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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive


Beginner Guide

by WildSnivy

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/____/ \__/ /_/    /_/  /_/|_| \___/_(_)  
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_  / __ __  /_  __ \_  __ \  __ `/_  / 
/ /_/ / _  / / /_/ /  /_/ / /_/ /_  /  
\____/  /_/  \____//_.___/\__,_/ /_/   
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__  __ \__  __/__  __/_____________________(_)__   ______ 
_  / / /_  /_ __  /_ _  _ \_  __ \_  ___/_  /__ | / /  _ \
/ /_/ /_  __/ _  __/ /  __/  / / /(__  )_  / __ |/ //  __/
\____/ /_/    /_/    \___//_/ /_//____/ /_/  _____/ \___/ 
By Jared "WildSnivy" Popelar 
email: wildsnivy1(at)gmail(dot)com
Hosted by
Copright 2015 by Jared Popelar. Any unauthorized use, distribution or 
production of this work is illegal and punishable by federal law.

Table of Contents

1) What is (and isn't) Counter-Strike?

2) The Three G's: Guns, Grenades and Gear
   2.1 Pistols
   2.2 Heavy
   2.3 SMGs
   2.4 Rifles
   2.5 Gear
   2.6 Grenades

3) The Game Modes

4) An Intro to Competitive Play
   4.1 How Competitive Works
   4.2 The CS:GO Economy
   4.3 The Pistol Round
   4.4 How, When and Why to Eco
   4.5 Player Roles
   4.6 Effective Communication
   4.7 Sound in CS
   4.8 General In-Game Tips
   4.9 Before and After Your Game
   4.10 The Matchmaking System

5) Map Overviews
   5.1 Cache
   5.2 Cobblestone
   5.3 Dust II
   5.4 Inferno
   5.5 Mirage
   5.6 Overpass
   5.7 Train

6) Setting Up Practice Servers
   6.1 Snives' Can't Go Wrong Practice Script
   6.2 What Did We Do?

7) Conclusion and Thank Yous

If you can read the following line of characters without scrolling sideways,
then this document is readable on your web browser:



Hello everyone! My name is WildSnivy (or SnYves if you like) and I'd like to 
welcome you to and thank you for reading my guide to Valve's Counter Strike: 
Global Offensive (CS:GO). If you're reading this document, then chances are you
are a relatively new face on the CS scene and want to get your bearings 
straight before you actually go to war. That's great to hear, and I'm here to 
help. This guide will cover all of the basics any CS player should know, 
introduce you to the weapons and game mechanics, and provide a brief overview 
of the competetive (Active Duty) maps you'll probably be playing on. At the 
time this is written, the Active Duty map pool is:

- Cache (de_cache)
- Cobblestone (de_cbble)
- Dust II (de_dust2)
- Inferno (de_inferno)
- Mirage (de_mirage)
- Overpass (de_overpass)
- Train (de_train) 

Just so you know more about me on a personal level, I'm currently a physics 
student at my Colorado university. I'm affiliated with the school's e-sports 
team, more particularly and unsurprisingly the CS:GO branch, and have 
experience playing the game and shoutcasting some of the team's competitive 

Before we actually get into the meaty part of the guide, I do need to say a few
things regarding copyright and whatnot first. Please feel free to skip over or 
peruse this section at your leisure.

As stated above, this guide is my own work. Any outside information and 
research I have collected is cited in the acknowledgements section at the end 
of this guide. Let me restate that I have zero tolerance for people who try to 
infringe upon my work, and if I find a lead regarding something like that, I 
will follow it. If you don't think you're infringing on my copyright, you 
probably aren't, and you don't need to worry about me visiting you then. If you
want to print this guide out or give it to a friend, that's awesome. I love 
expanding my fanbase and getting my guides out there. I only get uppity about 
things when money starts exchanging hands, so please don't sell this guide 
without me knowing.

Secondly, I love hearing from my readers, so if you have any questions or 
comments about this guide, then I have my email address at the top for you to 
send them. Make sure you replace the (at) with @ and (dot) with a period (I get
spammed otherwise). I'd also appreciate you putting "CS:GO" on the subject line
so I don't immediately toss it into my trash bin on accident. Even if I don't 
respond to your email (though I will if it warrants one), I will read it and 
make adjustments to this guide accordingly.

I'm a nice guy (well, mostly) and I will always show you courtesy and respect 
when sending you mails, so I ask that you do the same with me. More 
specifically, I'd rather you not do the following things:

- Flame, bash, troll or outright insult me, my mother or my guide
- Use any overly inflammatory, obscene or crude language
- Have too many spelling, grammar and other English miscues
- Type your mail in a language that is not English
- Ask me to join any social networking sites or circles
- Ask me to discuss something I already went over in the guide

Regardless of how valid the information inside may be, if I can't read your 
mail, I will discard it, so please try to keep it readable.

Apart from that, thanks again for looking at this guide, and I hope you enjoy 
reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. 



Version History

1.0: First full submission, containing all main components to guide. Will 
update if there are any major patches or changes. 8/17/2015

1) What is (and isn't) Counter-Strike?

CS is a tactical first-person shooter in which you and your team get together 
to stop the other team from completing their objective, or stop them from 
stopping you from completing your objective. You'll either play as the 
Counter-Terrorists (CT's) or Terrorists (T's) as you move across the map using 
a wide array of weapons, grenades and team tactics to either dispose of the 
other team's members or get to your objective.

Sounds fun, doesn't it? And it is! CS differs from a lot of other FPS in that 
this places teamwork over almost anything else. Sure, a good trigger hand is 
always a nice thing to have, but team tactics are significantly more valuable 
than individual performance here. You can go 7/25 on your KDA for a match, but 
as long as you help take objectives and support the team, they won't care how 
bad you're playing objectively. Being a team player and cooperating are vital 
to your success here, and that's what separates CS from almost any other FPS 
out there. It's tense, it's thrilling and it's arguably one of the best modern 
FPS to date.

So, what is it not?

It's NOT. FREAKIN'. CoD! A puppy dies somewhere on Earth every time that 
parallel is drawn, and it infuriates me to no end. In CoD, there is no sense of
team, or if there is one it's relatively loose. The only purpose they serve is 
to dictate who you can and can not shoot. Individualism reigns supreme there 
and very seldom will you see two or more players actually get together to make 
a play on an objective or enemy squad. In fact, you could probably say that 
just the opposite happens, where one guy manages to flash a room and go 
Boondock Saints on four or five enemy players without getting a scratch. And 
even then, the other team just goes "meh" and respawns two seconds later like 
it never even happened.

CS does things a little differently. Health doesn't regenerate, you don't 
respawn until the round's over, and you only get your starting pistol back if 
you die. If someone dies on your team, that puts you at a notable disadvantage 
until you can turn it around. This is what makes CS an amazing FPS in my book: 
while it rewards good individual play, it emphasizes the importance of team 
tactics even more.

CoD also has one of the most infamous progression systems in FPS where you 
unlock new (and in many cases, better) weapons the more you level your profile.
Not true in CS, which is driven by an in-match economy system where you can 
purchase weapons and gear to use until your next death. Playing allows you to 
pick up new skins and recolors for the weapons in your loadout, but it does not
affect what weapons you can and cannot buy during a game.

So no. CS =/= CoD. If you're looking for a fast-paced, run-and-gun, no-
consequences-to-your-actions FPS, then you can stop reading here. You will 
probably not enjoy CS nearly as much as you do BF or CoD, which are good games 
in their own rights. They tend to suit players that enjoy constantly being in 
the action and actively doing something. CS can have a lot of lulls and 
downtime between firefights as the teams try to find the best positions 
possible before engaging. And if that doesn't suit your fancy, I completely 
understand if you hit the browser's "Back" button right now. I won't take it 
personally at all.

If you're more of a tactically minded person, however, and know that every 
little thing can make a difference, please continue.

2) The 3 G's: Guns, Grenades, and Gear

Arguably one of the most important components of any FPS is the selection of 
firearms available for you to discharge into the enemy team, and CS is not an 
exception. There is a plethora of guns and gear for you to pick up and shoot 
off, and all of them are available to you in game if you have the cash to make 
it happen.

In this section, I'm going to talk about all of the goodies available for 
purchase in a CS match, and then follow it up with a quick discussion on weapon
slots and what to use: The P2000 or USP-S? The Five-SeveN or CZ75? We'll get to
that in a second, but let's look at the guns themselves first.

Firstly, the layout and what everything means:

Side: Some guns are only available for purchase by one particular side: such as
the M4 for CTs and the AK-47 for Ts. The only way to acquire a firearm you 
cannot buy is to loot one off an opponent's body.

Cost: The money needed to purchase the gun or equipment from the buy menu. 
Remember that when you respawn after you die, you always get the starting 
pistol (P2000, USP-S or Glock-18) free of charge.

Ammo: Rounds per clip / total ammo carried. Generally cannot be refilled until 
a new round starts.

Kill Award: The amount of cash awarded to you for killing an opponent with the 
weapon. The "standard" award is $300, but some weapons, such as shotguns and 
the AWP, have different awards.

Damage: The amount of damage done by an unarmored shot to the chest or arms 
from one meter away. Multiply the damage by about 4 for headshots, 1.1 for 
shots to the abdomen or stomach, and .75 for leg shots.

Fire Modes: Describes how the weapon fires its ammo and how quickly it can do 
so. Semi-automatic weapons require one click per shot, and automatic weapons 
can be sprayed. Three-round bursts fire three shots before requiring another 

Accurate Range: The farthest distance from which a no-recoil shot (i.e. the 
first bullet in a spray) will land within your on-screen crosshairs.

Movement: Determines how fast you can move with the weapon out. The fastest 
speed you can move at is 250 units (when you have your knife out).

Armor Pen: Shorthand for armor penetration, this determines how much of the 
gun's damage is actually dealt as damage against armored foes. I go more in 
depth in the gear section.

Penetration Power: Descibes how well the gun can wallbang i.e. shoot and hit 
enemies behind cover. Guns with higher penetration power can shoot enemies from
behind thicker cover (say, sheet metal over a wooden plank) for generally more 

Reload Speed: How long the gun takes to reload. Notice that this measures how 
long the reload animation takes, and in most cases the clip is replenished 
before the animation finishes. It is often faster to quickly switch from and to
the weapon right after the clip is reloaded to save time as a result. Most 
shotguns are reloaded one shell at a time, and thus the reload animation can be
canceled by firing.

Shortcut: The keystrokes necessary to purchase the weapon. In all of them, "B" 
refers to the key that opens the buy menu, and is usually not pressed more than
once per buy.

Shares Slot With: Some weapons occupy the same loadout slot as others do. This 
describes what weapons do that.

Special: Right-clicking with some weapons triggers a special action, which will
be briefly described here.

2.1 Pistols


Side: CT Only
Cost: $200
Ammo: 13/52
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 35
Fire Modes: Semi-automatic (352 RPM)
Accurate Range: 31 m
Movement: 240
Armor Pen: 50.5%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 2.2 s

Shortcut: B-1-1
Shares Slot With: USP-S

The standard issue CT pistol is a pretty solid choice for pistol rounds thanks 
to its decent ammo pool and high accuracy. Compared to the T's starter, the 
Glock-18, the P2K offers higher damage, more accuracy from range and slightly 
more armor penetration. It's a nice starter to say the least, but many CT 
players will favor the P250 and Five-SeveN for eco rounds later in the match.


Side: CT Only
Cost: $200
Ammo: 12/24
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 35
Fire Modes: Semi-automatic (352 RPM)
Accurate Range: 29 m
Movement: 240
Armor Pen: 50.5%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 2.2 s

Shortcut: B-1-1
Shares Slot With: P2000
Special: Remove/attach suppressor

The CT alternative to the P2000 is a silenced pistol that offers better recoil 
control and noise cancelling technology at the expense of a noticably smaller 
ammo pool and a bit less accuracy from downtown. CT players who take this as 
their starter will need to be able to place their shots carefully and avoid 
spamming in order to conserve ammo. The reduced recoil will help USP-S players 
land much-needed headshots for pistol rounds. 

Useful Tip: The first shot out of a USP-S will always land where the crosshairs
are aimed, even while moving. Keep the crosshairs at about head level and stay 
on the move, and with a quick enough reaction time you can net pistol round 
frags without too much difficulty.

Note: Although right-click does take off the suppressor, it is strongly 
recommended that you leave it on at all times, since removing it essentially 
leaves you with a crappier version of the P2K.


Side: T Only
Cost: $200
Ammo: 20/120
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 28
Fire Modes: Semi-automatic, 3-round burst (400/1200 RPM)
Accurate Range: 28 m
Movement: 240
Armor Pen: 47%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 2.2 s

Shortcut: B-1-1
Special: Toggle semi-auto/3-round firing modes

The T's starter might look low on the damage front, but its massive ammo pool 
and high recoil control make it ideal for spamming during pistol rounds. The 3
-round burst mode is useful for close quarters combat as well. The pistol's low
damage output and lack of armor pen make it subpar in later rounds when players
begin to regularly purchase armor, but for pistol and eco rounds this is a 
decent, inexpensive option.

Dual Barettas

Side: Both
Cost: $500
Ammo: 30/120
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 38
Fire Modes: Semi-automatic (500 RPM)
Accurate Range: 24 m
Movement: 240
Armor Pen: 52.5%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 3.8 s

Shortcut: B-1-2

Nobody ever buys the Dualies with a straight face. If you're going to pick 
these up, then spam away to your heart's content, because these pistols are 
simply FUN to use. Their stats are a little subpar for the cost, but they fire 
wicked fast compared to any of the other semi-auto pistols and they're FUN! I 
did mention that right? You'll almost never see these in competitive play 
simply due to the P250's popularity as a less expensive upgrade, but they're 
just too much FUN!!

Note: You know how in most FPS left click fires the left gun and right click 
fires the right? Not here. Just keep clicking the left mouse button to fire, 
and your character will alternate between firing the left and right pistol.


Side: Both
Cost: $300
Ammo: 13/26
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 35
Fire Modes: Semi-automatic (400 RPM)
Accurate Range: 19 m
Movement: 240
Armor Pen: 77.65%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 2.2 s

Shortcut: B-1-3

The P250 is a popular choice for eco rounds thanks to the extra armor 
penetration and slightly higher firing rate it has over the P2K and friends. 
The armor pen is particularly important since the P250 will *almost* one-hit 
headshot through helmets, requiring only a quick follow-up bodyshot to secure 
the kill. An inexpensive, direct upgrade to the default pistol, even if the 
ammo pool is slightly decreased compared to the P2K and Glock.


Side: CT Only
Cost: $500
Ammo: 20/100
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 32
Fire Modes: Semi-automatic (400 RPM)
Accurate Range: 19 m
Movement: 240
Armor Pen: 91.15%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 2.2 s

Shortcut: B-1-4
Shares Slot With: CZ75-Auto

Think of the Five-SeveN as a grown-up CT-exclusive Glock-18 sans the burst fire
mode. Much like the P250, this one-headshots everything and has a silly amount 
of armor pen for the cost. The Five-SeveN is also, despite not being fully 
suppressed, a relatively quiet pistol as well. But it also suffers from a 
shortened accuracy, so spamming this from range might not be your best option. 
A good pistol if you like the P250 and think $200 is a good price for a larger 
ammo pool and a bigger damage table.


Side: T Only
Cost: $500
Ammo: 24/120
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 33
Fire Modes: Semi-automatic (500 RPM)
Accurate Range: 19 m
Movement: 240
Armor Pen: 90.15%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 2.5 s

Shortcut: B-1-4
Shares Slot With: CZ75-Auto

The T's answer to the Five-SeveN has a larger ammo reserve and rate of fire at 
the expense of some recoil control. If you ever need to decide between the Dual
Barettas and this as a T player, this will probably be your better option. Much
like the F-S, this will one-headshot anything, and the large clip size will 
minimize your downtime reloading, which is slightly longer than most other 

Valve did patch Tec-9 recently to help manage the recoil better, so for T side 
ecos this is now a cosiderably more viable option than it used to be.


Side: Both
Cost: $500
Ammo: 12/12
Kill Award: $100

Damage: 35
Fire Modes: Automatic (600 RPM)
Accurate Range: 16 m
Movement: 240
Armor Pen: 77.65%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 2.7 s

Shortcut: B-1-4
Shares Slot With: Five-SeveN, Tec-9

If you ever needed a pistol for CQB, then the CZ is probably what you are 
looking for. It has a very low accuracy at range, but against close armored 
targets this pistol is second to none. Mind the restrictive ammo pool, however,
as it will dry up very quickly if you try to spam this pistol. Avoid using the 
full auto feature from distance as well, since it has below average recoil 
control and a subpar accurate distance. But, despite those drawbacks and it 
being nerfed again and again by Valve, the CZ still stands as a very infamous 
and very dangerous close range weapon.

How exactly was it nerfed, you ask? Herein, a small history of the CZ75:

- Before ESL One Cologne 2014, the CZ75 used to be a replacement for the P250 
at a $300 price tag. After the tournament ended, the cost went up to $500 and 
it became a substitute for the Five-SeveN and Tec-9.

- Then, right before Operation Vanguard kicked that November, the ammo count 
was changed from 12/12 to 8/16, the draw out animation was lengthened, and the 
kill award dropped from the standard $300 to $100.

