Counter Strike Amateur Guide

Counter Strike: Global Offensive Amateur's Guide

How do I improve on my Counter Strike gameplay more?

So you have found your preferred settings from graphics and mouse settings to audio percentages. You have your squad that plays with you most of the time and you have learned how to heckle the hecklers and mute the jerks.You’ve probably made it to Gold Nova 3 and really want to begin pushing into Master Guardian. There’s a little bit of work that needs to be done before entering those ranks and really setting your sights on LE or even Supreme. It isn’t all that much information required, but remembering the information and practicing everything you can will surely help.

What mechanics do I need to work on in Counter Strike?

In game mechanics for CSGO are a little different than other games and their in game mechanics. Mechanics can mean a variety of things but in this specific instance we will be going over movement, aim and gunplay, and economy as well as all the things that fall under those umbrellas.

Movement relates to map rotation as well as general movement in game. When and where you are going to be important factors for general movement whereas who’s where and how much time you have left in the round relates to map rotation. Whether you are on CT or T side you’re going to be required to rotate on the map in a lot of different scenarios. When you need to rotate, which when on T side pertains to when your team has locked down a site and everyone left alive needs to be waiting and watching for the rest of the CTs to show themselves and give proper callouts, you need to be aware of where everyone else is watching, and if you have someone (or are) watching mid.

Being in a spread out position benefits the T side in a lot of ways, more coverage coming into the site, grenades are less effective all around, and more angles being held can catch the CTs off guard upon their reentry. CTs need to rotate when they know where the majority of the enemies are attempting to take, not everyone has to rotate but reinforcements are almost always necessary when you’re fighting underhanded.

General movement within the game is how you rotate or how you move from one spot to another. Information is key here and because of audio’s great importance in the game, making noise means that anybody listening knows where you are. Crouching and Shift walking are both options to help eliminate your footsteps and reloading or switching guns or scoping in on a sniper can habits that cause an enemy lurking around to get one up on you because they know you’re there but you don’t know they’re there.

Of course it isn’t always essential that you stay quiet. Timing is everything and whether its rotation or just switching from Long to Cat if you have the time to do it you may benefit from moving slower where as if time is running out you may simply just have to give up your position and get somewhere else quickly.You move faster with your knife out yes the rumors are true, but you also make a lot more noise because of it. This is not the case for Crouch or Shift walking, and having your gun out more often than not will save you some time as well.

Movement is essential to the game, and you already know how to  do it, know you just have to refine what you know and apply it strategically to any situation you come across in the game. We have all been late to a rotation and lost the round because of it, but we’ve also all been able to read the situation correctly and rotated in time to clinch the round victory. It’s all a matter of consistency.

How do I work on my gunplay in CS:GO?

Any serious FPS player knows all about gunplay and it is often what draws them into certain FPS games.Gunplay focuses on spray patterns, time to kill, and weapon strength. The reason it is referred to as “Gunplay” is because it is all about how the weapons themselves impact the game. The reason this is so important is, well.. because it is an FPS, a game that revolves around guns. We have talked about Spray Patterns and I am positive your more experienced friends have showed you what they are and how to control them. I just want to mention their importance. The Time to Kill in this game isn’t very long if the players are accurate with their shots. It only feels like people eat bullets because we can’t hit our shots. Okay, to be fair some guns deal less damage than other guns, but realistically most are able to kill at least with a full clip. 

Time to Kill (TTK) refers to how many bullets/how long it takes to kill somebody with a given weapon. All of these things tie into each other realistically but are essentially individual parts of a whole. TTK is important for players to understand from weapon to weapon in order to accurately assess their odds in a fight when they know what weapons they are up against and play accordingly. Weapon power factors into this just because it accentuates time to kill.

Aiming is widely agreed upon to be the most important factor in CSGO. If your aim is on point and you hit your shots then you will come out on top more often than not. A few things get in the way of your aim however and need to be considered before taking a shot.

Teammates are the biggest cause of friendly fire. I can’t tell you how many times a teammate of mine pops out right in front of me just as I take the shot.

