Ultimate CS:GO Beginner Guide
from Silver to Global Elite
Welcome ladies and gentelemen, this is a detailled starter guide for Counterstrike Global Offensive, with alle information you need to start you career! The goal is to understand the game basics and how to improve the skill the right way.
The game basics of CS:GO are easy to understand, but the game has many details that are important to know to get an advanced player. Let’s start! 😉
What is CS:GO?
|CS:GO Release Date:||August 21st, 2012|
|Platforms:||PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Linux|
|Developer:||Hidden Path Entertainment, Valve Corporation|
|Genre:||Multiplayer, First-Person Shooter|
|Monthly Players:||An average of 600.000|
CS:GO is the number one e-sport shooter on this planet, if we talk about real competitive e-sport shooters with tactical teamplay.
Yes, there are Fortnite, PUBG or Overwatch, but these games hit a different genre, and are not comparable. These games are more casual, while CS:GO is more like an old school shooter without all of the extras for younger target groups. The target group of CS:GO is older compared to Fortnite or PUBG!
Many players love CS:GO for these reasons, it has a simple, reliable matchmaking mode with an extreme depth of skill range…
How to play CS:GO?
To play CS:GO you just need to download it on Steam and search for Counterstrike Global Offensive. Install the game via the Steam library by double clicking it.
For CS:GO there is not much you will need, a basic PC with a moderate graphic card is enough, in the settings you can adapt everything to your needs, but the better your pc is the more FPS you will get to play CS:GO fluently.
Is CS:GO free?
Yes, CS:GO is absolutely free to play since 2019. Before that time the price was about $15, but now it’s a free-to-play game, which anyone can install who has the Steam client.
Why is CS:GO free now?
By making CS:GO free to play, Valve is making the community bigger. Now also newbies and beginners can give the game a try.
Moreover a lot of other free to play games have been launched in the past years just like Fortnite. Valve saw a great opportunity to grow CS:GO again. While doing that they have developed the VACNET, which made it easier to detect hackers and cheaters in CS:GO.
Another reason is that Valve is banning hundred thousands of accounts every year, and they know that most of these won’t buy a new copy for money again. To keep all players inside the game, it’s possible now to create a new CS:GO account (with a new Steam account) for free.
CS:GO System Requirements:
The system requirements for CS:GO are low, but playing with higher components can increase your game experience a lot.
Minimum CS:GO System Requirements:
|CPU:||Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 / AMD Phenom X3 8750 or better|
|HDD:||15 GB of storage space|
|GPU:||Video card must be 256 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9-compatible with support for Pixel Shader 3.0|
|OS:||Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP|
|Network:||Broadband Internet Connection|
Recommended CS:GO System Requirements:
|CPU:||Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5700 3GHz / AMD Phenom 8750 Triple-Core|
|HDD:||15 GB of storage space|
|GPU:||NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 / AMD Radeon HD 6670|
|Network:||Broadband Internet Connection|
Is CS:GO easy to get into?
Yes CS:GO is easy to get into, you will understand the game in a short amount of time. While in other games a lot of mechanics have to be learned, in CS:GO it’s all about the aiming with weapons and the knowledge of maps.
While it’s incredibly easy to get into, it is also hard to master.
Before joining competitive matches in CS:GO you need to reach level 3, which requires getting XP and profile ranks (you can find all CS:GO profile ranks here).
How long does it take to get good at CS:GO?
To get good in CS:GO you need at least a few hundred hours of playtime in the timeframe of a few months. Getting good in CS:GO is about feeling the aiming, knowing the mechanics and playing with the perfect settings.
To get better fast, you will have to focus on ranked matchmaking and the wingman mode or clan wars. With public games, casual rounds, and non-focused matches you will need much longer to get good.
Try to reach the competitive mode first, then increase your rank to gold nova master and consume all of our CS:GO guides to focus on the right things.
How to use the Console and Basic CS:GO Commands?
