Do you feel like you’re always at the bottom of the scoreboard when playing Counter-strike: Global Offensive? Do you think you deserve a better ranking than what you currently have right now? Or are you really good at CSGO but want to take it to the next level and want to become a pro? A lot of people are in the same situation, but you should take your game to the next level. Today, we’re taking a look at how you can get better at CSGO.
Let’s start with a rundown of what you need, starting from the basics all the way to the meta-side of the game:
That sounds like a lot. More importantly, that sounds like something you’re already familiar with! However, being familiar with the fundamentals in a game with such a high skill ceiling is completely different from refining it to a more competitive level. Let’s take a look at areas that you may have to work on, starting with the most important tools in the game…
Learning from the Professional Players
You can get better at CSGO by constantly improving on the things we just talked about. However, you can also speed up your learning experience by looking at those who already mastered the game. You can learn from CSGO gurus either by watching them play and trying to emulate their playstyle or take things to the next level by being mentored by one.
If you're watching the high-tier teams play big tournaments and feel like betting on them, you can check out our review of the best betting sites out there.
Watching the Pros
Popular game streaming platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Gaming will let you watch your favorite pros. Instead of just viewing their streams for entertainment, you can treat them as reference material for your next game. Some pros like Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert and Jacob "Pimp" Winneche stream competitive CSGO matches on Twitch on a regular basis. Pay close attention to how they aim, how they move around the map, and even their callouts if possible.
Learn from the Pros, Take a course!
Another great way to learn directly from the pros is to take an online training course. These courses cover everything from the basics to the most advanced aspects of the game. This means CSGO training courses are useful for players across different skill levels. We actually have a couple of surprises for you: both n0thing and Pimp also happen to offer online courses that you can get online to help you train more effectively! You can check out n0thing's course on.
GUNS! – Improving Your Gunplay
From the trusty AK and M4 to the one-shot –killing AWP, the guns in CSGO vary a lot in terms of damage and versatility. However, a gun’s effectiveness is limited by the player wielding it. Don’t be the guy who keeps losing sniper duels or someone with a rifle dying when face to face with someone on an eco round.
In the most basic sense, aiming in CSGO is just a matter of making sure the enemy (preferably their head) is in your crosshairs the moment you fire your weapon. However, that’s not as easy as many people make out to be because your target will almost always be on the move and they’re probably aiming at you as well. There are three ways to aim in CSGO, but you need to ditch one and get better on the other two.
Many inexperienced players start by aiming this way: placing the crosshair where they expect the enemy would be and waiting for the shot. This only works against predictable players and become ineffective once you reach a level of play where people are constantly on the move. You’d want to avoid getting used to this method because it will be detrimental to your game as you go up the ranks.
Also known as “tracking”, this method involves actively keeping your crosshairs over your target for as long as possible, moving along with the target as they move. This method is effective when using rapid-fire weapons that require multiple shots to kill a target.
Also known as “flicking” or “flick aim”, this method is very similar to passive aiming where you keep your crosshair close to where you expect the target to be. However, it also involves making quick mouse twitches or flicks to put the crosshair over your target in an instant before firing. This is the most effective option if you want quick headshots or lethal body shots with sniper rifles.
Practicing both tracking and flicking will take a lot of practice. Fortunately, there are tons of aim practice maps on the Steam workshop. We highly recommend FAST AIM/REFLEX MAP - TRAINING [DUST2] by cr0coDil and yolokas for practicing both aiming methods.
All guns in the game have recoil that will keep them from landing more than a couple of bullets on the same spot. This is a very important factor to consider when using pistols and full-auto guns. With good recoil management, you can land more damaging bursts of fire so any target who manages to survive your first shot will go down moments later.
The first thing you need to be wary of is the initial burst. In most automatic weapons, the first three shots will land very close to each other, but anything beyond that will start causing your aim to climb up. Getting used to short bursts as opposed to prolonged firing will keep most of your shots accurate enough to allow long-range fights.
The second important aspect of recoil management is the spray pattern. Every gun has its own unique pattern and getting familiar with each one will let you keep most of the shots on your target. Depending on the gun’s spray pattern, you can minimize the spread by pulling the mouse opposite of where the spray pattern’s next shot would be. Look for videos of your preferred gun’s spray pattern, or better yet, try it on your own. Mastering this part of gunplay is perfect for close to medium-range combat.
