Best CS2 graphics settings to fix low FPS, stuttering and input lag

Best CS2 graphics settings to fix low FPS, stuttering and input lag
Amaar Chowdhury Updated on by

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If you’re looking for the best CS2 graphics settings, we’ve covered the best options to reduce lag and keep your frame rate high.

In light of Counter Strike 2’s recent launch, we’re going to gear up by getting the best graphics optimisations ready for you. While modern games are concerned with high fidelity and gorgeous graphics, competitive FPS games tend to veer away from this and instead focus on tight gameplay. CS2 is one of those games, favoring a high frame rate over textures. While the game has now been ported to Source 2, it’s still not a particularly hard game to run. Before you get started though – you’re going to want to get hooked on the best settings for CS2 – including sensitivity, audio, HUD and more.

Players are going to be streaming in from a range of different platforms and different gaming set-ups. One of the best things about Counter Strike is that people can competitively play from their Macs and Windows machines alike, with Linux also a possibility. There’s also a plethora of other options you might want to sort out, one of the being using the best crosshair codes in CS2.

Best graphics settings for CS2

An image of me testing out the best graphics settings for Counter Strike 2
An image of Amaar Chowdhury testing CS2’s graphics settings

Whether you’re looking for the best graphics settings for performance in Counter Strike 2, or you’re looking for a high fidelity experience, you’re going to have a fair few different options to fiddle with. The improved Source 2 engine, while looking much more advanced that the original, has also brought a few performance related debuffs. This is expected – considering the much enhanced visuals of the game.

While we’re going to be covering different settings, there’s some settings that you’re going to want to set as we’ve proscribed:

  • Color Mode: Computer Monitor
  • Brightness: 130%
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 or 4:3 (the latter is the preferred choice of many competitive players)
  • Resolution: Native
  • Display mode: Fullscreen
  • Refresh rate: Native
  • Laptop Power Savings: Disabled (if applicable)

You might also be interested in finding out about how to show your FPS in CS2, and what we think the best resolution and refresh rate will be for the game.

Here’s our different graphics optimisations for a range of playstyles:

Best graphics settings for Counter Strike 2 (performance and high FPS)

If you’re struggling with performance in Counter Strike 2, you’re going to need to optimise your game settings. Here’s what we would do if you don’t have one of the best gaming PCs for CS2.

  • MSAA Mode – Low
  • Model / Texture Detail – Low
  • Shader Detail – Low
  • Particle Detail – Low
  • Ambient Occlusion – Disabled
  • High Dynamic Range – Performance
  • FSR – Performance

If you’re playing on a slightly better PC or gaming laptop for CS2, you’re going to be able to bump a few details up, such as texture and particle quality. However, if you’re still experiencing graphical issues, you’re going to want to tone them down a bit.

Best graphics settings for Counter Strike 2 (high fidelity)

If you’re playing Counter Strike 2 on a gaming PC that has one of the best CPUs or the best GPUs, you’re going to be able to pump up the fidelity of the game. However, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing this as playing on the lowest fidelity settings is going to ensure that you have minimal input lag.

  • MSAA Mode – 8x
  • Model / Texture Detail – Very High
  • Shader Detail – High
  • Particle Detail – Very High
  • Ambient Occlusion – Medium
  • High Dynamic Range – Quality
  • FSR – Quality

If you’re playing competitive, you should use the performance settings we listed in the section above this one. We’d only really recommend the fidelity settings for anyone who has an absolute monster rig of a PC. Not because the game is difficult to run, just that the difference between a win and defeat could be decided in a matter of frames, and you’re going to want to give yourself the best advantage.

How to reduce input lag in CS2

Some players have already reported that the game has issues with input lag. Likely due to the implementation of the new Source 2 engine, here’s what can be done about it:

  • Disable Nvidia Reflex
  • Enable Low Latency in Nvidia settings
  • Disable Fullscreen Optimization
  • Use the best performance graphics settings we listed above

This should help reduce any latency and input lag in Counter Strike 2, though there’s no guaranteed fix here.

We’re going to be keeping an eye out for the latest updates to Counter Strike 2’s graphics settings, so make sure to check back in with us periodically for the latest. In the meantime, you might be interested in reading about the best CS2 tips which will help you get up to scratch with the game’s latest features and meta mechanics.