How to Most Efficiently Rank-up in CS:GO Competitive Matchmaking (2022) - Prima Games

How to Most Efficiently Rank-up in CS:GO Competitive Matchmaking (2022)

From Silver 1 to Silver Elite... wait I mean, Global! Global Elite!

by Nikola L

So, you have decided to get out of Silver and Gold Nova and move towards the top ranks? No worries, Prima Games has you covered. We will show you some of the most efficient strategies that you can use to rank up in CS:GO’s competitive matchmaking.

Easiest Ways To Rank Up in CS:GO Competitive Matchmaking

There are many things you can do to help yourself rank up (yes, this is going to be a long and detailed article) and while you do not need to excel in all of the aspects that we will list below, you should try to at least get better as much as you can in all departments so that you can become a more complete player, and with that, a more useful team member. Always remember that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a Team-Based First Person Shooter game. It’s nearly impossible to Rambo your way to the highest ranks.

Related: Most Useful CS:GO Console Commands (2022)

Train Your Aiming Skills

This goes without saying: It’s an FPS game, you can’t really attain a high rank if you are not a good shot. You should master all relevant weapons: M4A4, M4A1-S, AK-47, AWP, Scout, P90, UMP45, Bizon, and most pistols. Take a look at the following articles for details on the ranks:

Mouse Sensitivity and DPI

There are different theories on what your mouse sensitivity should be. Some people insist on very low sensitivity for precision because CS:GO is mostly a game of watching corners and camp spots, but some people go into medium or high sensitivity so that they can quickly flick their aim wherever necessary. All of these people are correct in a way. But, you should adjust your sensitivity so that YOU are the one that is most comfortable with it. Your aiming performance is your performance only, and no one else’s. Some people even say that you should have a sensitivity with which you can hold your aim steady at a certain dot while you are strafing left and right around it. We can’t really give a sensitivity range that you should try because all mice are different, Windows settings are different, drivers, and of course, the DPI of your mouse (most of them can adjust it by a tap of a button). You should try different settings on training maps and see where your best performance/score is.

Related: Best CS:GO Startup Commands/Launch Options Setup (2022)

Recoil Control and “One Taps” and How to Practice Them

There are two modes of fire that you should master. One is, of course, full-auto, and the second one is semi-auto.

AK-47 is a one-shot-kill if you hit someone’s head from a reasonable distance (even if they have a helmet), but it is not always possible to be in such a situation and position to perform those kills. This is why you need to know about recoil control.

On paper, this is fairly easy. Boot up, let’s say, de_dust2, in your console, join the T side, get an AK-47 and stand in front of a wall from a 9 feet/3 meters distance. Aim straight, lift your mouse up from the pad, and hold fire until the magazine is empty. You will see a “spray pattern” which somewhat resembles the inverted number 7. Your first bullet indeed goes where it’s supposed to (based on where you have aimed) but due to the gun recoil, you are losing your precision gradually. Now, there is a way to mitigate this. The spray patterns are always the same for automatic weapons in CS:GO.

You need to basically “mirror” the recoil’s behavior with your mouse and move your mouse in the opposite direction of the recoil pattern so that your bullets stay as close as possible to the original target location. Do not be frustrated if you do not get it right the first time, this sometimes takes days to remotely perfect. Once you do, it will enter your muscle memory and you won’t need to think about it. Shoutout to BenVin from Steam Community who made a brilliant guide on this. You can technically even practice the movement by following the dot on the GIFs presented in their guide.

Related: How to Open Console in CS:GO

It doesn’t matter if you do not have 100% accuracy. Most people don’t. And many just drag their mouse straight down, so you will already have an edge over the lower-ranked people. And we are sure you will get better in time!

Also worth mentioning are two terms: Burst Fire (where you fire 2-4 bullets full auto and then stop) and Spray Transfer (being approached by two enemies from different angles and holding the fire button as you are moving your crosshair from one enemy to the next to avoid the recovery penalty after ceasing fire).

Where to Practice Aiming in CS:GO

The question of all questions. Sure, you can practice with bots or in a deathmatch with live players that move like real people, but there are custom maps that you can try out alone and get a lot more actual practice compared to your time invested.

Introducing Aim Botz – Training Map and Fast Aim/Reflex Map – Training [Dust2]. Subscribe to these maps while logged in to Steam and they’ll automatically download. Upon turning on CS:GO, type /map aim_botz in the console (or start your own game from the usual Play menu options which lead you to the choice of workshop maps that you have). For the second map, there are detailed instructions on how to run it on the official Workshop page.

When you enter the map you’ll see that you’re in a box with dozens of options. You can choose your weapon, set various bot behavior parameters, have them lose or gain armor and a helmet, etc. If you were a basketball player, think of this map as you standing at the free throw line and having an infinite amount of balls to throw without anyone disturbing you. Sounds much faster as a method of practice than practicing in a live basketball match where you won’t get to shoot that much for the same amount of time, right?

