CS:GO Competitive Ranked Requirements
This article will tell you everything you need to know to start playing ranked, such as how to be eligible to play Competitive, map callouts and basic communication.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is considered to be a competitive game, so it is natural that most players will be seen playing ranked matches, which in CS:GO is referred to as “Competitive” matches. This term will be used throughout the article. The benefit of playing Competitive CS:GO matches is that every player will have their skill groups, or ranks, provided to them visually. This gives players a good idea of where their skills stand amongst other players.
What are the Ranks in CS:GO?
Before we get into the requirements to get a rank, let’s first have a brief overview of what the skill groups in CS:GO actually are:
The skill groups provided are in order of the lowest rank up to the highest rank, and skill groups can only be obtained by playing the Competitive game mode in CS:GO.
The players who are in the Silver rank are mostly new players. The players in Gold Nova are generally casual players. Master Guardian players have great understanding of the game and the economy system and are the top 20% of the player base. Players who are Legendary Eagle up to The Global Elite are dedicated and serious players who have committed a lot of hours into the game.
How do I get my first Rank?
We’ve understood the basics of the 18 skill groups in CS:GO, but how do we actually get a rank for ourselves? Like most other competitive video games, Valve has set certain requirements for new players before they can actually start their first Competitive game mode match.
This is to ensure that the players know the basics of playing the game instead of jumping into a Competitive match with zero prior experience. In CS:GO’s case, the process to be eligible to play Competitive actually doesn’t take too long.
Reaching “Level 2”
CS:GO has a leveling system that is separated from the actual Competitive ranking system which was discussed above. This leveling system reflects on how much you play the game, instead of how good you actually are at the game. Players can level up simply by playing the game more.
New players are required to reach Level 2 before being allowed to play Competitive. This means that they will have to play game modes such as Casual and Deathmatch a few times to level up to Level 2. This is so that players can get a basic understanding of the game. After reaching Level 2, you will be able to start finding Competitive matches.
Reaching higher levels can also make you eligible for Prime Status, allowing access to Prime Matchmaking, which reduces the amount of cheaters and smurfs, improving your gameplay experience compared to Non Prime Players. Read more about the Prime Status in our other article!
Winning 10 Competitive Matches
For the game to get a good understanding of the skill group you belong in, you’ll have to play quite a few matches. CS:GO will require you to win 10 Competitive matches for your first rank to be displayed. These 10 wins matter a lot as this will decide where you will end up in the CS:GO ranking system.
The process of getting your first rank is made even slower as you can only win a maximum of 2 games per day. After you have won 10 times, your win-loss ratio and performance will be added up together, and the game will reward you with one of the 18 CS:GO skill groups.
This rank will be displayed under your username. You will be able to play as many games as you want after receiving a rank, as the “2 wins per day” clause will be removed.
Basic Requirements before playing competitive
Discussed above are what you need to do in order to be able to play Competitive matches. But there are extra requirements that you can prepare for before playing ranked.
These requirements aren’t compulsory, but can greatly help you increase your win rate during your initial 10 wins. Following these requirements may assist you in scoring a higher starting rank such as Gold Nova or even Master Guardian.
Communication is key in a game like Counter-Strike. A team full of Gold Novas using communication can easily beat a team of Master Guardians that don’t communicate at all. That is why it may be a good idea to learn map callouts in preparation to playing Competitive.
The use of Callouts are to inform your team on where the enemy’s location is. Giving out Callouts is a major help to the team, and precise information is what leads teams to victory. It is recommended to at least take time to learn the different Callouts on popular maps. You can learn these callouts from our articles on Mirage, Dust II, Cache and Inferno.
Using a Microphone
Now that we know how important Callouts are in order to win, being able to quickly and instantly communicate through a microphone instead of typing may be a big help. Communication is good, but having instant communication is even better. This is even more important in a game like CS:GO where rounds can be decided in a matter of seconds.
Having a quick flow of communication in the team can help the team immensely, and that can be achieved by using a microphone. If you are weak in the aiming department, giving fast and accurate callouts is another way of giving a great contribution to your teammates.
Warming Up Before Playing
Communication is very important, but at the end of the day, CS:GO is still a game based on being able to aim well. Instantly queueing up for a Competitive match after waking up won’t allow you to play at your maximum potential. That is why it is widely recommended by the community to warm up before playing Competitive.
Warming up can simply be playing one or two matches of Deathmatch before playing your two to three hour Competitive session. This will ensure that you have a good feel of your mouse and that you’ll be ready to aim at the head and start spraying properly for the day.
Professional players take warm up very seriously, and that’s one of the reasons why we see them with insane aim all the time. You can easily do the same thing to make sure you’ll do great in the Competitive matches.
Advanced Requirements to Reach High Ranks
Comfortable Crosshair and Sensitivity
CS:GO offers an abundance of commands that can help you customize your crosshair to one that you prefer. A good crosshair can help you aim better and in turn, get more kills. At some point in your CS:GO career, you would want to mess around with crosshairs and find the perfect fit for you to be able to compete in the higher skill groups that the game has to offer. Check out what crosshairs professional players are using here.
A comfortable sensitivity can allow you to move your mouse better, significantly improving your aiming capabilities. A sensitivity that fits you can help with hitting faster shots and aiming more precisely, which is important as higher ranked players tend to move in an unpredictable manner. Our article on the best sensitivity can help you out with this.
Unless you’re extremely talented and a natural God at CS:GO, you will need to train your aim to make sure it is in par or better than the people in your rank. Training your aim frequently will allow your aim to be much smoother and quicker, which is definitely required to rank up to Legendary Eagle and above. The community has created multiple effective ways to train your aim.
First, you can go on the Community Server Browser and look for “Headshot Only Deathmatch” servers. These servers only allow you to kill enemies with headshots only, which will train you to consistently aim at head level.
Secondly, there are custom made aim training maps that allow you to tweak many different settings which can help you train different aspects of aiming. Whether it’s spraying, AWPing, these maps have it all. We highlighted the best aim training maps in our other article.
Learning Utility (Smokes, Flashes, Molotovs)
The usage of utility is very heavily emphasized in the higher ranks. Smokes are essential for the Terrorist Side, as good smoke lineups can help the team enter the site. Flashbangs are very useful as teammates can set up flashes for each other in order to get entry kills. Molotovs are very useful to force enemies out of common positions. These are a few examples of the importance of utility.
There are a lot of available guides around the internet teaching lineups and effective utility usage tricks. Players who can use utility properly bring so much value to their team, so if you can be that person who’s good at utility, you will see great results in the future.
Overall Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a competitive game where people can continuously try to improve their gameplay to reach greater heights. There are lots of aspects and fundamentals that players can improve on, but it can take a very long time to master them.
The best CS:GO players are patient and improve themselves one step at a time. This makes reaching ranks like The Global Elite very rewarding and a very respectable achievement.
However, CS:GO can also be enjoyed casually by playing with friends on pre-made stacks. At the end of the day, it is up to the players and what they want to accomplish from playing this game. Whether they are here to be the best, or to have a good laugh with friends using moan commands, it’s always important to have fun!