Which resolution should you use in Counter-Strike 2?

Jitendra Soni
A gaming rig with multi colored lightsFreepik

Looking to find which resolution to use in Counter-Strike 2? We break down all the options and aspect ratios to choose from.

Fans of the Counter-Strike games will be aware that the games have several curious quirks. Experienced players are familiar with them and know exactly what settings to use, but new or returning players keen to engage in some iconic FPS action with Counter-Strike 2 might be in for a surprise when it comes to the aspect ratio and resolution to use.

Article continues after ad

For most games, you usually want your resolution as high as your GPU and monitor can handle, or to set it to “Recommended” settings. This is not necessarily the case with CS2. While personal preference does play a part, there are other factors to consider.

Lower settings can optimize performance, but affect the visual appearance of the game. For those on lower-end PCs may wish to consider knocking the graphics settings down to make everything smoother, while those on powerful gaming rigs might prefer to see everything in crystal clarity.

Article continues after ad

This guide takes a look at all the available options and provides recommendations on what the best solution is for you.

4:3 resolutions: 1024×768/1280×960

Counter strike on a 4:3 resolutionDexerto

Many players, especially pros, prefer a stretched 4:3 aspect ratio over a more standard 16:9 aspect ratio, primarily because when stretched, it also stretches the size of enemy players, making them a bigger target. It also runs at higher FPS, even for lower-end computers. Counter-Strike 2 should work perfectly fine in 4:3 stretched mode.

At 1280×960 resolution, you get a squarish aspect ratio of 4:3, but if you’re using a 16:9 monitor, it leaves black bars on either side of the frame. The benefit of this resolution is that you can focus on the “business” area of the game, and it lets you run a game at a higher FPS, even if you have a lower-end computer.

Article continues after ad

You get a stretched in-game view while running in fullscreen, and it also means you get no obtrusive black vertical bars. Since it’s still 4:3, you get to focus on the key parts of the game, but some graphic elements may feel stretched out. Typically, black bars are used by players who were used to the 4:3 aspect ratio from early versions of CS, where it was the standard.

As such, 4:3 is preferred by a large number of pro players. While various pros swear by this aspect ratio, not all top players use 4:3.

Article continues after ad

16:10 resolutions: 1280×800/1680×1050

Counter strike on a 16:10 resolutionDexerto

Slightly lower than the native resolution, 16:10 works as a sweet spot between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios. The sidebars are smaller than the 4:3 aspect ratio, which you might prefer. You still get higher frame rates than the 16:9 aspect ratio in some cases too.

If you do not like the black bars, you can hide them by stretching the images. This will make enemies slightly larger, but without the downsides of 4:3: first, enemies won’t move across the screen space so fast, and two, you have greater peripheral vision.

Article continues after ad

16:9 resolutions: 1280×720/1600×900/1920×1080

Counter strike on a 16:9 resolutionDexerto

Most games these days are designed for 16:9 aspect ratio. On a monitor that supports a 16:9 aspect ratio, the games look more visually pleasing and offer an unobstructed view of in-game content.

If you have gaming-focused hardware like a high-end gaming pc, best-in-class CPU, GPU, mouse, and keyboard, then playing games at this wide-aspect ratio offers the best visual experience. However, if your rig is not a high-end gaming setup, you might lose frame rates resulting in a worse gameplay experience.

Article continues after ad

Additionally, 16:9 is very rarely used by pro players (but some do), because enemies are smaller targets, compared to stretched res like 4:3 or 16:10. However, using the default aspect ratio isn’t unheard of among top players, for example, FaZe Clan’s Robin ‘ropz’ Kool plays on 16:9, 1920×1080.

If you are just starting out Counter-Strike with CS2, then we’d recommend sticking to default settings for now, provided you are achieving at least 240fps at 16:9, 1920×1080.

If you are struggling with FPS, lowering the resolution can be an easy fix. And, if you want to try playing like the pros, switching to 4:3 or 16:10 stretched is worth trying out.

Article continues after ad

Related Topics

About The Author

Jitendra loves writing about tech, especially smartphones. He has almost 10 years of experience. He spearheaded the TechRadar India editorial operations and has written for TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Free Press Journal, Mobile Scout, IB Times Singapore, Indulge Express, and more. He can be reached at jitendra.soni@dexerto.com