- THEN, once the Chroma Case was released (you know, it's the one with all the 
fancy new knife skins?), the ammo count got bumped back up to 12/12. The kill 
award is still currently at AWP levels.

Desert Eagle

Side: Both
Cost: $700
Ammo: 7/35
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 72
Fire Modes: Semi-automatic (267 RPM)
Accurate Range: 35 m
Movement: 230
Armor Pen: 93.2%
Penetration Power: x2
Reload Speed: 2.2 s

Shortcut: B-1-5

The Deagle is nicknamed the hand cannon for a reason. The most expensive pistol
in the game hits like a freight train and will two- if not one-shot the most 
distant of enemies. Keep in mind that this pistol has the worst recoil out of 
any other pistol and can cause a large amount of bullet spread if you decide to
spam it. A slower rate of fire also means more downtime between shots, so make 
certain you land them when using this. An expensive pistol, but a deadly one in
the right hands, and a definite candidate for eco rounds for those who can 
control it.

2.2 Heavy Weapons


Side: Both
Cost: $1200
Ammo: 8/32
Kill Award: $900

Damage: 26/pellet, 243/shot
Fire Modes: Pump-action (68 RPM)
Accurate Range: 4.6 m
Movement: 220
Armor Pen: 50%
Penetration Power: None
Reload Speed: varies (depending on how full the mag is)

Shortcut: B-2-1

Shottys are useful for when you are on a budget and need to get back some cash 
quickly. The Nova is the cheapest shotgun out there, and is useful for CQB, but
is not without its drawbacks. This is useful for countering peeks or wall 
guarding as close range is where this firearm will shine. In almost any other 
situation, however, range will be required and the value of the Nova decreases 
significantly. Also notice that the Nova can not wallbang, so prefiring will 
give away your position and alert your quarry to an ambush.


Side: Both
Cost: $2000
Ammo: 7/32
Kill Award: $900

Damage: 20/pellet, 120/shot
Fire Modes: Automatic (171 RPM)
Accurate Range: 4.8 m
Movement: 215
Armor Pen: 80%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: varies (depending on how full the mag is)

Shortcut: B-2-2

The auto-shotgun, as it's called, has low damage on paper but the higher firing
rate compared to the others helps make up the DPS loss. Of course this means 
you'll be burning through your ammo pool rather fast as a result, so shot 
placement becomes more of a priority. Keep in mind that this shotgun can NOT 
one-shot enemies, even with a headshot, so double-tapping must be used to 
confirm kills.


Side: CT Only
Cost: $1800
Ammo: 5/32
Kill Award: $900

Damage: 30/pellet, 240/shot
Fire Modes: Pump-action (92 RPM)
Accurate Range: 4.6 m
Movement: 225
Armor Pen: 75%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 2.4 s

Shortcut: B-2-3

Colloquially named the Swag-7, this is a popular shotgun amongst CTs thanks to 
its magazine-based reload system, cutting down on the reload time dramatically.
The main drawbacks lie in the notably small clip size and its inability to be 
fired during a reload. Nevertheless, the quick reload speed and sheer CQB power
make this shotgun a situational favorite for CTs. Try picking this up after a 
won pistol round to get your early game bank off to a booming start.


Side: T Only
Cost: $1200
Ammo: 7/32
Kill Award: $900

Damage: 32/pellet, 256/shot
Fire Modes: Pump-action (71 RPM)
Accurate Range: 3.1 m
Movement: 210
Armor Pen: 75%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: varies (depending on how full the mag is)

Shortcut: B-2-3

The Sawed-Off has a slightly higher damage table compared to the MAG-7, and can
be fired during a reload. Also notice that this shotgun has the same price tag 
as the Nova, meaning that T's can access this shotgun on a budget if needed. 
The pump time is rather long comparatively, meaning a low rate of fire, and it 
is the heaviest out of all the shottys available. Look into this if you're 
comfortable trading out mobility of the Nova for sheer damage output.


Side: Both
Cost: $5200
Ammo: 100/200
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 32
Fire Modes: Automatic (750 RPM)
Accurate Range: 22 m
Movement: 195
Armor Pen: 80%
Penetration Power: x2
Reload Speed: 5.7 s

Shortcut: B-2-4

The M249 is an LMG with a big damage table, a huge ammo pool and lots of 
wallbang potential. The $5200 price tag tends to be a turn-off for most 
competitive players, and the recoil can be difficult to manage if you decide to
spray with it. This weapon works best at mid to short range, since the bullets 
tend to go everywhere when fighting long-distance battles. Frequently, though, 
the M249 is never seen competitively due to the heavy weight and huge price 


Side: Both
Cost: $5700
Ammo: 150/200
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 35
Fire Modes: Automatic (1500 RPM)
Accurate Range: 18 m
Movement: 195
Armor Pen: 75%
Penetration Power: x2
Reload Speed: 5.7 s

Shortcut: B-2-5

Probably the most infamous weapon in the game, the Negev is essentially an 
upgraded version of the M249: gigantic damage table, good wallbang utility, 
one-headshots everything, plenty of ammo, terrible recoil, huge spread, 
incredibly heavy, most expensive thing in the game. If you are going to use 
this, you better take an ace in the round you get it to reimburse the cost.

2.3 Submachine Guns


Side: CT Only
Cost: $1250
Ammo: 30/120
Kill Award: $600

Damage: 26
Fire Modes: Automatic (857 RPM)
Accurate Range: 15 m
Movement: 240
Armor Pen: 50%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 2.1 s

Shortcut: B-3-1

If you're going to spam your weapon, then the MP9 is a cheap way to do so. The 
recoil can be a bit hard to manage, and the armor pen is nothing special 
either, but the high fire rate, pistol-like maneuverability and quick reload 
time makes the MP9 a great budget SMG. The double cash bonus for kills is also 
nice for when it's time to upgrade to a rifle as well. Probably not as useful 
in later rounds, when the low damage and armor pen start to become problematic 
in 1v1 situations.


Side: T Only
Cost: $1050
Ammo: 30/100
Kill Award: $600

Damage: 29
Fire Modes: Automatic (800 RPM)
Accurate Range: 15 m
Movement: 240
Armor Pen: 47.5%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 2.6 s

Shortcut: B-3-1

On the T side, the MAC-10 is a remarkably cheap, lightweight SMG comparable to 
the MP9. The lack of armor pen makes the gun more of a glorified tickling 
device than an actual firearm, however, but against unarmored opponents a good 
MAC-10 spray will almost always result in a bountiful kill.


Side: Both
Cost: $1700
Ammo: 30/120
Kill Award: $600

Damage: 29
Fire Modes: Automatic (800 RPM)
Accurate Range: 17 m
Movement: 220
Armor Pen: 52.5%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 3.1 s

Shortcut: B-3-2

A slightly heavier and more powerful alternative for the CT's MP9, the MP7 
provides a little more recoil control and armor pen, even though it is still 
low. Close range sprays with this weapon are particularly viable, but as with 
most SMGs the accuracy goes south as distance increases. As with almost all 
SMGs, this one provides a double kill bonus, allowing you to more quickly 
stimulate your bank.


Side: Both
Cost: $1200
Ammo: 25/100
Kill Award: $600

Damage: 35
Fire Modes: Automatic (666 RPM)
Accurate Range: 15 m
Movement: 230
Armor Pen: 55%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 3.5 s

Shortcut: B-3-3

If you know your opponents will be on an eco (like right after they lose the 
pistol), then the UMP is not a bad way to get your early game bank rolling. 
True, the clip size and reload speeds are a little subpar as far as SMGs go, 
but at $1200 the UMP is a steal statswise. Remember to control your sprays, as 
they can be difficult to manage from range.


Side: Both
Cost: $2350
Ammo: 50/100
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 26
Fire Modes: Automatic (857 RPM)
Accurate Range: 15 m
Movement: 230
Armor Pen: 65%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 3.3 s

Shortcut: B-3-4

The Pro-90 is arguably one of the better SMGs in the game despite losing out on
the kill bonus. A solid rate of fire, comparatively high armor prenetration and
good recoil control all make the P90 a solid buy for anybody not on a budget 
looking for a solid SMG for their arsenal. Keep in mind that, like most SMGs, 
the accuracy falls off with range, and the P90 only has two full clips of 
reserve ammo.


Side: Both
Cost: $1400
Ammo: 64/120
Kill Award: $600

Damage: 27
Fire Modes: Automatic (750 RPM)
Accurate Range: 14 m
Movement: 240
Armor Pen: 47.5%
Penetration Power: x1
Reload Speed: 2.4 s

Shortcut: B-3-5

The Bizon will appeal to players who value high clip sizes, mobility and quick 
reloads over straight damage. This cheaper SMG boasts the largest clip size out
of the SMG lineup, and a very quick reload time to boot. The armor pen and 
damage output are its two major drawbacks, and, like its brothers, the Bizon 
does not fare well in ranged combat.

2.4 Rifles


Side: CT Only
Cost: $2250
Ammo: 25/90
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 30
Fire Modes: Automatic, 3-round burst (666/800 RPM)
Accurate Range: 21 m
Movement: 220
Armor Pen: 70%
Penetration Power: x2
Reload Speed: 3.3 s

Shortcut: B-4-1
Special: Toggle full-auto/3-round firing modes

Off a successful pistol round, the FAMAS is a decent CT buy option for those 
who would prefer grenades and armor over a fast M4. The FAMAS delivers decent 
wallbang utility, good mobility, and a 3-round burst mode that can help 
preserve your accuracy over distance. Compared to other rifles, however, its 
damage and full-auto accuracy are lacking, so this will usually be replaced on 
the following buy.

Galil AR

Side: T Only
Cost: $2000
Ammo: 35/90
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 27
Fire Modes: Automatic (666 RPM)
Accurate Range: 23 m
Movement: 215
Armor Pen: 77.5%
Penetration Power: x2
Reload Speed: 3.0 s

Shortcut: B-4-1

The AK's little brother is an economic favorite for the T side. Boasting a 
larger than average clip size, a good armor pen ratio and a decent rate of 
fire, it's hard to argue with the Galil's early game performance. Full auto 
fire loses its accuracy over long distance fights, so practice at bursting 
targets down and peeking corners is a must for this weapon.


Side: CT Only
Cost: $3100
Ammo: 30/90
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 33
Fire Modes: Automatic (666 RPM)
Accurate Range: 39 m
Movement: 225
Armor Pen: 70%
Penetration Power: x2
Reload Speed: 3.1 s

Shortcut: B-4-2
Shares Slot With: M4A1-S

As it says on the box, the M4A4 is indeed "the full-auto assault rifle of 
choice for CTs." The M4A4 features everything a CT needs: good wallbang 
potential, a high damage table, adequete armor pen, decent recoil control and a
large accurate range. Although this won't one-headshot helmets, it will drop 
them to about 5 health, making them easy pickings later on. As always, burst 
fire from distance works best.


Side: CT Only
Cost: $3200
Ammo: 20/40
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 33
Fire Modes: Automatic (666 RPM)
Accurate Range: 39 m
Movement: 225
Armor Pen: 70%
Penetration Power: x2
Reload Speed: 3.1 s

Shortcut: B-4-2
Shares Slot With: M4A4
Special: Remove/attach suppresssor

This suppressed version of the M4 is identical to its louder counterpart with a
few key distinctions. The most notable is its ammo pool, which is effectively 
half the M4A4's, placing an emphasis on shot accuracy. The M4A1-S also boasts a
lower damage falloff from distance, and of course, there's the suppressor, 
keeping your shots silent and your presence hidden. There is also a trivial 
price increase compared to the A4.

Note: Just like the USP-S, you have little incentive to take off the 
suppressor, because at that point you practically have an M4A4 with half the 
ammo gone and a smaller mag.


Side: T Only
Cost: $2700
Ammo: 30/90
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 36
Fire Modes: Automatic (600 RPM)
Accurate Range: 31 m
Movement: 215
Armor Pen: 77.5%
Penetration Power: x2
Reload Speed: 2.5 s

Shortcut: B-4-2

The trademark assault rifle for our Terrorists is a hard hitting, fast 
reloading, one-headshotting machine that will almost always be the focus of 
your buys. Learning to cope with the recoil can be tricky, but firing in bursts
of three seems to help immensely with accuracy and shot placement. Compared to 
the CT's M4, this is a more cost efficient and powerful rifle, even if the 
recoil and spray are a bit harder to manage.

SSG 08

Side: Both
Cost: $1700
Ammo: 10/90
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 88
Fire Modes: Bolt-action (48 RPM)
Accurate Range: 66 m
Movement: 230
Armor Pen: 85%
Penetration Power: x2.5
Reload Speed: 3.7 s

Shortcut: B-4-3
Special: Aim down scope/zoom in

The Scout is an okay alternative for people who don't have the cash for an AWP 
or want to pick up some more valuable kills during an enemy eco. Compared to 
the AWP and auto-snipers, this one does fall short on the damage front, unable 
to one-shot armored targets, but for the price it's an alright sniper rifle to 
pick up on a budget.


Side: CT Only
Cost: $3300
Ammo: 30/90
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 28
Fire Modes: Automatic (666 RPM)
Accurate Range: 49 m
Movement: 220
Armor Pen: 90%
Penetration Power: x2
Reload Speed: 3.8 s

Shortcut: B-4-4
Special: Aim down scope

The AUG would be an alright buy if we didn't have to compare it to the M4 
brothers. We pick up the ability to ADS and pierce more armor at the expense of
a longer reload, more recoil and a larger hit to our wallet. Chances are, if 
you're a decent shot with the M4 and can consistently find the heads of 
Terrorists, then you'll find the AUG to be a redundant, more expensive version 
of what you already have.

SG 553

Side: T Only
Cost: $3000
Ammo: 30/90
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 30
Fire Modes: Automatic (666 RPM)
Accurate Range: 50 m
Movement: 210
Armor Pen: 100%
Penetration Power: x2
Reload Speed: 2.8 s

Shortcut: B-4-4
Special: Aim down scope

The same argument against the AUG can be applied to the 553. Only this time, 
we're comparing it to the AK, which is arguably even worse. True, perfect armor
penetration is hard to be upset with, but we end up with a large amount of 
recoil, a heavier weight and a larger price tag for a scope. Not worth your 
money in most cases.


Side: Both
Cost: $4750
Ammo: 10/30
Kill Award: $100

Damage: 115
Fire Modes: Bolt-action (41 RPM)
Accurate Range: 96 m
Movement: 200 
Armor Pen: 97.5%
Penetration Power: x2.5
Reload Speed: 3.6 s

Shortcut: B-4-5
Special: Aim down scope/zoom in

This sniper rifle will be the bane of your existence, unless of course you're 
on the other end of the barrel. As long as it isn't a legshot, this bastard 
will one-shot anything moving, making this a real threat in the midgame. It 
makes a ton of noise when fired, however, and you need to be willing to sink a 
lot of money into it without getting much back. But a few good AWP shots onto 
unsuspecting heads will quickly reverse the tide of a round. This is a gun to 
be feared.


Side: CT Only
Cost: $5000
Ammo: 20/90
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 80
Fire Modes: Automatic (240 RPM)
Accurate Range: 92 m
Movement: 215
Armor Pen: 82.5%
Penetration Power: x2.5
Reload Speed: 3.1 s

Shortcut: B-4-6
Special: Aim down scope/zoom in

Dubbed the CT auto-sniper, the SCAR-20 is a fun albeit expensive way to chunk 
enemies at a disance, two-shotting them in most cases. It's effectively an AWP 
with a better kill award, a larger ammo pool and full-auto functionality at a 
higher price. Most CTs will prefer an AWP, just simply because it guarantees 
kills whereas the SCAR can let targets escape on partial health, but this is a 
fun alternative to use with a healthy bank.


Side: T Only
Cost: $5000
Ammo: 20/90
Kill Award: $300

Damage: 80
Fire Modes: Automatic (240 RPM)
Accurate Range: 92 m
Movement: 215
Armor Pen: 82.5%
Penetration Power: x2.5
Reload Speed: 4.7 s

Shortcut: B-4-6
Special: Aim down scope/zoom in

Apart from the obnoxiously longer reload time, there is almost no difference 
between the G3 and the SCAR. See above for more details.

2.5 Gear


Side: Both
Cost: $650

Shortcut: B-5-1

Kevlar protects your body (except the legs and head) from incoming damage: 
guns, grenades, getting bonked on the head by a grenade. How does it work? If I
shoot you while you're wearing Kevlar, then my shot will do reduced damage 
equal to the damage it would have done without armor times the gun's armor 
penetration stat. Then, half of the damage that was ignored gets inflicted onto
the armor. If it helps, think of the armor capable of absorbing 200 damage, and
the amount remaining is twice the number shown on screen. The vest also negates
aimpunch (your aim getting thrown when you get shot) done by shots to the body 
and arms as well. A required buy past round one in almost all cases.

Kevlar + Helmet

Side: Both
Cost: $1000

Shortcut: B-5-2

Just like normal Kevlar, with the benefits also extending to your head as well 
as the main part of your body. A staple buy for almost every non-eco round.

