How to Boost Source FPS in Counter-Strike

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In "Counter-Strike: Source," an online multi-player shooter that pits terrorists against counter-terrorists, a single well-placed shot can end your round, meaning that speed and accuracy are vital. Because of this, you will need every frame per second (FPS) your computer can muster. Fortunately, there are ways you can alter "Source's" graphical settings in order to get the best possible performance without sacrificing too much quality through the use of console commands. These commands can be used by pressing the “~” key in order to access the console, typing in the console command and pressing the “Enter” key.

Global Graphics Settings

  • Set “cl_forcepreload” to “1” to preload all necessary data for maps you are about to enter. When entered, this command should read “ cl_forcepreload 1.”

  • Set “mat_colorcorrection” and “r_3dsky” to “0.” While these features increase realism, they are also unnecessary drains on FPS.

  • Set “mat_texture_limit” to “-1” to allow Source to use however much VRAM it needs.

  • Set “r_rootlod” to “1.” If your FPS count is still not where you want it, incrementally increase the value up to "7." This command alters the quality of models.

  • Set “mat_antialias” to “4” if your graphics card's stats are equivalent to a 7600 GT or better or to “2” if your graphics card is worse. If you do not know, set “mat_antialias” to “2.” If, after tweaking all other settings, your FPS is still suffering, change this value to “0.”

Textures and Surfaces

  • Set “mat_bumpmap,” “mat_specular” and “r_renderoverlayfragment” to “0” to disable bump mapping and overlays.

  • Set “mat_fastnobump,” “mat_fastspecular” and “mat_compressedtextures” to “1.”

  • Set “r_decal_cullsize” to “5.” This value determines how close you have to be to certain objects, such as bullet holes, before you can see them.

  • Set “mat_forceaniso” to “2” or “4” if you are using a graphics card equivalent to a 6600 GT or worse, “4” or “8” if your graphics card is equivalent to a 7600 GT or better or “8” or “16” if your graphics card is equivalent to an 8800 GT or better. If you are unsure of your graphics card, experiment with different values, starting with lower values, until you find a balance between performance and quality.

Lighting and Shadows

  • Set “mat_disable_bloom,” “mat_bloomscale,” “mat_filterlightmaps,” “mat_hdr_enabled,” “mat_hdr_level” and “r_dynamic” to “0.” This will disable certain visual effects that do little to enhance the look of the game but cost FPS.

  • Set “r_shadowrendertotexture” and “r_shadows” to “1,” unless if you are desperate for more FPS. Shadows are the last item you want to sacrifice, because you will often see your enemy's shadow before you see the enemy himself.

  • Set “r_shadowmaxrendered” to a value between “32” and “0,” according to your needs, where “32” provides the highest detail for shadows and “0” is more of a blur.

Physics and Environmental Details

  • Set “cl_ragdoll_collide,” “cl_ragdoll_physics_enable,” “cl_ejectbrass” and “ cl_wpn_sway_scale” to “0” in order to disable some unnecessary effects.

  • Set “r_lod” to a value between “-1” and “2,” where “-1” is the highest level of detail for player models. You will want to set this value as high as your system allows.

  • Set “r_spray_lifetime” to “1” to prevent spray logos from carrying over into the next round.

  • Set “mp_decals” and “r_decals” to a value between “50” and “100” to limit the number of decals, such as bullet holes and spray logos, that can show up in a map.

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