CS:GO settings: launch options

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive offers plenty of opportunities for fine-tuning. To this end, you can use menu settings, console commands, and launch options. However, there are a lot of dark spots around the latter. Right now, the CS.MONEY Blog is going to elaborate on harmful and useful launch options in CS:GO.  

What are launch options?

Launch options are a set of conditions that apply at the start of the game. Using these parameters, you can enable or disable some of the game’s functions. 

To set launch options for CS:GO, you need to:

  • Open the Steam library;
  • Right-click on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive;
  • Select “Properties” in the drop-down menu that appears;
  • Click on the “Set Launch Options” button in the window that appears;
  • Enter the options in the line, separating them with a semicolon (“;”);
  • Press Enter, close the window, and run CS:GO.

Harmful vs. useful options

All options fall into two large categories: harmful and useful. The latter parameters are few and far between, and we’ll talk about them separately. As for the detrimental or, at best, useless ones, however, those constitute a myriad that you should by all means avoid. 

Unfortunately, over the game’s long and rich history, numerous myths have been born concerning “correct” parameters Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. We’ll have to debunk them. Let’s start with the good stuff, though: with useful launch options.

Five best commands

As mentioned previously, there are very few really useful parameters. You can count the commonly used ones on your hand. Literally. There are, at most, five such commands. Here they are:

  • -tickrate 128: sets the tickrate for the user’s server. The standard tickrate is 64 — it’s used on Valve’s servers. On third-party servers such as FACEIT, the tickrate amounts to 128. There’s no need to set other values;
  • -novid: simply removes the short intro video at the beginning. Nothing special — just a nice bonus;
  • -nojoy: disables joystick support. In the community, they say that FACEIT sometimes throws you out of the game in case this option’s not there. In addition, the command helps free up some memory on really weak hardware;
  • +exec autoexec.cfg: automatically activates the config with a specified name — in this example, it’s autoexec.cfg. It’s a useful command if you have your own config and want it to be always active;
  • -console: activates the console at the launch. The console allows you to configure the game as precisely as possible. A great tool in any player’s inventory.

For you not to type anything manually, we gathered these commands in one line: 

-tickrate 128; -novid; -nojoy; +exec autoexec.cfg; -console

Just copy and paste it into the launch options box. Piece of cake!

Important note! These are all the options you truly need in 2022. Don’t apply any other parameters unless you know exactly how they work and why you need them. And certainly don’t use sets of commands from anonymous advisors. At best, you’ll clobber your launch options with garbage. At worst, you’ll lose FPS and game stability. Don’t do that.  

Harmful options

Often enough, players change launch options in order to get more frames per second on their hardware. We have some sad news in this regard: there’s no magic command that will give you a whopping +999 FPS. It just doesn’t exist. Well, here’s the good news. Not so long ago, we posted a guide on boosting your FPS. It’s short and will help you get a handle on the game’s parameters in no time. 

As far as harmful launch options are concerned, there are tons of them. We won’t list them all, but note that even the most innocuous ones can potentially do a lot of damage. Take fps_max as an example. Setting it to 0 will result in the framerate limit getting disabled. In practice, this doesn’t make much sense. The easiest thing to do is not to touch this command at all! The default limit is 300 FPS — and that’s good enough for 99.9% of players. 

The harmful parameters can also include all those that affect system resources. More often than not, trying to manually set the number of threads, priority, or anything else along those lines will only make it worse. And this is not our opinion — those are the words of a Valve employee. In short, if you don’t understand what a command does and if it’s not one of the five useful parameters above — better don’t use it until you figure it out. 

Working with the config

With both useful and detrimental commands now covered, here’s one more piece of advice for you. Try to keep as much of your settings in the config as possible and connect it via +exec. It’s all about convenience. The launch options line isn’t particularly convenient to edit: the text quickly exceeds the field length, making you constantly scroll back and forth. Better to keep as few launch options as possible.  

Importantly, you should store the config separately. Unfortunately, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive doesn’t save user files. Therefore, when reinstalling the game or replacing hardware, you’ll lose your config. Always keep a backup copy of your current config on hand. A cloud storage is the best solution.  

Liked the post? We’re glad you did! Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter. To do this, just leave your e-mail in the box right there. After you’ve done it, you’ll never miss any cool stuff from the CS.MONEY Blog. Also, subscribe to our social networks, like Twitter. There we post a lot of amazing tips about the game, share the news, and tell you exciting stories about beautiful skins. 

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