Now you get the idea. You can kill thousands of bots in just half an hour! You can even start your warmup before your first competitive match of the day on this map, just to get in the zone (you should, but we won’t force you into it). If you commit between 30 or 60 minutes every day on this map, you should see your improvement within weeks.

We suggest you do like 10 minutes of one taps, 10 minutes of burst fire, and 10 minutes of full auto/spray transfer and then adjust accordingly to invest more time into departments where you’re lacking precision. You can also keep track of how many bots you are killing just to see how you’re doing. Here are some other cool maps you can try for practice:

CSGO Hub – This has a LOT of cool stuff including the Prefire Challenge which will spawn bots in common camping locations so that you can train your hand to aim better at those spots and win duels.

Yprac, training_aim_csgo2, and Training – Blank are also maps that are worth checking out.

Do NOT Play a Competitive Match in CS:GO Without Headphones

CS:GO has a neat sound engine that can tell you from where is a sound source coming pretty decently. Play without background music as well. Playing on speakers is bad, it does not give the quality of sound the headphones can, and your voice chat may be flooded with in-game sounds looped through your microphone (and no one wants to hear those, you will just get muted and/or kicked pretty fast).

Related: Best Gaming Headsets for Competitive FPS Games Listed (2022)

Map Knowledge and Map Tactics in CS:GO Competitive Matchmaking

After becoming a trained super special hardcore killer machine on the training maps, you will also need to know something about your surroundings where you are conducting your CS:GO massacres. No, we’re not saying that you should become a one-trick-pony for de_dust2 or any other map, but you should find a few maps that you are most comfortable with and build your rank on them. Most people opt for Dust 2, Mirage, and Inferno, and there are Nuke, Cache, Overpass, Train, and so forth.

Related: All Dust 2 Callouts in CS:GO: Map Guide

You need to know the following for each map you are playing:

  • The complete layout of the map. Every map’s layout can be found online. You can also run through it alone or with bots, just to get a hang of it before trying the Competitive Matchmaking mode.
  • All callouts on the map (so that you can communicate better with your teammates about stuff that’s happening on the map, this is VERY important, but more on communication later).
  • All common camping/peek spots so that you can know how to counter them with prefires and flashbangs, for example, and to generally know where to expect danger from.
  • Movement around the map like how to stay covered from positions you can be attacked from while moving towards the objective, where to sneak, what the optimal and other possible routes for rotation between the two sites are, etc.
  • First possible contact point with the enemy within the round, so that you can know when to first expect fire engagements against your enemies and, of course, where (assuming everyone has the most optimal route towards the bomb site from the start of the round). This is important because you should run with your knife out as long as possible to maximize your movement speed as much as you can.
  • Common strategies that people use to defend or attack a bombsite. This is something that you sadly must learn through either playing the competitive matchmaking yourself or by watching a stream or a gameplay video of someone playing the competitive matchmaking mode just so that you can analyze what’s happening in the match in general. When you learn about the most common behavior patterns, you can, let’s say, throw smoke or a fire grenade (Molotov) to wall off players who are trying to attack your position, just in time to catch them as they are trying to push in (timing is key in CS:GO for many things!).

And mind you, these are just the basics that will reinforce your chances of climbing up the ranking ladder. Some of the things simply must be experienced first-hand.

Find out about Best Smoke Spots on Dust 2 CS:GO Map here. You will make good use of them. We also have a similar guide for two more popular maps:

Communication with Teammates in Competitive CS:GO Matchmaking

This is probably one of the most important aspects that can make or break your game more than you think it can. CS:GO is indeed notorious for toxicity, especially at lower ranks. However, you should do your best to stay out of toxic and volatile situations, for your own good. Communication should always be positive when your voice button is on (remap it to something like V for easier use). Keep your teammates encouraged even after they make the most trivial mistake ever and lose the round because of it. There is always a place for improvement, and if you must, hand out a piece of advice in a positive manner because most players might actually accept logically constructed, positive advice rather than yelling obscenities. After all, you should work as a team with your assigned teammates. If someone’s being a meanie, you can always mute them and be done with it. It’s not worth your energy to argue with people that you probably won’t ever meet again.

Related: How to Improve Trust Factor in CS:GO (2022)

Communication during the match should be short and precise. Leave the banter for when the round ends and do not hog the microphone for too long. Of course, it’s up to everyone to set up their volume settings so that the voice chat volume doesn’t disrupt their game volume, but still, have some consideration – there are five of you on the team. Assuming you have set the radar correctly so that the entire map can be seen, you will easily be able to report the whereabouts of the enemy.

