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Will CS2 Reduce Your FPS Compared to CS:GO? Explained

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CS:GO has been a benchmark standard for gamers. Since the game has been released, almost every CPU and GPU test has relied on the game to see how much FPS it can squeeze out of it. Now that the mantle has been passed on to CS2, what can you expect in terms of FPS with the newer title?

So, this begs the question, will CS2 reduce FPS compared to CS:GO? And, what exact graphical changes / improvements can you expect once you finally start playing the game?

  • Guides
  • May 30, 2023
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CS2 AND CS:GO – FPS COMPARISION

You will get lower FPS in CS2 when playing on the same settings as compared to CS2. This is because CS2 runs on a newer engine (Source 2.) Because of this, it has higher definition textures to render, more effects, better lighting, and multiple other minor graphical changes that lead to the game being more demanding than its 11-year-old predecessor.

To get into the nitty-gritty, we’re going to be taking a look at the game running on the Lowest settings and then the Highest settings. This should provide us with a better benchmark of what to expect especially if you are playing the game on eSports settings.

LOW SETTINGS

Low and High FPS Comparision

At low settings, CS2 will have about 17-20% reduced performance. So, if you have a 120 Hz monitor and your GPU was rendering only 130 FPS, you actually won’t be able to get a full 120 Hz on CS2.

However, looking at the bright side – there has been a great deal of improvement to the overall visual fidelity of the game. The lowest settings now in CS2 look much better than what they do in CS:GO. Because of this, it is only natural that the game runs slightly worse.

It is clear that Valve has set up a better minimum standard for CS2 as compared to CS:GO, targeting the mid-range GPUs and CPUs of now rather than 11 years ago. Naturally, older systems may struggle a bit more when playing CS2 now.

HIGH SETTINGS

At high settings, CS2 will have about 7-10% reduced performance. This isn’t a lot. In most cases, you will hardly notice the difference in FPS. Plus, at High settings, it won’t really hurt you to take the standard down a notch and opt for Medium as well in CS2.

The primary difference here is that there isn’t a major difference in visual fidelity between High in CS2 and CS:GO. While CS2 does look more visually appealing, it isn’t exactly because of texture quality or better looking skins. Instead, it is because of better, modern color-mapping techniques, the utilization of better reflections and shadows, and more elements being added to maps to liven things up.

So, even if you can’t run CS2 at High settings, you won’t really be missing a lot of the experience, as most of it is replicable on low settings.

LOW ON CS2 AND HIGH ON CS:GO

You will get 6% better FPS on CS2 if you used to play on High in CS:GO. This is quite an important metric. As we mentioned prior, there isn’t a lot of visual difference between High settings in CS:GO and CS2.

And, since the minimum standard of CS2 has been ticked up a notch, you will actually be getting better quality, effects, and clarity if you play CS2 on Low as compared to CS:GO on High. Moreover, you will also be getting more FPS out of it as well.

So, if you have a rig that you think won’t be able to do well if you crank everything to max on CS2 – well, don’t! Most of the changes in CS2 are under the hood, prevalent around network optimizations and overall gameplay dynamics.

Because of this, your visual settings don’t really matter that much in the newer title. What you will get while playing CS2 on Low, however, is access to the newer color maps, which leads to a more vibrant and clear experience.

WHAT SETTINGS SHOULD I PLAY ON IN CS2?

The Low settings are the best settings in CS2 right now. Cranking everything except your resolution down to its lowest possible settings ensure that you get the best of both worlds. You’ll be able to get the visual clarity you so desperately need while also being able to experience CS2’s newest lighting effects.

While cranking everything up to High won’t really affect your gameplay by a substantial margin, it can feel cluttered at times, especially in more intense situations with a lot of flashes and smokes being thrown around answering the question of whether CS2 will reduce FPS. 

As compared to CS:GO, the Low settings are much more visually pleasing. And, to the untrained eye, you might not even be able to notice the difference between the Low and Medium settings. However, the difference in FPS between the two is quite stark. Because of this, we recommend sticking to Low settings as it’ll also help ensure your 1% Lows (what causes stutters and frame skips) is also kept in check. 

DO I NEED TO UPGRADE MY HARDWARE FOR CS2?

The question of whether you need to upgrade your hardware for CS2 depends entirely on your rig configuration. To help you navigate that, we’ve created this quick and handy guide that helps you decide whether an upgrade is necessary or not in the first place 

CS:GO FPS on Desired QualityDesired CS2 QualityUpgrade?
120 High
60High
120Low
60Low

*Note: This table assumes you have a 120 Hz monitor.

Taking this table into consideration, it is clear that, in most cases the answer to the question of will CS2 reduce FPS is a yes. But, you probably don’t need to upgrade your rig to be able to play CS2 at a reasonable FPS, and you’ll be able to have a good time without the latest and greatest. If you do have some extra cash laying around, you can just opt for leveling up on Steam with it instead. 

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