CSGO Vertigo map guide (strategies, callouts, smokes, and nades)

Created in 1999 for Counter-Strike version 1.1, Vertigo is one of the oldest maps in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Chris “Narby” Auty originally created it.

About Vertigo

Added with the October 2012 update for CSGO, it came with a big revamp for the textures and the structure of the map to improve overall realism. This map hasn’t been in many Counter-Strike games since the original Counter-Strike. It was also playable in Counter-Strike 1.6 after receiving a small update.

The re-released version of Vertigo from 2012 looked visually more realistic than the original map. The background now has a New York City style. With the November 2017 update, Vertigo was removed from the game files because of how unpopular it was. Later in 2019, Vertigo received another chance and is still in the game where it joined to the Casual and Competitive rotations.

Vertigo is still a Bomb Defusal map and despite all the hard work on this map, it still lacks popularity and is not one of the better maps in this game. The map is enjoyable but most players find it easier to skip the objectives and just eliminate the other team instead. This is all because of the map design, which is small and encourages constant confrontation between teams. While the best maps in CSGO have different path options to place emphasis on objectives, Vertigo is lacking those features which leaves it with many flaws.

Overview of Vertigo

Vertigo features a lot of open spaces and wide corridors, which is where most of the fighting will take place. There are also a few ‘narrower’ areas on this map such as the stairs and doorways, though there aren’t many of them.

As a result, the map is often less objective orientated despite this being a Bomb Defusal map and ends up becoming an elimination map instead. The map structure and design often force face-to-face confrontations. It’s spread across two floors with the bottom floor being used for travel and is where the Terrorists spawn. Both floors have wide-open areas with few hiding areas and the stairs near Site B along with the Ramp near Site A encourage defenders to set up a sniper to camp that area to catch any attackers trying to come up.

The Mid area of the top floor makes is difficult for attackers to push through the area as they spawn downstairs while the defenders spawn very close to Mid. The only way to reach Site B for attackers is to push through Mid and clear the CT Spawn or they need to go through the bottom floor and risk coming up the stairs. The design allows for various chokepoints on this map with no clear route to the objectives, meaning consistent fighting is much more likely here than on other maps.

Hotspots and main areas of Vertigo

Bombsite A

Found on the top floor, Site A is on the right side of the towards the bottom right side of the map and is the furthest map from the attackers spawn. Defenders must go through the CT-Mid and Element/Side zones or the Back areas to reach Site A while Attackers must go up the stairs and follow Mid all the way around or go underneath to the Ramp which leads to the area.

It’s one of the Bomb planting spots on this map and is in a sizeable room with open corridors coming from the sides and front. There are few hiding spots around this part of the map but players may take refuge behind the Sandbags at the top of the Ramp, use a few small cubby holes built into wall corners and doorways.

How to defend bombsite A on Vertigo

Mid control is crucial for this map as it makes things very difficult for the Attackers. Controlling CT Mid means the Attackers must come past the Defenders to reach either of the Bombsites and forced them underground, which is equally difficult.

Site A is hard to defend since there aren’t many angles to control the Ramp, so Defenders can’t just cover that area with one or two throwables. There are some cement boxes which players can hide behind, but it’s hard to retreat from that position if the Attackers have any grenades with them. While usable, it won’t work every time.

One potential option for Site A is to use Molotovs to block Attackers from using the Ramp. You can also use flashbangs here too. There is also a wooden wall that players can shoot through to kill or stop Attackers from progressing here. Combined, these can grab some quick kills and force the Attackers to turn around to attack Bombsite B instead.

How to attack bomsite A

This is the easiest Bombsite to attack on this map due to the Ramp being tricky to deal with as a Defender. For that reason it’s common to rush Site A before the Defenders can mount a proper defense, Taking this area then makes it easier to fight for control of Mid which is critical on Vertigo. Using this method means the entire team must involve themselves or at least three people with the remaining members making sure they won’t be flanked by heading to the Site B Stairway. A successful Site A attack would also allow those players to push up the stairs when the Attackers fight for control of Mid.

Smokes are very useful for this map to assist the Attackers when coming up the Ramp or up the Stairs to Site B. It’s also a good idea to bring Molotovs to force Defenders out of the few hiding spots available on this map.

Rotations are important on Vertigo. The lack of routes makes it easier to be blocked, pushed, and killed on both floors, so rotating regularly makes it harder for the Defenders to catch Attackers off-guard.

Bombsite B

This Bombsite has the potential for more hiding spots with objects spread about the room that provides a slight amount of cover at least. Site B is in the middle of an enormous room, next to CT and also the B Stairs which lead up to that room from the basement. The CT Spawn is very close to Bombsite B making it easy for them to rush that point if needed. At Site B however, there are four main potential hiding spots known as “Big”, “B Blue”, “Black” and “Green” which can be used for cover when needed. A sniper can also block or guard the B Stairs.

Being on the top left side of the map means it’s far from the Attackers spawn and the fastest access route is going through the bottom floor and coming up the stairs. To take the top floor route, the Terrorists need to go through the corridors to reach Mid, go through the left door then take another left in the CT room.

There is a Window looking into the Mid of the map both teams can use to monitor the situation in either area.

How to defend Bombside B on Vertigo

As mentioned before, holding Mid is critical for any defense on Vertigo, it allows defenders to make quick rotations to allow flanking positions and also to avoid being flanked. This is especially useful for Site B as Defenders can use smokes and other throwables to cut off paths and set up a sniper if they wish to ensure Attackers have a hard time rushing Bombsite B.