Before we mentioned the difference between 64 and 128 tick servers, those really impact moreso shot registry which will prove to more accurately place you shots on higher tick servers. So while it doesn't directly affect aim, it will accurately place your shots in the game saving you some mishaps. Crouched vs uncrouched accuracy is a little different in CSGO, it really only impacts your first shot’s accuracy and not by a lot, which makes it more or less a tool for hiding in a corner or moving undetected.

How does the economy work in CS:GO?

At the beginning of every round, both teams are awarded money based off of their performance in the previous round. Everyone starts with 800 which can’t buy much. There are a few things that get counted into how much you make from round to round. Kills, bomb plants or defuse, round win or round loss as well as if you’re on T side if you die without planting the bomb a few seconds after the time for the round is up you get no money. There is also a snowball effect that can occur if you are consistently losing rounds, after each consecutive round lost you are given a larger amount of money in order to still have a chance against a team that is winning. This is a checks and balance feature that ensures the winningest team still has the advantage while the losingest team still has a chance at regaining control of the game. There are a lot of strategies that revolve around the economy that are used for various things.

Most of these strategies pertain to the team that is behind but there are plenty of things the team that is ahead needs to take into consideration before they kit out and die with all their money. So let's start with the strategies the team that is ahead needs to take into account every time they go into a round.

When in the lead you need to be able to make smart choices with your money. At 4750 you can buy an AWP but no armor. Maybe wait until you’re at 6750 to buy an AWP with armor and have some leftover as a safety net. There are plenty more instances like this but the most widely agreed upon safety net is around 2000. So if you have 8000 because you’ve been stomping the other team but you died last round,  you should buy out 6000 worth in equipment.

Even if you’re ahead sometimes you or a teammate trade kills a lot and that’s an easy way to lose a lot of money in just a few rounds. If you’re able to buy your teammate a weapon going into the next round or ask a teammate for a weapon, it will help stabilize your team’s overall economy going into the next round. 

When you know the enemy team is losing and down on economy, if they happen to take a round and they picked up you team’s weapons they will still be down a little bit economically but will be on an even footing with you in the following round. On the other side of things though, if you’re team is on an eco round it may be more beneficial for one or two of you that got kills to take their weapon and just save it for the next round.

If you’re behind there is never a reason to worry, all you have to do is play smart with your money and get your economy boosted so you can more easily take back a few rounds and try to swing the momentum. Money management isn’t that hard but it is something we can forget about quite easily. This is especially true if we are in the wrong state of mind, but we will get to that later. Sticking to the topic of Economy in CSGO, let’s break down a few ways to get it together when we are losing.

If you lose on Tside round one, there are two paths for round two that are dictated by whether or not you got the bomb down. These are sort of loose paths but ultimately they are the main two. If you get the bomb plant but still lose the round, force up, you are still on par with what the CTs can buy especially if you were able to take a site, it infers you got a kill or two which means those two CTs are maybe 100 up on you and your teammates. If you lose the round without a bomb plant than save and buy round three. It is still early on in the game and while you will be severely under gunned coming into round two, the CTs will be as broke as you are and if you manage to scrape a few kills or get a bomb plant and lose that round, you will be in a much better position coming into round three. The way CTs should econ in the beginning of the game is if you win the round, buy big, if you lose the round, buy small. When you lose on CT side in the beginning you still hold defenders advantage and the CT pistols are still fairly strong. 

Eco rounds are when you are starting to fall behind and hope to catch up in economy by the next round, so you buy super light and go into the round knowing full well that you are going to lose it, the goal of econ rounds is to stabilize economy and maybe get a few picks to hurt the enemies economy and maybe even snag a couple of weapons to take into the next round to further stabilize your economy and if you happen to win the econ round by some miracle, that is a lot of moment to carry into the next one and you can hopefully swing back the game in your favor, all because you bought a pistol and played smart.

Some people believe that CSGO isn’t so much a shooter game as it is an investment simulator. If you can follow what each team’s economy is throughout the game, you can help dictate the flow of the match. This of course isn’t entirely accurate, as it does help tremendously in decision making it comes down to overall skill and a little bit of luck.

How can I keep my cool when playing?

