Which resolution should you use for CS:GO ?
CSGO is a strange case in gaming, as it is one of the few games ( along with Rainbow Six Siege ) where changing your gaming resolution can drastically affect your performance, due to its gameplay being centered around fast, pixel for pixel-accurate gameplay. So what is the best resolution for CSGO ?
This question has always been a rather big conundrum for every CSGO player. From the newcomers wondering which settings to start with, to veterans questioning whether their current resolution is the correct option. This article will serve as a rundown of each option and an analysis of every aspect ratio with the aim to help you find the best settings for you. Let’s roll.
There are a lot of different resolutions for CSGO players to choose from, but here, I’ve categorized them to 5 main types
16:9, 16:10, 4:3 black bars, 4:3 stretched, 5:4
Let’s look at what these different resolution type offer to the player
This is the starting point for many newcomers, as CSGO, like many other games, uses the monitor’s native resolution as the game’s default resolution, and with most people’s preferred gaming monitor choice being 16:9, this is often the default starting point.
This resolution offers a great deal of benefits to your game
First of all, from a visual perspective, this is the best looking resolution for the game, with models and maps looking nice and detailed, this is a great choice if you have a 16:9 monitor and care about the look of the game, and it is also very handy for youtubers and streamers to provide the viewers with a better viewing experience.
From a gameplay perspective, this resolution offers the widest field of view of any of the aforementioned types. This is great as with a wider field of view and higher details, you will have more vision and awareness. And in a competitive game, a little bit of extra awareness can give you an edge in-game.
Overall, this is a great choice for people who values the visual part of the game, and also for the people who can benefit from the extra field of view.
Some notable pro players using this resolution in competitive play include Ropz, Shroud, …
4:3 black bars
As the name implies, 4:3 black bars mean that you play with a 4:3 resolution with 2 black bars at each side.
Looking at it from a visual point of view again, you can see the resemblance between it and 16:9, with models and texture remaining at the same aspect ratio, the only difference ( a rather big one at that ) is that 4:3 black bars have 2 black bars at each side of the monitors limiting the players’ vision, and also the game’s resolution reduces, so the in-game image quality also takes a hit.
So that bakes the question, why would I want to not only limit my field of view but also have worse image quality. Well, there are many reasons many players, or even pro players decide to choose this as their preferred resolution. First, it’s fps ( frames per second ). In a hyper-accurate where it requires pixelike accuracy with milliseconds reaction, every bit of extra fps is considered an advantage. The second reason is very common amongst veterans of the game. It’s due to familiarity. Many CSGO veterans, including many pro players came to CSGO from CS 1.6, in which the default resolution was 4:3, so people moving to CSGO play in that resolution to keep the 1.6 feelings. The third and final reason that people give for choosing this certain resolution is that the black bars along the sides of the monitor help them focus more on what’s happening in the middle of the screen, removing distracting factors from the less important edge of the screen. All of these are very valid reasons that should all be taken into consideration when choosing your resolution.
Some notable players playing in 4:3 Black bars include the likes of Dev1ce, KennyS, Guardian,..
4:3 stretched ( and also 5:4 stretched )
Moving to this point, we are stepping into weird “competitive shooter only” territory.
The difference between this and the aforementioned options is quite clear at first glance. The models are weirdly stretched out because after all, it is the normal 4:3 black bars but through monitor settings, are stretched to fill the whole screen, hence the name 4:3 stretched.
So what does this resolution give you? By stretching out every pixel to fill your whole screen, means the models will become bigger, which means it is easier to spot, and also means the target is bigger and easier to hit. That sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, this resolution does come with some certain drawbacks. Firstly, this resolution is not on the appealing side visually, with all the stretched models and textures. Secondly, and more problematically, the when stretching the game out, the number of pixels stay the same, with only its size being amplified, which also affects their pixel movements. What this simply means is that your target will move at a significantly faster speed. And science has proven that you can only focus on one point on the screen at any given time, so when a target that big moves that fast across the screen, it will affect your reaction time. So it all boils down to would you rather have a bigger target that moves faster across the screen or a smaller target that moves at a more moderate pace.
Notable players that use this resolution include Nik0, S1mple, Zywoo,…
Finally, we come to the “middle child” of the resolution, which combines both the visual appeal and wide field of view of 16:9 with the stretched models and textures of 4:3 / 5:4 stretched
This is as of now not yet a common choice, but it is worth giving a shot to see if you like it or not.
Notable players who play on 16:10 include : Rain, Pimp, Elige,…
How do you choose your resolution ?
So we come to the question that you all came here for: Which resolution do I choose? And to be frank with you, I don’t know. There is no resolution that is objectively better than the others, it’s all subjective. So I suggest that you try out every option to see what sticks with you and your needs, just remember to account for the “honeymoon period”, which basically means that when you first change settings you perform the best. It is important to choose one setting, stick to it to improve your overall consistency in-game. That’s it for today’s guide. Have fun popping heads in your next competitive match.