All CSGO Ranks | Distribution | Elo System
Look into our in-depth guide for a CS:GO ranking system and get to know how you can climb even faster!
There’s a total of 18 different ranks (aka skill groups) in CS:GO. Before you have even played any competitive matches, you are standing as an unranked player. Once you have 10 competitive match wins, you will be assigned your first rank. Your first rank can vary from Silver to Gold Nova, rarely any higher than Gold Nova III.
Specifically in CS:GO, your rank determines your level of skill and then matches you up with teammates and opponents with similar skill-level, so both teams could have equal chances to win. The more you win, the more likely you’ll rank up. In addition, CSGO offers seperate ranking systems for the Danger Zone and Wingman Mode.
CSGO Ranks and the ELO system explained
So, how does the CS:GO Ranking System work? To be honest – no one really knows. It’s not public information, and Valve has been doing a fantastic job of keeping it a secret. However, there are some things we know about. To start off, we know that the ranks are equal compared to skill – the higher your rank, the higher your skill. We also know that with each win you get closer to ranking up, and with each loss, you get closer to ranking down.
But here’s where it gets more interesting and a little bit mysterious. We also know that the ranking system is based on ELO (which is the same system used in chess rankings) but unlike in chess, the ELO is highly dynamic and affects CS:GO ranks by many factors. Here all the ranks in CSGO:
What affects ELO in CSGO?
The CS:GO ELO system takes into account your region, your opponent's rank, your teammates rank, your score/kills/deaths/assists, and most importantly the number of rounds you win. Everything, basically. Unfortunately, we will probably never know exactly how it works.
- Region of the Player
- Your CS:GO Rank
- Rank of the opponent
- Rank of the Teammates
- Your score ( Kills, Deaths & Assists)
- Number of rounds won
The ELO system is unpredictable, and that’s why it’s difficult to pinpoint when exactly are you going to rank up or down. Either way – the better you perform and the more games you win, the higher the chances of ranking up you have, especially if you happen to play against higher-ranked opponents.
CSGO ranking distribution
Valve has made a lot of effort over the past years to make sure the rank distribution is as balanced and as accurate as possible, even if there are some deviations due to smurfing and rank boosting. From their efforts, we can see that most of the CS: GO player base is ranked around mid-tier levels (Gold Nova I – Gold Nova Master), while less than one-third of the player base is ranked in Silver.
The people who have reached Master Guardian Elite are already considered in the top 20% of the player base, leaving the best of the best (The Global Elite) at only top 0.69%.
What’s even more interesting is that to consider someone a semi-pro player, he would have to fit in the 1% of the 0.69%, meaning that reaching professional levels takes extreme effort and dedication.
Classification of CSGO ranks: what your rank says about you
Silver to Gold Nova
If you haven’t had any experience with FPS games before before, you shouldn’t be surprised when your first rank is Silver I or II. Silver rank is usually filled with new players, and it gives you a fair chance to start learning the basics since communication and teamplay aren’t something that makes or breaks your game.
Once you get a hold of your aim and movement, weapons, and utility, you could climb yourself to Gold Nova just with your individual performance, where you can then start learning about good communication and team play.
Gold nova to Master Guardian
As we saw before, Gold Nova is where most of the player base is placed and because of this, the skill level of these players can vary by some margin. We could simply say that these ranks are the places for average players.
Gold Nova Master is where most casual players are, and if you want to take it to the next rank and reach Master Guardian, you need to put in some extra effort.
Master Guardian players have a good understanding of the game’s economy and meta, and they don’t need to rely purely on aim. You will get outsmarted, you will get outplayed, but this isn’t to discourage you.
This simply means that if you’re willing to put in some extra effort, you can become the top 20% of the players in CS: GO. This is where, for some people, the real competition starts.
Legendary Eagle to Global Elite
In order to achieve the highest CS:GO ranks (Legendary Eagle – The Global Elite), you need to be ready to rack up some serious hours. We’re talking about 1000 hours and more. This is where only pure dedication will help you. You’ll find yourself analyzing demos, watching pro players play and learning from them, consistently training your aim, practicing utility, etc. Only then you can have a chance to become the top 1% in CS: GO.
If you’re high-skilled in CS: GO, you’re most probably already a decent player in any other FPS game. So, climbing for that 1% of the player base is definitely worth it. Not only will you get a good reputation among your friends and teammates, but you can then simply jump into any other upcoming FPS games and instantly read the game better than most players. If you like a good challenge, then look no further.
How to get a CSGO rank
Once you get a feel for how the game works, and you’ve unlocked XP level 2, you can now queue up for a Competitive Matchmaking game. Before CS: GO gives you a rank, you need to win 10 Competitive Matches and at the end of the 10th win, you will be assigned your first rank.
How to rank up fast in CSGO
There are obviously many things you need to work on in CS:GO to consistently improve your rank. here’s a checklist of things you should pay attention to:
- Find a comfortable sensitivity
- Find a comfortable crosshair
- Warm-up before games
- Practice your aim
- Learn map callouts for your favorite maps (Dust II, Cache, Inferno, Mirage, Nuke, Overpass, Train)
If you’re just starting out with CS:GO, don’t put too much pressure on yourself and focus on having fun first – everything else will come with time. CS:GO is also perfect for casual gamers as there are countless laughs to be had with your friends queuing up to a competitive game after a long day.