Zeus x27

Side: Both
Cost: $400

Shortcut: B-5-3

The Zeus is a one-shot taser that gets dropped upon firing. However, if your 
target is too close to it when it's fired, he will immediately die, regardless 
of where he was hit. This is a fun piece of gear to have, but its restrictive 
range and the fact that it costs $400 to fire once makes it a suboptimal use of
your money. You're better off passing on this offer, unless you're going for 

Defusal Kit

Side: CT Only
Cost: $400

Shortcut: B-5-4

Under normal circumstances, a planted bomb needs 10 seconds to successfully 
defuse and save the day for the CTs. With a defusal kit (or defkit if you're 
lazy), they can save the day in just 5. Defusal kits can be picked up by CTs 
off of their fallen comrades as well.

NOTE: In Casual games, all players receive fresh Kevlar and helmets each round,
as well as defusal kits for the CTs. Thus, the only equipment that is really 
available for purchase in these games is the Zeus.

2.6 Grenades

Incendiary Grenade

Side: CT Only
Cost: $600

Armor Pen: 73.75%

Shortcut: B-6-1

The CT firebomb emits a large pool of flames upon landing that will burn all 
things standing in it, including you and friendlies, for as long as they are. 
These are useful for discouraging pushes, flushing out campers and snipers, or 
simply softening up a group of enemies for easier kills later (though HE 
grenades do a much better job of that if you're good at throwing them).

Another thing to keep in mind about Incendiaries is that they can exlpode in 
midair if they don't impact a surface after a certain length of time. This is 
to keep players from throwing "Hail Mary" molotovs across the map and ruining 
everyone's day. If they're close enough to a flammable surface when they 
explode, however, they will ignite it.

As an interesting sidenote, flame pools can be put out by smoke grenades. Not 
sure how useful this will be to you, but now you know.


Side: T Only
Cost: $400

Armor Pen: 90%

Shortcut: B-6-1

The T variant serves pretty much the same function as the incendiary grenade. 
The flame pool is a bit smaller, but does more damage to armored targets as a 
trade off as well. These really shine during pushes and after plants where you 
can chase out remaining CTs in the site and prevent any more from coming in.

Much like the incendiary grenade, Molotovs can explode in midair if they don't 
land on something soon after they're thrown, and the flame pools can be 
extinguished by smoke.

Decoy Grenade

Side: Both
Cost: $50

Shortcut: B-6-2 

This inexpensive grenade when thrown emits gunfire resembling the most powerful
weapon you are carrying and appears as a hostile on enemy radar. After a while 
the grenade explodes harmlessly and the blip disappears. As the name implies, 
this grenade is used for drawing attention to a certain part of the map, or to 
fool enemies into thinking your force is larger than it is.

A small trick you can use is to throw the decoy like it's a flashbang. Since 
they have the same model (except decoys have red stripes instead of the 
flashbang's blue), you might be able to fool an enemy or two into turning away 
from nothing, allowing you to secure an easy kill.


Side: Both
Cost: $200

Shortcut: B-6-3

Anybody that sees a flashbang detonate will have their screen whitewashed for a
few seconds and go deaf momentarily as well. A common counter tactic to avoid 
this effect is to turn your back to the flashbang as it detonates, mitigating 
the effect it has. Blinded players also tend to spray their weapons while 
blinded, so take care when rushing in after one.

In competitive play, you can purchase and carry two flashbangs at once.

HE Grenade

Side: Both
Cost: $300

Armor Pen: 60%

Shortcut: B-6-4

The HE grenade is your basic frag grenade: after the throw there is a small 
delay after which it explodes and does damage to all nearby life forms based on
how far away the victim(s) were. The grenade can do a maximum of 98 damage to 
an unarmored target, and is most effective when it can explode onto multiple 

Smoke Grenade

Side: Both
Cost: $300

Shortcut: B-6-5

Upon landing and coming to a complete stop, a thrown smoke grenade will 
generate a medium-sized cloud of opaque white smoke lasting fifteen seconds. 
Smokes are generally used for one of three purposes:

1) Deny information. Since nobody can see through smoke without having to push 
through it, anyone on the wrong side of the cloud won't be able to see a thing,
which in turn allows your team to set up a play from behind it. An excellent 
and common example of this is during CT side Dust II. Because T side AWPs can 
gain immediate access to Mid to gather intel (or an entry) on how many players 
are guarding B Site and Mid, CT teams will commonly throw a smoke at Mid Doors 
to hide those numbers.

2) Prevent pushes. Psychologically, players don't like pushing through smoke 
because they can't see crap while they're in there, and you can always be 
hiding around a corner or something to surprise them once they get through. 
Players (rightfully so) then have to assume that pushing through smoke is 
almost NEVER a safe play, and most of the time they'll be content to either 
wait for the cloud to disappear or simply find a different route or strategy 

3) Provide cover. Admittedly, smoke is more along the lines of concealment, 
seeing as how you can get shot through it, and one lucky AK or AWP shot can 
still ruin your day. Still though, players can't deliberately aim at targets 
they can't see, so smoking out common camping spots can prevent unnecessary 
casualties. For this reason, many T side teams on Mirage will smoke Sniper from
their spawn to prevent AWP deaths at Mid.

One interesting mechanic that can be easily overlooked: smoke grenades 
immediately deploy if they land on a Molotov pool. Even if they wouldn't have 
stopped there otherwise, the screen goes up as soon as the grenade lands on 
one. This can be exploited on maps like Inferno with narrow chokes teams must 
pass through in order to get to objectives: throw a Molotov at the chokepoint, 
and then right before it goes out, throw a smoke onto it.

2.7 Loadout Options

Following the Arms Deal update in August 2013, players now have the option to 
customize their loadout and purchase different weapons in-game. More 
specifically, players could now opt out of a certain default gun and replace it
with a different one. The new gun is assigned to the same weapon slot and could
be purchased in lieu of the old one.

This of course led to the following debate: are there certain weapons that I 
should include in my loadout over others? Although none of the new weapons are 
considered to be straight upgrades to the default firearms, they do encourage 
players to try different playstyles and find their preferences to the 

This section goes over the options you have regarding loadouts and what the 
main differences are between the guns. There are three, technically four, 
substitutions you can make:

- USP-S for P2000
- CZ75-Auto for Five-SeveN/Tec9
- M4A1-S for M4A4

USP-S vs. P2000

Players who have tremendous first shot accuracy and can secure kills without 
needing to spam their weapon everywhere will probably find the USP-S to their 
liking. Restrictive ammo pools tend to be less relevant when you can 
consistently land headshots and provide adequete support fire, so consider the 
silenced pistol if you find that your accuracy is good enough to compensate. 
Another big benefit of the USP is its tremendous first shot accuracy. Even on 
the run, the first shot out of the pistol will always land directly on the 
crosshair, making this a perfect pistol for CTs on the run.

The P2K places less emphasis on accuracy (even though good marksmanship still 
helps significantly) and gives you more ammo to play with to that end. If you 
really like Glock spamming on T side and want to create a similar feeling as a 
CT, then it's hard to argue with the P2K.  I'll also argue that the P2K has an 
easier difficulty curve as compared to the USP-S since the gun doesn't punish 
missing shots nearly as much. 


+ Suppressor; reduces noise while firing and eliminates tracer rounds
+ Superior recoil control
+ Perfect first shot accuracy (from reasonable distance)

- 12/24 instead of 13/52
- Decreased accurate range

THE VERDICT: If you really value suppressors, have few problems headshotting 
and can conserve ammo effectively, then try out the USP-S. For CTs that enjoy 
jumping in and out of cover spamming their pistol, the P2K offers more ammo and
a little more range to boot. 

CZ75 vs. Five-SeveN

Taking the CZ for your CT loadout effectively turns you into an ambush player. 
Since you have minimal ammo to work with, you need to make sure you secure a 
kill when using the CZ so you can steal a rifle after. Even though the CZ does 
not offer much in the armor pen department (at least, compared to the F-S), the
full auto fire mode more than makes up for the lost damage. Also notice that 
the pistol's full auto firing is particularly virulent in close quarters, but 
is relatively harmless from further out.

And further out is where the Five-SeveN starts to shine. The F-S is more of an 
all purpose pistol next to the CZ. Where the CZ shines in close encounters, the
F-S can handle close combat (albeit not nearly as efficiently) and mid-range at
once. Also, while with the CZ you must land a kill close range with the 24 
bullets given, the Five-SeveN is a bit less restrictive in that respect, as it 
has an abundant, Glock-sized ammo pool for you to work with.


+ Fully automatic with high rate of fire
+ High DPS, comparable to M4
+ Lethal at close range

- Decreased kill reward
- 12/12 instead of 20/100
- Long draw-out and reload times
- Almost uncontrollable recoil pattern; useless at distance

THE VERDICT: Take the CZ if you're comfortable playing an ambush role as a CT. 
If you enjoy ducking behind cover waiting for a wayward Terrorist to walk past 
(that is, if you like camping Dust II's A Doors and Tunnels, or sneaking around
the various alleys on Inferno), then you will find the CZ to be a very useful 
weapon in your arsenal. If you are more of a "run-and-gun" CT, actively seeking
out enemies and dispatching them on the fly, or just want a pistol that can 
adequetely contest Terrorists from range, then you'll definitely find the 
Five-SeveN to be a better fit.

CZ75 vs. Tec9

As I mentioned previously, the CZ is used primarily as an ambush pistol, used 
for mowing down unaware enemies quickly and economically. Ts taking the CZ will
generally try to hunt down patrolling CTs guarding bomb sites or entries. CZ 
fire is also nice to have for afterplants, when the Ts need to lock down the 
bomb site for the CT counterattack.

The Tec9 functions as a Terrorist Five-SeveN, that being a reliable jack-of-
all-trades sidearm. Some players might not be comfortable sacrificing the 
absurd ammo pool the gun provides in exchange for the CZ, and others might 
prefer the additional armor pen and headshot fatality. Again, where the CZ 
excels is where the Tec9 does alright, and remember that the Tec9 carries extra
performance into the mid-range game.


+ Fully automatic with high rate of fire
+ High DPS, comparable to M4
+ Lethal at close range

- Decreased kill reward
- 12/12 instead of 24/120
- Long draw-out and reload times
- Almost uncontrollable recoil pattern; useless at distance

THE VERDICT: If you use the CZ on CT and really enjoy the feel it provides, 
then go ahead and swap it out on T side as well. I find the CZ to be a little 
less valuable in a T's hands since, as I mentioned previously, it is an ambush 
weapon and defensive positions for afterplants tend to not involve close 
quarters combat (especially on maps like Dust II and Mirage, where there are 
multiple long-distance angles for the CTs to attack from), the CZ's favorite 
range. I'm going to say you should switch this out depending on what your map 
is going to be. If you'll be attacking a site with only one main retake route 
(Overpass' A comes immediately to mind) or can reliably be close enough to make
use of the CZ's damage (I find Cobblestone's tunnels and Inferno's apartments 
to be particularly CZ friendly), then you will get much more mileage out of it.

M4A1-S vs. M4A4

The silenced version of the M4 has a tighter recoil pattern and tends to have a
higher first shot accuracy, meaning that it is possible to get some decent 
spray kills. In most cases, however, your restricted ammo pool does not allow 
for that type of engagement, so you will need to be able to land consistent 
headshots in order to get good mileage out of this gun. 

Conversely, a lot of players who pick up the M4A4 are generally not comfortable
with the drawbacks the M4A1-S has, especially the clip size and ammo reserve. 
Although the recoil spray of the M4A4 is a bit more wild, the fact that it has 
double the ammo means that wallbanging and prefiring is a perfectly sound 
tactic with this rifle, moreso then its silenced counterpart. 


+ Suppressor; reduces noise while firing and eliminates tracer rounds
+ Slightly improved recoil and first shot accuracy

- Slight increase in cost ($3200 instead of $3100)
- 20/40 instead of 30/90

THE VERDICT: Ammo conservation will be the turning point mostly for this one. 
If you can save ammo and take down targets efficiently, then the benefits the 
M4A1-S provides over the M4A4 will probably be enough to warrant the switch. If
you don't have amazing shot placement and want enough ammo to permit missing, 
or if you're one of those people who unloads full AK clips into walls and 
smokes, stick with the M4A4.

3) The Game Modes

CS:GO offers five distinct game types spread across a mess of different maps. 
I'll quickly document them here, since the majority of your time will probably 
be spent playing either casual or competitive matches. A lot of these game 
modes are "just for fun" and have more of a fast-free-for-all feel to them as 
opposed to the tense, tactical atmosphere that is common for most CS games.

First, here are the aforementioned "just for fun" free-for-all type modes.


Pick a team and shoot at everyone on the other team for 10 minutes. You earn 
points by securing kills and assists, and can score bonus points by getting 
frags with certain weapons at certain times. You have 10 seconds of 
invulnerability after you spawn to open the buy menu and grab one main and 
secondary firearm of your choosing, free of charge. You can always change your 
buy once you respawn after a death, and can toggle a random weapon option in 
the in-game menu if you're looking for something a little crazier.

At the buzzer, whichever player has the most points wins and the vote for the 
next map opens.

Arms Race

If you've ever played the Gun Game in CoD, then this is CS:GO's version. You 
start off with a weapon, and by getting kills you pick up the next weapon in 
the sequence. Killing the enemy team's leader will immediately promote you to 
the next level. The first player to land a kill with the famed Golden Knife is 

Casual, one-site Bomb Defusal with a few twists. You start with a single weapon
in a pre-determined rotation each round, and can progress to the next weapon by
getting a kill in that round. Securing two or more kills gives you a bonus 
grenade to use in the next round as well. The game is played in two halves of 
ten rounds, and the first team to eleven wins the match.

The last two tabs are devoted to Casual and Competitive modes, which is pretty 
much unranked and ranked matches. Depending on what map you decide to play on, 
you will either be in a Bomb Defusal or Hostage Situation.

Bomb Defusal

The Terrorists have a bomb and are trying to explode one of two designated 
bombsites on the map. The Counter-Terrorists are there to put an end to their 
schemes by either routing their forces, or if the need be, defusing the live 

Hostage Situation

The Terrorists have taken two hostages and have hidden them away on the map. 
The Counter-Terrorists must infiltrate the site, rescue at least one of the 
hostages, and transport them to the evac site before the situation escalates.

4) An Intro to Competitive Play

So, you've played some casual matches, gotten a good feel for the weapons and 
feel confident enough to try your hand at an actual ranked match. So what 
exactly is going to happen? What should I be buying? What is an eco and why is 
nobody getting any weapons?

Fear not, for this section will be all that you need to survive your first few 
competitive matches. We'll talk about the match format, the economy system and,
most importantly, how to be a team player.

NOTICE: This section assumes you are playing Bomb Defusal (de_) maps. Some of 
this information might not be pertainent or even correct for Hostage maps.

4.1 How Competitive Works

A competitive match of CS:GO is broken into two halves of fifteen rounds each. 
Your team will spend one half playing as either the Ts or CTs and then the 
second playing as the other. The first team to win sixteen rounds across both 
halves wins the match.

Before each round starts, the teams have 15 seconds of downtime to buy weapons 
and gear for themselves and their teammates. One of the players on the T side 
will also spawn with a C4 explosive, herein called the bomb. The carrier is 
distinguished by the glowing yellow package worn on his back, and the bomb can 
be passed around amongst the Terrorists and dropped as if it were a gun. The 
bomb can only be planted at one of two bombsites (called A and B), requires 
three seconds to prime and plant, and has a 45 second fuse on it.

The round then starts, and both teams have their own set of win conditions for 
the round.

The Counter-Terrorists win the round if:  

- All of the Terrorists are killed before the bomb is planted. The threat has 
been eliminated and peace is restored to the area.

- The Terrorists fail to plant the bomb within two minutes of the round     
starting (as signified by the clock at the top of the screen). Reinforcements 
arrive for the Counter-Terrorists and push back the Terrorist forces.

- The bomb is successfully defused after it is planted. The explosive has been 
dismantled and the Terrorists must retreat to prepare a new one.

The Terrorists win the round if:

- All of the Counter-Terrorists are killed. The resistance has been dealt with 
and the Terrorists can proceed with their plan.

- The planted bomb detonates, even if all of the Terrorists are already dead. 
The Terrorists have done what they came to do.

Rounds never end as draws, but matches can end in a 15-15 stalemate (or at 
least in matchmaking; in organized play a six or ten-round overtime may be 
played). Also of note is that the round continues for another seven seconds 
after it ends, so it is possible to still be killed and lose your weapons even 
after the round has been awarded.

4.2 The CS:GO Economy

CS:GO is an economy-driven game. How much money you have to spend on gear in 
any given round is determined by how you and your team performed in the rounds 
prior. The more rounds you win, kills you take and obejctives you complete, the
more money you'll have to purchase what you need for the fight ahead.

Here's a more mathematical breakdown of how the economy works:

In-game Awards

+$800 at the start of a new half

+$300 for a successful kill with most weapons or a grenade

+$100 for a successful kill with the AWP or CZ75

+$600 for a successful kill with an SMG (except the P90)

+$900 for a successful kill with a shotgun (Nova, XM1014, Mag-7 or Sawed Off)

+$1500 for a knife kill

+$300 for a successful bomb plant (individual award, T only)

+$300 for successfully defusing the bomb (individual award, CT only)

-$300 for killing a friendly player

Post-round Awards

+$3250 for winning by eliminating the enemy team or running the clock out

+$3500 for winning by successfully detonating/defusing the bomb

+$1400 for losing a round

+$1900 for losing two rounds consecutively

+$2400 for losing three rounds consecutively

+$2900 for losing four rounds consecutively

+$3400 for losing five or more rounds consecutively

+$800 bonus to Terrorists for planting the bomb but losing the round

The most money you can ever have at a time is $16000. Any extra money you earn 
past that cap is forfeit.

