CS:GO is a competitive first-person shooter, so that Sound can make a huge difference in your win rate. If you know how to use CS:GO sound settings, you’ll gain an advantage over those who don’t because you’ll hear sound cues more easily, and you’ll be able to use that information to make better decisions.
In this CS:GO sound settings guide, you will learn about all of the in-game settings related to Sound, the importance of high-quality headphones, and the ways to utilize sound cue information when making decisions during a match.
CS:GO Sound Settings
To adjust your CS:GO sound settings, enter the game and find the settings menu. There, your second tab from the left should be Audio. Click on it and start looking around. You’ll see almost a dozen Audio settings and about 9 Music settings. These settings are explained below.
This CS:GO sound setting controls the sound volume you will hear throughout the game. This is a percentage-based value relative to your headphones’ volume and Windows volume.
Adjust it based on your preferences. Make sure it’s not too loud because it may disturb you when weapons are used. But it shouldn’t be too quiet because you may miss essential sound cues.
Music Volume in Steam Overlay
You don’t need this. Always set it to 0 or a low value (5-10%).
GOTV Caster Volume
This controls the caster’s volume when you watch a CS:GO match via GOTV.
Audio Output Configuration
Always use your headphones option here.
This one should be set to Headphones as well.
Advanced 3D Audio Processing
By default, this CS:GO setting is set to “Yes,” and you should leave it that way. It simply adds some 3D audio effects to your in-game sounds.
Set this to “press to use mic.”
This setting controls the volume of the voice chat. Make sure it’s not too loud. Otherwise, you’re giving people the opportunity to shout in your ears.
By default, this CS:GO sound setting is set to “No,” and you should leave it that way if you set it to “Yes,” their voice chat volume will be relative to the distance between you and them, which can be quite annoying.
Play Audio When Game In Background
Always set this to “No.” You don’t want to hear CS:GO music and sounds when you alt-tab. That would not be very pleasant.
Main Menu Volume
Music can be quite loud in CS:GO, so you should set this to below 50%. In many cases, it’s a good idea to use a much lower value or even turn it off completely. If you enjoy listening to other music while waiting to find a game, set the main menu volume to 0%.
Round Start Volume
Round start volume is not needed but may be helpful in two scenarios. You may find this useful if you like to get up from your chair and leave the room when you die early during a round. But remember that you won’t be able to play with headphones in that case. Because otherwise, you won’t hear the alert.
Another scenario in which this is useful is if you tend to alt-tab after dying and need an alert that a new round has begun. In such a case, ensure you enable the Play Audio When Game in Background option.
Some players like to use the round start music because it activates their minds in certain ways and gives them a feeling that they’re starting anew. But if you don’t need that kind of alert or don’t find it helpful, turn it off.
Round End Volume
This is probably the most useless CS:GO sound setting. You should always turn it off unless, of course, you like to be notified each time the round has ended.
Some players use this right when they start learning CS:GO. But most of the community doesn’t. That’s why the setting is set to 0% by default.
Ten Second Warning Volume
This CS:GO sound setting gives you cues 10 seconds before the bomb explodes. But ideally, you should use your ears and listen to the ticking pace. After playing CS:GO for a while, you’ll know instinctively how much time you have left to defuse or protect the bomb location.
Death Camera Volume
Use this if you think it’s useful for you but make sure it has a low volume. You only need a tiny sound cue to tell your mind that you’ve died. And you can see it anyway on the screen. This is not a very useful sound setting, but it can be used without getting distracted or annoyed.
You don’t need this, and it may be distracting, but if you like to receive the MVP sound alert, you can leave it the way it is. The default value of this CS:GO setting is 100%.
Mute MVP Music When Players of Both Teams Are Alive
This is another somewhat irrelevant setting that you should not bother with.
Danger Zone Music Volume
This is the volume that Danger Zone music is played at in case of a victory. It’s completely irrelevant for your ranked matches.
Other Sound Settings
High-quality Sound in CS:GO achieves the correct values for the right in-game settings. It also depends on your Windows’ sound settings.
One thing that you can do in that regard is to go to your Control Panel, click on Sound, then right-click on your Headphones icon and choose Properties. In the Enhancements tab, make sure that you enable the Loudness Equalization option. This will help you to stabilize your in-game sounds so that they’re not too loud and not too silent.
The Importance of Having High-Quality Headphones
In CS:GO, sound cues can help you figure out the approximate distance of the source causing them and the approximate location. If you use a quality headset and not just some basic earbuds, your ears will sense more easily from what direction the sound cues are coming from.
You are at a disadvantage whenever you play CS:GO with earbuds. It may not be a significant disadvantage, but the higher your rank, the more critical it is not to create unnecessary handicaps for yourself.
It would help if you never played CS:GO using speakers. The sound leakage is enormous, the room acoustics will interfere with your ability to hear essential sound cues, and almost every subtle detail will either be lost or greatly diminished. Not to mention the fact that you’ll disturb your neighbors or family.
When you play CS:GO, you play with people who accept certain things as the norm. But for people outside of CS:GO, hearing grenades exploding and firing weapons can be a scary experience. And even if they know you’re just playing a video game, it’s still annoying.
Using Sound Cues
When you play CS:GO, duels often occur close. The goal in such situations is not to make any noises and, simultaneously, to be perceptive to other players’ sound cues. One footstep can be enough to help you decide the angle at which you aim and whether or not you should know prefire.
In some situations, you will hear a lot of footsteps indicating several enemies’ presence. This information helps you to adjust your expectations and aim accordingly.
It’s one thing to know that you will need to shoot at a single target, and it’s another thing to know that you will need to use excellent spray control and transition from target 1 to target 2.