Best Performance and graphics settings for Counter-Strike source

Counter-Strike Source is one of the remakes of the most popular game ever made: Counter-Strike  1.6 (CS 1.6). It reined as the most played game of the last decade and now is replaced by the continuation of its series Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS: GO). Due to its large player base and popular demand we are making a guide for the best performance and graphics settings in Counter-Strike Source.

With this guide, you can be sure to become a pro player with smooth, lag-free gameplay. You can edit the in-game settings and Steam launch options for Counter-Strike Source.

Most Recommended Esports Course for CS: GO

CS: GO Pro Esports Course

CS: GO Danger zone Course

Steam Launch Options for Counter-Strike Source

How to set steam launch options for Counter-Strike Source:

  • Open Steam
  • Go to the Library tab
  • Right-click on Counter-Strike Source
  • Select Properties then the General tab
  • Click “Set Launch Options

Now type the following in the steam launch options dialogue box as shown in the image:


What do these options do:


Disables the valve startup video and speeds up the time taken for the game to start.


Sets the process priority to high. It helps increase FPS and performance in the Counter-Strike source.


It tells the game to use all your CPU cores for the game. Helpful for systems with multiple cores.

Best Graphics Settings for Counter-Strike Source

Video Settings

performance settings counter-strike source

Resolution: Max Resolution

Using your default resolution is the best choice if you want a good balance of performance and quality unless your PC is too old to run at the default resolution. That generally won’t be the case with CS Source.

Aspect Ratio: Default

Auto is the best aspect ratio setting when it comes to performance and gameplay experience. Unless you have an ultrawide monitor, you will have an aspect ratio of 16:9 for normal screens.

Display Mode: Fullscreen

Fullscreen is the best option to go for Counter-Strike Source if you want to spot players better. Distractions like borders can make you lose focus when playing a competitive game like Counter-Strike Source.

Advanced Graphics Settings

graphics settings counter-strike source

Model Detail: High

This deals with the quality of the player models in the game. You can set it to High if you’re playing on high and mid-end systems.

For lower-end systems, I recommend setting it to Medium. You need this setting since you will be able to spot players better and distinguish them between enemy and foe. Friendly fire is really annoying and can get you banned as well.

Plus the game will look much better!

Texture Detail: High

The texture quality setting in Counter-Strike Source is the most important setting for your gameplay experience.

If you have 4GB of graphics or higher go with high settings. This will help you spot players and get easy kills. Everyone else can go with medium settings.

Never choose the low setting for this one!

Shader Detail: Low

Generally, I recommend disabling any option that can interfere with your gameplay by adding additional effects in the game. This is a prime example.

Higher settings of Shader Detail do improve the graphic quality of the game, but it also adds unnecessary reflections and interfere with certain factors in the game. Setting this to low can help you spot enemies from the smoke.

This is a huge advantage!

Water Detail: Simple Reflections

You need all the FPS you can get so turn this off and you will get some more FPS and smoother performance at the low graphics water reflections.

Shadow Level: Low

This has the 2nd biggest impact on FPS after textures. So make sure to always set this at low. You’ll need the extra performance for textures. To save performance as much as you can always go with very low shadow settings.

It’s simply not worth the cost of the graphics resources.

Color Correction: Enabled

It does not impact FPS a lot so you can enable it or disable it based on personal preference.

Antialiasing Mode: None

This setting has a HUGE impact on FPS. So unless you have a really good graphics card select none. It does help in improving the graphics quality so if your system can take it you can max it out.

I do need to warn you that enabling this setting takes up a lot of resources. You need at least 4GB of graphics to use it.

Filtering Mode: Bilinear

This option forces texture render using specific methods for filtering. Bilinear filters it 2x whereas you can go up to 16x in the setting. Set it to bilinear is the best since you get the best performance in Counter-Strike Source.

Wait For Vertical Sync: Disabled

Disable this setting because it creates lags by dropping FPS to match the screen refresh rate. It also adds input lag which you definitely don’t want to happen.

Motion Blur: Off

Why do you want to blur your vision? Turn this setting off. Getting flash banged is enough of a headache already.

Multicore Rendering: Enabled

It adds a tiny bit of input lag, but the trade is worth it because Multicore Rendering will drastically boost your FPS if you have a multicore CPU (enable it if you have at least a quad-core).

High dynamic range: None

Set this to none save the much-needed resources to maximize Counter-Strike source gameplay performance. You can turn it on if you have a big screen since it does improve the color.

Bloom: Off

I recommend turning it off because it only hampers vision and gives a blinding effect to players. This setting has a bad influence on both your performance and gameplay, so I suggest disabling it.

Click on Okay and save the settings.

Now restart the game and enjoy a lag-free performance in Counter-Strike Source

I hope these graphics settings for Counter-Strike Source have been informative and helpful to you. And I appreciate you for taking the time to reading this guide all the way through.

If this guide did not help you get the performance you need then you probably need to upgrade your system. I hope you have fun playing Counter-Strike Source.

For more tips on optimizing Windows 10 read: How to make your pc faster

Also read: How to make your wifi faster for gaming

See you in-game!

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.