CSGO: 5 Great Tips for Upcoming Players in Competitive Mode

Having played Counter-Strike games for 10+ years since the days of 1.6 and Source, I’ve watched many professional games and gamers pass by. I still find it hard to believe that the game is still growing rapidly despite the game objective itself being very simple – either plant the bomb on a bombsite as a terrorist; defend the bombsites as a counter-terrorist; or simply, kill everyone on the other team before the time runs out. Doesn’t sound too hard does it? But no, the game requires a huge amount of teamwork, skill and knowledge. Even though the game concept is very repetitive, winning is still a very satisfying feeling no matter how many times you play. Your rank is a very clear indication of how prepared and dedicated you are to the game itself; the more effort you put in, the better the results (obviously, right?). I would say CSGO has one of the best ranking systems of any game I have ever played, as it really shows how good people are at the game (most of the time, anyway).

I have 5 tips that I’d like to introduce to players, that suit abilitys ranging from beginner to intermediate at CSGO.



Tip 1 – Callouts/Communication:

I cannot stress how important it is to callout everything that the enemy team is doing to your teammates, even if it is just an estimated guess.  Hearing footsteps or seeing enemy grenades can be enough to reveal to you what the enemy team might be thinking of doing, and this allows your teammates to prepare and get the gist of the situation. This does mean however that you must learn ALL of the callouts for every location/spot in the map. If you do not know, just describe it in-short. Callouts should be clear and concise, and for goodness sake, stay calm and DO NOT SHOUT DOWN THE MICROPHONE! This really does add unnecessary pressure to your teammates and results in them panicking, thus ruining confidence which is a huge essential factor to getting the win. This may also disrupt them from hearing the enemies. Furthermore, not only should you call where your enemies are, but you should tell your teammates beforehand what you will be doing, if it impacts the team in some form.


Tip 2 – Grenades

I always see players new to the game just think it is all about shooting or spraying to win. A big fat nope! Grenades hinder your enemies every time. Let’s say, you are CT and the enemy team is rushing for example. You or your teammates can.

  • Use a smoke grenade on where they are rushing from to stop the rush. This is amazingly effective in CSGO, because you can see the enemy first before they can see you when they come out of the smoke, so you can just mow them down.
  • Use a flashbang grenade to blind them all for a few seconds. To use flashes ridiculously effectively (and I mean it), learn how to “Pop Flash” – this just prevents your enemies from turning around from the flash, by giving them as little reaction time as possible to see it coming.
  • Use a HE grenade to do a ton of damage. Double-nading with a teammate effectively may even kill multiple people.
  • Instead of a smoke grenade, use a molotov/incendiary grenade, which is very effective in terms of damage and stopping a rush. These grenades still seem rather new to me, as they are not used in the previous Counter-Strike games.
Smoke Grenade.. He can't see me!

Smoke Grenade.. He can’t see me!

Learn your grenade spots! Go on YouTube and look at tutorials on them. There are loads! One map in particular that annoys me when my teammates don’t know their smoke grenade spots is on de_mirage. If you are on the T side, and want to take A; 3 smokes can be used to take the site so much more easily and quickly (1 for CT, 1 for Jungle/Connector, 1 for the Stairs). I even have a video for it here, you can view it just below. Of course, always be prepared in case enemies push through the smoke by keeping an eye on them.

As for flashes, a really useful study I’ve seen is that you only need to look 90 degrees away (both x or y axis) from a flashbang to prevent being flashed. So do not be scared of learning how to pop flash! A quick and easy way to pop flash is by right-clicking when you have your flashbang out before you go around a corner. You can look up and move forward for it to go further. Be sure to look away from it, and approach your enemy as soon as the flashbang goes off to prevent them from falling back.


Tip 3 – Aiming and Shooting (AIM FOR THE HEAD!!!):

The main assault weapons (not including snipers) to use on CSGO are the AK47 (1-shot kill headshot), M4A1-S (better accuracy) and M4A4 (more bullets in a clip). NEVER buy them unless you have enough for a Kevlar Vest and Helmet, which is $1000. Otherwise, buy something cheaper. To use these main assault weapons against players effectively, learn when to spray or when to burst/1-tap. This all depends on the distance of your enemy. Try practising your spray against the wall in an offline match and look at the pattern. After this, learn how to control it by starting your aim head-height, then moving your mouse downwards gradually, and side to side towards the end of the spray (inversely of where the bullets go). The AK47 has the most recoil, therefore your crosshair should be mostly pointing below your enemy’s feet towards the end of the spray. On the other hand, the M4 has less recoil, so you may be aiming where the enemy’s legs are. Also, only spray when the enemy is rather close to you. Crouching whilst spraying may control it better, but the enemy may find it easier to headshot you – ultimately it’s your choice, but I prefer to crouch when I spray. With these weapons, never move and shoot at the same time! This goes for jumping and shooting as well. Just don’t do it!

