All the new graphics options coming in CS2

By Kenneth Williams


May 20, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

Counter-Strike 2 will completely overhaul the game’s graphics, and that means a ton of new options to play with.

CSGO players looking to level up their game often turn to pro settings to replicate the exact same experience that wins championships. Video settings are a big part of it, and CS2 is already confirmed to feature legacy options like 3:4 ratios, black bars, and more. But the Source 2 engine will also bring new options to enhance anti-aliasing, shadows, in-game performance, and much more.

CS2 to feature new graphics anti-aliasing options

Opening up the CS2 graphics menu will reveal the option to switch to CMAA2, a new form of anti-aliasing not available in Global Offensive. CMAA2 is effectively an upgraded form of FXAA, which is the “budget” AA option in many PC games. MSAA will remain the option for players who value peak visual clarity over maximum FPS.

Counter-Strike 2 graphics menu

Developed by Intel, CMAA2 has improved performance over FXAA in both graphical fidelity and performance. Anti-aliased edges are slightly smoother and closer to the original image, but it’s less taxing on hardware than traditional FXAA. Intel has officially stopped the development of CMAA2, making it a surprise inclusion in the new graphics options for CS2.

CS2 would let you turn off shadows entirely

In addition to boosting performance with optimized anti-aliasing, CS2 players on low-end computers appear to be able to turn off dynamic shadows entirely. The only visible shadows will be those that are already programmed into the map, so things like swaying trees and wires won’t drag down your FPS. For gameplay reasons, player shadows will continue to render, so don’t worry about giving up holding the catwalk from CT on Dust 2.

Blog post image

This wasn’t possible in the original Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and it should have a significant impact on game performance. Shadows are some of the most taxing graphical options in games, and Source 2 is no exception. For those with powerful graphics cards, CS2 will keep all of the high-end shadow options with all the benefits of the engine update.


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