It’s an FPS game, and since the dawn of Multiplayer FPS games, tensions have run high between players in each respective community. It’s also always so easy to tear down other players and get into petty fights when you own total anonymity. A detriment to anyone taking the game seriously, but an unfortunate evil that is hard to avoid. Aside from being the better person there are many ways you can avoid tilting and in fighting.    

The first place to start is when someone starts to get upset, you have the ability to make an attempt at calming them down, boost their confidence and deploy a better strategy for the next round. This is usually met with a semi fresh mindset from that player and as long as you can turn it around, you can turn their attitude around as well. Being the one speaking negatively will never work out in your favor, and vot kicking is a real thing that takes away from the fun of the game in hand with toxic habits.

If you are the one getting frustrated then maybe it’s time to take a step back. It isn’t an opinion that being toxic is a bad thing, or that infighting helps teams win games. That being said, take a break, play some Casuals, put in some more practice time and make it so that next time, you can be the reason your team is celebrating rather than being a part of why your team became too toxic to win.

Counter Strike has never been an easy game and it has never been an easy game to walk away from, games can go on for a long time and losing a game after 75 minutes can really damage our mentality as a player going into the next game. That being said, take a break, go eat, drink and play something else for half an hour and come back. At the very least tell yourself to come into the next game with a fresh mindset and remember that through all the toxicity there are ways to win and effectively communicate with your team. Nobody likes to lose, and trolls don’t want to lose, they just want to get a negative reaction out of you.

There is a mute button and a report button. Utilizing both in extreme situations should be something you consider in order to keep the positive vibes up. Normally, allotting the negativity to get to you is avoidable and why shouldn’t it be avoided?Keep playing, there’s always a next game, another round, something else to win. Keep practicing and keeping up the good vibes and eventually the bad vibes won’t get to you.

How should I use Utility?

A lot of players hovering around MG and below are afraid to buy or are too inexperienced with how to properly use utility. At the same time, they buy a Zeus and troll without a second thought. Let’s talk a little bit about how important Utility items other than the Zeus and frag grenades are because they can turn any situation on its head.

For starters, if you’re on CT and you have the money to spend on a Defuse kit, you should really consider getting it. Even in an econ round your team should try to have one defuse kit just in case you guys kill all the Ts in the round with only seconds left before the bomb goes off. A lot of players overlook the fact that it can literally be the difference between a won round and lost round, and it really hurts when you clutch it and die to the bomb.

This goes against the advice for saving and working on economy, if you have 2000, get a defuse kit. The only situation in which one may not need to is if two people playing different sites have a defuse kit already.

Smoke grenades and stun grenades are extremely useful in any situation. Yes, sometimes they don't get the job done and sometimes we mess up our throws. However, with some practice and focus we can use them to really swing a fight to our advantage for obvious reasons. If you need to know how to perfectly execute smokes, there are plenty of videos going over every single spot on each map that gives you the best possible smoke. Molotovs can be useful for clearing sites and forcing enemies into the open, they require a lot less practice to use and can be way stronger than a frag in the right scenarios. No 1g’s in the chat please.

Smokes don’t necessarily need to be perfect and sometimes time doesn’t leave you much choice. Getting it out to block one angle gives you less to worry about, while worrying about blocking off multiple angles with 10 seconds left in a round to make a play is going to hinder you more than just taking an even fight.You can hold two flashes and that's the only utility you can have two of. If you play like an entry fragger (please see pro guide) you may benefit from having two flashes rather than one and a smoke or one and a nade. You can have four grenades in total and knowing which ones fit your playstyle is better than buying all four for no reason. Though buying all four has it’s advantages as well. Just keep using them and learning how to use them as effectively as you can. They could be the difference between a won or lost round.

What is my next step?

Counter Strike never gets any easier, because as you get better so do your opponents. There is always going to be someone else that beats up on you. In Chess there have been World Champions that couldn’t ever seem to beat a specific person, but that person would lose to other people. The same thing can happen in any video game there is. All you can do is keep practicing and fighting to be considered the best of the best. Don’t let the bad games get you down, the more you play the better you can become and the more you practice the faster you’ll get better.


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Cameron Carr

7 November 2019

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