Counter-Strike can be pretty damn tough to get into and its steep skill curve may seem daunting to beginners.
However, sticking with CS:GO is very rewarding and incremental improvements will inevitably yield results. Here are a couple of handy tips to follow to rank up in the game!
Follow professional matches
The best players are the best for a reason, and even if you don’t have their aim, reflexes or strategic insight, there’s always something to learn by watching professional matches.
Platforms like Rivalry offer an exhaustive list of the upcoming CS:GO matches alongside the bookies’ insights on the potential outcomes which will help you easily pinpoint the surprises and the novelties at play in an eSports match.
Improve your aim
It may seem incredibly boring (mostly because it is) but there’s no substitute for practicing in the game.
Teamplay, map awareness and strategic understanding require multiple players and live games, but the ability to hit your shots can carry you quite far by itself, and it’s something you can practice on your own.
At the very least, you should take the time to warm up before your matchmaking game so that you don’t miss all your shots in the pistol round: playing Deathmatch or spending some time with dedicated tools like Aim Lab can go a long way.
Learn grenade line-ups
You don’t want to miss a specific smoke 1000 times before you begin to get it right: ten minutes in an empty server will get you a much better understanding of the lineups than 100 hours in the middle of a match where you often can’t even see where your grenades land and can’t figure out the requisite line-ups in peace.
Knowing how to smoke off key angles or block rotations with your Molotovs or incendiary grenades will make a massive difference, especially if you’re playing with teammates who also have a good understanding of these basics.
By the same token, effective uses of flashbangs can also get you surprisingly far by setting up advantageous firefights. Many Steam Workshop items and downloadable maps will help you figure these things out in the game.
Focus on comms and share information
CS:GO is a game of information and making sure the whole team understands the big picture in the middle of a round is often the difference between winning and losing.
Relaying where the enemies are, what their equipment is and whether they’ve been tagged or not will change your teammates’ approach and can easily turn an epic fail into a monstrous clutch.
Pay attention to the in-game economy
What happens between the rounds can matter just as much as what transpires during them, as many a CS:GO player can attest.
Keeping track of your opponents’ finances means you’ll have a better idea of when they might try a desperate rush or a gamble-stack on one of the sites, and closely watching your own teammates’ available money can get rid of those awful situations when two players are fully bought up while the rest of the squad just shrugs and gets a couple of pistols because they can scarcely afford anything else.
This also ties into the communication aspect discussed above: vocalizing your purchasing plans before the round even begins can ensure that everyone is on the same page when the buying decisions are made.
Resist the temptation of tilt
CS:GO can get really frustrating sometimes. It can be tough to keep your cool when the going gets rough but it’s nevertheless one of the most important aspects of the game to try and do so.
Volcanic rage screamed into the microphone rarely, if ever, will inspire teammates to greater heights, and keeping things toned down and civil can make the difference in a matchmaking game where players will literally check out if they lose faith in a comeback.
This is especially true nowadays after Valve’s decision to remove bots from MM matches as losing a player now serves a permanent and crippling loss to any team.
Playing your part in keeping the gameplay experience tolerable (or even calming down someone else on the verge of losing their cool) can also lead to some great comeback wins and a bonus rank up in CS:GO.