Ammo management is something that most players tend to learn naturally as they play the game. However, you may want to check if you’re already good at it. The last thing you want is to run out of ammo during a fight, but you also don’t want to get ambushed in the middle of reloading. Like recoil management, ammo management has two main aspects.
Many people have this habit of reloading between a few bursts, thinking that there’s enough time to do so. Some even reload after firing just three or four bullets. However, high-level players only reload when they’re sure that they are safe for the next several seconds. Change your mags either when taking cover or if you know that the enemy is far enough to get to you. This is because reloading not only keeps you from firing back but also creates a sound that tells enemies that you are vulnerable.
It’s very tempting to keep your primary weapon equipped during very tense moments but you're pretty much dead once it runs dry. On the other hand, immediately switching to your secondary when your primary still has more than enough ammo will just gut your damage output for no reason.
Important note: Switching to your pistol only when you’re primary has gone dry? That could mean having to reload TWO weapons once your pistol is empty. Unless you’re absolutely sure that you can kill the enemy, try not to get into such a situation!
Game Sense! – Knowing the Meta
Being a good shot will allow you to win against the average player. However but all that aim and firepower won’t matter much if you’re always at the wrong place. You have to complement your gunplay with proper game sense because the smarter player always gets to fire the first shot.
Positioning refers to where you should be, in certain situations. Positioning depends on a lot of factors, making it one of the most dynamic aspects of the game. Better positioning can further be divided into two aspects.
Memorizing a popular map is essential to improving your game, especially when you’re playing a competitive match. Familiarizing yourself with the map’s layout lets you plan your routes so you get to key ambush spots ASAP. Knowing every map callout will also give you and your teammates a better chance at attacking or defending an objective. The next time someone on Mirage says there’s an enemy at jungle, you should immediately know what they meant by it.
Holding an angle refers to the act of keeping your guns pointed towards an area where you expect the enemy to be in. Doing this in the right position allows you to ambush enemies without exposing yourself too much from return fire. You should know when to hold an angle and when to re-position. You can delay an entire team by holding an angle and keep them from pushing. However, you could also end up wasting time waiting for an enemy that went somewhere else.
Having good situational awareness is a major game-changer in CSGO. You can have average aiming skills and still get a win just by making the right decisions. Every round in the game presents a unique situation; knowing how to make the most at the moment is essential to increasing your chances of winning a game.
Knowing the Enemy
The more information you know about the enemy, the easier it is to react to them. How many of them are still alive will dictate how aggressive you should play. What guns they use will let you know if they can make the push towards an objective. Also, knowing the most skilled player on the other side will let you prioritize individual threats.
Predicting Enemy Routes
How many enemies did you find going through a certain route will help you set up ambushes. For example, seeing only two enemies going through long A could imply that most of their team is making a push towards B.
Checking the Timer
The most critical moments in CSGO happen during the last two minutes of a round. This is when the attacking team has to start making a push more aggressively towards the objective. Being aggressive early on is a valid tactic, but it's not as effective in competitive matches since it's riskier. If you're a defender, this could mean moving from a chokepoint to guard areas closer to the objective. For attackers, it usually involves finding ways to avoid defended areas as you make the push.
Another fundamental game mechanic that separates CSGO from other first-person shooters is the buy system. Unlike in many other first-person shooters, you have to keep track of a resource. Optimize your economy and you will have access to your favorite guns for most of the match. Fail to do so and you'll be stuck running pistols or less effective weapons.
The "Full Buy"
A full buy refers to buying is your main loadout and armor. You want to save up enough cash between rounds for a full buy. For example, an AK plus a Kevlar and a helmet cost $3,700. Buying just one or the other will put you at a disadvantage, making you more likely to lose a round. To make things worse, partially buying the loadout and losing the round will set you back even further.
Important note: An AK can kill you with a headshot regardless of whether you're wearing a helmet or not. This is why many CT-side players opt to buy just a kevlar without the helmet when going against a fully-equipped T-side.
