Enlarged character models vs. normal viewing angle: what screen format and resolution should I opt for in CS:GO?


There are still countless discussions about what monitor settings are the best for CS:GO on the Internet: 16:9 or 4:3? And which resolution to choose? Today, the CS.MONEY Blog is going to tell you what screen formats and resolutions you should use depending on certain conditions.

Optimal display settings for playing CS:GO

Range of resolutions

Settings in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive allow you to choose between three screen formats: 4:3, 16:10, and 16:9. In turn, each format has its own range of resolutions, measured in pixels.

  • 4:3 — 640х480 to 1280х1024.
  • 16:10 — 1680х1050.
  • 16:9 — 1280х720 to 1920х1080.

Usually, the «widescreen» format, 16:9, is set as a default. Choose the resolution depending on your computer characteristics: if you set the maximum resolution and your PC allows you to play at 250-300 FPS, the issue is solved. If setting high details results in FPS drop, decrease the resolution until net_graph shows you stable numbers.

Even though the vast majority of CS players in the world have widescreen monitors now, you can find players who opt for the 4:3 aspect ratio. This habit stems from the old days when monitors were “square” and images in this format filled the entire screen. Present-day CS players who use this format have to put up with “black bars” on their screens.

What do screen format and resolution affect?

Changing the format and resolution of the screen affects how the game looks on your monitor. The main reason for experimenting with screen settings is the width of character models. Given you have a widescreen monitor, switching to 4:3 will noticeably stretch the entire image. This will also apply to character models, rendering them easier to hit. 

For instance, with a 4:3 aspect ratio and a 1440×1080 screen resolution, the width of the player model amounts to 196 pixels. At 16:9 and 1920×1080, it’s 147 pixels. While an increase of 33% is tangible for anyone, a gamer might find it game-changing.

But if enlarged models are easier to hit, why isn’t the whole world playing with these settings? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that. If you stretch the screen, along with wider character models comes a diminished viewing angle. In this case, the visibility on the sides is reduced, increasing the chance of not spotting the enemy while running past them. That’s the main disadvantage.

Width of models at different screen formats
Width of models at different screen formats. Source: csgoluxe.


Using a 4:3 or 5:4 screen format increases your FPS thanks to the smaller viewing angle. For players whose PCs can’t boast good performance, using this format may be the way out in the short term. Note, however, that this advantage doesn’t compensate for the drawback described in the paragraph above. Therefore, if you find yourself in this situation, consider upgrading your computer.


If your FPS isn’t exactly great, take a look at our post on How to increase FPS in CS:GO

Details settings

Everything is simple here. The better details quality you set, the bigger it influences the PC performance. This may result in the FPS drop. If you don’t care how the map environment looks like, don’t bother and set everything to a minimum. You wouldn’t like to miss at least some elements of the cool graphics, including your favorite AWP Lightning Strike from the first case in CS:GO history, make some experiments. Change these settings until you reach stable FPS.


The 5:4 format is uncommon in CS:GO. Nevertheless, some players like it and find it the golden mean. It’s recommended to use the 1350×1080 resolution with this format. 

You can’t set a resolution like that in the game. This resolution is a “custom” choice and can be selected in the settings of your monitor. 

This option will have a positive effect on your FPS and increase the width of character models up to 206 pixels. As for viewing angles, they will be smaller compared to the 16:9 format but will suffice for a comfortable gaming experience.

If you’re looking for the ideal format, try 5:4 among others.  


In different situations, different monitor settings may suit you. You have a powerful computer? Use the optimal settings that don’t cut the viewing angle. Accustomed to playing with a “square” monitor? Keep those black bars. Low FPS? Test non-standard formats and resolutions for better performance, but be aware of their disadvantages. And read our article on increasing FPS in CS:GO — maybe you can boost your performance by using different graphics settings.

Good luck in matchmaking and on FaceIT!




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