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From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Counter-Strike cover
Valve Corporation
Barking Dog Studios[1]
1999-2005 Sierra Studios
2005-present Valve Corporation
Release dates
Windows November 9, 2000[2]
macOS (OS X) January 25, 2013
Linux January 25, 2013
Metacritic 88
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Shooter
Art styles Realistic
Themes Contemporary
Series Counter-Strike
Counter-Strike on HowLongToBeat
Counter-Strike on IGDB
Counter-Strike guide on StrategyWiki
Counter-Strike on MobyGames
Counter-Strike on Wikipedia
Counter-Strike 2000
Counter-Strike: Condition Zero 2004
Counter-Strike: Source 2004
Counter-Strike NEO -White Memories- 2005
Counter-Strike Online (series)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive 2012
Counter-Strike 2 2023


The macOS (OS X) version of this game does not work on macOS Catalina (version 10.15) or later due to the removal of support for 32-bit-only apps.

Counter-Strike is a multiplayer first-person shooter game in the Counter-Strike series.

General information

GitHub Issue Tracker for Counter-Strike and other GoldSrc-based games
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
Icon overlay.png
Later updates and releases remove the disc check and activation completely.
Icon overlay.png
Icon overlay.png
Counter-Strike 1 Anthology.
Icon overlay.png
macOS (OS X)
All non-Steam releases can be redeemed on Steam.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Half-Life\cstrike\[Note 1]
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game>/Half-Life/cstrike/
Linux <path-to-game>/Half-Life/cstrike/
*.cfg store the configuration.
This game does not follow the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud


In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Pre-25th Anniversary Half-Life Update Steam versions are Vert-; The 25th Anniversary Update version has a setting for Hor+ called "Allow widescreen Field of View".
Pre-25th Anniversary Update Steam versions are Vert-; The 25th Anniversary Update version has a setting for Hor+ called "Allow widescreen Field of View".
4K Ultra HD
Both in-game and menu UI may become too small on displays with a high pixel density.
Field of view (FOV)
Fixed 90° horizontal.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use the -window -noborder command line arguments
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
gl_ansio 16[citation needed]
Anti-aliasing (AA)
MSAA, use the -nomsaa command line argument to disable.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Triple Buffering.
Lower input latency forces a Double Buffering Vsync.
Always on for the retail version.Can be disabled in the Video settings or by using the console command gl_vsync 0
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Capped at 72 FPS. See Frame rate limit.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.

Frame rate limit

Set FPS limit[3]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>.
  2. Open userconfig.cfg with a text editor. If it is not present, create it manually.
  3. Add the following lines into the config file:
gl_vsync 0 // Disable Vsync
fps_max "XX" // Replace "XX" with the desired FPS value.
fps_override 1


The fps_override 1 command disables GoldSrc's arbitrary 100 FPS limit.
It is not recommended to set the FPS higher than 100 FPS as it might cause some issues such as slower movement.

OpenGL texture filtering

Disable OpenGL texture filtering[4][5]
Texture filtering is enabled by default when using the OpenGL renderer (This is disabled in Software rendering mode).
  1. Go to <path-to-game>.
  2. Open userconfig.cfg with a text editor. If it is not present, create it manually.
  3. Add this console command into the config file: gl_texturemode gl_nearest_mipmap_linear.
  4. Save the file.
Alternatively, this console command can be used: gl_texturemode gl_nearest.

OpenGL overbright lighting

Overbright lighting increases the rendering dynamic range, resulting brighter and more colorful visuals.
Overbright lighting normally only works on the Direct3D and software renderers.[6][7]
Nvidia cards: Enable the GL extension limiter[8]
  1. Download and run Nvidia Profile Inspector.
  2. On the Half Life profile, set Extension limit to On. Apply changes.
  3. Go to <path-to-game>.
  4. Create a file called autoexec.cfg.
  5. Add new line gl_overbright "1".
  6. Save the file.


Doing this will disable multi-texturing, which has the side-effect of disabling detail textures, which may effect the appearance of other games and mods that share hl.exe, including Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and Day of Defeat.
Doing this disables the Steam version's built-in MSAA. On the Half Life profile, change Antialiasing - Mode to Override any application setting and Antialiasing - Setting to the desired level of antialiasing (such as 4x [4x Multisampling] for a vanilla look, or 32xS [Combined: 2x2 SS + 8x MS] for maximum antialiasing).


In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game mouse/joystick settings.
In-game mouse/joystick settings.


In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
In-game voice settings.
In-game voice settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Music and SFX volume sliders, can be fine tuned with console commands
Surround sound
True for retail.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
Lost with Steampipe. EAX1, A3D 2.0


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Fan translation by IGTC Team, download.
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation, download.
Available but not shown on Steam.
Fan translation, download.
Fan translation and full dubbing by TSF, download.


In-game general multiplayer settings.
In-game general multiplayer settings.
In-game advanced multiplayer settings.
In-game advanced multiplayer settings.
For more information, see the "Half-Life Dedicated Server" section of our GoldSrc article.

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
Online play

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Direct IP
Use connect IP:port;password in the console.


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
UDP 6003, 7002, 27010, 27015, 27025
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

Issues fixed

Run the game at screen refresh rate (Retail version)

The retail version of the game defaults to 60 Hz when running with Direct3D renderer in full-screen mode.
Use the -freq <rate> command line argument[9]
Example: -freq 120 forces a 120 Hz refresh rate.

Input Lag in Direct3D (Retail version)

On certain graphics cards, using the D3D renderer can result in severe input lag, even with disabled VSync.
Set gl_d3dflip 1 in the console[10]

Main menu issues (Retail Version)

In modern versions of windows the menu is usually not seen in full screen in addition to crashing when loading the game
Run the game in compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 2)

Fatal Error - Available memory less than 15MB (Retail version)

Run the game in compatibility mode for Windows XP[citation needed]

Black screen on startup (Steam version)

Disable FBO rendering[11]
  1. Add -nofbo in the game's launch options.

