How to Reduce Ping in CSS

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CSS, or Counter Strike: Source, is one of the most popular and competitive online PC games available. Based on real-world tactical combat, your play in CSS requires lightning-fast reflexes and an accurate aim. However, no matter how good you are, your connection may be hurting you with high ping times and in-game lag. It is possible to reduce the time it takes for your computer to communicate with the game's servers to make certain your actions are transferred quickly over the net.

Things You'll Need

  • Counter Strike: Source
  • Open the Steam client and locate Counter Strike: Source in the Library panel. Right-click on the game and select "Properties." Click "Set launch options..." to open the launch options dialog box. Enter "-console" into the launch options pane, then click "Okay." This will enable the developer console in-game.

  • Start Counter Strike: Source and choose a server from the online server list. For the purposes of ping and lag adjustment, it may be a good idea to join a totally empty server, so you don't have to deal with getting shot while trying to configure your settings.

  • Press the "~" key to open the console. The console allows you to type specific commands that the game otherwise will not permit. Type "net_graph 3" in the console command line and press Enter. A small plain-text graph with some network information should appear onscreen.

  • Type "cl_cmdrate 80" in the console, then press Enter. Type "cl_updaterate 60" and press enter again. The "cl_cmdrate" command changes the number of times per second your computer sends your position to the server. The default for "cl_cmdrate" is 30. The "cl_updaterate" command changes the number of times per second your computer asks for an update of other players' positions per second. The default for "cl_updaterate" is 20.

  • Play the game for a few minutes, keeping an eye on the small network graph you created earlier. More specifically, watch the "Choke:" reading on the graph. This measures the delay of packets of information from the server, which can create lag and high ping times if your computer is requesting more information than the server can handle.

  • Readjust your "cl_cmdrate" and "cl_updaterate" settings if the Choke reading is higher than 0 in the middle of a round. Lower each number by a small amount, keeping the same 3:2 ratio between them. For example, if you lower "cl_cmdrate" to 15, lower "cl_updaterate" to 10.

  • Play the game for a few more minutes. Continue lowering and testing your settings until the Choke reading is zero. When this happens, you have successfully found the highest network settings for your connection, and will most likely have the lowest possible ping and lag on any given server.

Tips & Warnings

  • If changing settings within CSS doesn't help, you may be experiencing real-world connection problems, and you should contact your Internet Service Provider for technical support.

References

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