback and enable what is really important for You.
Step 11: Notifications And Focus Assist
It’s a good idea to disable all the notifications in Windows from apps like Cortana, Microsoft Store, Skype etc. Hit Windows keys and start typing ‘Notifications & Action Settings’.
Disable all notifications, especially on low end laptops and PCs. Click on Focus Assist settings and we recommend to disable all of that too. There is no need for that if you want to milk all the possible performance from your gaming machine and get as many FPS as possible.
Step 12: Game Bar And Game Mode
These are two separate things. You want Windows Game Mode enabled and Game Bar disabled.
Open up Windows Menu and just type Game Bar. Disable it when the window opens. It should free some additional memory and disable Game Bar process. You can confirm it with Windows + G key that should no longer work (Game Bar menu won’t open anymore).
Open the menu again and type Game Mode. Make sure it is enabled. This mode was brought to us by Microsoft with Creators Update and overall there is a perception that it doesn’t have negative impact on FPS in Counter Strike Global Offensive.
Step 13: Background Apps
As simple as it sounds, there are tens of background apps running at all times while you are fighting the massive stutters on de_mirage. Access them via Windows menu and type ‘Background Apps’. You know what to do – disable them all now!
Step 14: Privacy Settings
Open the Windows menu and type ‘Privacy Settings’. Disable them all. You don’t really need them hogging your precious CPU cycles. Also, you should take care when it comes to privacy and share minimum information about yourself to 3rd party companies. Disabling these doesn’t yield massive results, but remember we are already on step 14 and every little step paints bigger picture when it comes to achieving as many FPS in CSGO as possible.
Step 15: Power Settings
This is very important. You should have your PC set to maximum performance while gaming. Open Windows menu and type ‘Power and sleep settings’. Within the window, find ‘Additional power settings’.
Only use High Performance or similar settings on your gaming PC.
Step 16: Clean Up %temp% Folder
If you don’t know about it already, you will have a nice surprise. Hit the Windows key and type %temp%. Click on the folder and open it up. These are all the temporary files that could possibly take up precious gigabytes of data on your drives.
Empty the folder, none of these files are needed for the system anymore.
TIP: Keep coming back to this folder every few months if you are running out of space on your system installation drive.
Step 17: GPU Settings
To get maximum FPS possible, you need to consider switching some options around in your graphics card settings. These should be labelled similar on both NVIDIA and AMD systems, although we are going to use NVIDIA control panel in this example.
Right click on your desktop and select Nvidia Control Panel.
Set it to preference Performance and hit apply then close the window. This example shows a window open on laptop running RTX2070. Your window might look different as it’s more advanced on desktop PCs. Look for similar settings in your AMD software.
Step 18: Remove GeForce Experience
If you run GeForce Experience, consider uninstalling it to get some extra FPS. It doesn’t have massive impact on your performance if you are already over 200+ FPS and is actually quite good bit of software. In any other scenarios, when you are trying to squeeze last possible frames, remove if from the system and install just the driver from Nvidia website.
- Remove your current GPU drivers + Experience using DDU
- Download fresh drivers from Nvidia
- Extract the downloaded file with 7zip program to a folder
- Open Windows Device Manager, find your GPU
- Click Update Driver and browse to your folder
This will install only the necessary driver for your GPU and that will be the most effective way to run CSGO without anything decreasing your FPS.
TIP: Try installing older drivers, some players report better FPS with older drivers, that can be found on Nvidia website [version 378.78 2017.3.9]
Step 19: Unnecessary Software
We often collect tens or hundreds of gigabytes of software that we no longer use. We also install stuff we don’t really use on daily basis. Try to go over your installed programs and remove some to free up drive space and running processes in the background. If you play alone, you don’t need that Discord running in the background, eating your FPS like crazy. Open up your Apps & Features section in Windows menu and go through whatever you don’t need.
Step 20: Keep Your PC Clean
Can’t stress that enough. You should clean inside your PC every few months. Dust covering your fans, layers of it lying over your hard drives will have serious negative impact on your PC performance. Your temperatures will go up and nobody likes high temperatures. Cooler is ALWAYS better (except when your central heating isn’t working at home). Give your PC a proper clean up every few months and make it live longer, so you can play more Counter Strike.
Your CPU is very important part that plays a major role in CSGO overall performance and your FPS counts. It need good cooling and the photo on the left is extreme example of what we don’t want.
STEP 21: LAPTOP PERFORMANCE
Is your PC / Laptop thermal throttling? This is one of the bigger issues on gaming laptops.
Check out our new guide on repasting CPU / GPU to drop idle temperatures by nearly 10 degrees!
Step 22: Scan Your PC
Ever heard of Malwarebytes software? The free version is all you will ever need for good malware scan. It can be downloaded at https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download/thankyou/
Scan your PC frequently every few weeks or after you download some sketchy stuff and want to make sure it stay clean. Malware living inside your operating system can have massive impact on yours PC performance.
Step 22: Optional CPU/GPU Overclock
You might want to consider squeezing more power of your components. It’s not always better to buy new CPU or GPU if you have unlocked versions of CPU or you run your graphics card on factory settings. It’s very easy process to overclock and this can give you guaranteed FPS boost. Of course it depends of what components live inside your PC, but it’s worth hitting uncle Google with your processor and GPU model and see if it’s worth it. Some people are affraid of overclocking in case they set their PCs on fire, where in reality it’s nothing like that. CPU and GPU have in-built protection against failures, like thermal throttling etc. You can always look for help on various forums if unsure.
Hopefully some of the 22 tips on how to boost your FPS in CSGO worked wonders for You and now you are running way higher refresh rate than before. You can run the FPS benchmark map again to compare, but keep in mind, that the results might vary, depends how many steps you’ve decided to skip, how well your system runs in the background. Ideal scenario would be fresh system install, debloating the system, then fresh drivers and then this optimization guide. We will keep this guide updated with more tips in the future, this is only the beginning of the fight for more FPS!
If you have any other ideas that you wish were added here, leave a comment or contact us on the Contact Page.
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