Best Counter Strike 2 Settings: Audio, Crosshair, Graphics & More

This is the Ultimate Counter Strike 2 Settings Guide, Discussing, Video, Graphics, Nvidia, AMD, Windows, Mouse, and Crosshair Settings In 2024.

Counter-Strike 2 has been released, and you’ve got it installed to relive the fun of CS: GO and check out the new stuff. The big difference in CS2 is that it uses a better engine called Source 2, which makes the game look prettier with improved graphics and maps.

However, this new engine needs a little more computer power, so let’s talk about adjusting the game’s graphics settings to make it run even smoother on your PC and get the best performance for competitive play.

Update: Devs fixed the threading issue in a CS2 update on 4/2/2024 which was causing frame rate hitches in the game.

I’ve benchmarked Counter Strike 2 on a PC with the following specs:

  • OS: Windows 11 Pro 23H2
  • System: Lenovo Legion 7i Laptop
  • CPU: Intel i7-11800H
  • GPU: NVIDIA RTX 3070 8GB
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4
  • Storage: Samsung 1TB SSD Gen 4
Key Takeaways

CS2 requires you to have at least an Intel i5 750 for CPU, DX11 compatible GPU, and 8 GB of RAM for CS2 to run on your PC.


The following settings affect CS2 performance on your PC:

  • Multisampling Anti-Aliasing Mode
  • Global Shadow Quality
  • Model / Texture Detail
  • Particle Detail
  • Ambient Occlusion

Counter-Strike 2 is a pretty lightweight game that doesn’t require a high-end PC. I’ve also not encountered much bugs or glitches in the game. Despite upgrading the visuals from CS: GO (as discussed in Asad’s review of CS2), the game still runs like butter and doesn’t have problems like stuttering or FPS drops.

Best Counter Strike 2 Video Settings

CS 2 Video settings
Counter Strike 2 Video Settings – [Image captured by eXputer]
Counter-Strike 2 hasn’t become overly demanding on your GPU (graphics card). To achieve the best performance, you’ll need to explore and optimize these video settings, which can lead to higher FPS. More FPS generally results in a smoother and more responsive game, giving you an advantage over your in-game opponents.

CS 2 Basic video
Counter Strike 2 Basic Video Settings – [Image captured by eXputer]
Here’s a summary of the both basic and advanced video settings in CS2 you should be using:

Main Menu Background Scenery Personal Preference
Brightness Your Choice
Aspect Ratio 16:9 / 4:3
Resolution Monitor’s Native Resolution
Display Mode Fullscreen
Laptop Power Savings Off
Global Shadow Quality Low
Model / Texture Detail Medium
Texture Streaming Disabled
Effect Details Medium – High
Shader Details Low
Boost Player Contrast Disabled
Multicore Rendering Enabled
Multisample Anti-Aliasing Mode None
FXAA Anti-Aliasing Mode On
Texture Filtering Mode Trilinear (Low-end PCs) or 8x / 16x
Wait For Vertical Sync  Disabled

And there you have it, you have the best in-game video settings to boost your FPS in CS2. 

I’ve compared some graphics settings here to show you to difference between their different presets: 

  • Texture Filtering CS2
    Texture Filtering

Bonus Window Optimization Tips

Window Tweaks CSGO 2
Window Settings For Counter Strike 2 – [Image captured by eXputer]
Now we’ll adjust a few things in your Windows 10 or 11 settings to make your game run faster and more smoothly so you don’t run into problems like frame drops.

  • Update Windows: Ensure your system is up to date to fix issues and improve performance.
  • Enable Game Mode: Enhances gaming performance by prioritizing resources for your game.
  • Set CS2 to High Priority: Prioritize Counter Strike 2 in Task Manager to allocate more resources to the game.
  • Enable Ultimate Performance: Boost your computer’s performance by enabling Ultimate Performance mode in Power Options.
  • Disable Unnecessary Background Programs: Close programs running in the background to free up system resources.
  • Disable Full-Screen Optimization: Test FPS with both enabled and disabled to optimize performance.
  • Clean Up Junk Files: Remove unnecessary files to improve game performance and prevent slowdowns.

Best GPU Settings For Counter-Strike 2

CS 2 Nvidia and AMD
Counter Strike 2 graphics Settings – [Image captured by eXputer]
I recommend tweaking your GPU-specific settings to get the maximum performance in CS2.

Nvidia

Here’s a quick summary of Nvidia control panel settings you should use for CS2:

Image Sharpening Player’s Choice
Anisotropic Filtering Off
Ambient Occlusion Off
Antialiasing FXAA Off
Antialiasing Gamma Correction On
Antialiasing Mode Application Controlled
CUDA – GPUs All
DSR Factors Off
Low Latency Mode Off
Max Frame Rate Off
Monitor Technology On (G-Sync only)
Multi-Frame Sampled AA (MFAA)  Off
OpenGL Rendering GPU Select Your GPU
Power Management Mode Prefer Maximum Performance
Preferred Refresh Rate Highest Possible
Shader Cache On
Texture Filtering – Anisotropic Sample Optimization On
Texture Filtering – Negative LOD Bias Allow
Texture Filtering Quality High Performance
Trilinear Optimization Texture Filtering
Threaded Optimization On
Triple Buffering Off
Vertical Sync Off
Virtual Reality Pre-Rendered Frames 1

These settings should give you high FPS while maintaining excellent visual quality for spotting enemies. Just make sure your Nvidia drivers are up to date. You can either check for updates on the Nvidia website or use GeForce Experience to do so.

