We got a new Counterstrike update today, and although it doesn’t change the current AUG meta, it does add some useful new features. We even get a cool new launch option for CPU-limited machines. Let's dive right in.
Take a Load Off
The biggest change in yesterday’s patch was an optional command parameter that will reduce the CPU memory that Counterstrike uses. Adding -d3d9ex to the CS:GO launch options will “reduce CPU memory usage.” The official Counterstrike blog post estimates that this will reduce the CPU usage by as much as 40%. Practically, this means that this command will increase ALT+TAB speeds and reduce CPU overhead. The blog does mention to report any graphical glitches or problems to CSGOFeedback@valvesoftware.com, so there is a chance that the command will result in glitches.
Adding this command makes sense, especially when you look at the state of the game from Valve’s point of view. Since going Free to Play, Counterstrike has seen a resurgence in the Steam Charts. The new product model opens the game to even more hardware configurations than ever before. Due to that, the command might be a way to bring players with lesser computers into the playerbase.
RIP cl_mute_enemy_team 1
Valve also added several new options under the Game Settings menu. You can now mute the entire enemy team through this menu, getting rid of the need to use the console command cl_mute_enemy_team 1. The CS:GO developers also added another new option. Players can now mute every single player except for players on your Friends List or people who are in your matchmaking party.
Streamers have been asking for this next one for years. “Hide Avatar Images” allows the player to hide all custom avatars of other players. These avatars were sometimes used to troll streamers by using avatars with nudity to trigger bans on the streamer’s streaming platform.
Finally, the option now exists to change the names of players not on your Friends List to “something neutral.” This option makes all player names in a lobby resemble the placeholder names that are seen when judging and Overwatch case.
Queue up the flame! The free graffiti received from purchasing the Katowice Major Viewer Pass can no longer be used. No more spamming ENCE graffiti for the 7 people who picked them. Valve has also fixed a minor bug where a player’s rank icon stays in the scoreboard when they are replaced with a bot. The last change Valve made was increasing the map voting time on official servers.
That about wraps up the new CS:GO patch. The new launch option should help both old and new players reduce CPU load when running Counterstrike. Additionally, the new chat and avatar options should make servers a little more safe for streamers and those who don’t want to be flamed for peeking mid every round.