If the timer runs out for the Terrorists, then any left alive do NOT receive 
the end of round bonus for losing. In fact, it is possible to be killed after 
the round ends, leaving you with no loadout and no money from the last round to
replace it. Apart from this, the losing side will always receive an end of 
round bonus for losing.

4.3 The Pistol Round

The first round of each half is called the pistol round due to the fact that, 
on an $800 budget, pistols are the only firearms players can afford to buy. Of 
course, you're also welcome to pick up Kevlar, defusal kits and grenades for 
this round as well to aid your efforts.

Pistol rounds are particularly important in competitive play because the winner
of the pistol round has a very high chance of winning the next round and 
sometimes the one after in most cases as well. You effectively put your team up
2 if not 3-0 by taking a pistol round, so it's important to understand the 
different strats available to players as they kick off the half.

First, let's take a look at what $800 can get you (assuming you're trying to 
spend as much of it as you can):

- Kevlar + Decoy [$700]
- Incendiary + Flash [CT, $800]
- HE + Smoke + Flash [$800]
- Molotov + HE/Smoke + Decoy [T, $750]
- Molotov + Flash x2 [T, $800]
- HE/Smoke + Flash x2 + Decoy [$750]
- Defusal Kit + Flash x2 [CT, $800]
- Defusal Kit + HE/Smoke + Decoy [CT, $750]
- P250 + HE/Smoke + Flash [$800]
- P250 + Flash x2 + Decoy [$750]
- P250 + Molotov + Decoy [T, $750]
- P250 + Defusal Kit + Decoy [CT, $750]
- Dual Barettas/Five-SeveN/Tec9/CZ75 + Flash + Decoy [$750]
- Dual Barettas/Five-SeveN/Tec9/CZ75 + HE/Smoke [$800]
- Desert Eagle + Decoy [$750]

For those of you who didn't bother reading that list (I don't blame you, truth 
be told), the short story is that you have a lot of options, some of which are 
more ideal than others. Although you shouldn't feel obligated to spend all of 
your $800 budget right out of the gate, remember that the pistol round 
establishes a solid economy and practically decides the first three rounds of a
half, so every dollar you spend here goes to a good cause.

There are a few things to say regarding your pistol round buys:

- Kevlar (and decoy if you want one) is probably the safest route you can take 
in a pistol round. The Kevlar nearly mandates that the enemy headshots you in 
order to take you down, and since none of the starting pistols have 
particluarly heavy armor pen, this will increase your durability dramatically. 
This also permits you to play a bit more aggressively by pushing isolated 
encounters down the opponent's throat when he'd rather not take one, 
effectively turning you into a powerful entry fragger.

- Never underestimate the power of a few good grenade throws. If you are 
willing to hang back and support your team by landing some decent flashbangs or
HE throws, then eschewing Kevlar in favor of a full 'nade loadout is perfectly 
acceptable. Try to make use of them before you die, since they can be looted by
enemy team members. HE + 2 Flash, 2 Flash + Smoke and HE + Flash + Smoke are 
all common and viable choices for this sort of buy. For added offense, consider
swapping out the HE or a Flashbang for a P250.

- On the CT side, one or two defusal kits across the team will usually do in 
the event that the Ts manage to get the bomb down. Pay attention to what your 
teammates are buying and change your buy accordingly. Also remember that you 
can pick up defusal kits from bodies. If you are one of the defusal buyers for 
the team, complement it with either 2 Flash (for aggressive pushes or 
countermeasures), Smoke (in case the Ts get a plant or get caught rushing) or 
HE (finding the head can cause huge damage). Of course, with a 2 defkit strat, 
each player guards a different site (i.e. one kit at A, one kit at B).

- On the T side, even if you know you're going to lose the pistol round, you 
should still make an effort to plant the bomb. This increases your loss reward 
from $1400 to $2200, meaning that you might only need one eco round instead of 
two for your buy.

- It is uncommon to see players upgrade their pistol from the starting P2000, 
USP-S or Glock-18. Remember that nobody has the money to buy helmets at this 
point, so any headshots are automatic kills, no matter what gun it came out of.
Occasionally, it might be a good idea to go for a P250 or Five-SeveN/Tec9 to 
deal with Kevlar heavy buys from the opposing side, but for now, stay with your
basic pistol.

- Or, if you want to have some fun and have a willing volunteer, buy up Kevlar 
and have them drop you a Five-SeveN or Tec9. Players like to call this a 
"supersoldier" or "juggernaut" buy since you're running around armored and with
one of the best pistols in the game.

4.4 How, When and Why to Eco

CS is a game about economy, and sometimes you won't have enough funds to buy 
everything you need for a round. There are two things you can do when this 
happens to you.

The first one is to force buy and just pick up whatever you can. This means 
passing on grenades and picking up suboptimal weapons (FAMAS over M4, Galil 
over AK, shotguns). This only really works if the entire team is doing it, and 
if you can't pick up the round, then you will likely be in a worse position 
than you started. So this is a gigantic risk. But what's the other option then?

Sometimes you have to admit that, in your current economic situation, the round
would probably be forefit even if you managed a force buy. So the right answer 
then is to buy as close to nothing as possible and try to do as much damage as 
you can with pistols and no armor or grenades. Then, after finishing the round 
and getting some more money, you may have the cash to get in a full buy.

Players call these "low budget" rounds eco rounds since the sole purpose of not
buying much of anything now is to help stimulate the team's economy later. The 
bad thing about eco rounds is that you're essentially gifting the other team a 
huge advantage by not having gear comparable to theirs. But any kills your team
picks up during eco rounds are particularly painful to the other side, since 
you are not carrying nearly as much equipment as they are. 

Here's an extreme case: Let's say you're on the T side and getting ready for an
eco. For some reason, someone on the CT side is fully armored and carrying an 
auto-sniper, a defusal kit, his trusty Five-SeveN and a full set of grenades 
all in the name of terminating you with extreme prejudice. If you do the math, 
you'll find this bastard is carrying $8300 worth of equipment on his person, so
your team dropping him essentially means that the CTs have thrown away $8300 of
their money they won't get back (unless of course someone picks up the auto-
sniper, but let's worry about that later). You, as a Terrorist, are probably 
running around with no armor or grenades, and are probably not carrying 
anything heavier than a Deagle. If you die, then your bank only takes a $700 
tickle, which is easily recouped by the end of the round. Not nearly as simple 
for the sniper, who has to wait anywhere between two and four rounds before he 
can make a buy like that again (provided that was all of his cash and he didn't
buy anything else during that time).

Killing enemies during eco rounds also allows you to pick up the weapons they 
drop and try to save them for the next round. Off the same scenario, if you 
pick off a more standard geared CT, steal his M4 and manage to either hold onto
it or pick off some of his friends with it, then you essentially had a $3100 
rifle gifted to you. Since you didn't have to pay for it, you effectively saved
yourself the cost of an assault rifle, and saving money is what eco rounds are 
all about. And again, anti-eco deaths hurt more than usual, so if you manage to
get kills onto the other team with the stolen rifle (exit frags), then that's 
just the icing on the cake, even if you die in the process.

So now you know why eco rounds are important and why we need to do them from 
time to time. Here's a few pointers for how you should go about conducting your

- Again, if you're on the T side, get the bomb down. Even if you can't defend 
it, planting the bomb puts an extra $800 in everyone's pocket, which will make 
the next buy round come that much quicker.

- The general rule of thumb for ecos is: if your can get at least two kills on 
the enemy team (and ideally hijack their weapons), it's a good round. Even if 
you lose it, the economic damage has been done, and you can take solace in the 
fact that you shot up their bank just as much as they shot up you.

- CTs should not worry about picking up defusal kits for their ecos. Remember, 
your job during an eco is to pick up as many enemy kills as you can while 
spending as little money as possible. This means that you should be playing for
an elimination win, not a defusal. (If you end up killing the clock, then you
either did something really good or they did something REALLY bad.)

- P250s are a common sight in eco rounds because the P250, in addition to 
paying for itself with just one kill, can severely wound helmet players with a 
good headshot. Because of this, it is strongly recommended you use it instead 
of the standard pistol for your team when you can afford to buy it.

- Or, if you don't feel confident in your headshotting abilites, Five-SeveNs, 
Tec-9s, CZ75s and occasionally Deagles are common buys for ecos as well. They 
are still inexpensive (albeit not as cheap as the P250) and are still high 
enough on the damage table to be useful to you. Make sure you will have enough 
cash once the round is over to get in your full buy afterwards though (that's 
about $3700 for Ts and $3800 for CTs).

- In most cases, your team will stop ecoing once everyone has the money for a 
full buy (high end assault rifle, helmet and grenades). Check the scorecard 
regularly (Tab) to see where your team is financially and determine if back-
to-back ecos will be needed.

- You don't need to eco just because one person's bank is skimpier than 
everyone else's. If someone can't buy up, consult with your team (get a mic!) 
and figure out a way to get weapons for everybody without missing out on the 
essentials (armor, kits and, for those who can afford them, 'nades). If someone
has to armor pistol, then someone has to armor pistol. Just try to even out the
banks across the team.

- It's easy to fall into the mindset of "They have us outgunned, no way we're 
winning this, let's get this over with" when it comes to ecos. Winning an eco 
round, or at the very least dropping the majority of the opposing team, is 
usually more than enough to swing momentum back in your favor following one. So
in other words, play to win eco rounds, even though the odds will be against 

- Since you don't have nearly as much to lose during an eco as you normally do,
it's a nice time to try unconventional rotations and strategies. Taking your 
opponents by surprise and getting the first shot tip the scales largely in your
favor. Zerg B site on Train. Grab some friends and backdoor Mirage's A through 
CT spawn. Try for the world's first five-man A balcony push on Inferno. The 
possibilities are endless. Have fun during ecos!

- If you know that your team is going to be on an eco once the current round is
over, then back off and save your gear. If you're a Terrorist and the only 
living person on your team, back away from the bomb and just let the clock run 
down. If you're a Counter-Terrorist and lost too many people to entries, let 
the Terrorists plant and detonate somewhere far away from you.

- One of the worst things you can do after losing a bunch of rounds in a row is
to win one, and then lose the one right after. The way CSGO's economy works, 
you can build up an okay economy by stringing lost rounds, but the key word 
here is "string." Once you win a round, that string is snapped and you're back 
to the $1400 loss bonus as soon as you lose another round. So, if you win a 
round, feel free to celebrate your comeback, but make sure you get the round 
right after as well to avoid an economic reset.

As for your anti-eco rounds, i.e. when the opponents are on an eco:

- It's alright to be confident in the sense that your team has a big advantage 
for the round. It's NOT alright to be cocky and to take unfavorable fights, 
even if the enemies are weaker than usual. Play anti-eco rounds like any other 
round, with discipline and sincerity. 

- If someone dies carrying something more expensive than usual (like an AWP, 
auto-sniper or, God forbid, a Negev), then it's generally a smart idea to swap 
your weapon out for his and save it for the next round. That way, your team 
economy takes less economic damage and any guns lost will be easier to replace.
As an example, if you're anti-ecoing with an M4A4 and your AWPer dies, then 
it's a better idea to abandon your M4 and pick up the AWP instead, which costs 
$1650 more. You can always throw it back to him at the start of the next round,
and use your end of round bonus to replace your M4.

- That above prinicple doesn't just apply to anti-ecos either, by the way. If 
you do see an AWP lying around at round end and your AWPer would like it for 
the next one, be a bro and toss your gun away for it. Again, it's all about 

- Be smart when chasing down eco players with stolen guns. Sure, you paid money
 for them, but the only thing worse than giving a gun to the other team is 
giving a gun to the other team and then dying to it. Bring a friend along and 
practice common sense while hunting (e.g. if you know someone lifted an AWP on 
Dust II, don't dance down Long A looking for him).

- Players on eco will hunt in packs to improve their odds against you, their 
more geared out foes. Do not let yourself get isoloated from the team and 
picked off by a patrol. Always stick with the team, or if you must break off, 
have a buddy to back you up.

- Just because you can buy it doesn't mean you should. The entire point of 
anti-ecos is to avoid gifting valuable gear to the opposing team, so if you 
died last round and are buying up for an anti-eco, don't immediately jump on 
the opportunity to pick up an AWP or auto-sniper. Consider going with the 
standard fare assault rifle and then upgrading after. And if you're not 
interested in the M4 or AK afterwards, earn some karma and toss it to one of 
your teammates who died that round.

- The March 31, 2015 patch also gave SMGs a gigantic buff. If you know you're 
going to anti-eco next round and need a weapon, try picking up an SMG and get 
your bank rolling even more.

4.5 Player Roles

In League of Legends, each player on the team has a distinct role they play. 
Someone plays in the Top lane, someone jungles, someone plays Mid lane, someone
plays ADC and someone supports. Although CS doesn't have set "roles" players 
are cast into at the start of a match, there are a few distinct playstyles that
players generally fall into depending on how they like to play the game. We'll 
go over some of them here and how they fit into the team dynamic as a whole. 
Ideally, you can find a role or two that you are most comfortable playing as 
and use your skills to the best extent you can.

In-Game Leader

How many CTs should guard each site? Which route should the Ts take to the site
on this round? The in-game leader (IGL) is pretty much the team strat caller. 
He decides how the team should coordinate their attacks and defenses, and makes
calls on the fly depending on how his initial calls work out. It's his job to 
determine how the team should buy up, where they should go, and what to do in 
case of emergency. 

You'd be a good IGL if:

- You are familiar with the map you're on and know the basic strategies for it

- You can keep a cool head and calmly instruct your team even during tense 

- You happen to be one of those people who leaves his mic open and people just 
do what you happen to say

Primary/Secondary AWPer

In general, most teams don't need more than one or two AWPs in any given round.
Since they are not good close range weapons and can be clunky to control at 
times, outfitting an entire team with sniper rifles is usually not a good idea.
Thus it helps to designate one or two players on your team who will be manning 
the AWPs during rounds you can afford them. Their job is to provide long 
distance frags which will in turn allow the team to more easily set up plays. 
When making an AWP buy, remember to get a good pistol to go with it (usually 
Five-SeveN or Tec9) in case you have to take a close range fight.

Consider learning how to AWP if:

- You enjoy working with big guns and like getting close to instant results

- You have the patience to hold an angle and wait for opponents to come to you 
at times

- You've seen JW, Guardian, kennyS or allu play and thought they have the 
coolest jobs ever

Entry Fragger

When a firefight breaks out for a site, it's usually the entry fraggers who get
their hands dirty first. They are the first ones onto a site or entry point, 
and their goal is to find an opening kill to weaken the site and make it 
vulnerable to a bomb plant. On the CT side, they are often the ones who make 
aggressive pushes into T territory to gain intel and maybe slip in a sneaky 
kill while they're at it.

You're made to entry frag if:

- You like initiating fights and being on the front lines

- You're not afraid to die during your team's attack; you're happy as long as 
you took someone else down with you

- You arrive early at parties and immediately beeline for the open bar


Unlike the entry fragger, the support gunner is the more passive player on the 
team. His job is twofold: throw grenades to set up plays or secure kills, and 
follow the entry fragger when taking a site to help him open it up. If the 
entry fragger dies, then it's the support's job to repeek right after and find 
the kill. Although your KDA will likely be lacking behind your comrades, having
a good solid support player will help secure rounds that would have been lost 

Try playing a support role if:

- You like having intel before you push a position

- You have experience with grenades and know what to throw when

- Your team doesn't know what you're doing until they see your round-winning 


No, not the StarCraft unit, but it comes close. The lurk player is always 
sneaking around. Somewhere. He's never with the team, he always comes in from 
an angle nobody expects, and by the time someone finally finds him, they're 
already dead. These guys also have a propensity to "fake" plays at sites; make 
a lot of noise and throw a lot of grenades to fool the CTs into rotating early 
and making a site more vulnerable.

You'd make a good lurker if:

- You want to support your team by finding kills from unusual angles

- You don't mind wandering from the group and navigating the map by yourself

- You've seen one too many horror films and want to be the guy who jumpscares 
the victims for a change

4.6 Effective Communication

Considering that a lot of the strategy in CS revolves around how much 
information you can gather during a round, it's imperitive that you are able to
communicate your findings to your team in a quick and effective manner. This 
way, you can prepare assaults, fortify sites and pick up kills knowing 
everything that's happening on the enemy side.

To do this, however, you need a microphone. And no, typing doesn't cut it. You 
NEED a microphone. Playing CS without a mic is analogous to taking a math exam 
without a writing utensil; you could still hypothetically do it, but you are 
much less effective than if you had one. This is by far and away the best way 
to tell your team what's going on, so if you don't have one, get one. 

