CS:GO Best Gear Guide
Finding the best monitor, mouse, keyboard and headset for CS:GO can be overwhelming and difficult. Companies are out there working hard on creating the best gaming peripherals (in their eyes) and of course marketing departments never refer to their products as ‘just pretty alright, we guess’ so it can be hard to see the forest for the trees when it comes to gear.
That’s why we have analyzed the gaming gear of professional CS:GO players to find the most frequently used monitor, mouse, keyboard and headset. To analyze these numbers, we have been using our CS:GO Pro Settings and Gear List which you can find here.
What’s the best monitor for CS:GO?
One of the most important pieces of equipment that will raise your performance in CS:GO is a 144Hz or 240Hz monitor. Counter Strike is a game where every seemingly little advantage goes a long way. We need to react as quickly and as precisely as possible. That’s why every single one of our analyzed professionals is using a monitor that’s capable of displaying at least 144 frames per second, with 98 percent of our analyzed professionals using a 240 or 360 Hz monitor.
Some other factors that might be relevant for choosing the perfect gaming monitor are supported resolution and input lag. As we can see on our Pro Settings and Gear List there are only a handful of pro players that use resolutions above 1080p. That’s because getting high framerates is more important than getting a beautiful looking image, so it doesn’t make sense to sacrifice performance for visuals in competitive games.
The most used monitors are without a doubt the BenQ Zowie XL25xx Series and that’s not really so surprising. Zowie is a company that’s very focused on CS:GO, and their top gaming monitors were designed with CS(GO) professionals.
Best monitor for CS:GO: BenQ XL2546
The Zowie XL2411Z was the de facto ‘standard’ monitor in the CS:GO scene for a long time, but professionals have been moving away from the 144Hz standard and moving towards monitors capable of displaying 240 frames per second. The Zowie XL2546 and XL2540 (which is the same monitor but without DyAc) have now taken the crown as the most used CS:GO monitors by a country mile.
The old, trustworthy XL2144 is still the third most used monitor, but about 70% of professional CSGO players now use the (far superior) XL25XX series of monitors.
These are expensive products though, and if you’re on a budget (or your system can’t push enough frames) the XL2411 is still a very capable and reliable monitor for CS:GO, and 144Hz is still infinitely better than a standard 60Hz monitor.
Most used monitor
BenQ XL 2546
BenQ XL 2540
BenQ XL 2546K
Taking a look at the charts on the right we can see that BenQ is by far the favorite monitor manufacturer of the professionals. That’s due to their affiliation with the pro scene and the fact that their top monitors are basically tailor-made to play CS:GO.
ASUS also produce a ton of gaming grade monitors, with the ASUS VG248QE being a longtime fan and pro player favorite 144Hz monitor (along with the BenQ XL2411). These monitors have fallen out of favor with the pros though, with players switching to 240Hz monitors like the PG 258Q. It is, after all, their job to be the best they can be at the game, which includes buying or using the latest and greatest gear.
Most used manufacturer
What’s the best mouse for CS:GO?
Similarly to choosing a monitor, choosing the best mouse for CS:GO can seriously elevate your game. There are a lot of perfectly valid options on the market regarding mice and choosing the best gaming mouse seems to be a much more personal endeavor since shape and weight preferences vary from player to player. The most commonly used mouse is the Zowie EC2.
There are a lot of small things that separate a good mouse from a bad mouse. You can read our article on what makes a gaming mouse great here but in short you’ll want it to have a flawless sensor along with a reliable build quality. A mouse with a flawless sensor translates the information directly from the surface through the mouse to your computer without using any prediction or smoothing algorithms that can interfere with the information being sent.
Best Mouse for CS:GO: Zowie EC2
Taking a look at the most used mice on the right we can see that there are many viable options available to you. All of these mice are fantastic gaming mice in their own right.
It’s always good to see what mice the pros are using, but you should ideally test the shape of a certain mouse before ordering if you’re not sure what kind of shape or features you like. Your hand size or shape might be vastly different than the hands of the pros, so don’t blindly follow whatever your favorite pro is using. We’ve got an entire review section where we review all sorts of gear, so do make sure to visit that to get a better perspective at what all these different mice have to offer. We also have a complete article on how to choose the right gaming mouse for you.
Zowie mice have been developed from the ground up for CS:GO so it makes sense they’re featured so heavily in the world or professional CS:GO. We can wholeheartedly recommend every mouse on this list, but if you want a bit more info on the top five most used mice you can always check out our best mouse for CS:GO guide.
Most Used Mouse
Logitech G Pro Wireless
On the right you can see that Zowie is far ahead of its competitors. It’s no wonder, since their mice have been co-designed with some absolute legends of the game; the EC series is co-developed with and named after Emil “HeatoN” Christensen and the FK series was designed in tandem with Filip “NEO” Kubski, for example. One of the most commonly heard advantages of Zowie mice is that they are plug & play, which means that you won’t need to install drivers to use them, which of course is ridiculously handy for pro players who are constantly traveling around the world. Combine that with the fact that they’re literally designed by legendary CS players and you can imagine why they’re so loved in this community.
