With the launch of Counter-Strike 2, many players have been experiencing low performance (FPS), lag issues, in-game stutters, and other issues. In this guide, we show you how to fix low FPS and stuttering issues in CS2. We have also discussed a few fixes for high ping and lag in CS2. So without further delay, here are some solutions to fix low FPS, lag, stuttering, and optimize your Counter-Strike 2 experience on Windows.
1. Use the Right Graphics Settings
First, you need to locate the CS2.exe file. You can easily find it by going to your Steam library, right-clicking on Counter-Strike 2, and then going to properties. Here, go to Installed Files and then click on Browse. You will find yourself in the CS2 installation folder, so note down where it exists.
For us, the CS2.exe executable was installed at the following location: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Global Offensive\game\bin\win64”. Make sure you know where is the CS2.exe before you proceed further.
- Now, click on the Windows Start menu. Then, search for ‘Display Settings‘ and open it when the suggested result shows up.
Alternatively, you press the Windows keyboard shortcut Win + I, and the Settings app will open. You can then navigate to the Display Settings.
- Inside the Display Settings, scroll down to find the ‘Graphics‘ section and click on it.
- Here, we can select which GPU to use for Counter-Strike 2. Under “Custom options for apps,” click the Browse button to add the CS2 executable.
- Now, we have to select CS2.exe. Go to the Counter-Strike 2 installation directory shown in the first step.
- When you are in the CS2 game’s files, navigate to “game\bin\win64” here. Under this folder, you will find CS2.exe so click on it and then click on Add.
- Now, you will find Counter-Strike 2 listed under the Windows 11 Graphics settings. Click on Options next to CS2.exe and then set the GPU (graphics card) to High Performance. Setting this ensures only your dedicated GPU is being used for CS2. Remember to click ‘Save’ when you are done.
2. Set CS2.exe to High Priority in Task Manager
- Launch Counter-Strike 2 from Steam. Once CS2.exe is running, go to the desktop.
- Now, right-click on the taskbar and click on Task Manager to open it. Alternatively, press ‘Ctrl + Shift + Esc’ simultaneously.
- Next, go to the Details tab and look for CS2.exe in the list.
- When you find CS2.exe, right-click on the app. Then, click on Priority and set CS2.exe to High priority.
3. Set Maximum Matchmaking Ping
Setting Maximum Matchmaking Ping in Counter-Strike 2 should solve the issue of high ping or lag in CS2. Here’s how you can change this settings:
- Launch the game and click the cog icon at the top left to open CS2 settings.
- Then, simply go to the Game settings and adjust the slider for ‘Max Acceptable Matchmaking Ping‘ to 100. This will set a filter for the max ping while searching CS2 games. If you can’t find CS2 matches under 100 ping, adjust the slider in increments of 50.
Note: While playing on high ping servers in CS2, I noticed some stutters and lag, so optimizing this particular setting should solve your high ping issue in CS2.
- Also, make sure to set the ‘Max Acceptable Game Traffic Bandwidth‘ setting to Unrestricted. With this, CS2 will be able to use all of your network speed.
Furthermore, ensure you are playing on a good network and consider wired internet if you still have ping spikes in Counter-Strike 2.
4. Close Background Apps & Minimize Startup Apps
Open the Task Manager and go to Startup apps. Here, disable the ones you don’t need while playing CS2. Restart your PC when done, and the number of background apps should be minimized.
Also, in the Task Manager, we suggest you close all unnecessary processes and apps that can interfere with the game. You can follow our dedicated guide on Windows 11 optimizations too.
5. Turn off Nvidia Reflex in CS2
Nvidia Reflex is a good input-lag reducing technology. It is available in CS2’s graphics settings, and many benefit from using it. However, many have reportedly had issues with using Nvidia Reflex, so try disabling it in the CS2 graphics settings to extract more FPS. If you don’t have FPS problems when using this setting, you can leave it on.
6. Turn on AMD FSR in CS2
AMD FidelityFX (FSR) Super Resolution can be used to boost FPS and extract better performance in Counter-Strike 2. You can read about how the technology works in the linked article.
In Counter-Strike 2, head to Video settings and set “this “FidelityFX Super Resolution” to Ultra Quality. To further increase FPS, you can try using other presets such as Performance or Balanced. When using a laptop without dedicated Nvidia or AMD graphics, the integrated Intel GPU gave me 60-100FPS in CS2 while using the Performance setting.
7. Use the Best CS2 Graphics Settings
Using the right Counter Strike 2 graphics settings is important to get the maximum FPS in-game. So, optimize it accordingly with our best Counter-Strike 2 Settings guide. We have given an optimal preset (for mid-range PCs), which you can use to tune your CS2 graphics settings for optimal competitive gameplay. There is a second CS2 graphics preset for low-end PCs, which we tested on an Intel 12th Gen laptop with integrated graphics. We got about 60-100FPS on the low-end preset.
8. Use Custom Nvidia Control Panel Settings
Follow the steps in this section if you own an Nvidia graphics card. Here are the best custom settings for CS2:
- First, right-click on your desktop and click on Show more options. Then, select Nvidia Control Panel.
- Navigate to Manage 3D Settings. Then, click on Program Settings.
- Next, click on Add and then click on Browse. Then, navigate to the CS2.exe, as shown previously to add it to the Nvidia Control Panel.
- You can use the below suggested Nvidia Control Panel settings for Counter-Strike 2 to potentially get higher frames. The automatic settings are still fine, but some people might need to set it manually for optimized FPS in CS2.
9. Check CPU/GPU Temperatures & Fix If Needed
Download HWInfo from the link here, and then open the app. Open Counter-Strike 2 and play the game for 15+ minutes. Press Alt+Tab to switch to then desktop, and then look at the temperature info for your CPU & GPU in HWInfo. If this is around 90-95 degree-Celcius, you might be experiencing throttling.
If so, you need to clean your PC’s internals (cooling fans) and consider replacing the thermal paste if needed. Once your temperatures are back to normal, your CPU and GPU will perform at their potential again. Counter-Strike 2 will run with fewer stutters and higher FPS.
10. Check Gaming Laptop MUX Switch
Many gaming laptops come with a MUX switch, using which you can switch your laptop display to run either on the integrated graphics (such as Intel Iris), or the dedicated GPU (Nvidia/AMD). So, you should consider using the MUX switch feature to run on the Discrete graphics mode.
If you have the MUX switch feature, you can find it under your gaming laptop’s control panel settings (such as Asus Armory Crate or MSI Dragon Center). Ensure you are running on the dedicated graphics when playing CS2 for the best FPS.
These are some potential fixes that can help improve your gameplay experience in Counter-Strike 2. If you have any other suggestions to reduce stutters and improve FPS, let us know in the comments below.