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AMD Radeon Anti-Lag 2 debuts in Counter-Strike 2

In brief: After AMD’s slip-up with Radeon Anti-Lag+ last Fall, the company promised to revise the enhanced latency-reducing gaming feature. The new version of Anti-Lag is taking a cautious approach this time around by launching with a preview for only one game. Users testing it should report any issues to AMD to help the company avoid its earlier mistakes.

Counter-Strike 2 players can now try a preview of AMD’s Radeon Anti-Lag 2. The update aims to reduce input latency more effectively than the company’s previous implementation while avoiding the serious in-game problems that last September’s update caused.

Anti-Lag 2 requires an AMD Radeon RX 5000, 6000, or 7000 GPU and a preview build of the latest Radeon drivers – version 24.5.1. After installing the driver and starting Counter-Strike 2, Anti-Lag 2 will engage by default, but players can find it near the bottom of the game’s graphics menu. Use AMD’s Bug Report Tool to send feedback.

The company also included an analysis tool to help players see the difference between no Anti-Lag, the original version of Anti-Lag, and the updated version. Simply press Alt+Shift+L to cycle between modes, which display frame and millisecond counters near the minimap in the top left corner of the screen.

Similar to Nvidia Reflex, Radeon Anti-Lag reduces the latency between a player’s input and the on-screen result by improving the alignment between the CPU and GPU when processing each frame. AMD’s original implementation, introduced in 2019, performed this task for all games at a driver level. The company attempted to improve the functionality with Anti-Lag+ last September by digging deeper into each game’s code, which required per-game optimization.

However, AMD started employing Anti-Lag+ without informing game developers. As a result, the feature broke several online games, causing crashes in some and triggering anti-cheat bans in others. Team Red eventually pulled the feature and announced a revision that would resolve the issue.

Instead of operating solely at the driver level, AMD has worked closely with Valve to ensure that Anti-Lag 2 aligns CPU and GPU frames from within the game code without causing problems. According to AMD’s numbers, the update can nearly double latency reduction. The company’s chart shows that players can save around five frames compared to basic Anti-Lag and up to 10 frames compared to not using the functionality at all. Outside testing will undoubtedly soon check Team Red’s claims.

Although Anti-Lag 2 currently only supports Counter-Strike 2, AMD will soon release the SDK on GPUOpen so developers can begin implementing it in other titles.

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