This guide was created to help out fellow CSGO beginners on how to maximize your ingame skill level. There are many
other guides out there explaining how to peek, teamwork, recoil patterns, etc. But not too many go in depth about other
elements of CSGO, such as gaming peripherals, video settings, mouse settings, etc.
Hope it's helpful.
Counter-Strike Global Offensive
In Nov 2011 a closed beta was released, and a select few got to participate in Valve/HP new CS game, Counter-Strike
Global Offensive, which we all play today. Original y, the closed beta was met with very negative reviews. Some saying
that it didn't even feel like Counter-Strike. However Valve/HP listened to the suggestions and has made significant
improvements since. However still to this day there are some very serious bugs in this game. But I won't get into them
as it's not relevant to this guide.
Also for the first time, Valve invited professional Counter-Strike players to Seattle to test out their beta, and provide
feedback to tweak the game accordingly. Released on August 21, 2012, it attracted a lot new players. The release was
still plagued with a lot of things that needed changing such as recoil patterns, etc. However the hardcore CSers still
refused to play the game, maybe because they can't afford to upgrade their PC or because they simply do not want to
learn new game mechanics. To this day, on Steam more people still log more hours weekly in 1.6 and Source than in
1. Gaming Peripherals
2. Mouse Settings
4. Launch Options
5. Graphic Settings
6. Game Settings
1. Gaming Peripherals:
Before getting into your game settings, we need to discuss your PC accessories
Prices are in USD taken from www.amazon.com
Note: I am not advertizing what you should buy, based on reviews and my
past experiences I am "recommending" certain peripherals.
Your mouse is the most important accessory for FPS genre PC games. You CANNOT have this piece of equipment failing
on you while gaming. It needs to be top notch.
There are 2 types of mice, ergonomic or ambidextrous and there are 2 types of sensors, laser and optical. Please read
up and see what's right for you before making any purchases. Ideal y, you want an optical mouse for FPS gaming as
Lasers tend to require high upkeep, constant cleaning, and can have positive acceleration.
Intelli Mouse 3.0
Razer DeathAdder 2013
This is the 2nd most important item on our list today. In order to play
successfully you need a proper sized mousepad for your new gaming mouse.
The bigger your mousepad the more room you'l have to move and you can
lower your sensitivity to a more suitable range (explained in-depth below)
There are many different companies out there but the best for mousepads is
SteelSeries. I would at least get a SteelSeries QcK ($9.99) to get you started,
but if you have room (1.5ft of space) then I would upgrade to a SteelSeries
You need a headset for mainly 2 reasons in CS.
1- Hearing your enemy (nades, footsteps, jumps, ladders, etc)
2- Communicating with your team
Obviously a budget gamer won't be able to afford one of the nicer products on the market. So here are 3 headsets of
various price ranges. I personally wouldn't spend below $30 on a headset for gaming because you would be throwing
Creative Labs Fatal1ty Gaming
SteelSeries Siberia v2
Real y any keyboard wil do. However the main thing is you want to be able to hit multiple keys at once
(w+d+q+Space+CTRL ALL AT ONE MAN). And also PS/2 keyboards are better than USB so keep that in mind. You'll also
want something with a full shift key, standard layout, etc. If you are actually interested in mechanical keyboards I would
suggest buying a non-gaming brand. Avoid SteelSeries/Razer and look for specific keyboard companies like
DAS/Filco/Ducky. A great site to find what you're looking for is www.mechanicalkeyboards.com
Microsoft Sidewinder X4
Filco Ninja Majestouch-2
Nothing much to say, you want something that's at least 20" for best clarity when playing. And also if you're playing on
an LCD you want it to achieve at least 75Hz in 4:3 (More in depth explanation below!) Ideally, you want a newer
monitor capable of 120Hz, or even the newest 144Hz models.
I won't list prices, but if you're a budget gamer, you don't need to spend extra on a monitor. If you want to spend the
money I would look into the BenQ gaming models.
2. Mouse Settings:
Important to know what the right settings are before launching CSGO
Windows Sensitivity, Drivers, DPI, Mouse Accel
We'll start with the most important setting, your mouse
sensitivity. In any FPS game really, this is the thing you want as
consistent as possible. If you can't aim and click an opponent
then why bother playing?
Windows Mouse Settings
So before loading go lets go into our Windows Mouse drivers.
There we see 2 options: Select a pointer speed and enhance
pointer precision. Now for pointer speed there are 11 notches,
put yours to 6/11, this is windows default and will give you the
most accurate mouse response (1:1)
Next you have to DISABLE Enhanced pointer precision. This is
mouse acceleration, very few people are successful using accel in
Counter-Strike, and you want to be able to flick to an enemy without over flick your mouse, with mouse accel there's a
greater possibility of doing this.