Windows 7/Vista Performance Fix

In Windows 7 or Vista with modern hardware, some users may experience extremely low frame rates during gameplay.
Set HL.exe to high priority[citation needed]
  1. Open Half-Life.
  2. Press Ctrl+ Shift+Esc in order to open the Task Manager.
  3. Under the Processes tab, find HL.exe and right click it.
  4. Set its priority to high.

Performance issues with dynamic lights on Intel graphics (OpenGL)

Dynamic light sources being present, such as the flashlight or flickering lights, causes significant frame rate drops and lag spikes on Intel graphics.
Use this GLIntercept config[12]


As this method uses a custom OpenGL32.dll, it should not be used in VAC-protected servers.
Doing this also fixes overbright lighting.

Shooting sound and fire animation not synchronized

Use console commands: cl_lc 1, cl_lw 1"[citation needed]

Unable to switch from left-handed to right-handed weapon

Change to OpenGL or use console command "cl_righthand 1"[citation needed]

Unable to move diagonally

Use console commands: cl_upspeed 320, cl_backspeed 400, cl_sidespeed 400 and cl_forwardspeed 400"[citation needed]

Prevent admin slow-hacking

Use console command "cl_filterstuffcmd 1"[13]

Low performance on laptops with a Nvidia graphics cards

Opening Nvidia control panel and forcing game to run on dedicated card won't work on laptops. If the game is it's blocked or grayed out, you can do the same operation with an external program such as Nvidia Inspector[14]

Low frame rate on old hardware

Use theses console commands[citation needed]
cl_minmodels 1
fastsprites 0 //
cl_shadows 0
cl_corpsestay 0
gl_picmip 3
cl_weather 0
r_decals 0
mp_decals 0

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 7 Lost with Linux update.[16]
OpenGL 2.1
Software renderer
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)


Middleware Notes
Audio Miles Sound System EAX 1.0 and A3D 2.0 support lost with Steampipe updates. Still present in retail.
Input SDL
Multiplayer World Opponent Network, Steamworks WON for retail, Steamworks for Steam.

Console commands

An exhaustive list of all Goldsrc console commands
Games running on the GoldSrc engine can utilize GoldSrc Engine Console Commands for various tasks.
The console is enabled by default in GoldSrc games, press ~ to open it.

Disable Echos

Use the console command: room_off 1 [17]

Disable Voice Chat

Use the console command: voice_enable 0[citation needed]

Disable Commentator Voice Overs

Use the console command: speak_enabled 0[citation needed]


The game has a lot of modifications available, most of them can be found on GameBanana. Here are some recommended ones:

  • Original CT and T Player Models - When Condition Zero was released, the original player models have been remade. Usually, you can switch from the original (LD) to the remade (HD) player models and vice versa in the Video settings but there have been cases where the LD player models aren't present in the game files. You can use this mod to replace the HD player models back to the LD player models.
  • Detailed (HD) Textures - Makes the textures on maps HD. [citation needed]
  • Bots - This adds AI bots for Counter-Strike, which allows you to play the game in singleplayer.
  • Nexon CSO Skybox Replacements - A remake of nearly all the original skybox textures.

System requirements

Retail ("WON") version (1.0-1.5)

Operating system (OS) 95, 98, NT 4.0
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 133 MHz
System memory (RAM) 24 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 400 MB

Steam version (1.6 and newer)

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP
Processor (CPU) 500 MHz
System memory (RAM) 96 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4 GB
Video card (GPU) 16 MB of VRAM
macOS (OS X)
Operating system (OS) Snow Leopard 10.6.3
Processor (CPU) 500 MHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 8
ATI Radeon X1600
Intel HD 3000
Operating system (OS) Ubuntu 12.04
Processor (CPU) Dual-core from Intel at 2.8 GHz
Dual-core from AMD at 2.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 8600/9600GT
ATI/AMD Radeon HD2600/3600
OpenGL 2.1 compatible
Sound (audio device) OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
Other (Graphic Drivers: Nvidia 310, AMD 12.11)


  1. When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).


  1. Gooseman Counter-Strike Interview (retrieved) - last accessed on 2023-06-22
  2. CS V1.0 Released! (retrieved) - last accessed on 2023-06-22
  3. Verified by User:Pufflesboi on 2023-05-15
    Confirmed. I can get 120 FPS by overriding and changing my max to 120.
  5. Verified by User:Mars icecream on 2016-11
    Half-Life method applies to CS as well)
  6. VOGONS • View topic - Half-Life overbright compatibility - last accessed on 9 June 2023
  7. gl_overbright & OpenGL · Issue #230 · ValveSoftware/halflife - last accessed on 9 June 2023
  8. Half-Life with OpenAL (EFX, Surround Sound, and HRTF!) : HalfLife - last accessed on May 2023
  9. Command Line Options - Valve Developer Community - last accessed on May 2023
  10. - last accessed on 9 June 2023
  11. Steam Community - last accessed on May 2023
  12. [citation needed]
  13. Admin Slowhacking - VALVe Developer Community - last accessed on May 2023
  14. CS 1.6 Nvidia Optimus/SLI Fix :: Steam Community Discussions - last accessed on May 2023
  15. 15.0 15.1 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive » Release Notes for 5/25/2016
  16. Steam HL1 5.1 sound - Steam discussions forums.
  17. Verified by User:Pufflesboi on 2023-05-15
    Yep, it works and I'm pretty sure that this also works with any other GoldSrc game.