4:3 vs 16:9 Aspect Ratio in CSGO – Everything You Need To Know

Does playing CSGO in a 4:3 aspect ratio makes any difference? And if so, is it worth it?

4 3 vs 16 9 aspect ratio
4 3 vs 16 9 aspect ratio

Title: Playing CSGO in 4:3 Aspect Ratio – Everything You Need To Know

Have you wondered why professional gamers virtually always choose to play CS:GO in 4:3 over 16:9? It may seem counterintuitive, but what makes the best of the best choose to see less?

What is the difference between 4:3 and 16:9?

We could divide aspect ratio settings into three groups  — 4:3 Stretched resolution, 4:3 Black Bars, and 16:9. As the names themselves suggest, at 4:3, our resolution is square, while 16:9 is more rectangular.

To sum up:

  • 4:3 Stretched resolution  — Stretched square
  • 4:3 Black Bars — With black bars on the sides
  • 16:9 — Full-screen resolution

16:9 vs 4:3 Stretched vs 4:3 Black Bars

Moving on, let's take a look at what advantages and disadvantages come with playing CS:GO in both 4:3 on 16:9 aspect ratio settings. 

csgo aspect ratio explained

16:9 Resolution

When it comes to the advantages of 16:9 Full HD (1920×1080) gaming, these will primarily be a wider field of view and sharpen/prettier graphics. There's no denying that most of us play video games in 16:9, which is the current gaming standard.

However, with 16:9, all the in-game models are smaller, making it hard to see them. Sure, a larger field of view may seem like a big plus, but it really isn't, as it's harder to focus on the gameplay itself with too many objects on the map.

16:9 res csgo

It might be a good choice for content creators and people who care more about nice graphics than winning as many games as possible.

4:3 Resolution

In the case of 4:3, we'll have an opposite situation  — worse graphics and smaller field of view. In exchange, you get more FPS and a better environment to focus on the game. 

4:3 resolution csgo

Whether you choose Black Bars or Scratched is a matter of preference. However, it is worth noting that in 4:3 Stretched, the in-game character models are much wider, which may be great for many players, but can be disruptive to AWP players. 

Best Aspect Ratio for CSGO

There are no best settings when it comes to the aspect ratio. 4:3 has far more points when it comes to potential competitive advantages over 16:9 – you can see your opponents better, and it's easier to focus. However, you sacrifice the visual aspects and the game just gets much uglier.

csgo aspect ratio models

So, it all depends on what you care more about. Pro players are obviously more likely to choose 4:3 for two reasons – they are used to older versions of Counter-Strike and can get an advantage. Visual aspects don't interest them, unlike groups like content creators or streamers.

How to change the aspect ratio to 4:3 for CS:GO?

At this point in reading the article, you might be convinced that you want to try your hand at 4:3. Therefore, we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide for you on how to exactly do it! However, the entire process will depend on what graphics card you are using (Nvidia/Intel/AMD). 

Nvidia's graphics card

  1. Right-click on your desktop and select Nvidia Control Panel
  2. Select Adjust desktop size and position in Display settings
  3. Select the display you’ll be playing CS:GO on
  4. Go to Scaling (if you want Black Bars) or Full-screen (If you want Stretched) and select an Aspect ratio. Save all the changes and close Nvidia Control Panel
  5. Launch CS:GO
  6. Click on the gear wheel on the left side of the screen (Settings menu)
  7. Go to Video settings
  8. For Aspect Ratio settings, select Normal 4:3
  9. Click Apply changes to finish the process!
csgo how to set 4:3

Intel graphics card

When using Intel HD graphics cards, you have a default setting of black bars at 4:3. The following guide is for the 4:3 stretched resolution setting.

  1. Open Intel HD Graphics Control Panel
  2. Go to Display settings
  3. Browse through the Resolution settings until you find one that allows you to select the Scale Full-Screen setting in the Scaling tab
  4. Select the Scale Full-Screen setting on the Scaling tab. Save the settings and close Intel HD Graphics Control Panel
  5. Launch CS:GO
  6. Click on the gear wheel on the left side of the screen (Settings menu).
  7. Go to Video settings.
  8. For Aspect Ratio settings, select Normal 4:3
  9. Click Apply changes to finish the process!

AMD Radeon graphics card

  1. Right-click on your desktop and click on AMD Radeon Settings
  2. Go to the Display tab and select GPU scaling. Change GPU scaling setting to On
  3. Change the Scaling Mode setting to Center (if you want Black Bars) or Full Panel (if you want Stretched)
  4. Go to the Gaming panel and select Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  5. Select Profile Options and go to Display Scaling
  6. Change Display Scaling settings to Center (if you want Black Bars) or Full Panel (if you want Stretched). 
  7. Close AMD Radeon Settings and launch CS:GO
  8. Click on the gear wheel on the left side of the screen (Settings menu).
  9. Go to Video settings
  10. For Aspect Ratio settings, select Normal 4:3
  11. Select Apply changes to finish the process!

Keep in mind that changing the aspect ratio and any resolution-related settings can significantly affect what crosshair or DPI you should use. Finding the perfect settings may take you some time, but on the other hand, it can lead to an increased number of match wins. 

Aspect ratio is not the only topic CSGO players argue about in terms of settings. There’s also sensitivity or even stuff like sitting. Either way, the most important part of all of it is to adjust the settings to your preferences, don’t forget about it.