Aim for the head!

Aim for the head!

If the player is further away, do 2-3 bullet bursts. In between each burst, always move side to side! This makes you a really hard target, and gives your recoil a chance to settle. As always, aim for the head, and slowly move your mouse downwards throughout each burst (if more than 2 bullets, that is), and repeat.

Now, if the enemy is really far away, perhaps 1-clicks to the head could be the option. Remember, as soon as you get your weapon out; the first bullet is 100% accurate, however afterwards the accuracy declines, often rapidly. Fast-switching can reset this back (switching to another weapon and back to your main), but don’t do it all the time as you may get caught by an enemy in the midst.


Tip 4 – Tactics and Techniques

Money is a big factor in the game. Do not buy fully immediately unless you see that your team has enough money to carry out your plan.

Here are some tactics you can do as a Terrorist:

  • Rush as a team and don’t stop, unless there are smokes or molotovs/incendiary grenades thrown. Only really do this when you are eco-ing to save money for the next round. When you get towards higher ranks, this would not really be recommended.
  • A/B split: divide yourselves into a 3 (will contain the bomb) and a 2, and go towards a bombsite separately, but meet at the same point. This is very hard for the CTs to defend, unless you are slow and obvious enough that their back-up arrives.
  • Divide your team across the map (to prevent CTs from pushing) and wait for the first pick and move in to that place as a team. Grenades are very effective here.
  • Fakes: make a lot of noise in one place (i.e. throw a lot of grenades, make gunfire, and look aggressive), but really your team are going to the opposite bombsite. This will make the CTs rotate and will clear up your route.

The ‘buy menu’

Some basic techniques:

  • Peaking: if you are scared there is an enemy with an AWP or just someone looking in your direction in general, you can do a quick peak by tapping the keys ‘a’ and ‘d’ around a corner. Your opponent may not usually have the time to react, and you will get Intel on where the enemies are. Be careful though.
  • Run with a knife: if you are really new to the game, please; run with a knife at the beginning of the round. Your movement speed is much faster.
  • I like to call this one “Diglett-ing” (yes, the name of a Pokemon): if you are behind cover, and when standing up the enemies can see your head, but when crouched you are fully behind cover; you can do quick pop-ups and bursts at the enemies and back down into cover. This makes it very hard for them to kill you if you are quick and accurate.
  • The unexpected push as a CT: let’s say there is an area smoked off, the Terrorists will not expect a CT to push through it. Though, if done effectively, and you peak at the right area of the smoke (generally around the sides of one), you can unexpectedly kill anyone there. This may not be very successful towards higher skilled enemies however.
  • Pre-fire: if there is an enemy coming or just camping in a very generic spot, shoot quickly before you go around the corner and continue to. This gives you a head-start on shooting the enemy down.
  • Walk (slowly): many new players do not do this enough, and gives the enemy’s an immediate idea of your position(s).
  • Swap to your pistol if you need to reload your primary weapon mid-gunfight, and you think you do not have enough time to reload

And one more thing if you are CT: unless the bomb is down and secured, don’t let the whole team rotate to that spot. This always, and I mean literally always, opens up bombsites for the enemies with ease. Even if the bomb is down and secured, always have at least one person guarding on the opposite bombsite of the map. Make sure you keep an eye on the time as well – it takes a Terrorist 3 seconds to plant the bomb.


Tip 5 – Practise, Practise, Practise:

Before I start matches, I always warm-up/practice. It just realigns your aim and makes you feel more comfortable and confident.  To do this, I firstly go into an offline map called “training_aim_csgo” (downloaded at http://csgo.gamebanana.com/maps/168139) and keep practicing against the targets on the wall. If you snipe and like “flickshotting”, this is a hugely recommended map.

After this, I would recommend going into an aim_map server (preferably headshot only) and practise bursts/1-taps against enemies who just keep respawning. Aim for a 2:1 Kill/Death ratio for perfect confidence.



Finally, go into “deathmatch” servers on maps you actually play in competitive mode (i.e. de_dust2), and put everything into use, especially your spraying. Again, aim for a 2:1 Kill/Death ratio. Once comfortable, then you can start a match.

I hope this guide helped you, and if you read it all, thank you for reading!

Andy Raynes / verTiX (CSGO Rank: Legendary Eagle Master)