I also recommend exploring eXputer’s complete guide on Best Nvidia Control Panel settings.

Quick note: The changes you make in the Global Settings of the Nvidia Control Panel will affect all your games. If you want to adjust settings specifically for Counter Strike 2, head to “Program Settings” add the game here, and then tweak the settings.

AMD

A quick run-down of the best AMD Radeon settings to use for CS2:

Graphics Profile eSports
Radeon Anti-Lag Enabled
Radeon Chill Disabled
Radeon Image Sharpening Enabled
Sharpness Player’s Choice
Radeon Enhanced Sync Disabled
Wait For Vertical Refresh Always Off
Anti-Aliasing Level 2x
Anti-Aliasing Method Multisampling 
Morphological Anti-Aliasing Disabled
Anisotropic Filtering Disabled
Texture Filtering Quality Performance
Anti-Aliasing Override Application Settings
Surface Format Optimization Enabled
Tessellation Mode Override Application Settings
Maximum Tessellation Level 8x
OpenGL Triple Buffering Disabled

We have tried and tested dozens of settings, but these AMD settings are the most balanced. First, make sure that your AMD Drivers are updated to the latest version. Only then you be able to reap the most benefits out of these settings.

Counter-Strike 2 Audio Settings In-Game

CSGO 2 Audio settings
Counter Strike 2 Audio Settings – [Image captured by eXputer]
Music Volume 0%
Audio Device Stereo Headphones
L/R Isolation 0%
VOIP Volume 50%
Perspective Correction Yes
CS 2 Audio
Counter Strike 2 Best Audio Settings – [Image captured by eXputer]
Counter Strike 2, you can adjust how the game sounds to fit your preferences, but there’s no one-size-fits-all setting. Listening to things like gunshots and footsteps helps you know where enemies are These settings are a good starting point; you can tweak them until you’re comfortable with the in-game audio.

Bonus: Enable Loudness Equalization

In Windows, there’s a feature called “Loudness Equalization” for your sound devices. It makes the soft sounds louder, and the loud sounds a bit softer, making everything more even. This change applies to all the sounds on your computer, but it can make the audio in Counter Strike 2 sound clearer and better.

Windows Sound system setting cs2
Sound System for Counter Strike 2 – [Image captured by eXputer]
  1. To use this feature, go to the search bar and type “System Sounds”. Click on the first result to open the window’s audio settings. 
  2. After accessing Windows sound settings, go to the “Playback” tab and right-click on your current audio device (headphones). Then, select properties. 
    Window setting loudness equalization cs2
    Counter Strike 2 Loudness Equalization – [Image captured by eXputer]
  3. Go to the “Enhancements” tab and select “Loudness Equalization.” Click on OK to save the changes. 

Now, audio sources in CS2  will be much clearer and louder, even at lower volumes.

Best Crosshair Settings For Counter Strike 2

CS 2 crosshair settings
Best Counter Strike 2 Crosshair Settings – [Image captured by eXputer]
In CS2, crosshairs play a major role in aiming properly. Having a good crosshair can mean the difference between nailing headshots with pinpoint accuracy and missing by a few pixels.

If you play competitively and want to have the same best settings the Counter Strike 2 Pros use, then this section is for you. Here are the best crosshair settings (in my opinion) for CS2. Your preference may vary.

Color Red / Green / Blue
Crosshair Style Classic Static
Center Dot Removed
Crosshair’s Length 3.0 or 3.5
Thickness 1.1
Gap -3.0
Crosshair Outline Disabled
Deployed Weapon Gap No
Show Player Crosshairs To Everyone Enabled

Choosing these settings helped me get a much more accurate crosshair in the game, making nailing those pinpoint shots much easier. 

You can also adjust your crosshair to resemble the ones Pros use, but I recommend using the one you feel comfortable with. 

Best Launch Options For Counter Strike 2

CSGO 2 Launching options
Best Counter Strike 2 launching options – [Image captured by eXputer]
To get the best performance in Counter Strike 2, it’s crucial to use the right launch options. There are many launch options to choose from, and each has its own purpose.

However, knowing what each option does is important because using them incorrectly can cause unexpected problems. For an optimal gaming experience in the game, I suggest experimenting with our recommended launch options, which have been selected to help you achieve the best performance.

To set these launch options, follow these straightforward steps:

  • Open Steam and locate Counter-Strike: Global Offensive 2 in your game library.
  • Right-click on Counter Strike 2 and select “Properties.”
  • In the Properties window, click on “Set Launch Options.”
  • Paste the provided lines into the designated box and click “OK.”

Enable Developer’s Console

This option enables the developer’s console command without activating it in the game.

