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CSGO demo: all you need to know & useful commads

CSGO demo: all you need to know & useful commads

16.05.2022, 17:26
CSGO demo guide
CSGO demo guide

A great feature of CS:GO is the ability to watch replays of matches, known as demos. Among other things, demos can be used to watch other teams play, replay matches, analyze your own play, and analyze the play of others to prepare for a match. However, CSGO demos are not the easiest or most intuitive thing to control. That's why we've created this tutorial to help you learn how to watch CS:GO match replay files.


Demos are a great way to view replays of Counter-Strike matches. Watching official broadcasts only gives you a limited perspective of the action, so you don't get to see everything. When you watch an in-game demo, you control the camera yourself, choosing angles, perspectives, and playback speed, which helps you analyze specific moments more closely and thoroughly.

First things first: enable developer console

If you want to watch a Counter Strike Global Offensive demo, you'll need to enable the developer console access. To do this, start the game and then go into its settings. In the "Game" tab, find the "Enable console (~)" line and check "yes".

After this change, you will be able to enable the developer console by clicking the tilde. The console in CS:GO is used to enter various commands, including those related to handling demos and demo files.

Legendary match demos in the game client

Now that you're ready to turn on the console in CS:GO, it's time to get down to business. The first and most common group of demos are those that you can access from the game client. In the left-hand panel of the game, look for the " Watch matches and tournaments" tab. Here you will find, among other things, replays of matches of other players, as well as demos of matches in which you yourself have participated. You can also download match demos from any previous CS:GO Major from within the game. So you can download, for example, the demo of the duel between vs Ninjas in Pyjamas, which culminated EMS One Katowice 2014, or the replay of the clash between Cloud9 and FaZe Clan from the final of ELEAGUE Major 2018.

How to open a CSGO demo?

However, you don't have to limit yourself to what is available from the game. In fact, it is possible to watch replays of other matches by placing a CSGO demo file with the .dem extension in the right place, which is very simple.

First of all, you need to get the demo file. For example, you can use the website of the tournament that hosted the match you want to watch. Sometimes the organizers themselves provide such files, but if this is not the case, we recommend you take a look at HLTV. You can find thousands of demos there, but we can't guarantee you will find the one you are looking for.

CSGO demo file location

Once you have the demo, you will need to find the right folder to put it in. The demo files should be placed in a folder with the following path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Global Offensive\csgo. Keep in mind that this path may be different if you decided to install CSGO in a location other than the default one.

How to watch a CSGO demo?

With the developer console unlocked and the demo file downloaded and in the right place, let's move on to the next step. It's finally time to start watching the demo for the Counter Strike match.

Demoui command explained

You can open the console in CS:GO by clicking the tilde (~) and then typing in demoui, or you can use the second option to open the demo viewer in CS:GO. Option number two is to press F2 and shift at the same time. Both actions will have the exact same effect, so it's up to you.

After typing demoui or pressing F2 and shift in the game, a new window will open - the demo player. It will allow you to rewind, fast forward, use slow motion, switch between rounds or slow down and speed up the playback. In the beginning, however, the most important button will be the "Load...". After clicking on it you will be able to select the downloaded demo you just want to play, which you previously placed in the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Global Offensive\csgo. Later, a replay of the selected CS:GO match will be displayed.


Advanced CSGO demo commands

The video player that appears when you type the demoui command into the developer console offers basic functionality. However, Counter-Strike developers have provided additional options that can come in handy when watching demos. Below is a list of useful commands for CS:GO demos, along with a description to help you understand what they do.

  • demoui - a command that launches the demo player window, which offers the ability to rewind, control playback speed (fast forward and slow motion), as well as select the demo you want to play,
  • playdemo demo_name - a command starting the playback of the selected demo without demoui command,
  • record demo_name - a command starting the recording of the demo at the selected moment,
  • stop - a command ending the recording of the demo,
  • r_drawviewmodel 0 - a command causing the weapon model to be disabled during demo playback,
  • cl_draw_only_deathnotices 1 - a command causing partial deactivation of the HUD, after it is activated the crosshair and frag information appearing on the screen will remain visible,
  • cl_drawhud 0 - a command disables the HUD completely,
  • tv_nochat - a command disables GOTV chat,
  • ignoremsg 3 - a command causing complete disabling of in-game chat,
  • spec_show_xray 1 - a command causing switching on the ability to see other players' models through walls. It works like wallhack.
  • csgo_download_match match ID - a command to download a replay of a selected match. Replace "match ID" with a unique match ID number assigned to the match whose demo you want to download.

The CSGO demo player built into the client is very useful. If you use the demo player commands listed above, you'll have even more options. You will be able to analyze your own matches or those of professional teams more effectively.

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