How to Watch Demos in CS2 – Record & Download

Demos and Counter-Strike have never mixed well. The feature has rarely worked as intended, and the viewing experience was horrible. However, CS2 has come out strong, and now every creator seems to be rocking their in-game stats and clips without having to succumb to third parties.

That said, this feature, to no one’s surprise, is quite hard to find. I’ve found myself in front of Reddit, just spamming “how to watch demos in CS2” to no avail. But, hey, you smack your head against a wall enough times, and the answer presents itself.

So today, I’m gonna spare you the pain, sharing what I learned about demo viewer and the watch demo feature in Counter-Strike 2!

Key Takeaways

  • Recording in-game demos in CS2 is straightforward using console commands and is priceless for improving gameplay by allowing review from multiple perspectives.
  • Watching and analyzing CS2 demos can be done within the game using developer console commands, providing the ability to change player perspectives and playback speed for a detailed examination of gameplay.
  • Third-party tools like SCOPE.GG, CSGO Demos Manager, and Leetify offer advanced analytic features that can provide deeper insights and personalized improvement recommendations beyond the native CS2 demo viewer.

How to Record CS2 Demos

Record Demos in CS2

Everyone loves analyzing their plays, right? It’s fun, it helps you learn, but best of all, it’s a free pass to some bragging rights! There’s no denying the value recording demos in CS2 can offer.

That said, there are two main ways to achieve this:

Console Commands to Record a Demo

Console commands are the keys (and the easiest way by far) to recording your own demos in CS2. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start by opening the developer console. It’s enabled from the settings and can be accessed via the [`] or [~] button.
  2. Type ‘record’ followed by your preferred name for the demo to start recording.
  3. Once you’re done recording, type ‘stop’ in the console to stop recording.
  4. The recorded demo is saved under the name you specified, ready for you to access and analyze at your convenience.

It’s that easy and can be done for all the matches you’ve played in Counter-Strike 2.

How to Download CS2 Demos (GOTV Replays)

Downloading CS2 Demos

Another fantastic way to gain insights into your gameplay is by downloading GOTV replays, also known as GOTV demo. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Steam account through a web browser.
  2. Select ‘Games’.
  3. Find Counter-Strike 2.
  4. Click on ‘Personal Game Data’ under Premier Matches.
  5. Choose the specific game you want to analyze.
  6. Click the ‘Download GOTV Replay’ button.

The downloaded replay file should be placed in the ‘csgo’ directory. Makes your life easy!

How to Watch Demos in CS2

Playing a Demo CS2

Now that you’ve recorded your demos, it’s time to watch demos and analyze them. Though, contrary to popular belief, watching demos in CS2 is a straightforward process.

Essentially, here is what you need to do:

Locating Downloaded Demo Files

Locating your demo files is the first step to watching your recorded matches. By default, CS2 saves your demo files within the game’s installation directory, typically under the ‘replays’ folder.

If you downloaded your demo from an external source, ensure that you move it to the ‘Steam\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Global Offensive\csgo’ directory for ease of access.

Opening Demos with Developer Console

Console Page CS2

Once you’ve located your demo files in the program files folder, it’s time to watch them. But before that, make sure you have already downloaded demos to your system. Once done, just follow these steps:

  1. Open the console and input the command ‘playdemo demo_name’, replacing ‘demo_name’ with the name of your demo file.
  2. If the demo file isn’t stored in the CS2 folder, use the ‘playdemo’ command with the full path to the file.
  3. To activate the extended demo viewer, type ‘demoui’ into the developer console.

All Demo Controls in Counter-Strike 2

In Counter-Strike 2, demo controls allow you to review and analyze gameplay by recording and replaying matches thoroughly. Here’s how to use the demo and replay controls within the game:

Recording Demos

  • Start Recording: Open the developer console in-game and type record [demo_name] to begin recording.
  • Stop Recording: To stop and save the demo, type stop in the console.

Playing Back Demos

  • Loading Demos: To watch a recorded demo, use playdemo [demo_name] in the console. If the demo file is not in the default CS2 folder, you’ll need to provide the full path.

