CS2 rejects Nvidia DLSS but that’s a good thing

Despite months of early access and a big worldwide launch, Counter-Strike 2, still doesn't offer DLSS support, but there's a good reason for it.

counter-strike 2 cs2 dlss

Counter-Strike 2 has finally made it to public release, and while there have been reports of some issues with entry fragging being too prevalent and even support on Valve’s own Steam Deck being underwhelming, it has largely been a smooth launch. However, one feature that some gamers might be surprised to see omitted from the game is DLSS. The exact reason for the lack of Counter-Strike 2 DLSS support is something we’re still awaiting official word of from Valve, but we can certainly speculate on one very good reason why Valve wouldn’t have bothered implementing it.

You see, while DLSS – DLSS 2, to be precise – is fantastic at increasing the overall frame rate of many games while having minimal impact on visual fidelity (Cyberpunk DLSS support and Starfield DLSS support have been transformative for many players), its big Achilles heel is fast motion.

Because DLSS works by comparing previous frames to the current one and splitting the difference to help upscale the latest frame, it inherently can be tripped up if the previous frame looks very different to the current one, due to a sudden fast movement, such as making a flick shot in CS2. These trip-ups can result in blurred or ghosted parts of the image, making it much more difficult to precisely pick out your targets.

As such, any discerning CS2 player would absolutely not want to turn on DLSS 2, or indeed AMD FSR 2, even if the option were there. For CS2 Steam Deck players and those otherwise using controller-like interfaces, it’s slightly less of an issue, as you generally can’t change your view as quickly with a controller as with a mouse, but then an ultra-smooth frame rate is slightly less of an issue too.

So, while you can’t and shouldn’t turn on DLSS 2 or FSR 2 in Counter-Strike 2 (hmmm, there’s a theme here), what CS2 does offer is FSR 1 support. This upscaler tries to do a similar thing to DLSS 2 and FSR 2 – rendering a scene at a lower res and upscaling it to increase frame rate – but it doesn’t rely on previous-frame-comparison, instead just upscaling each frame on its own. This means there are no visual oddities to disrupt your fragging.

counter-strike 2 cs2 dlss

CS2 at native res, with FSR 1 quality, FSR 1 performance

FSR 1 doesn’t look as good as DLSS 2 or FSR 2 in isolation but it still is better than simply playing the game at a lower resolution (which messes with your screen resolution and HUD size) and I found I could game quite happily using the Balanced mode on a 2,560 x 1,440 screen (which means the game renders at 1,506 x 847) while enjoying a modest bump in frame rate (starting with over 300fps on an RTX 4070 doesn’t leave much room for improvement without a CPU upgrade).

Were you thinking you would be trying CS2 with DLSS 2? If so, are you disappointed to see it omitted? Let us know your thoughts on the PCGamesN Facebook page or Twitter account. Or, for more reading, check out our CS2 system requirements guide or find our pick for the best gaming mouse.