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29 March, 2024

How to Lower Ping in Counter-Strike 2

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All methods to reduce latency (ping) in the popular competitive shooter

It's hard to derive much enjoyment from attempting to win in any competitive shooter with high ping. This statement holds true for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (now CS2) as well. Every time you try to move around the location or do anything with high ping, your character will lag behind other players, complicating aiming and precise shooting, among other processes.

Fortunately, there are several effective methods to reduce ping and fully enjoy the game. First, let's understand what ping is and why it's so important.

What is Ping and Why is it Important in CS2?

Ping can be translated as "latency" - it's a special parameter that represents the time it takes for data packets to travel from one computer to the website or game server and back. It's measured in milliseconds (ms). Thus, the lower the ping value, the better. Ping not only affects online games but also movie streaming or internet browsing.

Why is Ping Important for CS2? High ping can cause communication delays, leading to various issues in competitive online games. For example, you may miss hitting an opponent because you predicted their movement too late, or you might suddenly die because someone shot you before you noticed the enemy.

High ping can also cause video buffering or even complete cessation of content streaming. Essentially, if your ping is too high, almost all your internet interactions will be affected.

Now that you know what ping is and why it's important for CS:GO, let's explore the reasons for its increase.

What Causes High Ping in CS:GO?

Unfortunately, there's no universal answer to this question. The reason for high ping can depend on everything from your PC configuration, server, and even the time of day you're playing. However, we can identify several common reasons.

One of them is an overloaded network. This can happen when too many people try to use the same internet connection simultaneously. Another common reason is poorly optimized game server settings. This could mean that your connection is routed through an unnecessarily long path with many obstacles. But the main reason is your location.

If you're playing CS:GO on an international server, you'll likely encounter higher ping than usual. The reason is simple - the distance data must travel between your computer and the game server is too great. The good news is that you can use several methods to reduce ping, including using a VPN and connecting to a server closer to your geo-location.

How to Check Your Ping

To see your ping in CS:GO (CS2), follow these steps:

  • 1. Launch the game and go to "Settings > Game Settings > Game."
  • 2. In the "Game" tab, find the option called "Enable Developer Console." By default, it should be off (No), so switch it to "Yes."
  • 3. Exit the settings panel and press the ~ (tilde) key on your keyboard to open the command console.
  • 4. Enter the following command to check your ping in CS:GO: net_graph1.
  • 5. Press Enter to confirm the input and apply the command.

Now, in the bottom right corner of the screen, you'll see a set of parameters and values. You can examine data such as:

  • - Ping: indicates the ping value, the time delay measured in milliseconds (ms). The higher this value, the more delays will affect your game.
  • - Loss: this value indicates how many data packets the network has lost. If you see a loss value above 0%, your internet connection is likely too weak.
  • - Choke: indicates packet loss on the return path from the server. Imagine talking to someone on the phone and only hearing every other word.

Usually, if the ping value is less than 50, you won't experience any difficulties in the game. If it reaches "100", periodic lags will begin, although the game can still be played.

These two parameters listed above (Loss and Choke) should be used to understand what exactly caused your ping to increase.

If the choke value exceeds 10%, the problem is likely related to the server or to receiving too few or too many data packets due to inconsistent network speeds. You can try to fix this by adjusting 3 variables: in-game speed should match internet speed, data transmission speed to the server (cmdrate), and data reception speed from the server (updaterate). Try setting the following values in the console:

  • - rate 786432
  • - cl_updaterate 128
  • - cl_cmdrate 128

The speed I've set is the maximum that can be used in CS:GO, and you should use such a value only if your internet speed exceeds 6.2 Mbps (which is practically every user nowadays). Data transmission and reception speeds should be the same and set to 128 to match the server's maximum speeds. But if you're playing on 64-tick servers, you'll need to lower the settings to "64".

Finally, excessively high loss values (loss) may affect ping increase. In this case, the problems are likely related to software or hardware.

How to Reduce Ping in CS:GO (Counter-Strike 2)

Before you start pulling router cords or attempting a reboot, it's wise to check your overall internet connection while closing CS:GO. Test your network speed using various services. If the speed is too low, you'll need to contact your provider. If everything seems fine, try one of the solutions listed below.

Action 1: Close Unnecessary Applications

Any background applications can use bandwidth and cause lag in the game. Streaming services and torrents are the most common culprits, so make sure to close them. Also, pause any software downloads and updates that may be running in Steam or Windows.

Anything using your internet connection can detract from CS:GO resources. While CS2 may not consume much traffic, the game still requires a higher level of priority compared to other processes.

Action 2: Try Another Server

As mentioned earlier, high ping isn't always a system or internet connection problem. If you notice high choke during the game, you may be playing on a server with significant delay. Connecting to servers physically closer to your geo-location will likely lower ping. Also, finding a less congested server will improve choke. Try connecting to one of them and run another test using the net_graph1 command to check if the ping has decreased.

Action 3: Reboot Your Router

Yes, try turning off and on your router. A hard reboot fixes many issues with many devices, so it's worth a shot. As for the router, this will clear the cache and reduce ping. To do this, turn off your router and unplug it from the socket. Wait from 30 seconds to 1 minute for the cache to clear. Turn your router back on. Depending on the router model, it may take up to a couple of minutes to reconnect to the network.

Action 4: Update or Reinstall Network Adapter Drivers

Network adapter drivers can improve internet connection, so make sure they're up to date. Go to the device manager on your computer by simply typing the appropriate query in the Windows search bar. Scroll through the list of devices until you find the "Network Adapters" section and try updating all the drivers. You can right-click on each driver in the list and select "Update Driver," then follow the instructions.

Action 5: Check the Integrity of Game Files

Run a check on the integrity of CS:GO (CS2) files. Corrupted game cache files can cause high latency and other issues. If Steam detects anything suspicious with the game files, it will attempt to fix the issue. So, go to your Steam library and right-click on the game you want. A new menu will open. Click on "Properties." Go to the "Local Files" tab and click on the option "Verify Integrity of Game Files." If game files are corrupted, Steam will attempt to fix it and download any missing data. Now, launch CS:GO and check the current ping value.

Action 6: Connect to a VPN Server

Using a VPN for online gaming is not as popular a solution, although with high ping, you have nowhere else to turn. VPNs may decrease internet speed and slightly increase ping, but they also improve the internet provider's DNS system if it's not good enough.

Action 7: Switch to a Wired Connection

But if you're using a Wi-Fi connection for CS:GO, I strongly recommend switching to a wired one! Your router will provide better speed when working through an Ethernet connection.

Action 8: Set Connection Priorities in the Router

If you're connecting multiple devices to the router, including smartphones, TVs, and computers, you can try setting specific priorities. To set up the router, you'll need to access its menu and set a high priority for the PC and a medium or low priority for other devices. The steps to take depend on the specific router model, so you'll need to search for instructions online.

Action 9: Reinstall the Game

If nothing helps, uninstall the game and reinstall it. Then launch it and check the ping. But before you do that, make sure you've tried all the other solutions. Several reasons can affect your ping at once, so you'll need to go through all the steps listed above.

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