To use the CS:GO console you simply need to activate in in the game menu settings and choose a hotkey to open and close it. For more details how to use the CS:GO console find this guide.
In the console you can enter commands, that get directly executed to change something in the game or to connect to a custom server. For example you can change your crosshair, show your ping or fps.
What are Good Basic
Launch Commands for CS:GO?
Good CS:GO launch commands for beginners are:
|-tickrate 128||The tickrate launch option sets the tick rate of any server/single player game to the number that you enter. (“-tickrate 128” recommended). In effect, any “Offline With Bots” games you play will be ran at this tickrate.|
|+fps_max 0||The fps max launchoption sets the maximum FPS (frames per second) of CS:GO. Replace [amount] with the amount you want to limit your game to. Setting it to 0 (“-fps_max 0”) will remove any limit, making your game run at the highest FPS possible. Here you can find the extensive CS:GO FPS guide.|
|-novid||The intro video will be automatically skipped and you go straight to the game menu.|
|-nojoy||The nojoy command, removes all of the joystick support rules, which can save RAM.|
CS:GO launch commands needs to be entered before you start the game. Here you can find a simple guide how to use CS:GO launch options and a list of all launch commands.
Which Devices are important to play CS:GO well?
An interesting question is which external hardware and gaming devices you will use. The different mouses and keyboards build the basic equipment for your playstyle.
With a good mouse, a good keyboard, and an awesome headset you will definitely play better than with standard windows gear.
CS:GO Gaming Mouse:
It is a good investment to buy a real gaming mouse for example the Razer Deathadder, I got this one and it is the perfect mouse for CS:GO. When adjusting your mouse in CS:GO the sensitivity is important it will have a huge impact on your aiming and your shooting accuracy.
Mechanical keyboards are advisable for CS GO, because they have a much faster reaction time compared to normal keyboards. A good keyboard for CS:GO should allow high-speed pressing and on top of that allow you to save macros through console keybinds and CS:GO buyscripts.
Perfect Headset for CS:GO:
The headset should match your needs, some like a full-blown 7.1 sound, some like it more simple, but the sound is a big part in CS GO, it is mandatory to have a headset that blocks the surrounding sounds and lets you concentrate on every CS GO sound.
Chapter 3: Basic CS:GO Game Mechanics
So, what are the basics of Counterstrike Global Offensive?
In the past years, new game modes and menu options have been offered to the community, which gives the game a higher range of possibilities.
Besides the typical rank, you can now achieve ranks for different game modes.
Let’s dive in!
What are the
CS:GO Game Modes?
Before choosing a game mode, you can use the top drop down to decide playing one of the following game types:
- Official matchmaking: Play CS:GO ranked.
- Practice with bots on any map.
- Make the training course.
- Play workshop maps, which you can download online, these are great for aim maps.
- Display a list of community server, which are seperated into public and private servers for CS:GO clanwars.
The CS:GO game modes:
CS:GO Competitive Game Mode:
Once you feel ready, you can start the competitive ranked matches in CS:GO. This is the main part of the game. Everything in CS:GO is about the matchmaking and the skill ranks. To achieve a rank you need to win 10 ranked games, afterwards a suitable rank out of 18 ranks will be assigned to your profile. This rank shows how good you are compared to others.
CS:GO Wingman Game Mode:
In the Wingman mode 4 players join a small compact map and play in 2v2 competitive mode. The same rules apply like in the standart comepetitive ranked mode. The Wingman game mode has it’s own matchmaking rank.
CS:GO Casual Game Mode:
The casual matches in CS:GO are all matches that don’t count for your rank.
These matches are for training and just for fun, it is not important if you win or not. To the CS:GO casual matches count the private servers, the gun games and the normal mode. On these servers many troll players fool around but don’t get upset, these players just want to test around, as you do.
CS:GO War Games Game Mode:
In the War games mode of CS:GO you play short rounds with specific rules. These are funny but challenging and can be Arms Race & Demolition or Flying Scoutsman. These modes change over time and are often changed for special events.