Mouse Drivers Skip if not applicable
No you can't load CS:GO just yet. Let us move onto your mouse drivers that came with your new mouse I
recommended you. We need to first disable any mouse accel in the drivers, and make sure our sensitivity is in proper
Next we will check our DPI. This is entirely dependent on which mouse you purchased. Normally the saying goes the
lower your DPI the better maxspeed(m/s) you will have, thus giving you the best results. I personally would use
something between 400-450DPI. However, some mice's maxspeed don't decrease when you up the DPI so do some
research on your mouse and find a comfortable setting.
Then we check our polling rate, you have two choices, 1000Hz (1ms delay) or 500Hz (2ms delay). I personally use 500Hz
because that's what I've been using for years and I'm still not convinced 1000Hz is the way to go, plus when 1000Hz
came out it was over polling USB Ports and burning them out. Again, I'm not entirely convinced however others swear
by 1000Hz so it's up to you.
This piece covers a config that will launch with CSGO that
has the capability of loading all your personal binds/etc
So you can't load CSGO yet because I'm not done with you, we first
got to talk about an autoexec file and some settings you will need to
be successful in CSGO.
So what is an autoexec? It's a config (.cfg) file that will load up every
time you start CSGO. Capable of storing all your personal binds,
sensitivity, any special commands you don't want to lose. It's a great
file to keep on a USB if you reinstall, reformat, use multiple PCs.
So what's the easiest way to get this file? Wel first let's go to the
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike
Here you will see multiple config files, let's copy one of them and paste if back in the folder, thus making a copy. In this
instance, we'll use ai.cfg when you make a copy, rename it to autoexec.cfg (if you don't see a .cfg extension then just
leave it as autoexec)
Windows will prompt you to use a program to open this with, USE NOTEPAD AND ONLY NOTEPAD. Once open you will
see 3 lines of code that we will delete them. Then we will add in the lines above.
An explanation of the above autoexec files above us?
Removes the bobbing annoyances that happen in CSGO
Fixes your networking "rates" to their correct values to get the best registration
Additional miscellaneous commands such as disabling auto help, and preloading maps.
The last line ensures that these commands get written in the config.cfg file
Once you have those in there, click SAVE, not SAVE AS, simply clicking SAVE will save the file as a .cfg file again, SAVE AS
if you're not careful will save it as a .txt file.
Once that is done congratulations! You have created your first autoexec.cfg successfully! Later if you choose, you can
open up config.cfg and drag over certain commands that you want to keep. Such as crosshair settings, binds, sensitivity,
4. Launching The Game
FPS Capability, Refresh Rate, Launch Options
One last tweak and question needs to be asked before launching CSGO. How is your FPS while running the game? Sure
the game may be pretty on 1080p but if you're getting 50FPS you're doing something wrong.
CSGO needs a minimum 128FPS to play the game optimally. This is because our rates are set to 128 in GO, and if they
dip below that you will start having registration issues especially in larger fire fights. And ideally, if you can achieve
128FPS then you want an fps that's twice your Refresh Rate of your monitor.
75Hz = fps_max "151"
100Hz = fps_max "201"
60Hz = fps_max "181" (x3 since 120 <128)
But how can you improve your FPS you ask?
Lowering your resolution
Lowering your ingame graphics
Updating your GPU drivers
Cleaning out your PC fans
Upgrading PC components (CSGO is very CPU demanding)
Lower your resolution
This is something people refuse to do because they love the crisp look of 1080p however if you cannot achieve 128 fps
then it's something you will have to adjust to.
Playing on a 4x3 Resolution
This one will get a lot of people upset. But why oh why do I want to use black bars when 16x9 gives me a better FOV to
see enemies? Great question, my rebuttal:
Your eyes are focused primarily on the center of the screen by your crosshair, so truthfully you won't get a
huge FOV advantage by playing widescreen
You're monitor may be able to support 75Hz on 4x3
Higher Refresh Rate = better mouse response
Lower Resolution = Less pixels = More FPS!
But you may ask, higher refresh rate? What? It's the rate at which the screen data is refreshed, the higher the numbers
the faster it refreshes. You can increase the refresh rate to as fast as the monitor will allow.
Why do all the pros play on 4x3 then?
Some of these guys have been playing CS for over 10 years. They're used to 4x3
75Hz > 60Hz (Unless of course you have a 120Hz LCD)
Optimal LAN experience. Sure you can play on 1080p at max graphics with 400+ FPS but what if you go to a
Non-BYOC and can only achieve ~100fps on tournament PCs with those settings?
Bigger models, in older CS versions, lower resolutions meant fewer pixels on the screen, and thus gave "bigger"
models to aim at. However this has not been confirmed in CSGO.
Ok you convinced me, I want to play with 75Hz, how do I do this?
If you go to your launch options (Steam Library -> Right Click CSGO -> Properties -> Launch Options), type in the
following command line:
-refresh 75 -w 1024 -h 768 (or -1280 -960 if your PC can handle it)
Few commands that can help your CSGO gaming experience.
