Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was made by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment all the way back in August 2012. For reference, that’s the same year that Borderlands 2, Mass Effect 3, and Halo 4 came out. Still, this eight-year-old game continues to have an active following due to its eSports presence, its popularity on Twitch, and its transition to a free-to-play model back in 2018.
Unfortunately, there’s a common problem with stuttering and frame drops. Weird, right? A game designed for the PS3 and Xbox 360 era shouldn’t have any trouble performing on even the humblest modern gaming computers, so why is my CS:GO stuttering?
Well, friends, odds are that your PC specs aren’t to blame here. We’re going to walk you through how to fix micro stuttering in CS:GO so you can get back to defusing bombs and rescuing hostages without a single dropped frame.
First of All, What Is Stuttering?
We should define what exactly we mean by “stuttering” before we get into how to fix CS:GO stuttering lag.
Stuttering is when there is enough of a lag between frames for it to become noticeable to the user. This can appear as anything from little jumps (or “stutters”) to drawn-out pauses. It’s an incredibly frustrating experience in any game, but especially in first-person shooters like CS:GO, which require intense concentration and the ability to react instantaneously.
It can be hard to pin down exactly what causes stuttering. The issue can source back to your hardware, software, or connectivity. Some problems cause a drop in frame rates, while others can make stuttering occur while your FPS is still high. This guide will cover some of the most common problems and give you options on how to fix FPS stuttering in CS:GO.
Update Graphics Drivers
One of the most common sources of all kinds of gaming issues is also one of the easiest to fix. Updating your drivers is free, easy, and can resolve any number of technical problems you might be having. It’s simple, but it has to be said. It might also be the most likely culprit if you’re trying to figure out how to fix sound stuttering in CS:GO.
If you have an AMD GPU, simply open your AMD Radeon Software application, and it will automatically prompt you about any major updates. To check for smaller updates, click the “Home” button on the lower left panel. Then click “New Update,” and it will show you if there are any minor updates of the drivers available.
If you have an Nvidia GPU, open the GeForce Experience app and click on the button in the top left of the window that says “Drivers.” This page will let you know if there is an update available and prompt you to download and install it.
Download the CS:GO Beta Depot Update
This fix is exclusively for Nvidia users. Valve noticed a while back that many players with Nvidia GPUs were experiencing CS:GO stuttering with high FPS. This means that while their hardware was more than up to the task, they were having trouble interfacing with the CS:GO software.
“To opt into Beta depots:
- Open the Steam client and navigate to your LIBRARY.
- Right-click on CS:GO and select ‘Properties’.
- Click on the BETAS tab.
- Select the beta you would like to opt into through the drop-down box.
- You will be prompted to restart your client. After restarting, launch CS:GO to play the game with its Beta changes.”
You can always opt back out through the BETAS tab if this doesn’t resolve your problem.
Check Your Internet Speed
This might seem like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how often it’s overlooked. Keep in mind that internet service providers often cite “up-to” speeds. That means that while you might be paying for “up to 80 Mbps”, your actual speed might be less than half that. A good way to check your speed is with an internet speed test like this one by Ookla. Check it multiple times and see if your speed is adequate and if there are any noticeable drops. If so, you may need to contact your internet provider.
Wi-Fi could also be the source of the problem. A direct (wired) ethernet connection is always best, but we understand that isn’t an option for everyone. Parents and landlords aren’t always keen on you drilling holes in the walls to run a CAT6 from your router to your bedroom. Still, a weak or inconsistent network signal could be the source of your issue.
In that case, your router is the most likely culprit. It might be time to consider an upgrade. Otherwise, a Wi-Fi booster could give your signal the extra range you need. You should also make sure your PC has a sufficient Wi-Fi card to adequately receive the signal.
Dial Down the Overclocking
Stuttering can often occur when components overheat.
If you’ve recently overclocked your GPU to the point that it’s “stable,” (meaning it doesn’t crash under load), there’s a possibility that it’s still running very hot. This can lead to thermal throttling, meaning you’re GPU can’t dissipate heat as fast as it’s generating it, so it drops performance in an effort to keep itself cool.
Keep an eye on your temps while in-game. It might be time to dial back your overclock if your GPU is running hot right before the stuttering starts. If your GPU is running hot and isn’t overclocked, it may have a problem with its cooling solution.
Lower Your Settings
No one wants to hear it, but not every graphics card can keep up with every game. CS:GO isn’t overly strenuous on modern GPUs, but it can still make life difficult if you have outdated hardware.
Assuming an upgrade is out of the question, your best option might be to lower some settings. Here are a few of the settings that put the biggest strain on your GPU. Open CS:GO and navigate to Game Settings and then Video. Changing these will take some of the strain off your GPU and help boost your FPS.
- Resolution: Set to 1080p or lower
- Frame Rate Limit: Set to the refresh rate of your monitor
Now click on the Advanced Video tab.
- Global Shadow Quality: Low
- Model/Texture Detail: Low
- Effect Detail: Low
- Shader Detail: Low
- Multicore Rendering: Enabled
- Multisampling Anti-Aliasing Mode: None
- FXAA Anti-Aliasing: Disabled
- Texture Filtering Mode: Bilinear
- Wait for Vertical Sync: Disabled
- Motion Blur: Disabled
Check Your Launch Options
Launch options are settings that are automatically applied whenever you launch a game. Many of these are known culprits of stuttering in CS:GO.
To change your launch options, start by opening Steam. Next, navigate to CS:GO in your library. Right click on the title, then click “Properties.” This will open a new window. Now click “Set Launch Options.”
This window will allow you to enter several different commands that inform the game of what protocols to activate at launch. Here is a list of commands provided by totalcsgo.com to help improve your game performance.
For better performance overall: -tickrate 128 +fps_max 0 -novid -nojoy
For improved FPS: +fps_max 0 -nojoy -high -fullscreen +mat_disable_fancy_blending 1 +cl_forcepreload 1 -limitvsconst -forcenovsync +r_dynamic 0
Copy-paste your chosen command list into the Set Launch Options window to activate them.
Try the better performance option first to see if that fixes the problem. The improved FPS option disables a lot of GPU-intensive processes like dynamic lighting. It’s best only to use it if low frame-rates are the cause of your game stuttering; otherwise, you’ll be sacrificing game features for little to no improvement.
We hope this guide helped you resolve any stuttering issues you may have with CS:GO. Be sure to follow High Ground Gaming for more guides.