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CS2 System Requirements Guide

Looking to join the hype and play Counter-Strike: 2 because all your friends are playing it, but unsure of whether you have the resources to run the game? In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know about hardware requirements you need to enjoy a seamless CS2 experience.

CS:GO vs. CS2 – Which One Is Heavier?

Counter-Strike: 2 is undoubtedly heavier than its predecessor, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. CS2 is running on the Source 2 engine, which brings numerous improvements in graphics and lighting that cause the game to be significantly heavier than CS:GO. 

Almost all users, despite varying setups, have reported that CS2 takes a larger toll on CPU and GPU performance, as the game demands more to support enhanced visuals. As a result, CS2 will require low-end players to upgrade their gaming rigs to handle the game. 

System Requirements To Run CS2

The developers of CS2, Valve, have officially released the minimum system requirements needed to run CS2. However, the minimum requirements will not guarantee a satisfactory gaming experience, which is why we’ve also included the recommended requirements to ensure you have a good time. 

CS2 Minimum Specs For Windows Computers

On the Counter-Strike: 2 Store Page on the Steam client, Valve has suggested these minimum requirements for players looking to play the game:

Requirement Minimum Requirements To Run CS2
Memory 8 GB RAM
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce 610M
Processor Intel Core i5-750
Available Storage 85 GB
Operating Software Windows 10

The minimum computer specs required has seen a decent jump from CS:GO to CS2. This is due to the new Source 2 engine that has brought numerous graphical, lighting, and visual upgrades. As a result, the game takes better specs to run.

Though the minimum requirements aren’t extremely demanding, players with this sort of setup cannot expect to get more than 30 FPS. Frankly speaking, playing on less than 30 FPS is not ideal for a game like Counter-Strike, where smooth movement and precision is required. 

CS2 Recommended Specs For Windows Computers

For a pleasant Counter-Strike: 2 experience, it is suggested that players meet the recommended requirements to run the game with a satisfactory amount of FPS

If you don’t want to see performance issues when playing CS2, you should at least meet these requirements:

Requirement CS2 Recommended Specs
Memory 16 GB RAM
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
Processor Intel Core i7-9700K
Available Storage 85 GB
Operating Software Windows 11

 

If you’re looking to play CS2 competitively and climb the ranks, investing in up-to-date hardware is required to boost the performance of your game client. Playing in low frames creates a massive disadvantage, especially in high-levels of Counter-Strike gameplay where every pixel and second counts. 

Professional CS2 players play with no less than 240 FPS. Therefore, some players with the CS2 recommended specs still look to tone down their video settings to increase their FPS performance to try reaching more than 300 FPS despite running the game relatively well already.  

CS2 Minimum Specs For Mac OS and Linux

Though it is unpopular, some players also play CS2 using Mac or Linux devices. In that case, here are the minimum requirements for each operating software:

Minimum System Requirements for Mac OS Devices

Though playing on a Mac device is not the most recommended option, it is still possible to run CS2, but you will need to meet these requirements at least:

Requirement Minimum Requirements To Run CS2
Memory 8 GB RAM
Graphics Card ATI Radeon HD 2400 veya Nvidia 8600M
Processor Intel Core Duo Processor 2 GHz
Available Storage 85 GB

 

You don’t have much room to customize the hardware on your Mac device, which is why you won’t enjoy playing CS2 on a MacBook or iMac.

Minimum System Requirements for Linux Devices

Not many people choose Linux as their operating software, but Valve still put a section for Linux in the official System Requirements page. 

Requirement Minimum Requirements To Run CS2
Memory 8 GB RAM
Graphics Card NVIDIA Kepler+
Processor Intel Core i5-750
Available Storage 85 GB
Operating Software Ubuntu 20.04

Of course, playing with higher quality hardware than what’s mentioned above will net you higher FPS levels on your Linux device. 

Can My Computer Run CS2 Properly?

Before getting into this topic, we need to understand that CS2 can generate varying performance results in different configurations and setups. You can judge whether your computer is fit to run the game properly by referring to the minimum and recommended settings provided above. 

In terms of hardware, the two key components to improve your CS2 experience are the processor and graphics card. You should look into getting processors from recent generations and combine it with a mid to high-end graphics card to ensure performance remains up-to-date. 

Moving on to the software side, another important factor to remember is that players can optimize their in-game settings, such as graphics and lighting settings. Toning these settings down can result in higher performance. Players can also decrease their in-game resolution to lower values, which is an effective way to boost FPS.

Remember that downgrading your video settings will make the game look less appealing, but it is often a good tradeoff for increased performance, which is crucial in a game like Counter-Strike. You’re here to shoot heads, not enjoy the scenery!

How Important Is A Monitor’s Refresh Rate In CS2?

One of the most important hardware-related aspects to a seamless CS2 experience is your monitor’s refresh rate. 

A refresh rate determines how many times per second your monitor can display new images. The measurement for refresh rates is hertz (Hz). That being said, most gaming monitors have a refresh rate of at least 120 Hz, meaning it can display 120 images per second. 

As we know, CS2 is a game where milliseconds matter, so you can imagine how a higher refresh rate can create an advantage. If you’re looking to get better at the game, you should at least look for a monitor that supports 144 Hz.

But if you’re looking to go professional, most CS2 pros cannot play the game properly with anything below 240 Hz. At the highest level where every pixel counts, professional players need the best equipment, which is why most use 360 Hz displays. 

How To Increase Performance In CS2

If you are barely meeting the system requirements, or simply want to improve your FPS in CS2, here are some effective methods you can follow to enhance your performance:

Turn down graphics settings

The first thing to do when looking to increase your FPS in CS2 is to go to your in-game settings and change all graphics settings to the lowest option. Decreasing your graphics settings will make CS2 look less appealing, but it will at least let you play the game properly.

Change your display resolution and aspect ratio

Another way to improve your performance through in-game settings is using a lower resolution and aspect ratio. You should look to use a 4:3 aspect ratio, as it displays less of the screen, and use a low resolution such as 1280×960. Even professional players with 400 FPS still use a stretched resolution.

Upgrade your GPU and/or CPU

If you refuse to sacrifice CS2’s aesthetics and visuals, then the only real option is to upgrade your graphics card or processor, or both. These two hardware are the most influential PC parts that can help you run the game better. Of course, you’ll have to prepare a budget since they don’t come cheap.

Use launch options to boost FPS

Last but not least, you can also utilize performance launch options that may result in an improvement. Some launch options you should use include:

  • -novid
  • -nojoy
  • -high
  • -nod3d9ex

Hopefully this guide has helped you understand what you need to run CS2 properly. Players who were fine in CS:GO have reported that they faced significant drops in FPS when playing CS2, so it’s completely understandable if you’re facing performance issues.

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