CS:GO Danger Zone Game Mode:
Danger Zone is the CS:GO battle royale mode. 18 players jump into the arena as single warriors or in teams and need to loot weapons and equipment. The last one that survives wins the battle (last man standing).
The Danger Zone game mode has it’s own ranking system with different ranks compared to the normal matchmaking ranks.
The CS:GO Game Menu Explained:
The new CS:GO menu is called the Panorama UI and is much more modern.
In the middle you can see the menu status, the welcome screen shows your character and the latest news. Now you can browse the left bar menu with the following options:
- Play CS:GO now.
- Looking to play (friends will see that you want to play with others).
- Your inventory with weapon skins.
- Watch tournaments and pro matches, as well as your own latest matches.
- The settings menu.
On the right side, you can find your own profile with your avatar, the rank for the matchmaking modes, your online friends’ list, and people nearby who also want to play.
How many Weapons are Usable in CS:GO?
In CS:GO you can choose between 35 weapons: 1 knife, 10 Pistols, 4 Shot Guns, 7 SMGs, 7 Rifles, 4 Sniper Rifles and 2 Machine Guns.
How many Maps are in CS:GO?
In CS:GO are always about 15 playable maps which rotate over time. Valve is using the community feedback to create a challenging map pool and is also adding and testing new maps.
To get better, try out every single map and afterward stick to the ones you love to play. To be able to communicate fast in international matchups every map has map callouts. This means every position on a map has a specific name so that everyone knows which place is meant! 😉
Which Map Scenarios are playable in CS:GO?
In CS:GO there are three scenarios that are playable on specific maps.
- Bomb Defusal: This is the most played scenario in CS:GO, where the terrorist team has 2 minutes to reach a bomb spot and to plant the bomb. Afterward, the CT team has 30 seconds to defuse the bomb. If a full team dies before that, the round is over as well.
- Hostage Rescue: In this scenario, the sides are turned, the terrorists are defending the hostages and the CTs have to rescue them. They need to escort the hostages into their home base.
- Assassination: In this scenario, a single player of the CT team is the VIP that must be escorted to the escape zone. Both teams have limited weapons which they can buy.
Basics about the Ranking System in CS:GO:
The ranking system defines a matchmaking skill level for every player through a ranking icon out of 16 different ranks. To get a rank with a brand new account, you need to reach level 3 and then you can make 10 calibration matches.
In these matches Counterstrike calculates your skill based on different characteristics, like kills, deaths and won rounds. The goal is to give you the maximum gaming experience to play fair games with fair teams. It also claims to be as challenging as possible: Ranking up on the skill board is the main feature of an e-sport multiplayer game.
More Details about the CS:GO Ranking System:
Your performance inside the game will be rewarded with a derank, uprank or you will stay on the same level.
Playing a good match in these balanced games, making kills, and finally winning the game, leads to a higher CS:GO rank! To learn more about the CS:GO ranks and how they work in detail, checkout this detailled guide.
CS:GO Elo Ranking Analysis
What are CS:GO Skins and How to Get Them?
CS:GO Skins are cosmetic changes in the game that can be equiped by a player. It does change the visual style of a single element, but does not improve the damage or effectiveness. CS:GO skins are most likely weapon skins but also items like gloves ca be used.
To get CS:GO skins you can get them through ingame drops, through chests or via trading. Another option is to buy skins on the steam market or other trading platforms.
In CS:GO there is a huge market for skins and a lot of money can be made with rare CS:GO items.
How does the Aiming Works in CS:GO?
Shooting is the first thing that needs to be improved if you play CS:GO. Try to always aim at a height where the head is – the beginner’s often aim too low – as if they want to hit the legs at all costs! 😀 Aiming well is the absolute masterclass in CS:GO. To improve in shooting you need to feel comfortable with each weapon.