Navigating Demos

  • Demo UI: Access the demo controls by typing demoui in the console or pressing Shift + F2. This brings up a UI for playback control.

Basic Playback Controls

  • Play/Pause: Start or pause the demo playback.
  • Speed Control: Adjust the playback speed to view actions in slow motion or speed them up.
  • Skipping Rounds: Move forward or backward through the demo by rounds or specific time intervals.
  • Spectator Controls: Choose to follow a specific player or use the free camera mode for a more comprehensive view.
  • Visibility Controls: Commands like cl_draw_only_deathnotices 1 can tailor what information is displayed on the screen, focusing on death notices, for example.

Advanced Replay Controls in CS2

  • Timestamp Tracking: Shows elapsed and total time.
  • Instant Replay: Jump back or forward 15 seconds to review specific moments.
  • Round Navigation: Easily navigate to the beginning of the current round or move to the previous or next round.
  • Player Cycling: Use mouse clicks or number keys to cycle through players’ perspectives.
  • Camera Modes: Switch between first-person, third-person, and free-camera views with the Space bar.
  • Tactical Overview: Press the Q key to open a map view, showing all players’ positions for tactical analysis.
  • Scoreboard Access: View the match scoreboard with the Tab key.

Going Through Different Angles and Perspectives in CS2 Demos

One of the most advantageous aspects of watching demos is the ability to view the game from different angles and perspectives before you play demos yourself.

You can cycle through different players’ perspectives using the mouse buttons or by pressing the ‘C’ key. To select a player directly, press their corresponding number key. To get a better understanding, I’d recommend you watch demo videos available online, like this one:

You can control the playback speed of the demo using the ‘speed’ command or through the extended demo viewer interface after pressing Shift+F2, enabling fast forwarding and rewinding.

How to Watch Professional Match Demos

Visit websites like to access a vast collection of professional CS2 match demos.

Alternatively, check esports tournament organizers’ websites like for available match demos. Once done, do the following:

  1. Choose the match demos you’re interested in and download them to your computer.
  2. Extract the Files:
  3. Once downloaded, the demo files will likely be in compressed archives. Use a file extraction program to extract them.
  4. Locate the specified installation folder for CS2 on your computer.
  5. Move the extracted demo files to this folder for viewing.

Analyzing Demos with Third-Party Tools

Third Party Demo Tools

While CS2 demos offer a wealth of information, third-party tools can take your analysis to the next level. Tools such as SCOPE.GG, CSGO Demos Manager, and Leetify offer enhanced capabilities, offering in-depth insights that the native demo viewer may not provide.

This is a world of its own, saving you the trouble of digging through program files and trying to find that downloaded demo. Simply download demos and hit the respective watch demos button without having to fiddle with your Counter Strike steam account.


In this post, we’ve explored the exciting world of CS2 demos. We’ve seen how recording, downloading, and watching demos can provide invaluable insights into your gameplay. We’ve also dug into how third-party tools can enhance your demo analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to download CS2 demo?

You can download the CS2 demo by going to your Steam profile, selecting CS2, and under “Personal Game Data,” choose “Premier Matches” and then “Download GOTV Replay.”

How do you watch the demo in CS2?

To watch a demo in CS2, simply download the recording from a popular CS2 website like HLTV.ORG and press the key combination Shift F2 in the game to open the menu for managing recorded demos. If you prefer using the console, enable it in Settings and enter the command “playdemo [demo_file_name]” (Date not included)

How do you watch matches on CS2?

To watch matches on CS2, first, open Steam in your browser, sign in, go to your personal game data, find the respective matches tab, and click “download replay.” Then, extract the file. It’s that simple!

How do I record a demo in CS2?

To record a demo in CS2, open the developer console and type ‘record’ followed by your preferred demo name to start recording, then type ‘stop’ to stop recording. It’s as simple as that!

Can I access professional match demos?

Yes, you can access professional match demos on websites like and

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.