When you make calls to your team, don't be overly eloquent. Just say what's 
going on, how many there are, and where it's happening. Instead of "Okay, I saw
one run up Long A, I think he stopped at AWP Corner and he's throwing flashes 
at us right now," say "1 Long, I'm flashed." Bam. Short, sweet and to the 

If you're throwing a smoke or a flash, it helps to tell your team where it's 
going a couple seconds before you throw it. This helps prevent team flashes and
double smoking positions. If someone beats you to it, just change your call 
accordingly. As an example, if you say "Smoking B Doors," and then someone 
smokes it for you, revise your statement by saying something like "Never mind, 
smoking Tunnels."

While we're here, let's talk about deathcamming. You may notice that, after you
die, you view your body from a third-person camera for about six seconds. 
Believe it or not, this can actually be useful, as you can provide some last 
second intel to your comrades, including who killed you, how he killed you and 
how badly you wounded him back. Make your last second calls like any other 
ones, including enemy positions and health if you can.

And then as soon as you start spectating your team, shut up. No, really. You've
done everything you could this round as far as intel is concerned. Once your 
deathcam timer is up, you need to leave your mic closed and let your team work.

That goes double if someone is trying to clutch (i.e. they are in a 1 v 
something and trying to win the round). Sound is incredibly important in this 
game, and they need to be able to hear everything that's happening around them,
whether that be a footstep, a weapon pickup or a defusal sound. They won't be 
able to do that if you're talking. So be respectful and let them play. You can 
talk as soon as the round is done.

4.7 Sound in CS

Whether it be running, reloading or defusing a bomb, everything in a game of CS
has the potential to make noise. When you make noise, you run the risk of your 
opponents hearing you and gaining information as to where you are and what you 
are doing. So, it's worthwhile to talk quickly about how you can make noise in 
game and a few ways to get around it.

First of all, here's a pretty comprehensive list of everything that can make 

- Running. Although the standard method of movement is the fastest available, 
your footsteps are audible and can tip off hostiles hiding around a corner or 
somewhere you can't see.

- Shooting. It shouldn't be surprising that weapons make noise when you fire 
them. Silenced weapons still make noise (though not nearly as much as 
unsilenced ones), and if you take a swing with a knife, that can be heard too.

- Reloading. The entire reload sound clip plays whenever you press your reload 

- Jumping. When you land after a jump, you can be heard. (Although, as you'll 
see later on, this isn't always the case.)

- Picking up or dropping gear (weapon, grenade or bomb). All of these make 
noise when they hit the ground and make noise again when they find a new owner 
(UNLESS that new owner is walking as they pick them up).

- Scoping. If you're using a Scout, AWP or auto-sniper, people will hear you 
when you scope in, zoom and scope out.

- Grenades. Of course, grenades make noise whenever they bounce off of 

- Activating burst fire. If you have a Glock or FAMAS and switch to or from 
burst fire, that clicking noise you hear is audible.

- Removing a silencer. If for some God forsaken reason you feel compulsed to 
take the silencer off your USP or M4A1, know that people will hear it.

- Planting or defusing the bomb. That digital "beep-boop" sound as the Ts plant
and the rustling sound as the CTs defuse can be heard by people close enough to
the bomb. This allows players to fake plants and defusals for a tactical 

The following actions do NOT make noise and can be done covertly:

- Shift walking. Holding down Shift (default) and moving will slow you down to 
a steady walk, silencing your footsteps at the cost of speed. This will also 
allow you to pick up items without making noise.

- Crouch walking. Same idea.

- Switching weapons. Weapons do not make any noise when you draw them out 
(unless it's your knife), and so you can switch from your primary to your 
pistol and back without alerting anyone. This allows for the potential of fake 
reloading by pressing the reload key and then cancelling it into a weapon 
switch (enemies will hear you reloading, but they won't hear you pull a new gun
out). If you're sniping, quickly switching to another weapon and back will 
allow you to silently unscope and regain your normal field of view.

- Throwing grenades. Although 'nades make noise as they bounce around 
environments, they don't make noise when they leave your hand.

- Repeated jumping. If you're quick enough on the spacebar, you will stop 
making noise after the first time you land, ultimately allowing you to silently
jump up and down without anyone hearing you. This is useful for gathering 
information over walls (such as the ledge in front of Mirage's B Aps) and 
bunnyhopping (an advanced tactic whereby players run while jumping to keep 
quiet without sacrificing movement speed).

4.8 General In-Game Tips

In other words, this is advice I really didn't find a good spot for in any of 
the other sections. Still though, nice to have.

- Never, ever, EVER full buy without armor of some description. The one time 
you can get away not doing this is if you're on a budget and want a glass 
cannon AWP, but otherwise, armor up before you buy a gun. Remember that if you 
get hit without armor, you get aimpunched and it'll be impossible to aim at 
your target, putting you at a fatal disadvantage. I'm not kidding: if you're 
not on an eco, you need armor.

- Speaking of armor, if you're on CT and are a little strapped for cash, you 
can get away with not buying a helmet. Seeing as how AKs will one shot you 
through the thing anyways, if you have to decide between a helmet and an extra 
'nade or defkit, it's alright to pass on the helmet. It isn't critical as much 
as it is nice to have.

- That principle, however, doesn't apply to T sides, since that helmet will 
save your life if you get dinked by an M4. The extra money you're not spending 
on defkits should go towards helmets.

- Learn how to flash yourself out. If you take down an enemy and suspect more 
might be on the way, throw a flashbang in front of you, turn around as it goes 
off and make your escape. Places this could be useful: Cubby on Inferno, B Car 
on Dust II, Water and Construction on Overpass to name only a few.

- I may have overhyped the Dualies a bit in my Guns section. So I'll just tell 
you right now: they're pretty awful outside of pistol rounds. Really. If you're
on an eco or need a sidearm upgrade for your AWP, you're really better off with
one of the other $500 pistols, whether that be Five-SeveN, Tec9 or CZ75. Don't 
do Dualies otherwise.

- Remember that you are at your fastest with your knife out. If you need to 
rotate somewhere in a hurry, yank it out and start booking it.

- One of the worst things you can do while calling is speculate on information.
What do I mean by that? Let's say you're a CT guarding Dust II's B Site, and 
you get picked. In the deathcam you see three Ts run out of Tunnels and 
immediately say this over comms:

"3 on B, it's a B play."

What's wrong with that statement? The answer is: you don't know for sure if 
it's a B play or not. Just because you died and saw the majority of the other 
team on a site doesn't necessarily mean that they are making a play towards 
that site. For all you know, the other two are taking A and one of THEM has the
bomb. The moral of the story is to just call what you see, and don't feed your 
team unverified information.

- A good flashbang does three things: flashes your opponents, doesn't flash 
your teammates, and is entirely unexpected. By that last part, I mean the 
opposing team should not know you threw a flashbang until they get flashed. 
Good flashbangs should not bounce more than they need to (they make a loud 
clicking sound when they do and that can tip people off), and should detonate 
in a location nobody expects.

- Don't crouch walk. Not only do you look like an idiot, but 1) shift walking 
is just as effective in the "keeping you quiet" department and is faster, 2) 
your opponents will see you long before you see them as you come around a 
corner, and 3) since a lot of players start at chest level when firing and let 
the recoil bring the shots up to the head, you can very easily duck into a 
headshot. So yeah, don't crouch walk.

4.9 Before and After Your Game

Unfortunately, CS just isn't one of those games where I can sit you down and 
tell you exactly what you need to do where and when and you'll be DMG before 
you even know what hit you. That simply isn't how it works. There are, however,
 a few things that you can do personally out of game to help you out. I'll list 
off a few pointers and ideas that I use, but it's ultimately up to you to 
figure out what does and doesn't work.


- Before you even queue up, look at the Active Duty pool (since, if we're going
to be dead honest, those are the only maps that really matter). Pick three on 
that list, and check the boxes for the other four. This is going to expand your
map repertoire (for beginners, Dust II, Inferno, Mirage and Cache is a good 
start for a pool). You'll never get good at this game playing Dust II over and 
over again. If you really want to improve your skills, the best way to do it is
to improve over a wide selection of maps.

- To go off that, once you've played your pool of four for a little bit, swap 
one of the maps out. Most players will generally have one or two maps they will
never want to play on (for me, it's Dust II and Cobblestone). It's good to have
a third "pseudo-vetoed" map (again, for me, it's Inferno) so you can focus your
skills down onto a smaller map pool but still have a map in your back pocket 
that you can play on if you didn't have an option.

- There's a reason you get a one-minute warmup before the match actually 
begins. Use it to your advantage. Practice your headshots, your sidestep 
aiming, whatever you think needs to be brushed up on before you get into the 

- CS is one of those games where you just cannot get nervous. You can say that 
about a lot of games actually, but CS is particularly susceptible to you 
getting on edge mid-game. One of my methods for calming down in between matches
is music. Anything with a soft, fast-paced beat is perfect (I'll recommend the 
Mirror's Edge OST at this point). Insturmental tracks tend to work better than 
ones with lyrics.

- Sit down someday, grab a drink and watch the pros play. Pay close attention 
to what they do and try to pick up on those techniques as you play your games.


- Immediately go to your replays and download the game you just played. You 
don't have to watch it now, especially if you're going to queue up for another 
match, but download it now so you don't forget to later.

- Know your limits. CS is a lot like SC2 in that it can really suck you dry 
mentally if you play it for a long time without a break. If you feel the 
fatigue settling in, or you notice your performance starting to drop, take some
time off. Go for a walk, grab dinner with friends, catch a film, just find some
way to let yourself reset mentally.

- When your match ends, focus mostly on your kills, not your deaths. This is 
especially true if you're playing a heavily CT favored map like Overpass or 
Train and played the first fifteen as the Ts. Not only does this keep you from 
focusing on the negative side of your performance, but it should also keep your
confidence high moving into the next map.

- When you're done playing, take a five minute break then sit down and watch 
your replays. For each game, find three spots where you would be on the game's 
highlight reel. This could be a ninja defuse (defusing the bomb with a T still 
prowling around), a quad kill, a round-saving 1v2, a lucky wallbang with an 
AWP, a perfect take onto a bombsite, anything. Write them down and take pride 
in them.

- Now watch the replay again. For each round you die, figure out how you died 
and why you died. Sometimes it can't be helped, like you were watching the 
wrong entry or you got sprayed down through a wall or smoke at random. But if 
you did something wrong on your end, like you weren't controlling your spray 
well, you didn't check corners or you made noise when you shouldn't have, then 
make a note about it and see what you can do to improve yourself in that 
respect the next time you queue up.

4.10 The Matchmaking System

In order to make sure you have a decent game, Valve has implemented a 
matchmaking system to help you pair up with players on a similar level of 
experience and skill as you. This makes sure your team isn't completely crappy 
or that the other team isn't full of pro players. Here's how it works:

When you start your first competitive game, you enter the arena rankless. If 
this is the case, your job is to win 10 competitive matches. After which, the 
game then assigns you one of the following 18 ranks:

Silver I               Gold Nova I           Master Guardian Elite
Silver II              Gold Nova II          Distinguished Master Guardian
Silver III             Gold Nova III         Legendary Eagle
Silver IV              Gold Nova Master      Legendary Eagle Master
Silver Elite           Master Guardian I     Supreme Master First Class
Silver Elite Master    Master Guardian II    Global Elite

The ranking system is an elo system (much like chess): your skill group is 
determined by how many elo points you have to your name, and you can gain 
points by besting your opponents. There are two big ways you earn points in 

The first one is whether you win or lose each round (not game, ROUND) you play.
Pretty much, you'll gain points for winning a round and lose points for not 
winning a round. Exactly how many points you gain or lose depends on how many 
the other team has total. You'll gain more points if you win a round against a 
higher ranked team, and lose less points for losing a round.

The second factor is the MVP award at the end of each round. One of the winning
players gets an MVP award at the end of the round, which provides a nice bonus 
to their elo rating. 

What does this mean? KDA, headshot percentage, ADR, acurracy, bomb plants and 
defusals, and almost every other statistic in the CSGO world does NOT affect 
your elo rating in any way. That's right: even if you get completely shut out 
of kills in a game and die every round, it's still possible to rank up even 
after that.

If you're interested in reading more about this, you can copy-paste the 
following link into a new tab. This author goes WAY in depth into the sytsem, 
and if you're interested in the inner workings of your rank, definitely give it
a read:

5) Map Overviews

Nobody will ever want to play on the same map over and over again. You'll 
probably want to shake it up a bit after getting your bearings straight. And 
that's exactly what this section is here for. We'll take a look at each of the 
seven Active Duty competitive maps and try to get you acquianted with them 
before your first match out on them.

It also helps to launch a game without bots as well and just run around the map
for a little while to get used to the layout. I do this a LOT before I try out 
a new map, and I also use it to practice my smokes and flashes. I'll have a 
practice script in the next section that you can paste into a cfg file if you 
want to do the same.

5.1 Cache

Counter-Terrorists: GIGN
Terrorists: Phoenix Connexion

Despite being a newer entry into the CS professional community, Cache is damn 
well on its way to becoming a classic map, right up there with Dust II and 
Inferno. Each bombsite is laden with side access routes, providing plenty of 
attack and defense options for the teams. Although there is only one main way 
to get to each site, pushing for intel can leave players exposed, and one entry
frag is all it takes on Cache to turn a site on its head. 

Cache will belong to the team who can establish the most map control and 
eliminate their opponent's options. Knowing how to smoke and check each route 
when is essential on Cache, but if you can do it well, then you are well on 
your way to victory.


Cache suffers from the opposite curse Dust II does. In my opinion, it's a CT-
sided map that can easily become a T-sided affair at higher level play. The 
chokes players must fight over are not nearly as bad as the ones on, say, 
Inferno or Overpass, and if the Ts can wrestle Mid control away from the CTs, 
then they literally get the option to attack any site from any angle they 
choose. With that said though, the sites and their surroundings have multiple 
places to take cover (especially Bombsite B), and of course it's only fair that
the CTs are the first ones to take advantage of that. So if you're new to 
Cache, I'd say keep your expectations somewhere between 5 and 7 rounds on T 

Bombsite A

From CT, just take the path off to your right and follow it around the corner 
past the white pickup Truck, and you'll quickly arrive at the first of two 
bombsites on Cache. The good news is that the only place the Terrorists can 
immediately attack you from is from the Warehouse in front of you (also called 
A Main) and the Squeaky door just off to the side.

The bad news is that you can't really push into either of these places for 
information without exposing yourself in a terrible way. Apart from the Locker 
area and a few boxes next to the inside wall, if a T catches you marching down 
the hallway to A Main, you're probably dead. And doubly so with Squeaky, since 
any Ts playing there will know if you're trying to crash the party well before 
they catch you come in.

So that means T sides get an advantage when making a full A play as far as 
intel is concerned. Their burden lies in the fact that Bombsite A has a ton of 
on-site cover and they need to clean it out entirely before they can get a safe
plant in. Have flashes and Mollies at the ready here, because you are going to 
need them in a very bad way when taking A. (Unless it's the pistol, in which 
case the CTs might let you get a plant anyways. See CT Tactics below.) Smokes 
can also be thrown over the Warehouse itself and land in the actual bombsite, 
providing much needed entry cover.

Another thing to watch out for would be the gigantic box on your right as you 
walk in through A Main. That's boostable, and a CT could have a field day from 
that spot if you don't check it. Don't forget to. If you don't have any flashes
for the site, send a player into Squeaky if you can and try to bait him.

If the Ts manage to wrestle Mid away from the CTs, then they gain access to 
Speedway (the ramp from Mid to A), which in turn allows them to flank some key 
off-site positions CTs could be taking cover in. In addition to Quad (the stack
of grey pipes in the back of site), they can also potentially get the drop on 
players at Highway (the metal catwalk overlooking the site) and Forklift. 
Opening up Truck is another possibility, though it's important to keep in mind 
that this could be easily countered by a B rotate through Tree Room.

Bombsite B

Again out of CT Spawn, you may notice a tree growing in the room to your right 
(ergo, Tree Room). This room, as well as the wooden ramp next to the entrance, 
will lead you straight to Bombsite B. Much like Bombsite A, you'll notice 
there's a ton of on-site cover. Much like Bombsite A, if you try sneaking into 
T territory, you don't have a lot of cover to run to. And much like Bombsite A,
the Ts can only come in two different angles.

The first one is B Main, and it pretty much serves the same purpose A Main does
for Bombsite A. But B Main comes with a little bonus. There's a little room as 
you walk into B Main from T Spawn that we like to call Flash. Why? If you look 
towards the west end of the room, there are some windows you can shoot out and 
toss grenades through. Although Mollies are a relatively popular option, this 
room is called Flash because any flashbangs that fly through here are almost 
guaranteed to stun any CTs hugging the actual bombsite. 

That second angle is Checkers, the hallway off to the side of the site so named
for the fabulous white and black tiling the floor has. And although it is a 
rough analog to A Site's Squeaky, there are a few important destinctions we 
need to point out. First off, Squeaky is a door. Checkers is an entire hallway 
with a gaping mouth onto the site. That means more Ts can fit through there, 
which means that it can be much more dangerous during a B take. 

Secondly, there isn't a safe dedicated route to get to Checkers as a T, unlike 
Squeaky. To get there, you have to either sneak past the opening in B Main, 
which will require a smoke, flashbang or mass confusion on the CT end of 
things, or you can try to break in through Mid via the Vents. Either way, you 
should expect someone to see you.