About the CS:GO shooting accuracy: If you jump or move around the spray is inaccurate and if you stand still you aim precise. But here come more variables into play: Every weapon has it’s own shooting behavior and the longer you shoot at one time the aiming and spray of the bullets gets harder to place at the point that you want to reach.
Because of that many players release a complete clip onto the enemy and not a single bullet hits: Here I can tell you, it’s about the experience, the accuracy may not be on point, but it is very predictable. In a lot of cases you have to move down when spraying and with a lot of weapons, you have to move down then go to the right then to left as you can see on the P90 spray image.
But spraying does not have to be your biggest strength: Single shots are much more powerful, instant headshots whenever you see an enemy – that’s the goal! 😉
How to Profit from the Sound in CS:GO?
It’s absolutely clear, that the sound is a huge game mechanic of CS:GO. This differentiates CS:GO to many other e-sport titles, where the sound is most likely for entertainment purpose.
In CS:GO you have to combine the senses: What you see and what you hear have to be combined to get the best information. On top of that, you need to predict enemy movements and timings: If you know a map well, you will know at what time an opponent can reach a target.
The footsteps, jumps, weapon switches and shots are sounds that you can hear to identify a players position. That can be an allied teammate or an opponent. By hearing an enemy, you get extremely powerful information, that allows you to be prepared to see him there soon.
To optimize using the sound in CS:GO, don’t listen to music while playing or watch tv. Turn everything off, and turn the in-game sound very loud. It’s a good choice to reduce the incoming microphone sound to a minimum and the game sound to a maximum. To hear everything crystal clear, buy a good headset that has noise-canceling and lets you focus on the game.
How to be a good Team player in CS:GO:
The fundament of CS:GO is the team play, without good teamplay no one will have success. Yes – you could be a good solo player on public servers, but when it comes to a full-blown tactical team match you will have no chance alone.
Which CS:GO player role do you like? What is your playstyle? It is important not to just rush in alone, try to communicate and play as a team. Move together, go back together, or rush in together. To win a map it is mandatory to split smart and cover each area of the map, this is only possible with good teamplay.
As a beginner it’s a great choice for ranked matchmaking to cover the same areas over and over again. As an example, covering b every round when playing Dust 2, gives you a lot of experience, because you will try to find the best position on how to defend it – even against 5 players. 😉
How is the CS:GO Community?
The Counterstrike Global Offensive community is definitely toxic! 😀
Espescially on the low ranking levels, players love to flame and there are tons of cheaters, trolls and idiots that fool around and making it hard for you to have a nice time.
Before reaching the DMG tier, annoying teammates can be a serious problem, therefore your main goal needs to be to escape from these by having a high rank. 😉
Saying this is funny because exactly these guys are holding the most people back from getting a better rank. They not only play bad or destroy any team’s plans, but they also provoke and tilt to reduce the skill of teammates.
It is demanding and hard to be a good player while so many players try to keep you down and make fun of you… In the end, this is okay for me, every skilled game, with a league or a matchmaking mode, is hard to master. A community like this needs hate, love, excitement, and highs and lows! This keeps the fun high. 😉
Learn to deal with the CS:GO Economy:
Another important game mechanic you need to master in CS:GO is dealing right with the economy. CS:GO has an economic system, each weapon has a different kill reward.
As a CS:GO player it can help to housekeep the money, to be always aware of what you are doing. The economy is part of the team play and some of the basic strategies in CS GO clan wars and ranked matches are “eco rounds” and “buy rounds”. In these rounds, the teams decide together if all buy weapons or save money or not. It’s stronger if the full team buys, instead of a half team.
When getting better it’s important to focus on the money you spend, whenever CS:GO beginner players have money, they directly invest into an AWP, but often it’s a smarter choice to save the money if the game is even.
