Optimize Your Settings
When you first pick up a video game, it’s easy to stick with the default settings as you first get your feet wet with the game. However, the more you play the game and the more talented at it you become, the more you may wish to make it your own and customize it to play and behave the way you like it to. If you don’t know how to configure these settings properly, people who have already played these games are the best resource to use. That’s especially true with a game like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with its robust community of professional players who make their settings known and available for anybody to use. There are a variety of settings that you can tweak to make CS:GO fit your play style, including sensitivity, zoom sensitivity, mouse, display, video, keyboard, radar and launch options. Csgopedia.com provides a solid overview guide of the settings preferred by the professional players out there.
The mouse a player uses and the sensitivity settings both affect the sensitivity of the game. Simply put, sensitivity is how fast a player’s character moves relative to the input by the human player. DPI is a measure of the hardware sensitivity at work in a player’s mouse and sensitivity is the setting used in the software. A measure called “eDPI” combines the two. Now, it’s important to note that riflers and AWPers differ in the world of CS:GO. Combined, the average among CS:GO professionals is about 910. When you split it between riflers (an average of 895) and AWPers (972), the difference is pretty clear. Play around with these settings to find your favorite sensitivity preference. Most professionals use lower DPI, as tracking issues can arise when using higher DPI. Sensitivity itself is dependent on the hardware you’re using, so checking the csgopedia’s list of Pro Player Settings and Gear List is essential here.
Zoom sensitivity is the same idea, except it measures the speed of a player’s aim while zoomed. In this case, most players, professionals included, use the default setting of 1. This can obviously be changed if a player is concerned with mobility while unscoped and true aim while scoped. Again, play with this setting, but keep in mind that most players are comfortable with the CS:GO default.
Polling rate, acceleration and raw input are all settings to consider when configuring your mouse preferences. The polling rate determines how frequently the hardware sends information to your computer. For example, if a mouse’s polling rate is set to 125Hz, its position on the screen will update every eight milliseconds. A setting of 500Hz means it will be updated every millisecond. The difference here is huge, but the difference between 1,000 and 500 isn’t much at all (one millisecond, to be exact). Most professionals use 1,000Hz, but some do prefer 500. Mouse acceleration means that physical movement of the mouse makes it go further. While you may be able to get used to this, 96 percent of professional players don’t use mouse acceleration. Raw input means that CS:GO ignores anything coming in from outside sources. The setting minimizes factors like operating-system interference. About 71 percent of professional players turn on raw input.
Quite simply, every professional player polled by csgopedia uses a 144Hz monitor. That’s the highest possible setting, so if you’d like to play like a professional, that’s a good setting to aim for. In terms of settings like aspect ratio, scaling mode and resolution, there tends to be a consensus among professionals, but some do dissent and use more unusual settings. Most professionals use a 4:3 aspect ratio, and most prefer to use the black bars on the top and bottom of the screen rather than stretching the picture. Most also prefer to use 1024×768 resolution. Again, these are all settings that you can mess with to find your preference, but these are the ones used most by the professionals. The most contested display stat is the black bars versus stretched screen. About 61 percent of pros use black bars while 39 percent use a stretched screen. Those are pretty high percentages on both sides, so be sure you check out both settings when determining your preferred style of play.
There are many different subsettings in the video category, and professionals are pretty definitive on their choices in these areas.
- Brightness: Keep this high so you can see in dark places of the map.
- Color Mode: Use Computer Monitor; it’s the intended way to play the game.
- Laptop power savings: Disable this or the game will slow down significantly.
- Global shadow quality: ProSettings.net recommends this is kept high to see enemies better in the dark.
- Effect Detail: Keep this low, unless you have a powerful enough PC. A higher setting makes the game look prettier but doesn’t provide much of a competitive advantage.
- Shader Detail: Just like the Effect Detail setting, keep this low unless your PC can handle it.
- FXAA Anti-Aliasing: Disable this to avoid lag.
- Wait for Vertical Sync: Turn this off, as it can also create lag.
- Motion Blur: Disable this feature, as it can obscure enemies.
Be sure to use a mechanical keyboard so your inputs are always recognized. Furthermore, use keybinds to make your grenade-throwing more versatile. Keybinds essentially allow you to throw a different kind of grenade with the press of a key, rather than switching between grenade types and using a single grenade key. Use the Keyboard/Mouse menu in the Options section of the CS:GO settings to alter your grenade binds.
These settings really need to be tweaked depending on your setup, but one fact is crystal-clear: headphones are better than speakers. Use a good pair of headphones and be sure to configure the game audio to Headphones under Settings, Options, Audio, Speaker Configuration, Headphones. In the end, it’s up to the player to configure CS:GO to his or her liking. Play around with all of these settings and see what works best. Many websites exist to help you with preset configurations to make it even easier to make CS:GO’s gameplay your own.