CSGO now has a serious memory leak on custom servers

Nick J. June 4, 2020

Many Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players warm up on custom servers before they hop into an official game of CSGO, but some players have found a big potential problem that's cropping up on some of these servers.

According to a recent post on Reddit, Valve's first-person shooter has some trouble with a particular texture that causes the game to use more and more of a computer's memory until there is none left, an issue commonly referred to as a "memory leak." Usually, programs load things they need into a computer's memory before unloading them, allowing the computer's memory to continue to function normally. In the case of a memory leak however, the game never unloads the memory after using it. This eventually leads to some odd effects for players connected to the server, or even a complete crash.

Certain maps that use a specific type of pillar brush used to separate a "vis section" can cause CSGO to leak so fast that it crashes the game within seconds. A vis section is a part of the map that the server tells a client's computer to draw. For example, Nuke's lobby area is a vis section, while decontamination down on the B bombsite is a different one and is loaded separately on the client's computer as required.

Explaining vis sections and potential CSGO memory leaks

When a player is in the lobby, the server doesn't ask the client to draw anything on Nuke's lower site until it's needed. Vis sections can be small, like Overpass' connector area, or they can be big, like Dust 2's long. CSGO is still filled with many bugs, even eight years after its release and countless patches. CSGO Youtuber 3kliksphillip has a great rundown of some of these longstanding bugs that fans can check out below.

Luckily, this issue only affects servers running maps built in a very specific way, but it still has an enormous effect on private servers running custom maps that may use this particular way of separating vis sections. As of now, there's no known way to avoid the issue besides using a different way to separate a map's vis sections. With the information now being made public, however, the hope is that developers at Valve can step in for a quick fix to the custom servers that use this method of separating map sections.