CS:GO Ranked Matchmaking. Beginner's guide by SCOPE.GG
Guides For Beginners Matchmaking

CS:GO Ranked Matchmaking. Beginner's guide by SCOPE.GG


After getting enough experience in casual Counter-Strike game modes, you will probably try another type of the game: ranked games. Winning in ranked will allow you to gain in-game ranks (or Faceit levels, depending on a platform you play on). The higher your rank, the more experienced your teammates and opponents will be.

Ranked games are played on entirely another level. Your opponent will try his hardest to win, for he too desires the coveted Global Elite rank. Here we’ll give you a piece of advice on how to start playing ranked in CS:GO and how SCOPE.GG will help you with that.

What do you have to know before trying ranked?

There’re three keys to success:

  • Training your aim skill
  • Practicing your movement
  • Exploring and learning the maps and default grenades on them

Aim is self-explanatory thing. Just join a DM server (or whatever server you prefer) and play for a couple hours per day. By the way, SCOPE.GG has its own servers for practice, including DM, Retake, Bhop, KZ and others.

Movement can be practiced either during the game or, preferably, on dedicated servers like KZ and Bhop.

Grenades will probably be the most complicated thing out of those three. Not only do you have to memorize all of them, but you also need to know when to use one. Learning the smoke and using it at every moment possible will do you no good, it may even be detrimental for you. The platform on which you decide to play will also matter.

Why? Because of tickrate. As you may already know, Steam matchmaking has a tickrate of 64 and Faceit’s tickrate is 128. Why does that concern you? Because tickrate changes where the grenade will land. Smoke that works perfectly on 128 tickrate may fail you on 64 tickrate.

For anyone willing to learn new CS:GO smokes on every map we, at SCOPE.GG, have made the most thorough grenade guide. We took tickrate into account and made a custom interface for every competitive map. You can try and see it for yourself on Grenade prediction page, where you can see every possible smoke in CS:GO on Mirage, Dust 2 and other maps, see a video of its execution for easier learning.

New grenade prediction section on SCOPE.GG
Learn grenades on different maps: Mirage, Dust 2, etc.

The best way would be to pick one map you prefer and play it at least 20 times. When you’ll feel comfortable enough on it, you may try the next one. This way you’ll be able to learn both all the maps and their default grenades.

If you think that would be all, you’re mistaken. Now it’s time for less obvious things.

Configuring CS:GO

Before conquering ranked matchmaking you should make your gameplay as smooth and comfortable as possible. For that reason, we’ll give you some advice for options that you may want to change. Let’s start with resolution.

If you’re still uncertain what resolution you should play CS:GO with, here’re some tips. Global Offensive is different from CS 1.6 because it was made with widescreen monitors in mind. Widescreen aspect ratio (16:9) will simply allow you to see more than you would with the old 4:3 format, meaning with 4:3 aspect ratio that “old-school” players like to use, left and right parts of the screen will be cropped, thus narrowing your view.

That’s why we’d recommend new players to start playing with 16:9 resolution right away, if your hardware allows it and your FPS isn’t dropping because of it.

You should also find the most comfortable mouse sensitivity and keybind all required actions. It’s always better to be able to immediately pick whatever grenade you need instead of scrolling the list of four grenades and picking the wrong one in the heat of battle.

By the way, we have another useful article where you can read everything about the resolution: how to set it up, which one to choose and even more. You can find it on this page.

Buying the correct weapon in CS:GO

If you got used to play with shotguns or P90 on public servers, forget about it. Now is the time to learn meta weapons. While you try to kill an enemy with MAC-10, he’ll one shot you with Desert Eagle or with a burst from M4A1-S.

Now your main weapons will be AK-47, M4, AWP, Famas, Galil, Desert Eagle, Glock, USP, Tec-9 and sometimes farm guns, but the latter should be bought only when you’re certain that your enemy has nothing to set against you.

