A complete guide to CS GO launch options

This guide will give you an explanation on how to set launch options and explain some useful launch options for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. This guide teaches you how to enable console, how to remove CS GO loading screen and launch the game faster, how to enable 128 tickrate in local servers and how to execute config.cfg automatically on launch.

Additionally, at the end of the page, you’ll find some launch options that aren’t working or that shouldn’t be used in CS:GO. But before we start listing all the launch options, we’ll try to answer two simple questions for you:

Q: What is a “launch option”? 
A: Launch options are commands, that let you tell the game to perform an action when launching it or that let you force a specific setting. For example, you can specify a window height and a width you want the game to start with. Every new launch option starts with a dash (-), but you can also put console commands in the launch options. These need a plus in front of them (e.g. +exec config).

Q: Where can I set these launch options? 
A: That’s rather easy. Take a lot at the picture below or just follow the following steps:

  1. Right-click Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in your game library in the main Steam window.
  2.  Select “Properties” in the menu.
  3.  A new window will open. Click on the “SET LAUNCH OPTIONS” button.
  4. Another new window will open. In this one, you can set the different launch options. Every new launch option starts with a dash or a plus, DO NOT separate the launch options with a comma or a semicolon, just a space needs to go in between the different launch options.
  5. Click OK and close and your all set!

That should be enough for the basics, now let’s start explaining the useful launch options one by one:

  • -console
    Setting this launch option will open the console automatically when opening the game. There is no real need to set this launch option in CS:GO, because you can just set a toggle key in your ingame options or your autoexec and, unlike CS:S, the toggle key actually works. Some people still like to set this launch option, so they are able to see echos they put in their autoexec and know that the autoexec was executed properly.
  • -novid
    Starting the game with this launch option will remove the Valve intro that normally plays at the beginning. A must-have launch option in my opinion, because I find that intro is annoying as hell.
  • -tickrate 128
    If you create an offline game with bots without this launch option set, the created server will run at tickrate 64. If this launch option is set, the offline servers will always run at tickrate 128.
  • -refresh <rate> / -refreshrate <rate> / -freq <rate>
    You can force your monitor to run at a specific refresh rate with this launch option. This only makes sense if your monitors maximum refreshrate is higher than 60. If it isn’t and you set this launch option to 120, you can seriously damage your monitor.
  • -high
    This will start the game in high-priority mode. This launch option can help players with lower-end computers to get less lag and a few more fps, but it is not a guarantee. Test this launch option, if you don’t notice any improvement performance-wise, remove this launch option again.
  • -threads <number of cores/threads>
    So far, I was not able to find a definitive information about the maximum number of threads that CS:GO uses and if this launchoption makes any sense. If you have a CPU with 4 or more cores, you can try to set -threads to the number of cores (or number of threads if you own a CPU with 2 threads/core) you have, but right now I can not guarantee that your performance will improve. Test it, if you don’t notice any difference or your performance is actually worse, remove the launchoption again.
  • -full / -fullscreen
    This launch option forces the game to run in fullscreen mode. The game will ignore this launch option, if -windowed / -window / -sw / -startwindowed option is also set.
  • -windowed / -window / -sw / -startwindowed
    This will force the game to run in windowed mode. Should not be set without -w and -h also being specified. The game will ignore this launch option, if -full / -fullscreen option is also set.
  • -w <width> / -width <width>
    -h <height> / -height <height>

    This forces the game to start with the resolution you specified, e.g. -w 1920 -h 1080.
    Using this launch option will remove the border that Windows puts around the window when the game is run in windowed mode.
  • -x <position> – horizontal
    -y <position> – vertical

    When the game is run with no border, you can’t move the window around and it is stuck to the center of your screen. You can define the position of the window with these 2 launch options. <position> is the space in pixels, that you want the game to be “away” from the left and top side of the screen.
  • -lv
    Ok, this isn’t really a useful launch option, but if you’re bored, just set it, play a bit and have a good laugh. The -lv launch option turns the game into a low violence version. The previous Counter-Strike Games had to be low violence versions over here in Germany while CS:GO doesn’t, but the animations are still there. There’s no blood and models lie down with their hands behind their heads.
  • -language english
    If you want to use CS:GO in English but use the Steam client in a different language, you can use this launch option. You can also right-click CS:GO in your game library, go to properties and set the in-game language there, but that doesn’t work for some people. Other languages should work too for this launch option, but I did not test thatHere are some launch options that either do not work or that really shouldn’t be used in CS:GO (Many people still use them and falsely recommend them):
  • -noforcemaccel

    These launch options have absolutely no effect in CS:GO. Use m_rawinput 1 and m_customaccel 0 instead. Or don’t, since it’s creating input lag for some people. Test a bit and use the settings you’re most comfortable with.
  • -heapsize <kilobytes>
    You should not use this launch option! This command was removed in CS:S, TF2 and DoD:S in 2010, I’m not 100% sure if it is exists in CS:GO. Here’s what Valve said in 2010: “This command made sense in Half-Life 1’s memory manager. The current engine manages memory in a way that doesn’t need it specified. Under some circumstances, specifying a non-optimal heapsize causes crashes and/or reduced performance”.
  • +exec autoexec
    There has been a problem in CS:GO since the release, that the configs are loaded in a wrong order. The easiest way to avoid that problem, is adding host_writeconfig at the very end of your autoexec and making sure, that your config isn’t set to read-only. The command overwrites any cvars in the config.cfg with the ones in the autoexec.cfg when the autoexec is executed. Do not set a launch option +exec autoexec.cfg, the autoexec is loaded anyway. Right now, this seems to be the only method to make your autoexec definitely work.
  • +clientport 27005
    Very useful command especially when playing on a LAN with friends. By default CS:GO uses port 27005 so if you’re on a LAN with someone else who is also playing CS:GO then there would be port conflictions and you guys would not be able to play CS:GO at the same time on the same network so by setting it to a different port you can both play together. Normally when this problem is occurring if you’re both in a party trying to start a competitive match then the ACCEPT button will never show up for either of you.
  • +cl_forcepreload 1
    increase FPS by preloading maps (not necessarily faster, that depends on your PC)
  • -nod3d9ex1
    makes alt+tab faster
  • -nojoy
    removes joystick supportIn case anyone is interested, that’s my personal launch options commands:
  • -novid -tickrate 128 -high +exec config