While fans wait for news of a nerf to the AUG, CSGO devs quietly pushed out an update that could have an emphatic effect on the success of the game worldwide, and particularly in less developed areas. The single line, accompanied by an email address for feedback, might seem small, but it could make CSGO, already one of the world’s most popular FPS games, a serious contender for the most popular game in Asia too, a part of the world where it has faced the most competition.
Added an optional -d3d9ex command line switch to reduce CPU memory use by about 40%.
The command, which allows for instant alt-tabbing on quicker machines, and increases performance on lower-end setups, could be key to breaking into markets like China, where traditionally free-to-play rip-offs like Crossfire are dominant. The lack of cost combined with a far lower demand on the CPU of the player's machine meant that Crossfire was simply the only choice for a lot of players, but with Counter-Strike now both free, and far less demanding in terms of hardware, that could be set to change.
How it's done
Go to CSGO in the Steam menu, choose Properties > Set Launch Options > Type “-d3d9ex”.
If you're a FACEIT user, be wary - the command apparently could result in your account being temporarily being suspended as it triggers anti-cheating alerts.
A welcome change
Early tests suggest a lot of players are enjoying the change and it is exciting to think of the potential if CSGO can really become a free-to-play staple. Games such as League of Legends do well partly because of how easy they are to play on almost any setup, and CS gaining that attribute means the only choice in theory between that and Crossfire would be personal preference.
The news comes on the back of increased viewership for the recent Major compared with FACEIT’s London attempt last year, with the peak of nearly 1.2m an increase on the 1.1m FACEIT managed, but still some way behind ELEAGUE Boston’s 1.34m figure achieved in early 2018.
The growth in the player base that occurred during the initial periods of the game being free appears to have levelled off to some extent, so the move to make the game more accessible comes at a great time, and with any luck with benefit the professional scene as much as it does the casual player base.