Set CS2 as Priority

-high

Utilize this setting to instruct your computer to prioritize CS2, impacting the performance of other applications running outside the game. We do not recommend using this if, for instance, you are streaming CS2.

Adjust Framerate Cap

+fps_max 0

Replace the zero in this command with a specific number to set a framerate cap for the game. Setting it to zero, however, removes the framerate cap altogether.

Disable Joystick/Controller Input

-nojoy

This option turns off input from a joystick or controller, potentially enhancing performance.

Skip Intro Video

-novid

This option eliminates the intro video before launching the game, saving several seconds for a quicker entry into the game.

Turn Off Soft Particles

-softparticlesdefaultoff

Enhance game performance by using this command to turn off soft particles in the game.

Disable Blood and Gore Effects

+violence_hblood 0

If you’re squeamish or simply prefer not to see blood and gore particle effects in the game, you can use this command to disable them.

Best Mouse Settings

Best Mouse Settings CS2
Counter Strike 2 Best Mouse Settings – [Image captured by eXputer]
In Counter Strike 2, your mouse is like your main weapon. You need to set up your mouse correctly and practice with those settings to get good at the game.

Now, there’s no one-size-fits-all mouse setting that works for everyone. So, in this section, I’ll help you figure out the best mouse settings that suit you.

  • Low DPI Settings: Ranging from 100 to 400, these offer precision but require larger hand movements, ideal for long-range weapons.
  • Medium DPI Settings: Between 600 to 1000, they balance precision and speed, making them versatile for various playstyles.
  • High DPI Settings: Starting from 1200, these allow for swift movements but may be harder to control, beneficial for quick flick shots but not ideal for long-range weapons.

Best Keybinds For Counter Strike 2

CS 2 Key bindings
Counter Strike 2 BEST KEY BINDINGS – [Image captured by eXputer]
Selecting the right keybindings can make a big difference in your success rate. You need quick access to all your tools to be highly effective in combat.

This means that you can instantly throw a Molotov or grenade at your enemy when an opportunity arises. Keybindings should match your style of play, but I’ve gathered some of the most commonly used ones in Counter Strike 2, including those favored by professional players. Let’s take a look at them.

Movement Keybinds

CS 2 movement keys
Counter Strike 2 Movement Keys – [Image captured by eXputer]
  1. Toggle Inventory Display, Set it to I
  2. The Movement Keys will be W, A, S, and D by default, which is the best option.
  3. The Strafing keys should be set to A & D for better evasive movements.
  4. Set the Walk to Shift. People are known to use caps lock to toggle walking but it’s not the most popular choice as CS2 now lets you choose to toggle walk. 
  5. The Spacebar is always the default for Jump
  6. For Duck, you can either use CTRL or C

Weapon & Tools Keybinds in Counter Strike 2

CS 2 Weapon keys
Counter Strike 2 Best Weapon Keys – [Image captured by eXputer]
  1. The Use function should be set to either F or E
  2. Fire and Secondly Fire are defaulted to the right and left mouse clicks
  3. For Reload, the best key bind is also the default one, R
  4. Use Mouse3 for Radial Weapon Menu
  5. Using the scroll up and down is the most intuitive for Next and Previous Weapons. 
  6. Last Weapon Used is a really important feature and should be set to your extra mouse side buttons or Q

Other key binds are the best in the default state. Let’s move over to tools keybinds.

CS 2 Items key binds
Counter Strike 2 Items Keys – [Image captured by eXputer]
Here, most of the key binds will stay in default form. Only the important ones are as follows: 

  1. Set the Explosive & Traps to 5 key
  2. Put the HE Grenades to X
  3. The Flashbang Grenades should be set to F
  4. The Smoke Grenades can be bound to side-mouse buttons, i.e. mouse4
  5. Set the Decoy Grenade to Z
  6. Put the Molotov Coctail to C

Using these tools quickly in the heat of the battle can turn the tide. So, putting them in easy-to-access keybinds can help you use them in time of need.

Ending Words 

Considering I ran CS2 on a laptop version of Nvidia RTX 3070, I was getting consistence 120-160 FPS on 1600p resolution with my tested/optimized settings. Now, these FPS may sound like overkill but higher frames do give you a significant edge in competitive play.

As for any performance hitches or bugs, I’ve encountered none at all. However, I did encounter some reports on Steam forums and Reddit that CS2 is performing badly for several players.

I am fairly confident this is a one-off thing as developers do keep pushing out performance passes for the game. If you’re one of those players inflicted with low FPS in CS2, try using the settings I’ve recommended in this guide. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference they make in improving the performance of CS2 on your PC.

Improve Your Gaming Skills
eXputer now provides players with personalized Counter-Strike 2 coaching sessions with professional eSports players, where they can improve their skills and level up their game. So, what are you waiting for? Head on over and book your session.
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Haider Khan is our error guides writer who loves to tinker around with operating systems and game files to find practical solutions to video game issues. He then crafts easy-to-follow error fix guides based on his findings. He’s also a Battlefield veteran who likes to rack up some Ws in his spare time. Learn some more about his gaming journey on his Steam profile. Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Journalism || Successfully Troubleshot Over 200 Games || Mainly Covers Error Fix & Game Settings 

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