How to Improve FPS in CS2?

FPS is one of the most crucial things in any PC game. In this guide, we'll cover how to improve FPS in CS2.

Remember those epic AWP battles of yesteryear? Now your shots seem to connect slower than dial-up on a windy day. There’s should be some way to improve FPS in CS2, right? Nobody wants their skills to be overshadowed by a slideshow-like frame rate, resulting in low FPS in CS2.

This guide is your weapon against lag, a battle plan to transform your CS2 experience from “retro charm” to “smooth operator.”

Key Takeaways

  • Optimize your PC setup to match or exceed CS2’s recommended system requirements, manage startup programs to free up resources, and consider hardware upgrades like faster RAM to boost FPS.
  • Adjust CS2’s video settings by finding the right balance in resolution, aspect ratio, and advanced settings while disabling Vertical Sync to reduce input lag for smoother gameplay.
  • Explore and set the optimal in-game and launch options to tailor CS2’s performance to your specific hardware and personal preferences, and strike a balance between visual quality and FPS for the best experience.

Why Your FPS is Low

So, we have an issue, but why is it happening? If we can figure it out, then we can nip the problem from the source.

Debugging is all about backtracking, understanding what might be causing your game to run slower than Internet Explorer.

Is it an update? Is it just a settings issue? Or is there something more to the issue? That’s the first step to figuring the low CS2 FPS problem.

1. Optimize In-Game Video Settings

Optimize In-Game Video Settings

It’s important to find a balance between performance and visuals. Lowering all settings to a minimum might give you the highest FPS, but the game will look bland. Try adjusting settings one by one and see how much FPS gets improved in CS2 with each change.

This helps you identify which settings have the biggest impact and lets you prioritize the visuals you care about most. Generally, these are the settings that take up the most resources:

  • Shadows: Shadows are a big drain on resources. Try lowering the shadow quality from High to Medium, Low, or even Off. This can significantly improve FPS without a huge visual sacrifice on older maps.
  • Anti-Aliasing (AA): AA smooths out jagged edges on textures, but it comes at a performance cost. There are different types of AA with varying levels of impact. Try disabling AA completely or experiment with lower quality options like Multisample Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) at 2x or 4x instead of higher values.
  • Texture Quality: Textures determine the detail and sharpness of in-game objects. Lowering texture quality from High to Medium or Low can provide a noticeable FPS boost, but textures will appear less crisp.

To Learn More, Check Out: Best CS2 Settings for FPS

2. Use Performance-based Launch Options

Use Performance-based Launch Options

You can add launch options through Steam to fine-tune CS2’s behavior. Some options that help include:

  • -high – Sets CS2 to a high priority for your CPU.
  • -threads # – Sets the number of threads CS2 uses (replace # with your CPU core count + 1).
  • -mat_queue_mode 2 – May improve CPU performance.

For more, check out: Best CS2 Launch Options for Enhanced Performance

3. Close Background Applications

Close Background Applications

Background applications can silently steal precious resources from CS2. Here’s how to shut them down for a smoother experience:

  • Open the Task Manager: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc simultaneously.
  • Identify resource hogs: The “Processes” tab displays applications and their resource usage (CPU, memory). Look for programs you don’t need while gaming, like web browsers, media players, or chat applications.
  • End unnecessary tasks: Right-click on the programs you want to close and select “End task.” Prioritize ending applications with high CPU or memory usage.

4. Update Your GPU Drivers

Update Your GPU Drivers

Your graphics card is the workhorse responsible for rendering CS2’s visuals. Outdated drivers can bottleneck performance. To unlock its full potential, follow these steps:

  • Identify your graphics card model: Right-click on your desktop and select “Display settings.” Go to “Advanced display” and under “Adapter properties,” you’ll find your graphics card information.
  • Download the latest driver: Head to the website of your graphics card manufacturer (NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel). Use the search function to find the driver specifically designed for your model and compatible with your Windows version.
  • Install the driver: Download and run the installer. It’s recommended to choose a clean installation option to remove any leftover files from previous drivers.

Related: Best NVIDIA Settings for CS2

5. Activate Gaming Mode in Windows

Activate Gaming Mode in Windows

Windows offers hidden settings that can prioritize gaming performance, thus increasing your CS2 FPS. Here’s how to unlock this potential:

  • Activate Game Mode: Search for “Game Mode” in the Windows search bar. Toggle the switch to “On” to dedicate more system resources to games when running.
  • Streamline Visual Effects: This reduces resource-intensive visual enhancements in Windows, freeing up processing power for CS2.
    • Right-click on “This PC” and select “Properties.”
    • Navigate to “Advanced system settings” > “Advanced” tab > “Performance” section.
    • Click on “Settings” and under “Visual Effects,” choose “Adjust for best performance.”