There are also limited cover options from the direction the Attackers would come up the stairs from, so even if they can take control of Site B, they may not hold it long. This means Defenders can put the pressure on them from the CT room and others could flank them if needed. The Doorway to CT is small and could be a potential chokepoint however, so Defenders must ensure they cannot be seen when trying to enter the room in the Attackers have control of it.

How to attack bombsite B

Bombsite B needs to be rushed and without doing so, this site is much harder to take. Attackers would need a lot of grenades, smokes and other throwables to take this room if they didn’t rush it after deciding to attack this first. The aim should be blocked off CT and the Window into Mid so the Defenders don’t have good visibility on the room.

If the Mid has not been stacked by the Defenders, then Terrorists should not have much trouble taking this site. Attackers need to smoke the front area of the site to force back the Defenders so they can have safe entry to the area.

Nor rushing this site but attacking it slowly from beneath can cause a poor attack due to the Defenders being able to throw incendiary grenades down the stairs and also the potential of a sniper.

T Spawn

The Terrorists spawn on the bottom floor at the stairs leading to the middle of the map. It’s a large open room they spawn into, but they have multiple options for attack routes from here. Attackers can go up the stairs to reach T-Mid and Mid to fight for control of this important area, which is very close to the CT Spawn. Using the bottom floor more, however Attackers can rush Site B fairly quickly by heading to B Lower or they can run through B Lower and Connector to find the Bridge to the Ramp for Site A.

This spawn point gives the Terrorists the potential for a surprise attack, however the height differences can cause some troubles. This is especially true when trying to come up to the top level since the Defenders have the chance to get headshots as the Attackers try to push. However, there is a ladder leading up into the CT Spawn, which can also be a means for a sneak attack by aggressive players.

CT Spawn

The Defenders spawn on the top level of the map, in the back right room. They are closest to the Bombsite B but can also quickly rush through to Bombsite A. To reach Site B they only need to go through the CT door and out the right door to enter that room; though they need to move further into the room for visibility of the Stairs. For Site A, the Defenders either need to move through CT-Mid and Element/Side or the Back to get a line of sight on that area.

With their spawn position, it’s easy for them to gain control of Mid as they spawn right next to it which forces the Attackers to use the bottom floor more. There is also a ladder by the CT Spawn which Defenders can use to drop onto the Attackers floor if they wish to be more aggressive. It can kill Attackers at their spawn, flank them coming up the Stairs or Ramp and can also be good for good recon.

Ramp

This is an important connection area for Vertigo. The Ramp is an access point to Bombsite A for the Attacking team that can be accessed fairly quickly. It’s often the site of many fights due to this where Defenders try to hold the Attacking team back to slow their approach or to force them to take another route instead.

It’s a wide-open area with nothing to use as cover and once at the top of the Ramp, there are some sandbags that might be used. The position on the other side of Site A to where the Defenders are, allowing for many head-to-head firefights to take place here.

When coming from the bottom floor, Attackers need to follow the corridors around then cross the Bridge and pass the Forklift to reach the bottom of the Ramp. There is a wooden wall that Defenders might shoot them through at that point.

Stairwell

There are two Stairs on Vertigo that connect the downstairs and upstairs areas. The one closest to the Terrorist spawn leads up to the Mid of the map or down to the B Lower and Site B. Both sets of stairs can be important but the ones leading into Bombsite B are the most important for this map.

The Site B Stairs are an important area as they allow Attackers to rush this area and take control. Defenders can rush to set-up there and block Attackers from coming up the stairs. Throwable weapons must be used in this area by both teams if they wish to gain access to the area or stop the other team from entering it. The height differences on the stairs also allow for the Defenders to position a sniper to eliminate the Attackers if they try to push up to the Bombsite.

Best nades, smokes, and molotovs

Vertigo has a lot of open ground with few hiding spots and potential cover in those areas, as a result, throwables are key to success here. Teams can find that distinct combinations can work well depending on the playstyle of both the Attackers and Defenders.

Smokes can be key here where Attackers need them to push back Defenders from the Bombsites. Defenders can use them to hold back the Attackers or to push them if they are more aggressive and use the ladder at their spawn. Incendiaries are useful for Defenders when holding the Ramp and the Site B Stairs as it means the Attackers can’t progress there. However, Attackers can also use Incendiaries to stop limit how Defenders can get into certain rooms such as the Site B room with the narrow doorway.

There are many options available on this map depending on how the teams want to play. Most games do still end with eliminations rather than objective victories though. Take a look at this video to see a few of these kinds of strategies in motion.

Vertigo is an old map, but definitely not a favourite for most players. The small map size with large open rooms and wide corridors means that teams usually need to fight head-to-head to take the Bombsites. As a result, it often ends by team elimination instead of objective completion like with most other maps.

While this is a tiny map, it forces players to use new strategies to reach the Bombsites and hold them. Vertigo is one map that veterans of the game won’t have much trouble with, but for new players, the sudden change in playstyle can seem overwhelming. Certain points on the map such as the Ramp, B Stairs, and Mid are consistent conflict zones where both teams need to take control of them to win the game. On Vertigo, the Mid is critical to winning and both teams need to hold this area to show how fast they reach the objectives.

About The Author

Anthony Clement

Anthony Clement

Anthony Clement is an enthusiastic gamer, entrepreneur and gaming journalist with over 4 years of experience in the Gaming Industry and is ultimately the Founder of TheGlobalGaming.
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