Finally and most importantly: smart CTs know not to push into Squeaky because, 
if there's a T there, they get the initiative (i.e. they'll know you're coming 
before you can react). That's not a thing with Checkers. CTs will come in here 
and lie in wait (behind the boxes in the corner is a favorite spot for these 
players), and sometimes they can be seen boosting each other into the Vents as 
well. In other words, take care when you move into Checkers. You might not be 

As you move into the site, make sure that anyone in Heaven (the balcony that 
wooden ramp from five paragraphs ago leads to) is neutralized with a smoke or 
flash, but once he's out of the way, all you really have left to check is on-
site and Tree Room (in case a CT is playing passive). The gap between the 
outside wall and the site (Generator) can hide players surprisingly well, so 
when holding off a retake, make sure no one has slithered in there while you 
weren't looking.

How to Plant

On A Site, many teams like to watch the bomb from Quad, so a favorite position 
for most teams is about halfway between the shipping container and the Quad 
stack. This allows peeking from Highway, Squeaky and A Main as well. This does 
however leave you exposed during the plant, and if you suspect a retake from 
the Speedway area, then a better, default position is behind the red shipping 
container, right in the corner with the white plank.

B Site plants are all about inconveniencing the CT that might be defusing it. 
Since the site is pretty much a closed room without much space to move, it 
helps to orient the bomb so that you can peek the CT without him noticing. To 
this end, most B plants are in the far corner of the site (next to the gun 
rack) or on either side of the yellow box in the back. If you are clutching, 
however, and need a safe plant you can watch on site, then plant towards the 
front near the ramp and use the boxes in the back to watch it.

CT Tactics

On Cache, A Site is the rush site for T sides, and the opening to A Main allows
them to barrel through in full force when they do this. This is very dangerous 
on pistol rounds, because of your limited countermeasures and the fact that 5-
stacking on A is not a good CT strat whatsoever. Because of this, a sort of 
meta has evolved on Cache, where CTs allow the Ts an A plant without too much 
drama and just play for retake.

If you're the Mid player, keep an eye on the stack of crates next to the Garage
the Ts come out of (called Booster). Players love to boost AWPs onto the stack,
and you can be picked from here even if you smoke out Garage. 

I mentioned this earlier in my Bombsite B section, but Vents is boostable from 
Checkers. This allows for a second player to spy on Mid, surprise Ts if they 
try moving down it, and still be in position to guard B.

And speaking of boosts, A players can get in on the fun as well. Grab an AWP 
and a buddy to use a footstool, and you can peek over the shipping container on
site. Or onto the boxes next to A Main. Or, if you are REALLY coordinated, go 
to Youtube and learn the running boost!

Common CT Strats

2-1-2: Simple, but standard. 2 players to A (1 Forklift 1 Quad is effective), 2
players to B (1 Heaven 1 Checkers or Site), and 1 player to Mid. The Mid player
is an AWPer more often than not, but riflers can use Mid Box and Sandbags for 
closer range cover.

1-2-2: Since a T could hypothetically get into Vents from Mid without the CT 
there knowing, sometimes a rifler from A will play in Mid to help support. 
Decent positions include Garage, Spool, and below Booster.

3-2: If the Mid player can't get a pick, then he can back up and rotate to one 
of the bombsites. AWP players can rotate back to Truck to support A from range 
while riflers can provide more on-site covering fire.

2-3: Another option is to have Mid rotate to B if the team wants to play for A 
retake or if the team just suspects a B play. The Mid player should then take 
whatever position is open between the two main guards (Site, Checkers or 

5.2 Cobblestone

Counter-Terrorists: GIGN
Terrorists: Phoenix Connexion

For those in a more chivalric mood, Cobblestone tosses you onto the battlements
of a castle, full of corners, hiding spots, chickens and all manner of cover 
options for Ts and CTs alike. Because of this, it can get very hard to 
determine who is where when, and thus Cobblestone is a map all about intel. 
Whoever finds their enemy first and deciphers their plans the fastest will come
out on top.

Full disclosure before we move on: I do not like playing on Cobblestone. 
Everybody has that one map they refuse to play on, and for me, Cobblestone is 
that map. I have some experience with it, and I will certainly try to 
incorporate as much of that as I can into this section, but know that this is 
my weakest map out of the seven, and thus it might not be to the same quality 
as the rest.


Cobblestone is considered by most to be CT sided, although in the past there 
have been some very explosive T first halves on the map (no pun intended). 
Regardless, the CTs tend to have the upper hand here because they tend to have 
the better peeking angles for the first part of the round. Long A can be held 
by one player parked behind Haybales, Terrorists pushing Skyfall without 
utility risk sitting on an M4 as they come down, and the walkway out of B Main 
can be peeked from CTs below and above. It's mostly because of the 
uncomfortable angles that need to be checked that leave the CTs a relatively 
large advantage, and why many T teams only manage about 5 or 6 rounds on 

Bombsite A

Having trouble finding Bombsite A from CT? You shouldn't, seeing as how you 
spawn right next to it. This is a good thing, even if it is a little strange, 
because this means that you have more time to push out and gain map control 
before potentially encountering any Ts. If you're on the offense, the fastest 
routes to A can be found by running through the gateway in front of you and 
then taking either the high road on the right along the battlements or the low 
path into the cellar-ish area.

If you chose the first path, you're in Long A. Although the path seems 
comparatively short compared to the Long As on Dust II and Overpass, this route
can take a while to actually control because, as you'll notice, there are many 
spots along the way CTs can be hiding behind. Haybales is the first one of 
notice, which will be on your left as you start to walk in. Even against ecos 
you need to be careful when you start moving in because carelessness can result
in someone taking a CZ to the face. Compound that with the fact that AWPs can 
jump out of any of the numerous alcoves, and Long A has the potential to be 
dangerous without flashes and/or Mollies.

The second path to A takes you into Sewers (or Short A). This route pretty much
offers what Long doesn't: a nice open area without much cover apart from the 
doors where teams can engage head-on. Takes here can happen more quickly than 
Long, but bad fights in Sewers can halt A plays in their tracks. For this 
reason, a lot of teams try to take both Sewers and Long A when making an A 
play. At Long A, they can force CTs to hold angles and not rotate under penalty
of losing the route, while the Sewer team can open up A Site and force the CTs 
on Long to do something.

If you do open up A, you still have to plant the bomb, and by this point some 
of the CTs on B are probably on the way to say no. And yes, it's highly 
possible they can arrive before you get to the actual site. They'll either come
in from A Doors or Balcony, and you can smoke both of them on your way in to 
make sure the plant comes in without too much hassle. When the clouds 
disappear, you can hold positions at Shed, Stables or Car to watch both of the 
aforementioned angles. Occasionally, a CT on B will rotate through Snake and 
try to retake from Long or Sewers, but this is relatively uncommon.

Bombsite B

Bombsite B is the trouble site for CTs because it takes ages for them to get 
there out of spawn. The path isn't bad, just head out the doors on your right, 
run through Connector, maybe jump onto the Flowerbeds and into the window if 
you're up to it and there you are. It's just that it's LONG, and the people 
guarding B need to be on point, since reinforcements are not readily available.

If you're on the T side, just head due south out of spawn into Upper Halls, 
then Lower Halls, and finally one of two take routes: B Main and Skyfall. B 
Main is the route on your left and is a relatively simple enclosed walkway onto
the site. Since B Main puts you closer to the site than Skyfall does, this is a
decent route for Ts that need a quick plant for whatever reason: an eco, a 
misdirect play at A, or maybe after a few picks at site.

CTs like to smoke the exit of B Main to slow down attacks there (much like 
Banana on Inferno), and there are some very sneaky spots they can watch attacks
from, such as the crumbled part of wall along Platform (the elevated part of 
the walkway you'll pop out of B Main onto). B Main doesn't have a ceiling 
either, although it looks like it should have one, so you could also get 
flashed or 'naded in general as you walk down here.

Meanwhile, if you took the stairs up in Lower Halls, you'll be at the top of 
Skyfall (let the sky faaaaaall, let it *slap* sorry). All you have to do is 
walk over the edge, drop a few feet into the small room below and you're in 
prime flanking position for CTs focusing on B Main and Platform. Unfortunately,
that only sounds easy in theory. In practice there will be a few enthusiastic 
CTs parked right underneath the lip waiting to skewer you on an M4 as you fall 
down. Worse still, their end of Skyfall is boostable, which means they may be 
able to peek over the edge and take you by surprise.

However, the good news about all of this is that, because they are in a small, 
cramped and enclosed space, this is a wonderful time to practice your grenade 
throws. Everything works here: flashes, smokes, frags and Mollies. Toss them 
in, and as soon as you hear the CTs running for help, Skyfall is all yours. All
that's left to check are for CTs still at B Main, and maybe one playing more 
passively at the chicken Coop. As soon as those two angles are cleared, you 
should be able to plant with relative ease.

How to Plant

I suppose one of the advantages Cobble has over a map like Cache or Mirage is 
that the planting positions are easy to learn and that there aren't that many 
of them. For A, if your team has Balcony control, plant to the side of Shed. If
they don't, plant behind it. And on B, the standard position is behind the 
statue relative to B Doors.

CT Tactics

Cobblestone, by far and away, has some of the worst rotation times of any other
map in the pool right now. So that means you should get into a habit of 
preempting your rotations and acting on intel sooner than later. If someone 
sees the bomb A, think about rotating one of your guys from B to support, then 
send everyone else if that turns out to be the actual T plan.

Remember that this is a map all about intel control, and you are the primary 
deciding factor in how quickly that intel is gained. Smoke entrances to sites. 
Let the Ts come to you. Just hang back and don't make reckless pushes. Most of 
this sounds like common sense, yes, but on Cobblestone is very, very important.

Common CT Strats

2-3: 2 players run out of spawn towards Long and Sewers, while everyone else 
rushes over to defend B. I like to put two players at Skyfall to do the reverse
boost and have a quick rotation back to A if something goes wrong there. AWPers
get their choice between looking into Sewers or down B Main, as either route is
excellent here.

5.3 Dust II

Counter-Terrorists: IDF
Terrorists: Elite Crew

Dust II is the quintessential CS map. It has a repuation of being one of the 
most balanced maps in the pool, and also as one of the easiest to learn if 
you're new to the game. Starting out on Dust II is almost never a bad call, and
there are a few features of the map that can help you play on it better.


So is Dust II more friendly to the Ts or the CTs? This is actually a very good 
question, and it's one that can be very difficult to answer. One the one hand, 
the Ts get immediate access to Mid and can gather valuable early round intel 
with an AWP or other scoped weapon. On the other hand, there are multitudes of 
sneaky spots and gaps the CTs can slither into and surprise the Ts as they try 
to take a site. The Pit and Car on Long A, as well as Car on B and Goose to the
back of A, provide plenty of opportunities for the CTs to sneak in and steal 
some kills.

Now before you immediately conclude Dust II is CT sided, it can be an absolute 
pain to retake any of the sites as a CT. You can actually argue this about any 
map hypothetically, but Dust II seems to be particularly annoying. With A's 
long open sections ripe for afterplant AWPing, and B's chokes that can be 
smoked ad nauseum, the CTs absolutely cannot let the bomb go down if they want 
an easy round win. 

Short answer: at the beginner's level, Dust II is definitely a T-favored map. 
At higher level play, when teams start to learn common strats and how to 
counter them, the CTs can get a slight edge, but that doesn't make the map any 
less T friendly. A good T side can net anywhere from 7 to 10 rounds or more 
depending on how the game goes.

Bombsite A

Located in the northeastern corner of the map, Bombsite A is a nice, open area 
perfect for long range battles. Plenty of boxes within the actual bombsite give
the Ts multiple planting and cover options if they decide to make a play here, 
while CTs can plant one or two AWPs at the Bombsite or Goose to lock down the 
site from distance. There are three main ways into the bombsite.

Long A is the big empty road where, if you get peeked by a sniper running down 
it, you're as good as dead. At the end of Long A is Pit, where the road drops 
down into a recession. Smoking Pit and slipping in an AWP there as a Terrorist 
is a good call, since you'll then be able to gain intel on how far stacked the 
A site is, and whether a Long A take is the right call. This also lets you 
gather intel on Goose, since there may be a CT there to deal with a Short A 
push. Long A can only be accessed via A Doors from T spawn, and CTs love to 
place AWPs just behind the corner of the building the doors lead out too. Throw
a flash off the doors or smoke this position as you run in to put him out of 

CT spawn has a ramp that leads right up to A as well, and can be a useful take 
if the Ts manage to clamp down on Mid. The main problem with this attack is 
that there is minimal cover to use if you're not hugging the wall, and you will
need to check some very uncomfortable angles to make sure Cat is clear. Even 
then, you won't be able to check Long A either until you actually take the 
site, which is a gigantic risk as a Terrorist. Holding a CT ramp afterplant is 
a good idea, and stationing a player at Elevator (the corner of the wall at the
ramp) will force retaking CTs to not only check the bombsite, but their own 
spawn zone as well for hostiles.

Finally, Catwalk (also called Cat or Short A) is the route Terrorists will like
to use if they can take Mid, but don't feel comfortable pushing through the 
doors at Long. The nice part about Cat is that, unlike Long A and CT to an 
extent, Cat has a more "kick-in-the-door" feel to it, wherein once you run out 
of cover, you can get to the bombsite a little more quickly, punishing any slow
reactions from the CTs. But, much like Long A, there is minimal cover between 
there and the bombsite, so the operation must be done quickly.

Bombsite B

On the northwest corner, we have a much tighter bombsite that focuses more on 
short to mid-range firefights. Practically overflowing with boxes, alcoves, 
doors and all manner of impromptu cover, Bombsite B will be a paradise for 
Terrorists that want to make sure the CTs can meet their AKs up close and in 

For B takes, the route you take all depends on whether or not you can or feel 
like taking Mid Doors. If the answer is no, then just head left out of T spawn 
to the tunnels. Now you have to deal with a very nasty choke leading into the 
site. Expect smokes, incendiaries and, later in the half, maybe even auto-
sniper fire as you try to take the site through here. Also notice the stairs 
leading from Lower Dark as well, as some adventurous CTs might decide to lurk 
up and take the team by surprise. This will be especially true if the plan is a
full on B rush, so smoking this position from Mid or at least flashing the 
stairs as you run in is generally a good idea.

If you can take Mid, then you can either head back to Tunnels via Lower Dark, 
watching for any CTs sitting on the boxes near the stairs, or try your luck at 
B Doors. Make sure you smoke off CT spawn before you do this, as a CT rotation 
from A to B is much easier to do than one from B to A. The doors are left 
slightly ajar, a perfect angle to bounce flashes through, and there is a Window
on the right side that lies just above the bombsite itself where you can peek 
through as well.

Remember when taking B that the CTs have much more options for cover than they 
do in A. Check Car, the back of the site and the box stacks for lurking 
hostiles before starting the plant, and make sure to have somebody either 
peeking or patrolling Tunnels to prevent backstabs.

How to Plant

There are three standard bomb planting positions for A Site. If you've secured 
Short A and CT and want to watch the bomb from Long A, then plant the bomb 
either to the side of the blue barrel or in the far corner of the site, next to
the ledge. If you've secured Short, Long and CT and just want a safe plant 
position for the back of site near Goose, plant behind the set of boxes on the 
left, or to the inside of the boxes on the right. Finally, if Short A is 
secured but Long A is uncertain, plant on the outside of the right boxes.

On B, the standard planting position is to the outside of the boxes, close to B
Doors. If you haven't taken Mid or Tunnels and don't have the resources to 
smoke either, then take cover in the boxes and plant in the corner. DO NOT 
players take the safe plant instead of standard when making a B play. The 
reason standard is so much better than safe is because it can be watched from 
almost every part of the site (Tunnels, Car, Back of B, Doors...), which 
decreases the chances of the bomb being ninja defused. Only plant safe if you 
are at risk of being shot while you're planting.

CT Tactics

First off, and this is especially true starting at around round five, always 
make sure you have some way to get to B safely at the start of the round. This 
generally means smoking Mid Doors and having your B squad either run behind it 
or through it. Not smoking Mid can result in a T AWPer putting you into a 4v5 
or worse right out of the gate.

If your AWPer does want to peek Mid, then don't smoke Mid Doors directly. 
Instead, in CT spawn, look at the boxes on the wall across from you. You can 
either run up and throw your smoke at the corner of the box, or stand still and
bounce it off the wall behind it. Either way, you can then run through the 
smoke to B ramp while still leaving Mid Doors clear for your AWPer to peek.

For CT AWPers guarding Long A, get one of your teammates to boost you into the 
site at Elevator so that you can get to your camping position much quicker. 
Same deal for Short A; there is a nice little staircase of boxes where you can 
boost a CT or two directly up there.

At B, keep your chokepoints blocked off as much as you can. Toss flashes and 
smokes into Tunnels to ward off Ts trying to push through, and take advantage 
of the multiple cover points to pick them off as they come in. Also notice that
there is no cover inside the hallway leading to the bombsite, so an AWP or, if 
you can afford it, a SCAR will be of great use here.

There are a ton of sneaky spots to hide at and peek Short A, including the 
alcove next to the stairs. An AWPer can also hide inside the site and get shots
between the corner of the building and the pipe running down it.