If Your Game is Freezing, Check: CS2 Randomly Freezing Fixes and How to Fix Counter-Strike 2 Crashes for Smooth Play.

6. Use FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) from AMD

Use FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) from AMD

It essentially uses lower resolutions and renders them in such a way that the difference is barely noticeable. Here’s how you can enable FSR in CS2 to improve FPS:

  1. Launch CS2 and navigate to the Settings menu.
  2. Go to the “Video” tab and then look for the “Advanced video” section.
  3. You should see an option for “FidelityFX Super Resolution.”

Using FSR for Optimal Performance

FSR offers different presets that balance image quality and performance:

  • Quality: Prioritizes image quality with minimal upscaling artifacts. Use this if you can handle a slight FPS drop but want the visuals to look sharp.
  • Balanced: Offers a good middle ground between image quality and performance gains. This is a good starting point for most users.
  • Performance: Focuses on maximizing FPS with a more aggressive upscaling approach. Expect some visual compromises like sharper edges and potentially softer textures.

Related: How to Play with Stretched Resolution in CS2

7. Upgrade Your Hardware

Upgrade Your Hardware

If software optimizations aren’t enough, consider upgrading your hardware. However, this approach requires careful consideration:

  • CPU Bottleneck: Monitor your CPU usage while playing CS2. If it’s constantly maxed out, upgrading to a CPU with more cores and higher clock speed can significantly improve performance.
  • GPU Bottleneck: If your graphics card struggles to maintain your desired frame rate and visual settings, a GPU upgrade is likely the most impactful solution. Research graphics cards that meet the recommended specifications for CS2 at your desired resolution and settings.
  • Memory Matters: Ensure you have enough RAM to run CS2 smoothly. While the minimum requirement might be 1GB, 4GB or more is recommended for a stable gameplay experience. Upgrading RAM can be beneficial if your system frequently uses virtual memory during gameplay (indicated by slowdowns or stuttering).

Be Sure to Check: CS2 System Requirements

8. Leverage Advanced Launch Options for Fine-Grained Control (For Nvidia Users)

Leverage Advanced Launch Options for Fine-Grained Control (For Nvidia Users)

Nvidia graphics card users can leverage advanced launch options for CS2 through Steam. These options provide more granular control over the game’s behavior:

  • Launch options access: Right-click on CS2 in your Steam library, select “Properties” > “General” tab > “Launch Options” field.

Here are some potentially beneficial options:

* `-threads #` (Replace `#` with the number of your CPU cores + 1) - This can improve CPU utilization.
* `-mat_queue_mode 2` - May enhance CPU performance for some systems.


We’ve covered a lot of ground in this post, from optimizing system tweaks and in-game settings to upgrading hardware and troubleshooting FPS issues. It’s clear that optimizing your CS2 experience involves a combination of software tweaks, hardware upgrades, and a bit of trial and error. But with the insights and tips shared in this post, you’re now equipped to take your CS2 gameplay to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I increase my FPS in CS2?

To improve your FPS in CS2, optimize system tweaks, adjust in-game and video settings, upgrade hardware, use technology like FidelityFX Super Resolution, and minimize input lag. These steps can help improve your gaming experience.

What are the recommended system requirements for CS2?

The recommended system requirements for CS2 are Windows 10, Intel Core i5 750 or higher CPU, minimum 8 GB RAM, DirectX 11-compatible video card with at least 1 GB VRAM, DirectX Version 11, and 85 GB of available storage space.

How does FidelityFX Super Resolution enhance FPS in CS2?

FidelityFX Super Resolution enhances FPS in CS2 by rendering at a lower resolution and upscaling the image to improve quality without a significant loss in visual fidelity, resulting in better performance.

How does NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency reduce input lag in CS2?

NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency reduces input lag by minimizing the delay between your actions and their execution in the game, leading to faster and more responsive gaming experiences.

What are some common FPS issues in CS2 and how can I troubleshoot them?

To troubleshoot common FPS issues in CS2, adjust your launch options and ensure your drivers and game patches are up to date to address system bottlenecks and software conflicts. These steps can help improve your gaming experience.

Posted by
William Westerlund

William is an author, editor, and an avid gamer with over 10.000 hours in CS:GO (Counter-Strike 2). He also enjoys playing Rust, Dota 2, and TF2 but never became a top 1% player in any of those games.