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A comparison of JPEG quality, at 1, 50, and 100. Note the visual difference between 50 and 100 is almost unnoticable unless viewing closer, but the filesize is roughly ten times as large

A screenshot is a single rendered frame outputted to an image file. The Source engine can output JPEG (.jpg) and TGA (.tga) image formats.

JPEGs use lossy compression, which can cause compression artifacts at lower quality settings but take up significantly less space than TGAs. TGA images are uncompressed, meaning the saved image is identical to the rendered frame with no loss of quality, but the file size will be significantly larger. Screenshots can be also taken using other programs and injectors, with support for modern formats like PNG (which is lossless, like TGA, except with proper compression).

The default screenshot key is F5. This will take a JPEG screenshot (or TGA in GoldSrc with no quality loss) at default quality 90 unless the console variable for quality is adjusted.


Warning.pngWarning:The screenshot and jpeg commands take the screenshot immediately, displaying all current screen elements. In other words, if these commands are manually typed into the console, the screenshot will also contains the console.
PlacementTip.pngWorkaround: To take a gameplay screenshot, the command should be bound to a key and the console closed.

Console commands

screenshot Takes a TGA screenshot
cl_screenshotname "name"
(not in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
The filename to save the next TGA screenshot with
jpeg [filename] [quality 1-100] Takes a JPEG screenshot. Progressive or not?[Clarify] The filename will have ".jpg" appended. If no quality is specified, the quality defined by jpeg_quality is used.
Confirm:You cannot specify the quality without a filename.
Tip.pngTip:The filename may contain subdirectories as long as they exist, for example jpeg overviews/test_01 writes into the directory 🖿screenshots/overviews/.
jpeg_quality [1-100]
(not in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
Compression quality to save the JPEG with, ranging from 1-100, with 100 being the best quality. The default value is 90, which means visually lossless for most images.
Note.pngNote:This is reset to 90 every time the game is closed but one can force it through autoexec.cfg.


Screenshots are saved in the 🖿<game>/screenshots/ directory of the relevant game. By default, the naming scheme they use is "mapname####", with sequential numbering using four digits, for example "de_train0035".

See also