You can hear your opponent, you slowly walk toward them just to get shot from the back. How did that happen? No one knows. But the audio and sounds in CS:GO can stab you in the back so we provided you with a few settings to avoid that.
When playing, be aware of the sound you are making yourself. The enemies can also have their audio settings sorted and hear you when you try to go for a play. Keep that in mind when making decisions during the match.
CS:GO Audio Settings
In CS:GO there are a couple of settings you should be using to improve your game. Boot up CS:GO and head to the settings menu and then “Audio”.
These are the CS:GO audio settings you have to set up:
- Audio Output Configuration: select “Stereo Headphones” if you are playing with headphones or “Stereo Speakers” if you are playing with speakers (which we wouldn’t recommend). While there is a surround sound option, it is a completely personal preference. Most pros and streamers barely use surround sound in CS:GO or in other games
- Audio Device: select the device you are using as a primary audio device. This could be your headset or speakers. If you are using third-party software to process your sound in real time, make sure to select that software instead
- Advanced 3D Audio Processing: this setting will enhance the audio making it easier to hear where exactly the source of the sound is. Note that this may interfere with anything similar you might be running on your PC like 7.1 Surround Sound software
- Enable Voice: enable voice chat to communicate with your teammates. You can also adjust the voice chat volume using the slider below. We recommend you set the voice chat volume slightly lower than the overall sound. You don’t want to hear your teammates yelling too loud, do you?
- VOIP Positional: this setting will make you hear your teammates’ voice chat comms from the direction they are in. If a teammate is behind you, you will hear them from behind and the same for other sides. A very useful setting to increase your map awareness
CS:GO Music Settings
If you scroll lower, you will find music settings. Overall, we recommend you turn the music off for the best competitive experience. The only thing you can leave on is the ten second warning sound. This will help you understand whether you have time to defuse the bomb or not. Since the default defuse is 10 seconds.
Another setting we recommend you use is “Mute MVP Music when players on both teams are alive“. This can save your life and your gun if the enemy ends up being too close to you.
Windows Audio Settings
This part is completely optional. Since it will change your system’s settings we recommend you only follow these instructions when you mostly use your PC for playing CS:GO. Otherwise, just stick with the in-game settings from above. That will be more than enough.
There are a few things you can adjust in Windows to make CS:GO audio better for competitive gaming. Here’s what you can do:
- Open Control Panel
- Go to “Hardware and Sound” and then “Sound”
- In “Playback” select the device you are using and press “Properties”
- In the “Advanced” tab, select “16-bit, 44100 Hz CD Quality” default format
- Uncheck all the “Exclusive Mode” checkboxes
The 16-bit, 44100 Hz CD Quality format is the most common for CS:GO but it will also affect other sounds on your PC making them sound less immersive.
Apart from Windows settings, you may have third-party software controlling your audio. Like iCue or Razer Synapse. This usually depends on the headset you are using but either way, make sure to disable the equalizer or use an audio profile in that app that will not affect your sound the least.
CSGO Audio Config Commands
If you are making your own config file, there are a few good commands to include your audio settings. Using commands is quite an advanced thing to do. So unless you are a hardcore CS:GO player, we would recommend you stick with the settings you can set up in-game.
The following commands are of the settings you can find in-game (replace the numbers in “” to adjust the setting):
- volume “0.4” – Overall CS:GO volume setting. You can increase it up to “1”
- voice_enable “1” – This enables voice chat in the game. Set it to “0” to disable voice chat
- voice_scale “0.2” – Voice chat volume in the game. We recommend putting it slightly lower than the overall volume
- snd_surround_speakers “0” – Audio configuration types such as stereo headphones, stereo speakers, quad surround, and 5.1 surround.
- snd_tensecondwarning_volume “1” – Audio warning when there are ten seconds left on the objective
- snd_musicvolume “0” – Overall music volume in CS:GO
- snd_mvp_volume “0.10” – Round MVP music volume. Usually, keep it off unless you bought a music kit you want to listen to.
- snd_menumusic_volume “0” – Main menu music volume
- snd_roundstart_volume “0” – Round start music volume
- snd_roundend_volume “0” – Round end music volume
- snd_deathcamera_volume “0” – Death cam sound volume
- snd_mapobjective_volume “0” – Map objective music volume when the bomb is planted or the hostage is taken
- snd_mute_losefocus “0” – Mute the game when you switch to a different window with alt+tab
The following commands are more advanced and are exclusive to the console input. They will make the audio in CS:GO more precise and easier to understand:
- snd_front_headphone_position “xx.x” – Replace the “xx.x” with your screen resolution (e.g: 43.2 for 5:4 or 45.0 for 4.3 or 50.2 for 16:10 or 53.2 for 16:9)
- snd_rear_headphone_position “90.0” – Precise sound in both front and rear positions. Try to slightly adjust this setting for the best experience
- snd_headphone_pan_exponent “1.2” – Medium to long distance sounds are higher without affecting other sounds
- snd_headphone_pan_radial_weight “0.5” – Easier to understand the direction of the sounds with volume
Make sure to jump into a bot game to test these commands out. You will need some time to tailor them to your preference and get used to them.