This map is the CSGO version of an older Counter-Strike community map called de_cpl_strike. They created the original map for the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) then a non-CPL version dubbed de_mirage was created too. The maps were popular with the Counter-Strike community and a version even made its way into Counter-Strike: Source. After CSGO was released, Valve remade the map and included it as an official Bomb Defusal map.
So while Mirage might technically be ‘new’ as an official map, it’s been a fan favourite for many years already. There also have been no major gameplay changes made to the map yet, though it got some minor tweaks to the layout for the 2013 released.
Overall, Mirage has remained pretty much unchanged since its creation except for a cosmetic lift. Originally the map had an Italian themed cosmetic style, but it was re-released in 2013 with more of a Middle-Eastern or Moroccan theme instead.
Mirage callouts (overview)
While Mirage is on the larger side, it’s more of a medium-sized map compared to some others in CSGO. That being said, there are still over 50 callouts to learn for this map and the layout encourages a variety of strategies. Mirage features a lot of corridors, hallways, small doorways, stairs, and a handful of larger open areas as well. The Bombsites can be found diagonally opposite each other on Mirage, with Site A being very close to the CT Spawn.
They set both Bombsites in open rooms, which are very different to the corridors and narrow hallways that sprawl across the map. Combined with a variety of cubby holes in the walls and items that can be used as potential cover, moving through some areas may be dangerous but the cover is enough to provide adequate protection. The toughest areas of the map are directly around both Bombsites. The rooms that hold them are large, open, with few over options around the room and potential chokepoints via the doorways.
Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists also spawn almost diagonally opposite sides of the map to each other. Because of the layout of the map, the Defenders have the fastest access to the Mid area while Attackers need to spend longer traveling through corridors to reach the Mid of the map. For this, it’s important for the Attackers to quickly decide on a strategy and move as fast as possible.
Site A is towards the bottom of the map and close to the CT Spawn. Based towards the back of the room, the Bombsite is placed next to a wooden Balcony that also an area underneath someone can hide under. There are also different boxes stationed around Site A, including two popular hiding positions called “Firebox” and “Ninja” that Terrorists can sometimes forget to check if they attack from Mid.
It’s positioned at the bottom of some Stairs coming from the direction of the T Spawn where there are many hiding spots upstairs. On the left side is the CT Stairs area leading to the CT Spawn and from the front of Site A, there are two doors leading into Mid and towards the Sniper’s Nest.
How to defend bombsite A
While it needs two players to defend Site A, due to its proximity to the CT Spawn most Attacking teams will move on Site B first. However, if this happens then expect the Terrorists to throw smokes towards CT Spawn, Jungle, and Stairs to isolate the Defenders. Some of the best hiding spots for this area are the CT Stairs zone, Ninja, Firebox, and the Ticket Booth. As a bonus, someone can jump onto the Ticket Booth spot to see over smoke grenades.
Once the smokes come, the Defenders need to call for back-up and wait to see if the Attackers push on that try. If they push, someone could throw a flashbang onto the Site while a Defender jumps onto the Ticket Booth for easy pickings. Alternatively, open firing into the smoke is also a good move when you hear the bomb being planted.
For experienced players, there’s the option to smoke the Ramp and jump up to the Balcony. Once in, someone can throw a flashbang to help you get in from the Stairs which might help you get a free kill early in the game. If you can’t get a kill, then it slows down the advance allowing you to either move to protect Site A or push further towards T Spawn if you can handle it.
How to attack bombsite A
When moving on Site A, the best thing to do is to use smoke grenades. Blocking off the CT Spawn, Jungle along with Stairs and Ramp makes it easier to access the area and isolates it. After this, strategies can vary. Some teams like to rush it and aim for trade kills to make the make a three against three situations, some like to move more slowly and others like to use other throwables. A Molotov can be useful for clearing behind some boxes in this area, especially the Firebox spot.
