Getting Started with CSGO – Essential Settings to Master CSGO


CS:GO game settings are considered more complex compared to other FPS games, and new players often find themselves confused when faced with dozens of different options. However, having a proper game configuration can maximize our combat effectiveness. So today, let’s explore the various settings in CS:GO and gain an advantage in battles.

(The following mentioned settings are recommended to be modified uniformly to optimize the gaming experience, while the remaining settings can be adjusted according to personal preferences.)

Game Settings

“The maximum game flow bandwidth” indicates the maximum network bandwidth that the game can utilize. Unless there are specific requirements, it should be set to “unrestricted” in order to ensure smooth gameplay.

The “Community Notice Area” refers to the area where community notices pop up, and it is recommended to set it to the “top right corner”. This is because the other three directions display the minimap, health, and remaining bullet count respectively. If notifications pop up in these directions, it may obstruct players from obtaining necessary information and therefore affect the gaming experience.

It is recommended to keep settings such as “Enable In-game Assistance Messages,” “Maximum Match Delay,” and “Calendar Time Format” as default. The “Assistance Messages” can provide players with simple tips within the game. The “Maximum Match Delay” represents the maximum delay that can be accepted from the server during the matchmaking process. Due to the geographical advantage of the local servers, our delay generally does not exceed 50, so it is advised to keep this setting at the default 150.

There is an extremely important option here called “Crosshair Style”, which determines whether we use a dynamic crosshair or a static crosshair. Both dynamic and static crosshairs have their pros and cons. Everyone can choose their own crosshair style based on what is mentioned in the following text.

First, let’s talk about the dynamic crosshair. The biggest advantage of the dynamic crosshair is that it can cultivate the habit of “stop and shoot” for new players. New players are not proficient in the “stop moving-shoot” action. However, the game design of CS:GO states that only stationary shooting is the most stable. This determines why the dynamic crosshair is favored by some new players. The drawback of the dynamic crosshair is that there is currently no rigorous proof that the changes in the dynamic crosshair are completely real-time with the character’s movement. If one waits for the crosshair to change before shooting, it can severely delay the timing for shooting accurately. Moreover, the changes in the dynamic crosshair also to some extent affect the player’s attention, which is also fatal in intense matches.

Let’s talk about the static crosshair. One of its drawbacks is that it cannot reflect the crosshair’s stability. However, its advantages are also evident. When new players are unfamiliar with firearm ballistics, they can use the static crosshair to practice controlling recoil patterns. Moreover, once players master the “quick-stop shooting” technique, the static crosshair can quickly help us lock onto the pre-aimed position and assist us in better controlling the rhythm of recoil during shooting. This is why most players and professional players favor the static crosshair.

“Auto switch to picked-up weapons”: Here, I strongly recommend new players to choose “No” to avoid accidentally picking up a new weapon during a firefight, which could lead to being killed when forcibly switching weapons.

As for other options, they vary from person to person and there is no universal standard. Therefore, there is no unified setting provided. You can set them according to your own preferences, as they have a minimal impact on gaming performance. For example, the “crosshair color” should be chosen based on each player’s own experience. The same principle applies to other options.

Keyboard/Mouse Settings

The mouse is the most important peripheral for FPS games, without a doubt. Mouse settings are at the core of all settings!!!

“Mouse acceleration” must be turned off.

In the image below, we move the mouse from point A to point B on the mouse pad.

With mouse acceleration turned off, the feedback distance in the game will be exactly A1-B1, regardless of how fast or slow you move the mouse. However, with mouse acceleration turned on, if you move the mouse slowly, the feedback will be normal and still A1-B1. But if you move the mouse quickly, such as when flicking or quick-scoping, the system will apply an acceleration compensation, resulting in a longer feedback distance A2-B2. Moreover, the compensation distance is random and dependent on how fast you move the mouse. This can be a fatal flaw for players who have developed muscle memory, especially for snipers, as it affects the stability of their flick shots.

“Mouse Sensitivity”: The standard setting is to be able to complete a 180° turn in-game by moving the mouse from left to right within your comfortable range of mouse movement. The slower, the better, as it benefits your aiming and gun control.

“Raw Data Input”: Selecting this option means that the game can directly read the raw mouse input, without worrying about the mouse sensitivity settings in the Windows system. This makes it easier for players to adapt to different computers.

When it comes to key binding, there are truly a thousand Hamlets in the minds of players. Hand size and keyboard layout are important factors to consider. Here are a few modification suggestions:

Having small hands can make it difficult to operate the controls. One suggestion is to move the WSAD keys down and use SXZC for controlling movement, as it provides easier access to the CTRL key for crouching and the spacebar for jumping. Similarly, the crouch action can be assigned to the Z key.

On the other hand, having large hands may also pose challenges in operating the controls. One solution is to shift the WSAD keys to the right and use EDSF for control. However, this can vary depending on personal preference.

Nevertheless, it is strongly recommended for players to customize the keybinds. The default key, K, may not be convenient for players regardless of their hand size. Suggested alternatives include assigning it to the left-hand side keys like C or V.

Audio Settings

“VOIP Volume” refers to the in-game voice-over-IP volume. If teammates’ voices are too loud and affecting gameplay, it can be adjusted lower. Conversely, if teammates’ voice volume is too low to hear clearly, it can be increased.

“Audio Output Configuration”: It depends on personal preference, but it is worth mentioning that there is now an additional option called HRTF after the recent update. HRTF is a special sound rendering method designed for HRTF headphones. It may not have a significant effect on regular headphones and may consume some CPU resources. Therefore, players can adjust the settings according to their own situations.

In the “Music Options”, except for the “Bomb/Hostage Volume” and “10-second Warning Volume”, the rest can be decreased or even muted as they may hinder players from hearing important sounds.

As for the choice between “Push-to-Talk” and “Open Mic”, I personally support Push-to-Talk because sound is crucial in CS:GO, and Open Mic may disturb teammates when dealing with critical situations. It would be quite unpleasant if a critical situation turns into a disaster, wouldn’t it?

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