Zowie’s biggest contender is Logitech, who have been producing quality mice for years now, as we all know. CS:GO players seem to have taken a liking to their wireless tech in particular, with the G Pro Wireless taking the second spot in the most used mice list.
Razer and Steelseries round out the top four of most used mice, which isn’t a big surprise either; both brands have been known for their gaming peripherals for years now, and they’re both very good at what they do.
Most Used Manufacturer
What’s the best keyboard for CS:GO?
All professionals use mechanical keyboards. Mechanical keyboards offer many advantages that justify their steep purchasing price. They have a very long lifespan (between 30 and 70 million keystrokes, depending on the manufacturer), offer a pleasant tactile feedback and have features such as anti-ghosting to make sure every key you press is being registered.
Getting a mechanical keyboard also gives you a wide array of switch options to choose from, which isn’t the case with regular membrane boards. If you like a clickier, heavier keypress you can get that. If you prefer a lighter touch it’s also perfectly possible to get that. No one is saying that getting a mechanical keyboard is going to make you Global Elite, but they do drastically increase playing comfort and give you yet another option to personalize your gaming setup because of all the different switches and technologies out there.
Best keyboard for CS GO: HyperX Alloy FPS
The HyperX Alloy FPS seems to live up to its name that it’s perfect for FPS games such as CS:GO, as it’s currently the most used keyboard by CS:GO professionals. It makes sense too. It’s got a very solid build quality, compact design, and it’s available with Cherry MX Blue, Red, or Brown keyswitches so there’s plenty of options out there for everyone. Since CS:GO doesn’t require anything more than a basic keyboard layout the small design and portability of the board make it a great choice for players who travel often, such as the CS:GO pros.
Since it doesn’t have any added features such as extra macro buttons or media keys (which are all super useful for home use, but are completely unnecessary when you’re playing professional CS:GO all over the world) the price is also relatively low for a mechanical keyboard, making this whole deal a super attractive package. If you want to be even more compact you can always go for the Alloy FPS Pro, which is the TKL version of the Alloy FPS.
Most Used Keyboard
HyperX Alloy FPS
Logitech G Pro X Mechanical Keyboard
Here we don’t really see a massive divide between brands and models as we do when it comes to monitors and mice though there is definitely a clear winner. Razer, Steelseries, and Xtrfy all produce quality gaming keyboards, and with such a large variety of keyboards out there it’s not a real surprise that there isn’t any super clear second place.
In the end, the perfect keyboard can mean very different things from one person to the next. Some like their boards to be as small as possible, others like to have big and robust behemoths, there’s RGB versus regular backlighting, some manufacturers use different types of switches, …
As always we suggest that you do your own research and try to find out what you are looking for in your gear, and that goes doubly so for keyboards, though these boards are obviously great places to start when it comes to CS:GO.
Most Used Manufacturer
What’s the best headset for CS:GO?
High quality headphones combined with an external microphone are probably the best audio solution. Assembling this, however, can be quite cumbersome and tedious at times. Mostly because you have to worry about twice the amount of cables. Most players therefore opt to use a headset (as in a combo solution of headphones and a microphone). It’s much easier to take with you on the road and for gaming purposes the quality of your microphone isn’t all that important anyway. Lots of players are just looking for a comfortable headset with clear and precise sound quality.
Best Headset for CS GO: HyperX Cloud II
The HyperX Cloud series has been known since its inception to be one of the better gaming headsets around, definitely when it comes to value for money. It’s no surprise that the Cloud II is, by a rather large margin, the most used headset by the pros. It offers premium build quality, great sound, an a super decent microphone at a very attractive price package.
Logitech’s ‘no nonsense’ headsets aimed at competitive gamers have been getting attention since they have been released, but the G Pro X in particular seems to be taking off with the pros, landing it the second spot in our list.
Nice to see here is that brands have been coming out with more and more wireless products; HyperX recently released a wireless version of their legendary Cloud II headset, and the G Pro X is also available in a wireless version. Times are good for people who want to cut the cord.
Most Used Headset
HyperX Cloud II
Logitech G Pro X
HyperX Cloud Alpha
Sennheiser GAME ZERO
Sound is super important in CS:GO, and the pros obviously know that. HyperX and Sennheiser are both known to produce quality gaming headsets with decent to good microphones and, most importantly, great sound quality. HyperX rules the park though, with almost half of all professionals opting to use one of their sets.
Sennheiser is obviously the option for people who want to pay a bit more for premium audio solutions, with Logitech rounding out the top three with their competitive gamer-focused peripherals.
Most Used Manufacturer
Like every hobby, playing games competitively and at the highest levels can be expensive. At least choosing the best monitor, mouse, mousepad, keyboard and headset is a little bit easier now. Our recommendations change constantly so please feel free to check them regularly. Thanks for reading.