We’ve already mentioned that those are the only weapons worth practicing.

Learn to correctly communicate in CS:GO

Communication between 5 players makes winning any game a lot easier. The more precisely you can tell info on an enemy, the more quickly your teammates can react to it, allowing them to move to a required location or trade an enemy. To do so, you’ll need to know all callouts for CS:GO maps, starting with the main ones like Mirage and Dust2 and later moving on to maps like Vertigo and Nuke.

You should consider investing in a good microphone. Nowadays almost any gaming headset can provide you with a good sound quality alongside a proper microphone. Nevertheless, you should spend some time configuring its sound quality to make sure it doesn’t have any white noise or background sounds. You’ll agree that no one likes to hear hissing the whole game and that may even lead to you being muted and reported instead of having proper team communication.

Another important thing to remember is not to talk all the time and not to comment on your teammates actions, especially if you’re dead. All you need to do is briefly and clearly give your teammates info on an enemy.

Another useful tips for ranked games

Let’s look at other little things that might be of use:

  • Spraying is as important as shooting at the head. Every CS:GO weapon has similar spray patterns. What that means is every AK-47 burst will be the same and if you don’t control your spray your bullets will hit the same exact place. Spray control in CS:GO is a thing in itself, you can spend more than a year to master it. Although Steam Workshop has a lot of great maps to help you with that. Look up Spray Control and Recoil if you want to learn more. Or explore our Learning Center to read more about it - https://scope.gg/guides/spray-and-recoil-control-csgo-by-scopegg-eng.
  • You should be aware of how many bullets you still have in the magazine and make your decisions based on that. You shouldn’t hope that five bullets will be enough against two opponents behind the wall.
  • Audio cues are a significant source of information. You can hear not only your enemies running, but also reloading, getting ready to throw a grenade, etc. That’s why you shouldn’t fill the voice chat with unnecessary information, for your teammates may not hear something important because of that.
  • Don’t forget about map control. That’s a mistake that both new and veteran players make all the time, like running as a whole team to a position without a plan. No one offered to rush a point, but still all your team stands at the same place, like a pit on Mirage, meanwhile your opponent freely takes control of key map positions, goes around you and passes crucial info to his teammates. Even if you don’t have a plan for a round, the bare minimum should be spreading out so you can at least have an idea of what’s going on around the map and can cover the key points of a map.
  • Spend your time learning how CS:GO economy works. Know when you should buy a weapon and when to do a team-wide eco round. Situations when your team has only pistols and no armor and you did a full-buy shouldn’t happen. You won’t have much chance of winning a round and you won’t have money for a full-buy in the next round either.
  • Stop worrying about your K/D. It tells almost nothing about how useful a person may be for a team. Sometimes the player with the worst K/D may be the one throwing crucial flashes, giving important info on an enemy or just distracting his opponents. On the other hand, the highest K/D player can have it at the cost of his teammates, just hiding somewhere for a whole game and occasionally killing enemies during saves.
  • Don’t be hasty to leave your position as a defender. Your enemy might fake an attack on one of the points and move to another one. If your teammates saw a single flash or smoke coming their way that doesn’t mean that you should immediately run to their aid. It’s important for your teammates to listen and give you clear info on the number of players at their positions.
  • Don’t leave the plant site looking for frags after planting the bomb. You might get ambushed and leave your team in a disadvantage. You also shouldn’t forget about ninja defuse. If your enemy will find the bomb undefended he’ll just defuse it and win the round. You should find the safest position in the bomb's vicinity to be able to protect it.
  • Don’t do the same actions every round. You shouldn’t, for example, try to take long on Dust2 every round. Changing the strategy and being unpredictable for your opponent may save you from being prefired at or having a molotov or a smoke welcoming you every round.
  • Don’t drop the bomb at the spawn if you got it. It’s always better to pass it on to someone directly or leave it at a safe key position to pick up and plant later.

    Good luck on the server!