CS:GO Holiday Season Sound Update Is Live!

The holiday season is getting closer and Valve has finally given us some updates for some (early) seasonal joy.


A major aspect of this update is all new improved positional sound: “Today we’re introducing a new audio feature designed to substantially improve positional audio in CS:GO. The game now uses HRTF (head-related transfer function) algorithms to enhance 360-degree vertical and horizontal sound positioning while using headphones.” says Valve.

A head-related transfer function (HRTF) is a response that characterises how an ear receives a sound from a point in space. A pair of HRTFs for two ears can be used to synthesise a binaural sound that seems to come from a particular point in space.

So what does this mean to the average player? Well if you have a decent pair of headsets your positional audio will increase tenfold. Players with high-end audio gear will also experience a whole new depth to the game, some have reported that they can finally rely on sound again.

The default Speaker Configuration in your Audio Settings has been set to “Headphones with HRTF,” but if you’d like to turn HRTF off you can simply select any other speaker configuration, more details can be found in the patch notes below.


  • Deployed Holiday Cheer for your festive fragging season.
  • You can spread the Holiday Cheer! Gifts are now available for a limited time


  • Added new audio option that enables Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) processing on in-game sounds. The goal is to vastly improve 360 degree vertical and horizontal sound positioning.
  • By default, Speaker Configuration in Audio Settings has been set to “Headphones with HRTF.” Selecting an alternative speaker configuration will disable HRTF.
  • NOTE: For an optimal experience with HRTF, we recommend turning off any external 5.1 or 7.1 surround audio driver options.


Public Lobbies

  • In the friends panel “Steam Groups” have been renamed to “Public Lobbies”.
  • The “Public Lobbies” tab now shows nearby public lobbies and suggested steam group lobbies in addition to your steam group lobbies.
  • Lobbies now support broadcasting to nearby players. Players can use this setting for friend or steam group lobbies.
  • Steam Group lobbies now display the country associated with the majority of lobby members.


  • Third-person weapon angles now visibly match first-person weapon recoil.


  • Fixed 5 Year Veteran Coin to be granted to accounts that cancelled and later reactivated their old Counter-Strike license after they restart their CS:GO client.
  • Loading screen tokens can now be localized when loading Overwatch evidence or maps created by community members.
  • Bot names can now be localized in game language.
  • Added experimental plugin support for managing network channel encryption keys on community servers.



  • Removed railing on crane in A site rafters
  • Removed ability to climb up on/plant the bomb on top of silos in both bombsites
  • Moved T entrance to squeaky to make movement smoother
  • Removed window in Toxic, replaced with double doors
  • Removed yellow bollards near Garage and Secret
  • Removed cover on top of Mini
  • Added some full cover in cubby next to ramp in bombsite B
  • Replaced exposed bombsite silo with simple version in bombsite A
  • Fixed small collision bump on ramp in ramproom where players could get stuck
  • Added white, flat surface on fence at T side of yard
  • Fixed various bugs listed on CSGOBugtracker.com (thanks to all contributors!)
  • General optimizations

Rumor has it:

  • Are you unable to start the game? Download update #3 for a fix
  • If for whatever reason you need to disable the HRTF system but you can’t through traditional means, use “snd_use_hrtf 0” in the console

Service Medals for 2017 are now ready to go! Here’s each level:


Service Medals can be obtained by reaching a profile rank of Level 40 at least once, additional levels also require you to get up to Level 40. Players will still be able to get 2016 medals until 31 December. After UTC enters 2017, then you’ll get 2017 medals.

CS:GO in China through Perfect World

  • On the CS:GO in China through Perfect World side of things tonight:
  • The anti-addiction system’s implementation in CS:GO is now a lot more clear – if you’ve been online enough to get to the “yellow” threshold, you’ll gain half of the profile XP you normally would, and if you get to “red”, you’ll gain 0 XP for at least 5 hours
  • Tianjin is the datacenter location of choice
  • The Sugarface Capsule’s and the Team Roles Capsule’s stickers now have low violence variants, as well as the capsules themselves
  • Here’s a diff of all of the associated script updates:
  • Size is ~160 MB

A second ~1 MB update was released, which may be absorbed into this size by the time you read this