Rates Guide for CS 1.6


Oct 31, 2019
Hello Everyone,

I am making this guide to explain for you guys in detail the 4 main commands on Counter-Strike 1.6 regarded as "rates".
I will explain the 4 different commands and which settings are best for each one and why. A lot of it will be copied from different websites.

The rate command is probably the most misunderstood setting by the majority of Counter-Strike players. About 95% of people have set
this command to the wrong value, mainly because they have no clue about what it is and therefore just copy everyone else. The history of
Counter-Strike dates all the way back to Quake, the game engine that was used to make Half-Life which in turn created Counter-Strike.
Quake also used rates, the max rate on Quake is 25000. This is why most players today use a rate of 25000, which is wrong, in most cases.
Half-Life 1/CS actually had a maximum rate of 20000, this ment that setting your rate to 25000 was pointless back in the day.

Some people also say that "rate 25000 is for LAN and 20000 is for online", wrong. When you play on LAN, rate does nothing at all, in fact you
could have set rate to 100 and it still wouldn't have any effect on LAN. This is because when you play on LAN rate is ignored and it uses sv_lan_rate
instead, and by default, yes you guessed it, it is set to the maximum - 20000.

In 2013 Valve increased the maximum rate to 100 000 which made a huge difference in the smoothness of the game and how it runs.
Novarex servers are capable of pretty high rates and personally I've found out that "rate 30000" is the best rate setting for me.
Pushing it higher than that doesn't really make a difference for me.

Best setting in my opinion: 30000

Another setting set wrong by 95% of people. People normally set this to 101 since your cl_updaterate is set to 101, but again, this is wrong.
Cmdrate is data that you SEND to the server, which means everytime you shoot, walk, jump, move your mouse etc, cmdrate uploads data.
Since most people use 100 fps they tend to set the cmdrate to 1 above this which is 101, so that you are always sending more data than needed.
But 101 actually isn't enough. You can see that on the net graph in-game. Red dots will appear at the bottom whenever data is not sent because
your cmdrate isn't high enough. You can try this by setting your cmdrate to 50 and look at net_graph 1, lots of red dots at the bottom = bad.

Now if you try with 101 you still get red dots from time to time, the best cmdrate to use is actually 5 more than your fps.
So if you have 100 fps you should use cmdrate 105.

No red dots, this means all data is sent to the server.

Best setting: 105 (fps + 5)

which updaterate to use is sometimes difficult to figure out as it changes from server to server. Cmdrate is data you send to the server,
updaterate is data you receive from the server. People usually just set this to 101 in order to match the cmdrate but they don't
really know the reason why.

So how can you figure out which value to set it to? Servers have a setting called sv_maxupdaterate which determine the maximum updates
it will send to you. The default for a CS server is 30, which is bad, most servers nowadays have this set to 100+. Novarex servers have a
maximum updaterate of 6000, this is very good, but this doesn't mean your cl_updaterate should be set to 6000. In order to predict the
maxupdaterate on other servers you can look at the lines on net_graph 1 to try and predict it.

In order to show this, set your updaterate to 100 and then ex_interp 0 and then join a server. If you see lots of orange and yellow dots on your net graph,
it means your interp is set wrong for that server and you are not receiving the correct amount of updates for your interp settings. Try lowering your
updaterate with increments of 10 until the yellow/orange dots go away. You will find that most servers have maxupdaterate set to 100+, which means
that the dots will go away when you set it to 100.

Server using default sv_maxupdaterate 30, registration will be random and terrible. The more yellow dots you have, the more reg. problems you'll have.

Same server but using correct updaterate and interp value.

But what if you join a server that has sv_maxupdaterate set to 100+? It's like I mentioned above, everyone usually set it to 101 and leave it, but this is wrong.
The correct settings should match your interp value or else it will cause registration problems. The last few CS updates Valve briefly changed this to maximum 100
but because everyone had 101 in their config, it defaulted to 30 and caused mass spam to steam support. This led to Valve changing it to 102 just to stop the spamming
but in fact the real value you should use is 100, which matches perfectly with ex_interp 0.01

Good server using sv_maxupdaterate 100+

"The server has maxupdaterate set too 100+ but I am still getting yellow/orange dots!". Just because a server has the right settings doesn't mean it can always send
100 updates per second, some bad servers can't handle it and you should lower your updaterate by increments of 10 until the dots go away. Keep in mind that sometimes
it depends on how many players are connected to the server and how much action is going on at the same time. For example; the whole CT team rush long, (which for some
weird reason you guys absolutely love to do), the server can't handle 15 people shooting at once and can for example only 50 updates per second instead of 100 at that time.
This will cause everyone on the server at this time to have bad registration. But after people start dying and things calm down, the server can start sending 100 updates per
second again and you will in turn, get good registration. To fix this, you simply stop rushing long like a bunch of sheep, sending me or Cpl to cover B alone.

Best setting:
cl_updaterate 100 (Assuming the server has sv_maxupdaterate 100+, which Novarex has)
You can set it to 101/102 if you want, it won't make a difference. However you will have to set interp value manually and will loose the ability
of CS calculating your interp value for you automatically.

Another tricky rate command, closely linked with cl_updaterate. Interp has been a question of debate for a long time, there was a bug with interp throughout CS 1.5
and caused a lot of whine within the community. This was due to the fact that you could use it to your advantage in certain situations.

Valve however fixed this problem in 1.6 and interp now works as intended as long as you have set it correctly that is. The correct setting is always 1 divided by your updaterate,
so if you updaterate is 100, the best setting is 0.01. But why do some players set it to 0? Valve added a nice feature that automatically calculates the best interp for you
depending on your updaterate. By setting it to 0 and checking your console, it will show you what the automated calculation has adjusted it to.

So if you have updaterate 100, then ex_interp to 0, CS will automatically set your interp to 0.01. If you change your updaterate to 30, your interp will change to 0.33 etc.
So the best setting you can use is always 0, then depending on the server, you should lower your updaterate depending on how good the server is and what its
maxupdaterate is set to and then CS will automatically adjust your interp accordingly. Keep in mind that some servers have maximum and minimum interp restrictions
which could affect the automatic adjustment.

This caused a problem with people using updaterate 101 because of the fact when you set your interp to 0 it will try and divide this by 10 and you will get 0.009 which is
designed for an updaterate of 110 which is higher than maximum updaterate assigned for CS 1.6. This will in turn cause registration problems. This is why some servers
have a minimum and maximum restriction on interp in order to help you out. Setting your updaterate to 101 and using ex_interp 0.01 wont do any harm but it is pointless
and you loose the benefit of CS auto-calculating your interp for you.

Best interp setting: 0


Rate 30000

cl_cmdrate 105

cl_updaterate 100

ex_interp 0


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