Once the team is on the site, don’t let the Defenders stop the bomb from being planted. That could cause your team to lose its moment here. It would allow the rotating Attackers a chance to get into better positions to retake it.
Taking control of Mid would make it much easier for attacking Site A as it provides more attacking options. Clearing the Window Room can be done with just a smoke from T Spawn, but it won’t stop the potential to peek from Connector to Top Mid.
Attackers spawn on the opposite side of the map to the B Site and almost diagonally opposite the CT Spawn. It’s towards the top right side of the map in an open area with corridors leading towards A Site, Mid, and B Site.
From the T Spawn, players need to go in the opposite direction to the closest corner they spawn next to and follow the right path around to reach a Ramp which then leads into Site A. Taking the left path then takes them through the Palace and to the Balcony that overlooks Site A and can give some view towards the CT Stairs.
To reach Site B, players need to follow the closest corner round completely which leads into Top Mid. Staying on the same level and taking the first right takes players across the Catwalk and into the B Short the leads to Site B. Players can also use the close by boxes to jump onto the Apps Ramp and enter the Apartments that leads into Site B too.
Based towards the bottom left side of the map, the CT Spawn is set close to the action. The right corner immediately leads to the CT Stairs and to Bombsite A. To reach Site B however, players need to run to the end of the left path, do through the small doorway and follow the Market through to reach the B Site area.
For Mid, there are multiple path options and the Underpass makes it possible to rotate easily without too much trouble. One method is from the CT Spawn where players can follow the left path then turn right halfway down the path. There’s an access point to Jungle from there and turning left in that room leads to the Sniper’s Nest, further forwards leads to the Ladder Room that goes through to the B Short for access to B Site from another angle. From Jungle, however, that also leads into the Site A area and taking the next left once in that zone leads into the Connector and into Mid.
While there are other entrance points to Site A, the A Ramp is the primary and most commonly used one for the Terrorists. Following the left side of the wall leads to a stack of boxes affectionately known as Tetris which also has cubby holes in the wall. This can allow for adequate coverage when trying to attack the site.
Because of the popularity of the area, the A Ramp is a common fighting area where Defenders smoke this location to delay Attackers from moving in. It’s also possible to throw a Molotov over the Balcony boxes on the right to force any Defenders there out of position. Not doing this can cause a Balcony player to get easy kills on Attackers pushing the site. Alternatively, Attackers may hold the Balcony with support from those on A Ramp.
Mirage has a lot of things happening at the Mid of the map. An Underpass connecting the Mid to the Apartments, a Sniper’s Nest, a Vent, and more. This is a critical area of the map, and controlling this area can win the game. It’s important for travel but also contains access to areas that can change the course of a game if someone gets total control of it. The Sniper’s Nest is an excellent example here, controlling this provides a complete view of Mid, gives control over the Vent, and makes it harder for the other team to quickly rotate through the map.
The Underpass is an important part of the map as it connects the B Apartments with Mid and can let Attackers quickly changing Sites. It can allow them to start an attack at Site B so they call there the other Defenders to help and while two Attackers keep them occupied and focused, the others could rush to Site A and plant there instead. This also allows teams to quickly flank the other if they stop paying attention to the Underpass.
Meanwhile, the Vent leading into the Sniper’s Nest room connects to the CT Spawn. Players need to shoot out the cover or slash it with a knife to use it. Allowing the Defending team to quickly rush into Mid using this shortcut. Alternatively, if Attackers take control of this, then they have a quick and alternative path for Site A.
In the top left room of the map, B Site is in its own little square room with open doors built into all four walls. There is no place to hide on the actual Site due to this and it can look very confusing. The area surrounding this room is mostly open space with some small cubby holes built into the walls that may provide some protection. The Bombsite area is close to the Market that connects the ST Spawn to it and also the B Apartments on the other side that connects the T Spawn. The B Short area also connects the Bombsite to the Catwalk and to Mid.
The position of the Bombsite allows for various approaches and forces most Defenders to rotate around this spot.
