How to use your HUD for Maximum Effectiveness
Thu 12th Apr 2018 - 7:52pm
In a competitive environment such as CS:GO, the little details can make the difference between winning and losing a game. Because of that the players with the biggest drive to win always search for most minimal aspect of the game that can give them that little edge over the opponent. One of those aspects that can create that advantage is to know how to fully utilise the Heads-Up Display (commonly known as HUD). The HUD in CS:GO gives you plenty of information, such as the Radar, how many players are alive and from which team, your weapons and ammo, your money, the killfeed, and your Health and Kevlar. Although some of these are straightforward, others are very useful if used to their maximum potential. I’m going to talk about them and how you can improve their usefulness.
Easily the most important part of your HUD, the Radar can give you all kinds of information regarding the positioning of not only your teammates but also your opponents. Every time you or any of your teammates makes and maintains visual contact with an opponent, they will appear in real-time in your Radar and give you that important information. If the player that appears in the Radar has the bomb, you will be able to instantly know it, no matter where you are on the map. Also, if you’re wondering whether that gun noise comes from a player or from a decoy grenade you just need to glance at the Radar. If no teammate is present from the same spot the noise is coming and you can see a red dot, it is a decoy. If there is no red dot, it’s a player.
To get the best possible use out of it, you need to modify it in the game settings. You want to be able to see the whole map (or at least 90%) at all times. That way, you won’t ever lose track of your teammate’s positions and where the enemies appear relative to them. To do this, change your Radar Map Zoom option in the Game Settings.
If you pay attention during high level games and streams with webcam, you will be able to see just how much time a player spends looking at his Radar. Below you can check a moment of my own stream, where I’m constantly looking for information in the Radar, while also paying attention to an eventual push in the spot I’m holding as well as looking at the killfeed at the same time.
These are my Radar Settings. They allow me to watch the entirety of the map, without covering the entirety of my screen with it. Have in mind that these are personal preference. What works for me the best may not work for you and is also dependent on the resolution you use on your game, so adjust accordingly. I use 1920 x 1080.
The Kill Feed can serve as an auxiliary tool to the radar and the player count/pictures. Most people use it to keep track of the action during the round, glancing at it almost as much as the radar. Personally, I think it holds one important use: to know where the action is happening, along with the radar. If you know the X player in your team is defending the A bombsite and he gets killed, it means action is happening on that part of the map. Other than that, it merely serves an informative purpose, as all the crucial information you can get from it you are already able to get it from the Radar.
The remaining parts of the HUD are straightforward and require no explanation or introduction. In this next part, I’m going to give you a few tips that will make all the information easier to read on the screen and more accessible to the eyes without taking your attention too much away from what is happening on the screen.
Knowing What Utility Your Team Has
A lot of players have no knowledge of this simple feature in the Key Binds menu – there is an option that shows all your team equipment and utility on your screen. It allows you to see what they have on the top of their heads and even through walls for as long as you keep the button assigned pressed.
There are, however, some configs available online that will keep this option turned on at all times without you needing to worry about having the assigned keybind pressed.
In the Video Settings, you can find “HUD Size”. In there you can adjust the position of your HUD. In my opinion, the less your eyes need to travel to get information from the different elements of the HUD, the better. Depending on the resolution you play at, I find myself getting faster information with the X axis in the minimum, which means that I need to look less all the way left or right on my screen just to read my HUD. Essentially, I have all my HUD set up like a square in front of me, avoiding the differences in height and width that exist in 16:9 screens
When choosing a colour for your HUD, go for one that has a high contrast against most of the surfaces in the game. I find that the default one, the green, and the cyan ones are the better ones (there’s a reason they’re also the most used colours in crosshairs). Having a colour with a bad contrast against the background can make crucial information hard to read in high intensity situations, which could cause you to die because of taking that extra second reading and interpreting what is in your screen.
Customize Your HUD Further with Custom Configs
There are customs configs created by players shared in the internet that can improve your HUD – make the HP font in your teammates bigger, have different parts with different colours, have the equipment and utility key bind always active, among other options.
Although some could be totally useless and only serve to distract you from the game, there are others that can be helpful. Search and experiment with a few of them. Or take it the next level and make your own!
I want to finish this article by saying once more that most of the tips I just gave you are personal preference. Use them as general guidelines to build your own optimised area of play. Remember that what may work well for me could not be the same for you. You should experiment different combinations of settings and figure out what you like more. The only tip that I think everyone can benefit without exception is also the first one I gave: being able to see the entirety of the map in the Radar at all times.
Get out there and, above all, have fun playing!
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