Gaining the Edge in CSGO – Game Settings that Give You the Advantage

Here are some of the optimal settings to use when playing pro CSGO. While some people may think that such things are just a matter of personal preference, the right settings can actually give you a distinct advantage inside the game. If you set your crosshair too small, or your resolution too high, or make your controls too sensitive, it can lead to everything from a lower frame rate to an inability to aim properly with the sniper rifle.

Let’s talk about… your screen resolution

When you start out in CSGO you actually have a considerable advantage even over more experienced players, in that you do not have bad habits that you then will have to lose. You can play at any resolution and get used to it as you progress in your mastery of the game.

Should you use black bars or stretched?

Black bars are present when you have a nonnative resolution, which is usually 4/3 for a 16/9 screen. However, when you lower your resolution, you can often see things bigger and better, and there can be an advantage in that. If you find that the game is too fast for you when you are playing it stretched, then you should not hesitate to return to a black bar setting, 16/9. The 4/3 black bars are less greedy than stretched resolutions, so if you find that your frame rates are going too low, thus inhibiting your responses, then you should switch to 4/3 black bars. Activating or deactivating the black bars will require that you access the control panel of your graphics card.

CSGO dosia

Image Credit: Dosia

So what’s the best resolution, 4/3 or 16/9?

You should start out by testing both. In 4/3 stretched, enemy player will appear bigger, and will be easier to both see and to shoot at. On the other hand, in 16/9, you gain 16 whole degrees of vision. 16/10 doesn’t have much value, as the magnification is nowhere near 4/3, while the field of view is not quite as big as 16/9. If you feel your game is particularly better in one of the resolutions, you should stick with that, rather than keep switching between the two.

CSGO, after all, is all about muscle memory. As you continue to play, your brain is able to accurately calculate the distances your cursor has to move on the screen, and it orders your arm to move the mouse with the exact precision required. Of course, more experienced and quite simply better players will move with greater precision. As you perfect your play in the resolution of your choice, you will find that your aim becomes better and better.

CSGO map screen resolutions

The best video options to use in CSGO.

CSGO is all about the frame rates, so you must set your video settings to get the best FPS possible. Your goal in CSGO is to have a continuous FPS of at least 300 frames per second on your screen. A map like Nuke can be very greedy of resources, and on such a map, you must try to attain an FPS of at least 150. Never try to increase the graphics, or try to make the game look ‘more beautiful’ unless you are getting these frame rates.

If you are looking for increased frames per second, you can start by putting your windows operating system into maximum performance. All you have to do is access system settings, go to advance system settings, click on the performance tab, and then select the performance option. There you need to select the option to adjust for best performance.

You can also download TuneUp, which does this very well via its turbo mode. The Razer Game Booster is another nice application that can optimize the settings on a poorly optimized PC.

Increase the vibrance of your display

The colors in CSGO are very dull and bland, and boosting the colors a little can help you notice movement and other aspects of the game that are crucial in CSGO. There’s a nice app that does this, the Vibrance GUI, which is perfectly legal even on ESEA. It just a small tool that will increase the color saturation in CSGO, and only in CSGO.

Other important settings to examine

It goes without saying that you need to have vertical sync deactivated, multicore rendering enabled, and high shadows enabled to see shadows further, that is, of course if your configuration allows you the necessary framerates along with this. You need to set low effect sun shaders for better visibility. Most of the other settings can be just as you wish. Remember that you need to have very balanced machine with the correct graphics card. It is only when the CPU takes most of the load in CSGO that a reduction in resolution saves you a lot of FPS.

CSGO graphics optimisation

Other minor settings

Your need to lower the map zoom of the radar to get a better sense of how things are playing out and an appreciably better view of the radar. Make sure that the mini scoreboard shows just the number of players, because it makes it much easier to see how many players are left.

Mouse settings and acceleration.