Common CT Strats

2-1-2: Send 2 players to A, 2 players to B, and the fifth to guard Mid. AWP 
players should play either Long A or Mid Doors. Riflers guarding Mid can sneak 
into Lower Dark and collect information or hang back near CT to call Mid to B 
plays. Auto-snipers can occasionally be stationed near the back of B looking at

3-2: Send 3 players to A (either 2 Long 1 Short or 1 Long 1 Site 1 Short) and 2
to B. This strat is sound since the only direct route from T to B is through 
Tunnels, which is a very nasty chokepoint most teams do not want to fight into.
This also allows for a larger retake team to storm the difficult B site should 
a plant happen there. AWP players are most useful guarding A site, as usual.

3-1-1: Similar to 3-2, but with one of the B players playing outside B Doors, 
closer to Mid. This will allow him to gather information on Tunnel and Short A 
movement, and permit a quicker reinforcing rotation to A if that's what the 
offensive play is. Of course, the Outside B player can also throw support 
grenades and rotate back into B to help the player on site.

5.4 Inferno

Counter-Terrorists: SAS
Terrorists: Separatists

Inferno is kind of a funny map in my opinion. The entire premise goes like 
this: The Terrorists start with a ton of map control and can easily switch from
an attack on one site to another, even though most if not all of the entrances 
onto the sites are tight chokepoints the CTs have an inherent advantage 
defending. Meanwhile the Counter-Terrorists have to delay the Ts push for as 
long as humanly possible by smoking and firing the chokes and effectively 
forcing the Terrorists to move in at a time they might not be comfortable 
attacking at.

You need to be patient if you want to play Inferno on a frequent basis. If you 
can coordinate your team's plays well, know exactly how and when to push for 
information, and fight well into and out of chokepoints, then Inferno is a 
deviously complex but insidiously fun map to learn.


Much like Mirage, most players consider Inferno to be slightly CT favored, and 
that's mostly because they're the first to defend the many chokepoints on the 
map. As soon as they lose a fight on site and the T's get a plant, however, the
roles get reversed and the retake cam be an uphill battle to say the least. 
Coordinated T teams tend to land somewhere between 5 and 8 rounds on their 
first half.

Bombsite A

Out of CT spawn, head left either through the house and Library or take the 
more scenic route under the Arch. Welcome to Bombsite A, the easier of the two 
sites to access for T sides in my opinion. There are multiple routes onto the 
site and cutting off CT rotations can be done with one if not two quick and 
easy smokes. The downside is that there are far more angles from which CTs can 
retake the site, making afterplant holds a little more difficult than they 
would be otherwise. Generally, the Ts will attack from one of three angles: 
Aps, Quad or Arch.

From T side, you can either run down Mid and make a hard right just before you 
hit Quad or you can cut through the building on your right (or the path 
underneath, called Alt Mid) and run straight through. This puts you in A Aps 
and sets you up for a Balcony push. CTs can get to A Aps as well from Boiler, 
the room down the stairs across from you. There are two rooms at the top of the
stairs for both sides, separated by a set of wallbangable wooden planks. For T 
side, it helps to check that these rooms are clear before you proceed towards 
Balcony to prevent wrap arounds.

Once you've proceeded down the hallway of A Aps, you're one doorway away from 
Balcony. CTs can boost up here occasionally so check the corner with a 
flashbang before executing the push. Even if there isn't, this will also 
threaten to blind the Pit below you and any CTs watching Balcony from there.

Back on the ground, following Mid all the way down puts you close to the site. 
You can now attack the site by either going left towards Arch or right towards 
Quad. Just smoke the route you don't want to go on your way in and check the 
appropriate hiding spots. If you're going towards Arch, check in Cubby (that 
small alcove in the outer wall just before you turn the corner), Arch and 
Library. Quad attacks should watch for Boiler, Truck, Pit and Graveyard 
(elevated path next to Pit) as well as the site itself. Notice that, although 
the Quad path leads directly to the bombsite, there are significantly more 
places to check for CTs before planting.

As a quick afterthought, if you ever need to switch from Mid to Alt Mid and 
need to do so covertly, there's a small tunnel called Crawlspace that will 
allow you to do so. Just look for the grey dirt as you run up Mid and make sure
to crouch.

Bombsite B

Alternatively, CTs can take the right path past the well and end up moments 
later at Bombsite B. There's only one direct way to get in here if you're on 
the offense, and that's through the funnily shaped alley called Banana (so 
called because, well, it looks like a banana). Ts could also hypothetically 
come in through CT and Construction, but if that happens then A's likely 
already been taken and the Ts have more map control than they know what to do 
with. So for now, we'll focus on Banana.

I'm going to address this from a CT standpoint at first for a change, since the
majority of a Banana take for Ts involves slowly walking up it and shooting 
through smoke hoping for a lucky pick most of the time. For CTs guarding 
Banana, you need to decide how much of it you want the Ts to work for. You do 
this by marking out your territory a la smoke grenade. Passive CTs should smoke
the very end of Banana near the bombsite, and aggressive CTs can smoke the 
bottom of Banana. Most CTs, however, are comfortable smoking the top of Banana,
leaving them the comfortable cover of the Car and stack of Mortar there. 
Continue to smoke this position for as long as possible to hold your ground and
prevent T pushes.

Eventually, however, you'll probably run out of grenades and have to guard the 
actual site. There are a few ways to hold it. The yellow crates on site (called
First and Second Oranges, with First being the closest to CT) are relatively 
popular, but are easily Mollie'd at higher level play and thus aren't really 
recommended. The Porch across from site is useful as the Ts start to come in 
provided you hug the wall, and those with good movement skills can use the on-
site Fountain to an annoying degree as well. Towards the back of the site, CTs 
can make a stand at the wooden Spools accessed via Construction, or Newbox and 
Emo underneath the archways. 

How to Plant

For A Site, if you've taken Quad control but are uncertain about Arch (which 
you should be since that's how quick response CTs at B will rotate), you should
plant the bomb just on the edge of the site as you run down Quad, outside of 
the crates. This will let you keep an eye on the bomb from Graveyard and Pit 
and restrict attacking angles for CTs to Arch, Library and Balcony. For safer 
plants, tuck the bomb in closer to the corner of the site. You can plant it in 
multiple spots, with the ones closer to the corner being safer, but remember 
that the safer the plant, the harder it is to watch from outside the site.

B Site has two planting positions as well. The standard spot is on top of the 
Grill in front of Spools. Plant here if you have Construction control and have 
CT cleared or at least smoked off. Otherwise, the safe option is directly 
behind the Fountain, in case Construction is not cleared or if you need cover 
from CT.

CT Tactics

The way Inferno is designed, the Ts end up controlling a ton of the map by the 
time they make a play onto a site. You really can't control that. What you CAN 
control is how quickly they dominate the map. You do this by getting picks, 
finding intel, making smart rotations, and abusing the fact they're fighting 
into a choke. YOUR choke. And that means they fight on your terms, and only 
when you're ready for them. 

That means, in order to slow them down, you need to do everything in your power
to hold your ground for as long as possible. You do this by smoking, 
Mollie'ing, flashing and pretty much making their lives as miserable as you 
can. Your job is to waste their time and ideally force them into making a play 
at the last moment.

You can not afford to rotate prematurely. I'm emphasizing this here because Ts 
love to fake-out on this map and it's really not that hard to do. Wait until 
either a site defense is routed or the bomb is sighted before anyone leaves 
their post to help out.

And finally, at Quad, that overhanging section of roof (called Porch in some 
circles) is boostable and, if the Ts fluff their smokes, can let you see over 
the cloud as they move towards Arch.

Common CT Strats

3-2: The standard formation sends 3 players A (1 Arch 1 Pit 1 Quad/Boiler) and 
2 players B (both at Banana, Top of Banana or at Site, depending on how 
aggresive you want to play). The Arch player is considered to be the quick 
rotate player here, so if something happens at B, he should be the first to 
arrive. AWP players are usually at A Site peeking down Mid.

5.5 Mirage

Counter-Terrorists: SAS
Terrorists: Elite Crew

Tired of playing on Dust II all the time? Hoping for a more CT sided experience
with tons of cool retake positions and smoke tricks? Welcome to Mirage, the 
Dust II for people who don't want to play on Dust II. Mirage is a very cool map
that rewards creative strats and skillfully placed grenades, and is definitely 
a good map to learn in those respects.


Mirage is one of the more balanced maps in the pool, but it is still slightly 
CT favored, due to the fact that aggressive CT picks on this map can be painful
for Ts to deal with. The map does encourage aggressive play slightly as well, 
giving CTs multiple ways to sneak into the Ts main entry sites and possibly 
sabotage their plans. Of course, if their offensive fails, the Ts get a 
gigantic advantage, and this can happen more often than one would think. A well
organized T team can expect 6-8 rounds on their first half, on average.

Bombsite A

Site A on Mirage is a relatively open area that coordinated T sides can attack 
with relative ease. The only bad news is CTs get immediate access to it out of 
spawn and can guard and rotate into it from a large number of angles. Most T 
sides will stage an A attack through either A Main (or Tunnels) or Palace, 
occassionally sending a lurk player down Mid to pounce in from Connector.

A Main is simple to get to from T spawn, just take the south facing ramp and 
follow the lower path. There is a "staircase" you can jump onto to get to a 
ledge, and that will make throwing flashes and smokes over the wall a little 
easier for A executes. However, keep in mind CTs can Mollie over the wall onto 
the ledge as well, so use with discretion. Go to YouTube to learn the three A 
smokes for CT, Jungle (the little stretch of walkway that connects Sniper to 
the site) and Stairs, and you can provide excellent cover as you run onto the 
site. Places to check as you begin the execute are Tetris (the stack of boxes 
and construction supplies on your right as you exit the tunnel), Lower Dark 
(under the scaffolding next to Palace), Sandwich (also called Get Right, the 
gap between Stairs and Tetris) and, depending on how well the CT smoke was 
thrown, Tollbooth for adventerous AWPers or autos.

If you can't coordinate the A smokes, are on eco and/or want to avoid 
bottlenecking A Main, then take the upper path out of T spawn and enter A 
through Palace. You should take care when moving up here, since ambitious CTs 
will try to beat you here for a cheeky entry or two. If there aren't any, then 
Palace is all yours and you are in a prime position to support your team with 
grenades or AWP fire if you can spare one. Keep an eye out for CTs playing on 
Scaffold, and use the shadows on this level to your advantage (some 
inexperienced CTs may have the nose of their gun casting one in front of the 

To get to A Site from Mid, just take the short staircase off to your left 
(called Connector). There are platforms on each side of the stairs that are 
easily campable, so take care when pushing through here. Also, there are some 
wooden planks on the left interior wall of the bombsite exit. These can be 
wallbanged with rifles, so be careful when camping here.

Bombsite B

From CT spawn, you can head up the left ramp into Market, where you can Kool-
Aid Man through the window or take a more civilized exit out the door. Out of T
spawn, run down the ramp on your right and either break into the house or swing
around to Mid and take a right. Welcome to Bombsite B, a more difficult but 
more rewarding site to take for Terrorists. There is one dedicated route to B 
through the blue Apartment building, and two side routes accessed via Mid, 
those being Catwalk or Short B, and Underpass. These are your two main attack 
paths if you're looking for a B take.

B Aps is analogous to the Tunnels in Dust II. They both go to B Site, they both
lead to an incredibly nasty choke, and they both have side access routes to 
Mid. There are two windows along the walkway to the site: one is barred off and
can be 'naded through, the second is more open and can be jumped through onto 
the site if you so desire. This entry route can be watched from many angles, 
but common ones include Van, Bench, Market Window and Archway. Some jump-happy 
CTs can also pop up from behind the ledge momentarily to shoot at you from 

The stairs down near the entrance to B Aps leads you back to Mid right 
underneath Sniper. This will give you a quick route back to Mid for a versatile
A play should your T team lock down control there. Be warned that, if you 
decide to B rush through Aps, CTs can easily sneak down into Underpass and wrap
around for backstabs.

Because the choke in B Aps is a rather nasty one, the second route to B Site is
through Short B. This pops you out at Archway and effectively forces rotations 
out of Market and Van playing CTs in order to deal with you. Also, as you turn 
the corner at Mid, you'll have a small room with a ladder in it (surprisingly 
called Ladder Room). Climbing the ladder and sneaking on the storage unit there
will lead you to some breakable steel panels into Sniper. 

How to Plant

If you're planting at A, it's very hard to keep yourself protected from CT, 
even when it's smoked off. So in my opinion, the plant position varies 
depending on whether or not you can get Connector control. If the answer is no 
and maybe you just busted onto the site looking for a quick plant, then duck 
behind the stack of pipes and yellow artillery shells and plant just on the 
outside of the bend. If you can get Connector, then an aggressive but amazingly
wonderful plant position is at the three wooden boxes closest to CT. Plant the 
bomb in between them on the Connector side.

For B Site, the position more often than not depends on where you suspect the 
retake will happen from. The common plant is just on the outside of Site, on 
the side nearest B Aps, as this will give you marginal protection from CTs at 
Market and Archway. If you have Archway relatively clear and think you can 
cross the site without getting shot, then planting in the corner closest to 
Market Door is just as viable.

CT Tactics

You'll see me talk about this a bit in the section below, but if you're the Mid
player, don't wait too long for your pick. Provided you don't get smoked out, 
you really shouldn't spend more than 30 seconds watching Mid. By that point 
it's likely the Ts have taken one of the dedicated routes to a site, and your 
services would be better employed watching one of those entrances instead.

If you want to push B Aps, you actually don't need a boost. You can jump onto 
the roof of Van and get onto the ledge from there. 

Mirage is a great map to go for early round push shenanigans, but do not get 
greedy entry fragging. Going aggressive for a bit is fine, but avoid trading 
where you can, since the Ts gain an inherent advantage by trading out (they can
cluster up, but you have to spread out). Take a peek, find a kill if you can, 
then run back.

Common CT Strats

2-1-2: 2 players to A (1 watching A Main 1 Palace), 1 player to Sniper 
(watching Mid), 2 players to B (both watching Aps at first, then rotate 1 to 
Archway). The formation allows for some aggressive positions for both 
bombsites: A players can sneak into Connector to watch Underpass and Short B,
while B players can hug the crate stack at Short B to keep an eye on the Top of
Mid and Connector. AWP players are almost ubiquitously put in Sniper, while 
auto-snipers can hang back near Tollbooth on A to watch A Main.

3-2: Same as 2-1-2, but the player in Sniper instead plays near Jungle and 
Connector. The 2-1-2 generally devolves into this as soon as the Ts smoke up 
Sniper to gain Mid control, although this isn't a bad fresh-off-the-round 
strategy either. T teams will avoid B rushing on Mirage for the same reason 
they avoid it on Dust II, so having a third player readily stacked at A is 
perfectly sound.

5.6 Overpass

Counter-Terrorists: GSG-9
Terrorists: Phoenix Connexion

You know what? I'll be the voice of the minority here. I LOVE playing on 
Overpass. A lot of people don't, and they can get pretty vocal about it, but 
Overpass is by far and away my favorite map in the pool right now. Bombsite B 
is a joy to fight over, the Terrorists have a thousand and one ways to sneakily
switch sites at the last second, and the sheer amount of boost spots over 
walls, into windows and past cover provides an entertaining third dimension to 
the map that just isn't rivaled by any of the other six. 

Look, I get it. Overpass is a very, very weird and unusual map for reasons we 
will discuss. And of course, individual experiences may vary; just because I 
like it doesn't mean you will. But for what it's worth, Overpass is a creative,
engaging map perfect for anyone who wants a good fifth to learn.


If I had to rank the seven maps in terms of how CT-sided they were, Overpass 
would rank #2 if not #3 behind Train and possibly Cobblestone. Yes, the Ts get 
a crazy amount of mobility and can slip between routes to the two sites almost 
completely undetected. But, much like Inferno, they have to fight into chokes 
to get to the sites, where the CTs are lying in wait for them. Only I consider 
this to be worse because CTs get some crazy boost options out of spawn that can
quickly turn a T strat on its head should they get an early round pick on 
someone. Par for the course here is around 5 to 7 T side rounds.

Bombsite A

Just like Cobblestone, Bombsite A also happens to be the CT spawn zone, which 
means that most of the fight for this site actually happens off of it. CTs can 
push down either of the two lanes to A with relative ease before the Ts arrive 
and can consequently get a pretty good chunk of map control in the process. Ts 
looking at an A take will need to pry open one of these lanes at minimum if 
they want to get onto site without compications.

Out of T spawn, run out and up the stairs on your left. Then you can either 
continue through past the Fountain and onto the Playground or sneak down the 
ladder into Connector (more on this later). These are the two alleys you'll 
need to fight over: Mid A and Long A. The two are complementary in terms of 
risk and reward: although Mid A has much more cover to offer when setting up 
for the site take, Long A is significantly easier to open up and is useful for 
T sides looking to rush. Conversely, Long A is an AWPing playground where Ts 
are at an inherent disadvantage (CTs beat them to the few good cover options), 
while Mid control can take almost full time to establish, at which point any 
crashes onto A may be forced and rushed.

