The last CS:GO Wingman guide you will ever need

Added with the May 2017 update, the Wingman Mode was initially added as a special event game mode for Operation Hydra.

The Wingman mode in CS:GO was added as one of the three Hydra events, the other two being War Games and Weapons Expert. However, Wingman was made a permanent addition to CSGO in November 2017 due to it being extremely popular.

What is CSGO Wingman?

Wingman is a -2-versus-2 competitive match which is set on maps with one bombsite and uses a best-of-16 round format. If the total rounds end with a draw at the end then there is no extra round, the game just ends with a draw.

These matches have similar rules to a standard competitive game but Wingman matches take place on smaller versions of most maps with invisible walls, spawns closer to the bombsite and the round time is only 1 minute and 30 seconds.

It results in games that are much faster than normal CSGO matches which can also make them more emotional as a result. Wingman is a bit of a stress test for most players though when playing with a friend as a duo, it can be played more relaxed.

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Some players may like to use this mode to test some things out with a friend on their team instead of going into a full 5-versus-5 match.

What maps are available on Wingman?

CSGO WIngman Map Pool

While there were more maps in the pool for Wingman, some of them were exclusive to the Hydra event at launch. Currently, there is a good variety of maps for this mode. Changes could be made in the future but these are the currently supported maps for Wingman:

  • Cobblestone (Bombsite B)
  • Inferno (Bombsite A)
  • Lake
  • Overpass (Bombsite B)
  • Rialto
  • Shortdust
  • Shortnuke
  • Train (Bombsite A)
  • Vertigo (Bombsite B)

As the list above shows, Wingman does have more maps available to play than the active-duty pool for the full Competitive Mode. The Shortdust and Shortnuke maps are smaller versions of two currently available and popular maps Dust 2 and Nuke. Some maps also have invisible walls to restrict players to just one bombsite and to give them a smaller area to work with.

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This mode is not as popular as the standard Competitive Mode in CSGO which does mean that this has a lower player pool. As a result, the matchmaking system often is a bit unbalanced since the game is looking to get players into a match as soon as possible. It considers things such as rank, ping and map first but it also takes time spent waiting into account also.

The result then means that players can be put into games that are slightly unbalanced or where they might have high pings as the game is trying to place them into a match as soon as possible.

Wingman Mode Ranks

While this is not the classic Competitive Mode, Wingman also has a competitive ranking system for players. It’s separate from the regular ranking system in the game so Wingman does not affect the normal ranking system.

The ranking starts with Silver 1 and goes up to Global Elite as the highest rank. There are 18 different ranks to go through to reach the top rank for this mode. It uses the same rank titles and positioning as the standard CSGO competitive mode but this is separate to the normal Competitive Mode.

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Wingman currently has a very simple ranking system which uses a point system. It’s quite simplistic so there’s nothing to learn about the ranks for Wingman. The mode uses a  point system based on the win/loss rate where winning a game will give the player a point and losing will decrease a point instead.

Typically, Wingman has a smaller player base than the main Competitive Mode. Fewer players regularly play this mode which also means that most players will find they have a higher rank here than in the Competitive Mode. The rank increases are a reflection of the lower player count available for this mode which is due to various reasons.

Keep in mind however that the Wingman rank does not count towards the overall Competitive rank or wins.

How does the Wingman ELO Ranking System work?

Valve has been keeping the ELO system for Wingman locked uptight over the years so it’s hard to know how it works exactly. Until Valve releases the full information, some assumptions can be made about how this mode works. These assumptions are based on things that are commonly seen in the game and ranking system itself. Keep in mind that Valve might one day announce how the ELO system works for Wingman which might be slightly different to what we have here.

There seems to be more going on under the surface than the simple win/loss ratio that we know Wingman uses.

It looks as though Wingman also uses performance when associating ranks with players which means, the better you perform against high ranking players then the better your rank will be in this mode.

The Wingman Mode having a lower player base means that players end up playing against others with completely different ranks. This is why you might see rank fluctuations sometimes in addition to a higher rank than in the main Competitive Mode.

While the ranks of the players on the opposing team are important for deciding how your ranking changes, how you play is also important. The ELO system for Wingman also considers your score when deciding your ranking as well.

Additionally, there are some theories about Valve calibrating the ranking system to have too many Silver ranks compared to the others. It’s not too clear how this works but it seems like this change came into place due to the high skill disparity within Wingman. Players can have a much higher rank in Wingman than in the normal Competitive Mode which isn’t always a good thing when it comes to the skill disparity between players.

Global Elite in CSGO Wingman

The Wingman ranking system looks very simple as a win/loss ration but under the surface, there’s a lot more to consider. If your rank isn’t increasing like you’re expecting then keep an eye on the ranks of your opponents as well since it could just be they have a much lower rank than you. There’s also the potential that you aren’t doing as much as your teammate or maybe it’s a combination of things. Keep an eye on your overall progress in Wingman and that will help you work out the reason behind why your rank isn’t increasing here.

In the most simplistic explanation of the Wingman ELO ranking system; it’s best to assume that getting a higher kill rate and better performance against high ranked players is the best way to progress. Winning more matches and getting kills against high ranking players will increase your ranking and ELO points overall.

Wingman might not be a popular mode but it’s still loved by many.

The fact that this ranking is different from the main Competitive Mode also makes Wingman a great place to test different things and to learn about CSGO somewhat safely. While it is less forgiving with only two players per team, the fast-paced rounds let players explore different options for each map. It can also feel more ‘safe’ to learn things such as Bunnyhopping and aiming without the added pressure of a full team or a full game.

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Wingman presents as something more ‘casual’ when this isn’t the case at all. The 2-versus-2 and short rounds result in a game that feels quite different. Wingman is fast, strategic and emotional as a result. This can be a good mode to test new things but it does feel and play differently to the standard Competitive Mode of CSGO.

Keep in mind that the matchmaking might feel a little bad sometimes due to the lower player count but also remember that your rank here could be completely different to what it is in the CSGO main Competitive Mode. If you don’t see much movement with the ranking then it could be due to various things might or may not be within your control. Don’t get too frustrated by the lack of movement if this happens and taking each game seriously will eventually result in a ranking increase.

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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