Another great tactical option is the force buy: If the enemy team won the first round and is certain that your team is making an eco, you can surprise them with an SMG buy. You could even rush to surprise them even more, this often works tremendously! 😉
Beginner Tips List for CS:GO: How to get better fast
Start with easy to use Weapons:
Try to get better in shooting with weapons, at first you should always try to use the same weapons, so that you learn how to shoot with that specific weapon.
Good starter weapons are the normal pistols, don’t use other pistols. The P90 is a great starter weapon for nice spray damage, but also the Galil and the Famas are easy to control. The AK-47 and M4 are also capable weapons to start with and also strong for experienced players.
To get better with the weapons it is key to check how long the reloading is and how the recoil and spray behaves. To test this just shoot against a wall and try to shoot at the same point with crossfire!
Play the same CS:GO Maps over and over again!
Always play the same maps, to get better. At first test, all of the maps and then choose two or three favorite maps.
If you play ranked matches, stick to these maps in your first 100 games and master them. After that time you will be at least experienced on these maps! The best starter map is of course Dust 2, find a detailled Dust 2 winning guide here. 🙂
Train how to use Grenades:
After you have chosen your favorite maps, check some youtube videos about grenade tutorials for the maps, just like in the Dust 2 guide.
Like that you will be a grenade pro in no time. It is not really hard to be good with grenades if you watch the videos, but most of the players can’t use them well. It is important to learn how much tactical power grenades have to win games. The flash and smoke grenades can do so much, without forcing a 1:1 situation.
Get to know the Power of Warming Up:
Before you play real ranked matches always warm up a bit. Because the first rounds of a new ranked match, are the most important to get an early advantage fast.
In the first minutes of warming up you will realize your daily performance. If the daily CS:GO performance is bad, because you are tired or whatever, it is a better option to play casual matches and no ranked matches! 😉
To warm up in CS:GO, join public servers with “aim” maps.
Stay Positive: Don’t let CS:GO Discourage You!
Don’t get discouraged early, CS:GO is a really skillful and hard game. Once you are ranked you can play with people on the same level. If you reach the Gold Nova 3 CS GO rank you already better than average.
Read more about the full CS:GO rank percentage distribution here.
Stop Achieving Bad Behaviours in CS:GO:
The experience in CS:GO comes with the time, but one of the worst things you could do is keeping bad attitudes, like executing the same movement and grenades over and over again. Be flexible and accept to learn.
The most players in CS GO are stuck on their level and just up and downrank in the same area. If you try to get better and read all of the CS:GO guides, you will be better than average just by knowing the game mechanics.
In CS:GO Communication is Key:
Sound is key in CS:GO, but also the communication between the team is. Through great agreements inside the team, everything is prepared to win a match. Therefore use a mic that is good to hear and speak English.
Whenever you play ranked, try to communicate with your team. By being serious and forcing tactical movements, you show that you are no troll and others will invest more into each round!
Get Map Control with Friends:
If you play with one or two friends, it’s easy to care for map control. If you get good in this together, your win rate will increase a lot. Hold your positions and cover the important spots instead of hunting for kills. Also make the maximum out of grenades, smokes, and molotows can win a lot of time.
Be Flexible and Change your Gameplan when Losing:
Whenever you jump into a ranked match, your number one goal is to win it. There will be games where your team is falling far behind and the enemy team looks too strong. At that point change the strategy and force your team to act together. Be flexible and try out new things to surprise the enemy. Make an all in rush with 5 men or camp at completely new positions.
We are here to have Fun:
In the end, it’s all about having fun. Playing CS:GO might be a serious thing for some, but it’s a game. Try to have fun and don’t focus too much on it. It’s only a game and a rank is only a rank. Don’t be upset if you lose against other players.
That does not mean that you should give up at any time – just improve your understanding of the game and outsmart your enemies with innovation and beautiful aiming skills! 😉
Conclusion & Last Words:
That’s it! 🙂 I hope you like the guide and that it will help you to jump start your CS:GO career. It while take a while to get better – just be patient and clever to reach a higher skill!
Find more CS:GO guides here.