How To Modify Steam Launch Options

By default, Steam will follow the launch options set by the developer, but the platform also allows users to change these settings. Having the ability to do this will enable gamers to adjust the experience to their liking or avoid errors. However, not everyone knows how to do this.

How To Modify Steam Launch Options

From increasing the FPS cap to setting custom resolutions, Steam lets you do it all. You don’t need to be a tech wizard for these methods. Read on for all the details.

Steam Launch Options Resolution

Before we get into the methods, it’s best to know that launch options may not work with certain games. However, you can always try them out first. If nothing unusual happens, you can safely assume the new launch options will hold.

  1. Launch Steam.
  2. Go to your Steam library.
  3. Search for your game and right-click it.
  4. Select “Properties.”
  5. Click on “Set Launch Options.”
  6. Write “-screen-width 1920 -screen-height 1080” (without the quotation marks).
  7. Save your settings and launch the game.

You can change the numbers in the string to whatever you prefer, be it 800 x 600 or 1280 x 720. Many games run at 1920 x 1080 the first time you launch them.

This trick may not work with some games, especially those not developed using the Unity3D engine. However, many modern games for PC today let you adjust the resolution in-game.

Steam Launch Options Windowed

Some people want to multitask or play games in windowed mode. You get a significant FPS boost to your title in many cases because PCs require fewer resources. Fullscreen mode can be too taxing if your hardware isn’t strong enough.

When running in windowed mode, you can drag the corners and adjust how large you want it to be. While a smaller picture tends to be less graphically intensive, you may not be able to make out tiny details. It’s best to find a balance between the framerate and window size.

  1. Launch Steam on your PC.
  2. Head to your library.
  3. Look for the game you want to adjust.
  4. Right-click it and select “Properties.”
  5. Pick “Set Launch Options.”
  6. Paste “-windowed” in the text box (without quotation marks).
  7. Save the settings.
  8. Launch the game to see if it works.

Sometimes the command doesn’t work on its own. You may have to type “-windowed -w 1024” or another number instead. This specific command may solve the issue.

If nothing works, you can only adjust the settings through the in-game menu.

Alternatively, if you prefer borderless windowed mode, take a look at these steps.

  1. Launch Steam and head to the library.
  2. Select a game and right-click it.
  3. Go to its “Properties” settings.
  4. Click on “Set Launch Options.”
  5. Paste or type “-popupwindow” in the textbox.
  6. Click on “OK.”
  7. Close the “Properties” window and try launching the game.

Steam Launch Options Commands

There are many commands you can enter in the Launch Options section. Below are some common console commands.

  • -autoconfig – Resets all launch options for the game to default settings.
  • -dev – Lets gamers access developer mode, disables automatic menu background maps from loading, and prevents quit dialog from appearing when you exit a game.
  • -console – Starts a game with the developer console
  • -dxlevel (insert number here) – Forces a game to run a specific DirectX version, choosing from 80, 81, 90, 95, and 98.
  • -fullscreen – The game will start in fullscreen mode.
  • -windowed – Games will launch in windowed mode.
  • -refresh (insert rate here) – This command forces a game to run at a specific refresh rate.
  • -novid – The intro Valve video won’t play when you enter this command.

Steam has issued a warning about DirectX 7. If you use -dxlevel 70 for your games, you should remove it immediately because it causes crashes. Try using the -dxlevel or -autoconfig commands to reset it.

These commands will only work if you apply them to Gold Source or Source games.

Steam Launch Options FPS

Some people wish to incorporate an FPS cap for certain games. They may be concerned with screen tearing or want to conserve resources so they can run other programs simultaneously. There’s a way to do so using console commands.

  1. Launch Steam and find your game in the library.
  2. Select “Set Launch Options.”
  3. Paste the following string.

    -novid -tickrate 128 -high +fps_max 0 +cl_showfps 0 +cl_interp 0 +cl_interp_ratio 1 +rate 128000 +cl_updaterate 128 +cl_cmdrate 128 +mat_queue_mode 2 -freq 144 -refresh 144 +cl_forcepreload 1 -nod3d9ex -nojoy

Change the numbers after -freq and -refresh to your desired number. For example, you can cap a game’s refresh rate at 90 or 120.

Steam Launch Options Run as Admin

Unfortunately, there are no Console Commands to run Steam games as an admin. However, you can still do so using Windows. Here’s how it works.

  1. Right-click on the Steam shortcut on your desktop.
  2. Click on “Properties.”
  3. Select the “Compatibility” tab.
  4. Check the box for “Run This Program As Administrator.”
  5. Click on “Apply” and “OK.”

From then on, your PC will always run Steam games as admin. If you right-clicked Steam and selected “Run As Administrator” instead, it will only apply to that instance. You’ll have to do it again next time you want to play your Steam games.

Steam Launch Options Not Working

Usually, if the Steam Launch Options aren’t working with your game, there’s nothing you can do. This phenomenon happens if you try to execute commands on non-Source games. Titles made with another game engine might not support these Console Commands.

Run This Properly

Steam’s Console Commands are helpful for configuring some Source and Gold Source games before launching. However, many games today don’t accept these commands, and it’s much easier to use in-game menus. Knowing how to set Steam Launch Options can be helpful.

Do you use Steam Launch Options regularly? What commands do you usually use? Let us know in the comments section below.

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