Going eco means you're playing an "economy" round to ensure a full buy next round. Many newbies think that eco rounds are about minimizing losses. On a higher level of play, eco rounds are all about maximizing gains. When going eco, you'd want to prioritize killing enemies (to salvage their guns), or getting to the objective while minimizing engagement (for extra cash rewards). You should still consider buying armor and a decent weapon (like a Galil or a Deagle) during eco rounds, but make sure you're not spending too much.
Economy isn't limited to individual players. Good economy also includes making sure your entire team is well-equipped. If you picked up a high-value gun like an AWP, use your excess money to buy a main weapon for another teammate. Better yet, if you picked a gun that you're not comfy with, in the previous round, give it to someone else before buying your favorite. This way, your team will have two players with their preferred guns instead of just you with a gun that doesn't fit your style.
Groups! - Being A Better Team Player
CSGO is known as one of the most competitive team-based shooters out there. That means teamwork is just as important as each player's individual skill. Across all levels of play, the team who gets the numbers advantage has a better chance of winning a round. More importantly, a team that works together has a way better chance of winning than if everyone started playing solo.
Communication allows your team to move more efficiently as a cohesive unit. You can't be better at CSGO without being comfortable working with your teammates. A good mic and a cooperative mindset are just as important as excellent marksmanship. However, good communication isn't just a matter of talking more on the mic.
Making the Right Callouts
Sound and quick information play a big role in playing a game like CSGO. You should make callouts when necessary, but make sure they are quick and concise. Being too verbose with phrases like "I think they're going to..." or "Heads up. Found three guys going there" not only takes too much time, but also has the potential of drowning out other sounds like enemy footsteps or even gunfire. Say the number of enemies, followed by the location or expected route (this is where map knowledge is important); that's already enough info for your teams to work with.
Important note: If you get killed, always report one of two things: where you got killed and where you think your killer was shooting from. This will let your team know which areas of the map are currently covered by the enemy.
Responding to Callouts... or not
Communication is a two-way street. Your teammates will also provide you with information and acknowledging that depends on the situation. Some tactics work better when everybody knows they got the message. On the other hand, some situations could use less chatter and you're better off just keeping silent. Since this is a case-to-case basis, you will get the hang of this as you play more.
No mic? No problem
There's a common belief that communication requires a mic, but that's not always true. CSGO has a good instant communication system that can provide enough information to your teammates. First, you have the quick radio commands bound to the X,C, and V keys. These commands will include your name plus your current location. Next, you have a team chat system that you can use to type out messages. Typing "2 A" barely takes two seconds if you don't feel like talking.
One of the biggest factors keeping a team from working together is toxicity. CSGO is a highly competitive game, which means it's easy for players to lose their cool. Unfortunately, this usually ends up with players trash-talking each other and shifting the blame on teammates. Even worse, a toxic member can even resort to doing actions that work against your team such as teamkilling, or throwing smoke or flashbangs in front of them.
Being a fast-paced tactical game, it's easy to make mistakes in CSGO. Most players are bound to make a lot of mistakes even at the highest levels of play. If someone carrying an AWP get killed by a pistol from long range, don't bother calling them out. Doing so just demoralizes the teammate and makes them likely to be more toxic. Even worse, you'll come across as the one being toxic in the first place.
Admit Your Mistakes
There will be plenty of times where you drop the ball and make crucial mistakes. That's expected, but admitting that you messed up helps avoid toxicity. Let an enemy slip through an area you're holding? "My bad." Died to a 1v1? A simple "sorry team" would suffice. You don't have to make an excuse; an apology is more than enough.
Encourage Your Teammates
Good team morale can be a deciding factor in the majority of the match. This is even true in pro-level games where a tilted team will usually end up losing an entire set. A good way to keep your teammates morale up is by encouraging them. Complimenting someone with a simple "Good job!" will make a teammate feel great and appreciated. Telling them "It's okay!" after they messed up will also keep them from dwelling too much on their mistake.
That's it! Now you know what you might need to improve on, plus access to two courses from top-tier pro players. The only thing left to do is to motivate yourself to get good. Got a few tips for other players that could help them get better at CSGO? feel free to share them in the comments section!