You’ll need to set the mouse polling rate to 1000Hz, and you must never use mouse acceleration. While there may be a few good players out there who do use mouse acceleration, for most CSGO players as a general rule, playing with mouse acceleration is equivalent to playing with a handicap. Remember to disable the acceleration on the driver of your mouse both in windows and in the game. In the game options, you must also remember to enable raw input. This allows the game to ignore automatic sensitivity changes by windows.

csgo mouse settings

Editing liftoffs in your mouse

Liftoff is the height at which your mouse’s sensor stops detecting motion. While this is not editable in some mice, most professional mice will allow you to edit liftoff. The best thing you can do is to put the lowest possible value on liftoff. If you’d like advice about which gaming mouse is best for CSGO, this article should help you.

Setting the sensitivity of your mouse

You’ll have to play around a little bit to get a feel of what works best for you. Sensitivity in CSGO is translated to the number of degrees that your view shifts in-game as you turn. CSGO is generally a low sensitivity game, and if you have already played first person shooters before, you should remember to set the sensitivity relatively low.

The minimum sensitivity that is generally accepted is 80 centimeters of movement giving a 360 degree turn. The maximum acceptable sensitivity is 25 centimeters of movement giving a 360 degree turn. As long as you stay within these limits, you can adjust things entirely according to your own preferences. You must develop a sense of what sensitivity allows you to turn and make a shot smoothly, even if this shot takes 40 centimeters of movement.

You should also be able to be precise enough at all distances. If you are a little confused as to what sensitivity to adopt, it is better to opt for a sensitivity with which you have a slight difficulty in maintaining control, rather than a sensitivity which is very easily manageable, but which limits your reaction time. It may interest you to know that most pro players opt for a midrange in sensitivity, and pro players that use very high or very low sensitivities are very rare.


Sound is actually very crucial in CSGO, so you need to go to your computer settings, and in the advanced properties, set the default sound format to the highest possible quality that your system can offer. You absolutely must have a good headset for CSGO, because you have a better sound stage, and you can hear and place the direction of footsteps that are further away. The HyperX Cloud 2 Gaming Headset, for example, provides an excellent sound stage.

Your keyboard for CSGO

While there are many types of keyboards available, the ones that works best for CSGO are mechanical keyboards. While each kind of keyboard has its advantages and disadvantages, the mechanical keyboard is the most reliable. The only drawback is that it makes a lot of noise, so you should preferably be practicing in a room dedicated to your pro gaming practice. While the regular keyboards, or membrane keyboards, are good deal quieter than mechanical keyboards, they are not recommended for pro gamers, as they are less reliable and the chance of a missed shot due to mechanical error from the keyboard is very high.

The advantages of mechanical keyboards

Mechanical keyboards provide for instant responses as their switches have a sensitivity that far surpasses that of a conventional keyboard. Once a pro gamer uses a mechanical keyboard, it is highly unlikely that they will ever go back to the regular membrane keyboard. The only possible issue here is that mechanical keyboards could be considerably more expensive the regular keyboard.

The reason that mechanical keyboards are so reliable is that in the classic keyboard there are rubber domes that activate certain commands. Not only is this not a very reliable system, but if you press several keys at once, this could cause the keyboard to crash, ensuring that one or more commands are not sent. In a mechanical keyboard, precision switches take the place of the rubber domes, ensuring that commands are sent reliably. Most pro gaming mechanical keyboards also have an anti-ghosting function that ensures that commands are always sent out no matter how many keys you press at the same time.

Backlighting on the keys

Many people who are aren’t pro gamers think that the backlighting is only ‘special effects’. In reality, backlighting is more than for show, as it can allow one to play in the dark, thereby allowing one a much greater level of immersion in the game, which can directly improve the speed of your response time. A good pro gaming keyboard will also allow you to manage the backlighting of each key, which allows you to use color markers to effortlessly identify the most important keys, to allow your hands to find them more easily, even under stress. This can again be the difference between victory or defeat – or life and death – in a game.

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