How to defend this bombsite B
Multiple set-ups and gameplay styles can be used for Site B but typically, for this map, there are two players assigned to Site A and two others on Site B. The last player would be at Mid to monitor movements. At Site B, the Defenders one should watch the B Apartments and while the other holds Short.
However, some confident players feel they can hold Site B alone.
This means the other player can push into Mid or the Underpass if they aren’t needed to help at Site A. If defending alone then the player will want to monitor the B Apartments and can use the Van as cover to do so. Either by peeking or ‘jump peeking’. If they see Attackers then they should run back to the site, and into a better position. Throwing a Molotov into the doorway makes it safe to run to another location and if followed up by a smoke grenade, then it can hold the Attackers back until the rest of the team responds to assist.
How to attack Bombsite B on Mirage
There are a lot of areas you’ll want to smoke depending on the strategy the team is using. Regardless of the plan, it’s an excellent idea to smoke bomb the Bench area and block it from seeing the Bombsite itself, which puts any Defenders there in a hard position. Once their vision is blocked, jumping off the Van or from the Apartments allows you to kill them from above. The same thing could be done with a Molotov, however.
Throwing smokes onto the site itself is also very important.
Defenders shouldn’t be able to see the player placing the bomb from anywhere around Site B. While smoking the site is important, Bombsite B has a quick route to the Catwalk and Mid area. If your team doesn’t control Mid yet, then the B Short also needs to be smoked or someone needs to be waiting near the corner to listen for potential enemies. From there, Molotovs could delay Defenders. There is also the Underpass to remember that leads from Mid into the B Apartments, so another player should monitor this. Also, having a player break the Market Window open and sit in the E Box corner means that Side is also covered. If Defenders are heard then a Molotov or other throwable can be used through the Window to delay them.
Attackers will find that this area is very important to them when trying to attack Site A, especially without control over Mid first. Following the left path from T Spawn and taking the left option there leads through to the Palace. A building that leads to A Site for an alternative path. This area can be used for both traveling and fighting.
The Palace leads to the Balcony that gives an overview of the Site A area. Inside, there are also Pillars that can hide behind if needed since it’s common for Defenders to throw Molotovs onto the Balcony.
For B Site, the B Apartments are critical for taking control of the area. To get into the Apartments, players need to come from the Back Alley at the other side. The Back Alley leads to the House and the Apps Ramp where the Attackers can climb up it to gain access to the B Apartments. From the Back Alley, there is also an entrance to the Underpass that leads into the bottom of Mid.
The actual Apartments are a long narrow room and are a potential chokepoint as well. This is considered one of the best routes for the Attackers for trying to take Site B. On the left side at the entrance of Apartments is the Kitchen with a small wooden window that can be wallbanged through.
Best nades, smokes, and Molotovs
Like with most CSGO maps, smoke bombs are useful for controlling the Bombsites on this map. Both sides can make use of them, but there are also various points where Molotovs can be equally useful. There are many places on Mirage that need to be cleared out before it’s safe to move and throwables are the safest way to do this.
While there are many potential options on Mirage for using throwables in unique ways; the standard ones include smoking off the line of sights to Bombsites and also using Molotovs on some hiding spots. Sometimes, flashbangs can also be very useful and play might even find that grenades can also play a role.
Mirage has always been a fan favourite and now that it’s finally an official map, it’s easy to see why this is a popular map. The layout may encourage players to use certain strategies, but it also allows for a lot of variation and experimentation. It’s harsh yet strangely forgiving as a result since players have so much freedom for setting up approaches here. Mirage is difficult to predict as a result, making this map always entertaining to play and watch others play on.
The Bombsites are found in large open spaces, yet most of the map is formed of various-sized corridors. The added options that allow for quick travel across the map let players quickly dash across the map for sudden rotations or surprise attacks. It keeps things fresh, allows for re-positioning, and gives players a few seconds grace to re-think strategies when needed. Most importantly, the layout of Mirage keeps it balanced.