How To Increase FPS in CS 2?


Counter-Strike 2 is still in beta, and the official full-fledged release of CS2 will happen only in the summer of 2023. But players have already started doing what they love: inspecting skins, playing pubs in the beta, and reaching the top frames per second in CS2. Today, CS.MONEY Blog talks about the latter. We went through all CS2 graphic settings to write this guide on how to boost and increase FPS in Counter-Strike 2.

how to increase fps in cs 2 guide tips tricks

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Best tip to increase FPS in CS 2: for now, you’ll have to tinker a lot

Today, we will name the best ways to increase FPS in CS2 effectively. We prepared an ultimate guide to CS2 setting that would help you with FPS. Below you will find part with descriptions on how to work with CS2 settings (shaders, textures, shadows, FSR, etc.), some tricky features and much more. These are not ordinary things! Read carefully and apply to your CS2.

New Anti-Aliasing Affect FPS in CS 2

CS2 has a new type of anti-aliasing. Instead of FXAA, Valve introduced CMAA2 to the game. Let’s compare them easily and understandably. FXAA is fast anti-aliasing, which simply blurs the picture on your screen. CMAA2 is the same fast anti-aliasing that smartly blurs what you see on the screen while maintaining clarity and details.

Basically, this means that CMAA2 can be enabled with minimal performance loss without affecting FPS and get a picture with fewer pixelled ladders and other image gags without Anti-Aliasing. A good alternative for MSAA if you’re after a frame-per-second boost for CS2. Enabling MSAA will affect the number of frames per second.

Shadows, Textures and Ambient Occlusion

CS2 has about ten graphic settings which affect FPS and performance; let’s divide them into two groups. First, let’s talk about CS2 settings that affect FPS the most. Next, we’ll talk about other parameters that could potentially help you increase FPS in CS2 but not that much.

These three have the greatest effect on the number of frames per second in CS2:

  • Shadow Quality
  • Texture Quality
  • Ambient Occlusion

By playing with Low Shadows, you can gain 8-9% more FPS compared to playing with CS2 settings set to Max. Enabling Ambient Occlusion will eat up to 6% of the total FPS in CS2. Finally, having Textures set above Medium can result in an FPS loss of approximately 5%. Do the math: combined, these three settings can reduce your frames per second by 15-20%.

Shaders, Particles and High Dynamic Range

Now, let’s talk about settings that won’t affect CS2 performance very much: Shaders, Particles and High Dynamic Range. Each of these can result in a loss of 1-2% of the total frames per second. Lower it only if necessary to squeeze out just a couple more FPS in CS2. Otherwise, they shouldn’t be touched at all.

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What is AMD FidelityFX in CS 2 and how it increases FPS?

Another new CS 2 video setting. Shortly, AMD FidelityFX is smart (software) image upscaling. It works like this: the game renders each frame at a lower resolution, and then AMD’s newest software technology processes this frame to make it look better. Basically, re-rendering each frame to have a higher resolution. But don’t panic: it’s a banger feature to increase FPS for old PCs. Here’s how it will look:

How does it affect your CS2? If you turn on this setting, you can increase the number of frames per second without sacrificing much image quality, just like if you lower your screen resolution. This is a reasonable balance between the performance and high textures in CS 2.

Right now, NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency doesn’t seem to be working properly. Many players complain about slow performance or even lags when using it. So, until Valve corrects it, we recommend that you turn NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency off.

CS 2 Graphics Settings: New Shadows, Particles, HDR

CS 2 also brought new Shadows. Now they look better overall, and you can see your own shadow, too. However, you have to get rid of all these if you want more FPS in CS. Shadows can be set to MIN, but you won’t lose any important information: you will still see every vital shadow. Compared to CS:GO, Shadows set for MIN look a little better in CS2, so you won’t miss a piece. 

CS 2 on HIGH Settings

Another video setting, HDR, will affect CS 2’s image contrast, including objects in the shadows. The good news is that this option doesn’t affect frames per second much, so if you can afford to turn it on or simply want it working, permission granted.

The last new setting is Particle Detail. Particles are basically all sorts of dust, smoke and other similar tiny things. It’s a cool thing CS 2 can display all the changes you make in the settings instantly, so just use it while in the menu to see how by reducing the quality of the particles you can significantly reduce the density of smoke from a burning barrel on the background. Still, we haven’t found any places on, for example, Dust 2, with tons of particles to have a noticeable difference when this parameter was changed. However, today our task is to raise FPS in CS 2, which means that you can safely reduce this setting to MIN.

Lowest Shadow settings in CS 2.

Does NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency help Increase FPS in CS 2?

At the very bottom of Options, you can see NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency. According to NVIDIA, this technology helps reduce input lag. Pay attention: it’s not about ping, Internet Connection, or something like that. This thing decreases the system’s delays.

Let us explain with an example: mouse movement. Any modern gaming mouse doesn’t instantly respond when you press a button. They react almost instantly. ‘Almost’ includes the time to process a click, send information to your computer, and the time to process it, before sending it to the server. Typically, this delay is measured in milliseconds. And NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency technology eliminates the delay.

Great news! NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency doesn’t affect you CS 2 performance and, subsequently, rate of FPS in it. At least that’s what the developers say. Well, and the tiny bad part is that you can only enable it on GTX 900 series or newer GPUs. Therefore, if you have a suitable GPU, you can safely enable this option.

Best Optimized CS2 Settings

The following would be the best optimized settings for CS2 to get the maximum frames per second:

  • Monitor Resolution: default. If necessary or else, reduce to 1280×960.
  • Boost Player Contrast: Enable. Won’t affect performance, will help to play.
  • Multisampling Anti-Aliasing Mode: CMAA2. Good PC? Turn MSAAx4.
  • Shadow Quality: Low.
  • Texture Quality: Medium.
  • Shaders: Low.
  • Particle Effects: Low.
  • Ambient Occlusion: Low.
  • High Dynamic Range: Quality.
  • FidelityFX: Quality.
  • Nvidia Reflex Low Latency: Disabled.

Additional advice and more tips to increase FPS in CS2

Good news: you can increase FPS in CS 2 the same way as you did in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. All these tips and tricks still work. To improve the game for a few more frames per second, you can always:

  1. Lower the graphics settings to MIN
  2. Cut your in-game resolution
  3. Close all side applications
  4. Use some console commands

And if it didn’t help and you still can’t play comfortably, or you want even more, the only option is to upgrade your hardware. Yet, here comes a set of tips that work great not only in CS:GO, but also in CS2.

Summary: What Can Increase FPS in CS2?

Let’s sum things up about how is better to increase FPS in CS 2.

First, just do whatever worked in CS:GO. Also, CS 2 has two new video settings that will help you get more frames per second: CMAA2 anti-aliasing, which is slightly faster than MSAA; and using the latest upscaling in-game software by AMD, FidelityFX Super Resolution, which brings you to balance between picture quality and frames per second.

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