If you see three people pushing Long on Dust 2, you should simply say “Three Long” or “Three Long, with Bomb/C4” if you see it on the radar or on one of the Ts. It doesn’t occupy a lot of “air time” of the voice chat, it gets the message across about what’s happening on your part of the map. In lower ranks, people aren’t used to doing this by themselves or do not even have a microphone, so you might just take an initiative and become a backseat coach when you die during a round and then pass info that you see when you are cycling through your remaining teammates.

Related: CS:GO Radar Settings Guide: Best Radar Settings in CS:GO

If you see that you are in a bad economical situation at the end of the round that you’ve lost and you see that all of your teammates are under let’s say $4,500, which would be a decent amount of money to get a Kevlar, Helmet, an Assault Rifle and perhaps one or two grenades, you might as well ask the team to go “eco” – meaning that you buy either nothing or let’s say a grenade and a P250 just to try and sneak some kills off to slightly dent your opponent’s economy. Yes, you are willingly giving up the round basically, but you threaten to come back stronger the next round.

When the pistol round is lost, the common course of action is to go eco one or two rounds. There is, of course, the idea to “force buy” in order to strike with a surprise attack, because most people have a firm belief that they have won the first three rounds of the match automatically if they have won the first pistol round. This mostly happens on the T side when, for example, you have made a successful plant and your team has gotten 3-4 kills, but eventually lost and had their bomb defused. Bomb plant and those kills gave a considerable amount of money to your team and “force buy” is to be considered.

If you see that one of your teammates is struggling with money and keeps dying every round and you have money to get them an assault rifle or something, notify them via voice chat before the round starts that you will “drop” them a weapon so that they should only buy Equipment. “Drop” is commonly understood as an act of giving your weapon to your teammates. The same goes for when you are in a bad situation with money, and you see a teammate surviving a round with an AWP and having thousands of gold to spare.

You can just ask them “Hey Player_Name, please drop me m4/ak” and in most cases, they will understand that you are broke as hell and that it’s in the common interest that you are supplied with a proper tool to effectively neutralize your mutual enemies. Sharing is caring!

Related: Top 10 AWP Spots on Dust 2 in CS:GO

Now that we are talking about “Drops,” make sure to try to upgrade your weaponry at the end of the round. For example, you’re a CT and you spot an AK. Drop your M4 or maybe even AWP if your team is rich enough, and take the AK because CT cannot buy an AK, and AK is MUCH more potent than M4. But even if, for example, you are bad with AWP, someone in your team isn’t and you can save them an AWP, and then you can (or they can) buy a new copy of the weapon that you dropped for the AWP. It’s still a net gain because AWP is the most expensive weapon in the game.

There are many cool stories to tell about the Economy, which warrant a completely new article which is now available below, but these are just some common basics. Also, buy everything you possibly can on the last rounds of the half and on Match Points.

Related: CS:GO Economy Guide (2022)

Mental Approach to CS:GO Competitive Matches

This subject warrants an in-depth analysis and a subpoena of an expert for sports psychology, but there are some basic and short tips that everyone could agree with:

  • Do not play if you are not feeling positive about it if you get the feeling that the next match is a chore etc.
    It can and will reflect upon your game, and that negative sentiment can pass on to your teammates like a disease.
  • Do NOT play if, for example, you’ve lost two matches in a row badly. Let your head cool off, do something else for 30-60 minutes, and then come back. Do not let yourself get burnt out because of a video game. Games are supposed to make you happy. Even if an obvious cheater just wrecked you, take a bit of time to breathe in and out before moving to the next match. Or check out Is Cheating a Problem in CS:GO? – Cheating Issue Explained.

Instead, go relax and do some Surfing to calm down – take a look at How to Surf in CS:GO – Surfing Tips and Tricks. You can also boot up a CS:GO Case Clicker to pass the time: What is CS:GO Case Clicker? – CS:GO Case Clicker Explained.

Final Tip: Just Get a Damn Premade for CS:GO Competitive Matchmaking

Even if you can muster just one friend to play with you, that’s GREAT. It’s always better to play with someone you know.
You are then aware of their capabilities and limitations, and you can arrange who will specialize in what aspect of offense/defense, and you can also craft your own playbook for different attack and defense strategies. And of course, you can prevent malicious vote kick abuse that can happen if you end up playing with four premade people in the team that just didn’t like how you lost the first round and they just go and get rid of you. Having a full premade makes things easier because you all know the rules of engagement. Sometimes, you can also pick up some decent people in the matchmaking that you’ve clicked with well and you can party with them afterward.

Related: How to Vote Kick Yourself in CS:GO


You are the real MVP for staying in this article until the end. We hope that the guide was sufficiently beginner friendly and that you will manage to get to decent ranks quickly enough. Do not get discouraged if you do not see the results in the first week.
This is somewhat like a gym, it takes time and practice to improve. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, getting friends to play with you makes this activity much more encouraging since if you become good as a team, you will often have reasons to be happy when one of you gets a rank up.

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