Note: -noforce commands from 1.6 are not needed to play CSGO.
disables intro video
attempts to set your refresh rate to 75Hz (if your monitor can support it)
disables joystick in game, small load off your memory usage
will give CSGO high priority, may or may not boost FPS
will use 4 cores of your CPU, may or may not boost FPS
This is a Dota2 command that forces the game to run DX9
5. In Game Graphic Settings
Video settings, advanced settings, ingame mouse settings
Congrats we are now finally able to start up CSGO! What next you ask? Well now we have to adjust in game settings
before jumping in a game.
In the basic game display we want to up our gamma max, we do this so we can easily see dark corners on certain maps.
In older games we could lower our ingame DX level but you cannot do that in CSGO.
Advanced Video Settings
This is where people are still trying to figure out what are the optimum settings to play at. So this is where you can
adjust to achieve at least 128FPS. However the main settings you should keep in mind are:
Motion Blur - Disabled, self explanatory
Vsync - Disabled, this may seem like a no brainer for some, but I'll explain it anyways. With Vsync enabled you
will have massive input lag, and it also locks your fps at your refresh rate (60-75-120) which is lower than the
needed fps (128) also if your PC is terrible, and you can only obtain 40-50FPS, then Vsync will lock your FPS at
30! Yes, we know there is screen tearing, but it's very insignificant compared to the input lag from Vsync.
Shader Level - Low, this is very important even if you have a high end machine, higher shade levels obstruct
view and blurs vision (especially noticeable when AWPing) For a comparison, load up de_aztec and change your
shader level to truly notice the difference!
Anti-Aliasing - x2 (Minimum), if your PC can handle this setting, you should have it set to at least 2, this will
give you better vision from long distances.
Everything else is personal preference depending on your FPS, and there has been no conclusive proof if
lowering ALL your settings gives any advantage in game (except those mentioned above), Valve has already
stated they do not want to give people an advantage over others by simply tweaking certain commands.
6. In Game Settings
Mouse settings, game settings
Next we go into mouse settings and disable all types of acceleration and enable Raw Input. Now we get to change our
sensitivity here. If you've been taking notes you should have 6/11 windows and 400DPI already, and you should have a
good sized mousepad. So now we wil ask ourselves, what type of playstyle are we? Do we AWP? (low sens) entry
fragger? (high sens) do we rely on sound or on our reflexes? All these things in consideration this is a basic guideline for
sensitivity (at 6/11 400DPI)
Greater than 3.0
Better at close range, more reactionary
Between 2.0 and 3.0
Lower than 2.0
Better long range, easier hold angles, less overflicking
So try to make a 270 (3/4 of a turn) on your mousepad with one swipe across in game, and adjust from there. There are
a lot of pro players who play on both sides of the spectrum. However most play in between 2.0 and 3.0 so try get a feel
of what you like and use that.
Another gem here is the m_mousespeed command. This is actual y mouse filter from older CS games. So set this to 0
(Default = 1) and your sensitivity will feel more like old CS versions
There is also the command zoom_sensitivity_ratio_mouse "1.0" By using this command you can lower or up your
zoomed sensitivity. In CS:Source and CS:GO this command is defaulted to 1.0. However if you played 1.6 the default
was 1.2. This command is especially valuable if you plan to become an awper in CS:GO. Lowering this command will
make you less likely to overflick however you won't be as reactionary while scoped in. Most pro players play between
0.8 - 1.2 so play around with this setting while awping and find what's best for your playstyle. Personal y I use 1.2 as I
used it in 1.6 as well as Source.
This is where the basic in game settings are, including crosshair, etc. Most notably is the command for viewmodel
position. Now there are a few guides out there giving you specific commands to change them models to look like 1.6 or
CSS but I would suggest putting it to classic because if you ever get better at CSGO and start learning flashes and
smokes and looking up videos online. They all use classic for their positioning. This is definitely a preference thing but
keep that in the back of your mind.
Now that you have your CSGO settings optimized you can now enjoy playing at maximum potential.
However a few words of advice before I'm through with you.
Practice your Aim
Before starting to play competitive you should at least have the average aim of an FPS player. I would look through
other guides for more a more indepth view on this. But the jist of it is: DM DM DM DM. You should throw yourself into
a Deathmatch server and play with the M4/AK only. Try to set a goal for yourself as well: 50 frags in 20min then 50 in
15 etc etc. And then you can watch yourself improve. However also take into consideration that DMs are not about K/D
ratios at all. They're about improving your aim. It doesn't matter who you are and what skill level you are at, you can't
control people shooting you in the back as they spawn behind you, that's just the way of DM.
Understand what these things real y are: A fucking distraction. You honestly will not improve as much if you just play
these every day all day. In the end they do more harm than good, you will pick up bad habits, and possibly a bad
attitude as well (depending on who you are).
What you want to do is scrim, with friends (if applicable) and if not then, hey, maybe you will have to do the above for
awhile until you find a group of guys similar to your level and will scrim with you.
I would only play the above for 3 reasons.
a) Getting a feel for the maps if I were new to them. Angles/Normal spots/Calls/Spot Names/etc
b) Getting a feel for clutch situations when you're LMS.
c) Playing with a friend, to learn how to take or defend a site together.
I Hope you found this guide helpful.
Thanks for reading