Regardless, the two lanes can be accessed from the other via Restrooms, so 
opening one lane can very easily lead to the liberation of the second if the 
CTs are caught unaware. Notice that there is a third exit directly in front of 
the bombsite that can be AWPed down, so be careful when moving around in there.
Ts can also access Mid via Connector once any aggressive CT pushes down there 
are dealt with. This will put you near Restrooms, about two-thirds of the way 
to the site. Finally, the elevated park area where the Birthday party is being 
held can be a decent vantage point to hold as well, and can also allow Ts to 
watch the Connector exit for their teammates.

The actual site itself is strewn with cover in the form of boxes, a SWAT Car 
and a broken-down Truck. A few good smokes after an entry frag or two will 
allow for an easy plant on Truck or just on the edge of the site behind the 
boxes. Holding the site becomes the hard part, as CTs can come in from the Bank
or Stairs behind the site, or even from Restrooms or Long in some cases. Smokes
and Molotovs will go a long way towards stopping retakes at this site, so make 
sure your team loads up.

Bombsite B

AKA the fun one. From CT, the quickest way there is to head down the Stairs at 
the Back of A, decide whether you want to be on the high or low ground 
(Balcony/Sniper or Pit), and pick your route in the Tunnels accordingly. From 
T, you can plow on straight ahead and go under the L-train's Tracks, or head 
into Connector and proceed towards the Squeaky door at the end (again, more on 
this to come).

Overpass' bombsites in my opinion couldn't be any more different from each 
other. While Bombsite A has a relatively wide open point of entry with more 
on-site cover than it knows what to do with, Bombsite B requires a fight into 
one of two tight chokes and then defending the bomb from as far away as 
possible because there is no site cover apart from the planting position.

The reason we're so interested in B, however, is because it is much harder for 
the CTs to retake. While Ts on A have to worry about 4 possible retake angles 
that are all possibly likely to have a CT, B Site defenses only really need to 
worry about 3 at worst. In addition, and this is the important bit, during a B 
retake, it's almost impossible for the CTs to not expose themselves when 
checking angles. A Site retakes can feature CTs popping out of Restrooms, Bank 
and Back of A, in and out of cover over and over again without too much fear of
getting shot. B does not offer such luxuries, and if a CT wants to retake, he 
has to move well out of cover in order to move in.

At Tracks (sometimes called B Main), Ts get the option of either running 
through the pink Monster tunnel for a quick way onto the site, or taking the 
more conservative route through the unmarked one to Water and Construction. Ts 
popping out of Squeaky (again, being wary for the adventurous CTs guarding it) 
will be on the elevated concrete walkway alongside Water that they can easily 
jump down off. At Water, you will be marginally protected by the yellow 
building and the surrounding plywood wall, but be careful, as the wall can be 
wallbanged through and boosted over.

When crashing onto B, keep an eye out for CTs playing in Pit (the depressed 
area in front of Balcony), behind Toxic (the yellow barrels next to the shed) 
and around the Pillar (the absolute best idea for cover Valve has ever had). 
Flashes will work wonders here since they can be very hard to avoid with the 
scant on-site cover. When defending the afterplant, Monster becomes less of a 
threat than Construction, and Ts can jump into Pit to watch Balcony and the 
cement Bridge leading to the site from Tunnels (it's actually a pretty solid 
idea to push a T into here when possible).

How to Plant

On A Site, if you've established control over Mid A and Long A but are uneasy 
about Bank and Tunnels, just sneak into the corner behind the green boxes at 
the front of the site to watch the bomb from Restrooms. If you want an 
aggressive planting position that can be watched from Bank, or if you suspect a
retake from Restrooms, jump onto Truck and plant on it.

For Bombsite B, the bomb is almost always planted behind the stack of wooden 
planks, often in the corner next to the railing. This provides cover from 
Balcony and provides a watching angle from Construction if the area has been 

CT Tactics

This is a great map to duo queue with because on CT Overpass there are a metric
ton of boost options available to you. At A you can peek over the park map near
the site itself, as well as look into Restrooms if you're standing on someone. 
B Site players can look over the wood panels near Construction to gain intel on
Water players.

Keep in mind that how you rotate from site to site is extremely important on 
this map. Tunnels provides a very quick way to rotate from A to B and back, but
because of this, rehearsed T sides will expect rotations to come in from those 
angles. If you do not have utility with you (flashes or smokes), retaking from 
these spots can be dangerous, and if you can spare the time, sometimes taking a
longer rotate route (via Connector) is a better option.

Common CT Strats

2-1-2: 2 CTs guard A (1 Long 1 Mid), 2 guard B (1 Monster 1 Construction). The 
fifth guy, since there isn't a real "Mid" on this map, is allowed to play as 
either a passive third guard on a site, a more dynamic utility player (rotate 
to sites if someone gets picked or boost players over cover), or an aggressive 
intel hunter (pushing towards Fountain, Water or Connector to find Terrorists).

5.7 Train

Counter-Terrorists: Seal Team Six
Terrorists: Balkans

Ah, Train. How we have missed thee. This older map used to be part of the then 
5-map competitive pool back in Spring 2014. Then it was removed after ESL One 
Katowice that year (because one of the other 4 maps was Nuke and we only needed
one ridiculously CT favored map then), and now, two years later, it's received 
a huge update and is ready for action once again. Since this is a "newer" map 
for some players, especially newer ones, it isn't quite as popular as Nuke used
to be. But the aesthetic of the map allows for some great AWPing alleys as well
as some pretty creative peeking angles, encouraging long-distance fights over 
the bombsites.


As you might have deduced from my sidenote in the intro, Train is the most CT-
sided map in the pool right now. The Ts have to deal with three problems on 
this map that seem to complement each other perfectly. The first two are  
problems Nuke had: Bombsite A is much quicker to get to than B is, and also the
Ts don't really have a Mid lane area they can rotate to in case they want to 
switch sites. Consequently, CTs can stack A Site without too much drama or 
penalty. So why not make your plays towards B then? That's the third problem: 
Bombsite B suffers from the same problem Overpass had before Long A existed: 
there's only one way to get there from T spawn and it's through a horrible 
chokepoint. Now true, there are a few more routes of attack on B Site, but 
because the Ts can only come from one general direction, the CTs only really 
need to check one angle when defending. Don't be upset if you only get 5 or 6 
rounds here on your T side, as that tends to be standard.

Bombsite A

The outdoor bombsite of Train is arguably the most popular of the two mostly 
because it's actually possible to set up plays there. Think of it like this: 
how much harder would it be to take A on Mirage if you couldn't throw the A 
smokes for it? Because B is the indoor site and the Ts spawn much closer to A,
it is very hard to throw preemptive smokes for B site before making a play 
there and therefore takes there are much harder to pull off.

So here we are. From CT spawn just run up the ramp in front of you and bang a 
left down the very blue hallway, or follow the B player through the door on 
your left and come in through Connector. The Ts get three possible routes onto 
the site for A. They can run all the way down the alley and try infiltrating 
from the adjacent hallway (Ivy), they can come in through the ground level 
maintenance area (A Main), or they can run through the control area and take 
the ladder down into the side room (Popdog). 

Ivy is pretty much the Long A of Train. It's a moderately wide corridor with 
minimal cover and is a prime spot to get into an AWP battle with someone. There
is almost always a CT watching this spot because it leads directly into CT 
territory and also allows "backdoor" takes of the bombsite itself should it 
fall into the T's hands.

The more common entrance onto the site is from A Main. Although it is the 
shortest route onto the site area by far, it is susceptible to many peeking 
angles from CTs, including the train cars, the tops of the train cars, the 
sniping Window to the right of the site, and possibly Connector depending on 
how far that player is pushed towards B. The cars also provide nice little 
alleyways AWPers love to aim down, so presmoking those areas will go a long way
towards a good plant.

Our last angle of attack is through Popdog, and this room is functionally 
equivalent to Skyfall on Cobblestone. I find that the Ts get a little bit of an
easier time taking this though, because there isn't much the CTs can do in 
terms of harrassment before the Ts come down. Meanwhile, the Ts can drop 
flashes and Mollies into the room, and as long as they don't reveal themselves 
through the hatch, they can start the fight when they're ready, without having
to check for CTs trying to catch them before they engage. Couple this with the 
fact that Ts coming out of Popdog get a bit of quick cover in the form of the 
tan Electric Box, and Popdog is a nice supplement to an attack from A Main or 

If your attack is successful, then congratulations. Smoking Connector is a 
decent idea to ensure the plant is not interrupted, and expect the retaking CTs
to come down either of the two blue corridors on the retake. If the B player is
feeling sneaky, he hypothetically has the option to sneak into Brown Halls and 
swing into the site through Popdog. It's time inefficient, but it can take 
unweary T sides by surprise during an afterplant.

Bombsite B

If you know the Connector route to A from CT, then you already know how to get 
to Bombsite B. To get to the higher position along the outside of the site, you
can run through the garage door behind you and head up the ladder. Bombsite B 
is an isolated indoor bombsite that T sides will like to play towards if an 
early pick is made there, if they have limited grenade utility, or if they are 
looking for a quick plant. This last part is important: since the planting area
on B is a lot closer to the T entrances there than A is to its, Ts on eco will 
commonly make plays here in an attempt to get a plant and earn more money.

These entrances are called Upper and Lower B, and Ts can get to them out of 
spawn by either taking their first right and running all the way down the 
hallway, or by heading towards Popdog and pretending the ladder down there 
doesn't exist. Either way, you'll end up in the staging area for Bombsite B, 
uncreatively called Brown Halls. Notice that there is a strip of windows near 
the top of the wall nearest the bombsite. With enough practice, it is possible 
to toss grenades through these windows and have them land in advantageous 
positions for a take.

Unfortunately, that's the one and only advantage you really get when moving 
into here. CTs will beat you onto the site, as expected, but they can also 
beat you into the halls themselves. Be prepared for this, as an aggressive push
into Brown Halls by a CT can turn deadly if it isn't expected.

If you're looking for a plain, kick-in-the-door sort of take, then you'll need 
flashes more than anything else. The CTs get a gigantic positional advantage 
over you on this site, so it's necessary to negate that in as quick a fashion 
as possible. Then you'll have to decide where you're taking the site from. 
Lower B puts Ts closer to the bombsite, but Upper B has a spotting advantage 
and can be used to flank CTs hugging cover. This is important, because CTs 
watching Lower B have a multitude of cover options available down there. The 
ideal strategy is to have Ts in Upper B support the bomb squad as they take 
Lower. Should anyone need to get from Upper to Lower in a hurry, there's a 
ladder on the wall closest to the entryway. Use this to avoid the fall damage.

Once the bomb is dialed in, you only realistically need to watch for rotations 
from Connector and CT. For the latter, the Lower entrance tends to be the more 
dangerous one, as the CTs will want to get to the bomb as quickly as they can. 
Although a retake from Brown Halls could happen, this is easily negated by 
having someone patrol them (keeping a close eye on Popdog) as the bomb ticks.

How to Plant

If you took Bombsite A, then there's a 99% chance you have A Main control and 
therefore want to watch the bomb from there. Now you need to decide if you want
your extra watching angle to be Ivy or Popdog. If it's the latter or none of 
the above, the safe play is to plant at the end of the car closest to Popdog. 
If it's the former, plant at the side of the car furthest away from Connector.

The common spot for B is at the end of the car closest to Brown Halls, since 
almost every CT rotation is going to come from the other side of the site. This
is also the quickest way to get the plant down for economic reasons.

Notice that, in all of the above scenarios, you NEVER PLANT ON THE BOMB CARS 
THEMSELVES. Planting on the frames is usually okay, but unless you need a very 
safe plant where you can sit on the bomb until it explodes, jumping onto the 
bomb cars' platforms to plant is not ideal. This is because you should always 
have the bomb planted somewhere you can look at it. It's like babysitting; you 
always want to have the kid (or bomb) in view so  you can quickly check on it 
if something happens.

CT Tactics

You get plenty of opportunities to get aggressive on Train when it comes to 
pushing areas, whether that be Ivy, A Main or Brown Halls. Be aware that Ts 
don't spread out on this map nearly as much as they usually do, and that you 
can walk into a 1v2 or worse when you do this. Sneak in, call your intel, fire 
some shots, and get out.

You'll notice that Train's layout is full of alleys and chokepoints. Buy smokes
and use them liberally on this map. Communicate with your AWPers as well to 
make sure you don't accidentally shut off their lane.

A lot of the train cars can be climbed for a positional advantage at the 
expense of cover. Generally, you should stay on the ground level and use the 
cars for cover until you get your initial reads. Then you can start climbing 
and get to a better spot for entries.

Common CT Strats

4-1: No, really. As long as one of the A guys is playing near Connector, one 
guy defending B is considered standard on this map. The rest of A squad should 
spread out to watch A Main, Popdog and Ivy, with AWPers guarding the latter for
best results.

3-2: The only problem with the above formation is that there are two doors for 
Ts to plow through on B, and it can be hard for one player to hold both angles.
So some teams would like the Connector player to play closer to site, generally
towards Upper B since Lower B is frequently smoked off early to stop rushes.

6) Setting Up Practice Servers

Just as with anything in life, you'll never get good at CS if you don't 
practice. The best way to do this in my opinion is to set up a bot game locally
 and then play with the server settings so that you can practice a map to your 
heart's content.

6.1 Snives' Can't Go Wrong Practice Script

To set up a practice script of your own that you can execute in game, just do 
the following:

1) Open up Notepad on your computer (or some sort of plain text editor).

2) For now, just copy the script below and paste it in:

sv_cheats 1
mp_maxmoney 50000
mp_startmoney 50000
mp_freezetime 1
mp_roundtime_defuse 60
mp_buy_anywhere 1
mp_buytime 1000
sv_infinite_ammo 1
sv_showimpacts 1
sv_grenade_trajectory 1

We'll explain what all this does in a minute, and you can go online for 
documentation on how to add your own code and make the script your own.

3) Save it under the following directory routing "Program Files -> Steam -> 
SteamApps -> common -> Counter-Strike Global Offensive -> csgo -> cfg" and name
 your file "practice.cfg".

4) Launch CSGO from Steam and set up an "Offline With Bots" match. Choose 
Competitive for now and pick your favorite map to test the script on. You can 
pick whatever bots you like, since we'll have them all removed in a minute. For
 convenience, however, I just set it to "No Bots."

5) If you don't have the option to Enable Developer Console turned on, do that 
now in the Options menu under Game Options.

6) Finally, open up the console with the ~ key and enter "exec practice" 
without the quotes. If the map restarts and you have $50000 cash and a 60 
minute clock, then it worked.

6.2 What Did We Do?

We have now set up our local server to help us practice by ourselves. So what 
exactly did our script do?

sv_cheats 1

This does two things: enables God mode for toggle and noclip for toggle. Typing
"god" into console will make you invulnerable to damage, typing it again will 
make you in-invulnerable. Noclip will allow you to walk and fly through walls 
and is useful for watching grenades fly around the map. For this reason I like 
having it bound to a key, in my case, left Alt. To do this just type into 

bind alt noclip

Of course, feel free to change Alt to whatever key you like for convenience.

mp_maxmoney 50000

Normally, in a competitive game you're not allowed to have more than $16000 in 
cash on you at any time. Since we're going to give you $50000 out of the gate, 
we need a command to raise the limit. This is it.

mp_startmoney 50000

This will give you $50000 at the start of the round instead of $800, allowing 
you to buy whatever gear you like when you spawn.

mp_freezetime 1

You know in competitive games there's 15 seconds of downtime each round before 
you're allowed to actually start playing? This command reduces that downtime to
 an insignificant 1 second, allowing you to get straight to work.

mp_roundtime_defuse 60

The Terrorists now have 60 minutes to plant the bomb on a site. For our 
purposes, it just means that we have 60 minutes to practice before the round 
ends by default and we just have to reload the map.

mp_buy_anywhere 1

Normally, we aren't allowed to buy any gear outside of our own spawn zones. 
This command fixes that, and allows you to buy gear wherever you like.

mp_buytime 1000

We now have 1000 seconds (16 minutes and 40 seconds) to buy gear instead of the
 usual 20. 


If there are any bots on the map, this command will eliminate them from 

sv_infinite_ammo 1

Your weapons' clip sizes become infinite, eliminating the need to ever reload.

sv_showimpacts 1

Displays blue and red boxes showing where your bullets impact surfaces. Useful 
for testing wallbangs or practicing spray control.

sv_grenade_trajectory 1

Gives each thrown grenade a green tail as it flies through the air, and 
displays a red box wherever it hits something. Useful for tracking when 
practicing throws.


Eliminates the warm-up period at the start of the match and begins the actual 

Source Engine is EXTREMELY well documented and if you search online you can 
find more ways to tweak your local server to make it more to your liking when 
you're off practicing.

7) Conclusion and Thank Yous

This guide should be enough to get you through your first few competitive games
and help you learn the maps you want to play. Although this guide is relatively
comprehensive, there are many in-depth guides on the web that discuss weapons,
maps, skills and strategies in greater detail. This is simply a starting point
for you to get out and play the game to the best of your ability.

A very special thank you to the following people and sites: for the ASCII art
Kutter "Krone" Swindell for proofreading and editing
Three Days Grace and Disturbed for the music that pushed me through writing
You, the reader, for actually checking the guide out and reading it! 

Find me on Twitch:
Find me on Twitter: @WildSnivy

Any questions, comments or suggestions about the guide can be sent to 

Thanks for reading, and see you next time! ^_^