A Beginner’s Guide to CS:GO

Beginner's Guide to CS:GO

This is our beginner’s guide to CS:GO. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of the most famous first-person shooters in the world. It’s also one of the most played games in esports, having a player base of around 20 million. Its highly developed ecosystem distinguishes CS:GO from other FPS games.

You can trade skins for a lot of money, start a professional career, stream, play with your friends, enjoy multiple game modes, and so on. This game gives you the whole package, and it’s guaranteed to keep you busy for many years if you choose the path of mastery.

How CS:GO Is Played

CS:GO has some of the best competitive game qualities. It is easy to learn but very difficult to master, fast-paced, team-based, and requires very few resources to run. You don’t need a $2000 PC to play it, and if you’re willing to sacrifice the visual quality of your experience, it can run even on laptops with integrated video cards. 

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is played in a 5 versus 5 format. The two teams are called the Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists. Their goals are opposed.


Beginner's Guide to CS:GO

On each round, the Terrorists need to either kill all the CTs or plant the bomb at one of two bomb locations, A and B, and then ensure that it explodes. This happens 40 seconds after the bomb has been planted. They lose the round if they don’t achieve at least one of these goals.

The Counter-Terrorists need to kill all the T-side before the bomb is planted or make sure the bomb gets defused. To accomplish this, they usually play a defensive game and mostly wait for the other side to assault one of the two bomb locations. To defend effectively, the CTs need to spread their forces evenly around the map.

They might send two players to guard the B site and two to guard the A site. The 5th member is generally used to scout and gather information for the team. Of course, this is just the basic meta. But in a real CS:GO game, the two teams are much more dynamic and can surprise each other by being either more aggressive than expected or more defensive.


In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Counter-Terrorists usually have a more challenging job because they need to defend in situations of 2 versus 4 or 3 versus 5. However, they have other advantages that they can use. For example, if they have enough grenades, they can block the Terrorists’ entry into the bomb locations using smoke, flashbangs, and so on.

This puts the T-side in a vulnerable position. To take a bomb location, the Terrorists often need to put themselves in harm’s way and get shot at from multiple angles. Of course, they will use grenades of their own to hinder their opponents’ ability to kill them. But it’s still quite challenging to guess where the CTs will be inside the bomb site.

A Beginner’s Guide to CS:GO

Rounds last for less than 3 minutes. The default duration is around 2 minutes, but if the bomb gets planted near the end of that time window, they get prolonged. When a player dies, he stays dead until the end of the round.

The beginning of each round represents an opportunity to strategize and buy weapons. CS:GO guns cost money, and a player can own a maximum of $16.000. After each round, the two teams receive a certain amount of money. If they won the round, they get a lot more than if they lost it. Other round achievements that give you money are frags and planting the bomb.

Winning rounds in CS:GO can put your team at an advantage not just on the scoreboard but also in terms of resources. The more money you have, the better equipment you can afford up to a certain point. You need around $7000 to buy everything you might desire, but that only applies if you’re buying an AWP. If you’re a rifler, the cost per round is about $5000 if you want to be well-equipped.

A round’s key moments and events are accompanied by music and specific sound effects. All this is based on the music kit you are using. Some music kits sound better than others, but ultimately it’s a matter of personal taste.


beginner's guide to CS:GO
beginner’s guide to CS:GO

In Global-Offensive Counter-Strike, teams compete on maps. Seven of them are official, in the sense that they belong to the active duty map pool, which is the map pool used for professional matches and tournaments. But there are plenty of others that you can play on.

A competitive match usually consists of 1, 3, or 5 maps. Or rather, a maximum of 1, 3, or 5 maps, because the format is Bo1, Bo3, or Bo5. Most CS:GO matches are Bo3.

In ranked play, you’ll get to compete in the Bo1 format. You can further choose the length format. The standard one is Best-of-30 but you can also choose the Best-of-16 one if you’re short on time.

From time to time, new maps are added to the game. But the official map pool changes very slowly, and most of its maps remain the same.


In CS:GO, a huge emphasis is placed on guns. You’ll get to play with pistols, AWPs, SMGs, rifles, and so on. There are more than two dozen options available, and you can pick whatever you prefer, as long as you can afford it. The most used guns offer the best price/quality ratio.

  • AK-47
  • M4A4
  • M4A1-S
  • AWP
  • Desert Eagle
  • Etc.

The first two guns on this list are the most used because they’re inexpensive and can kill quickly even from far away. In particular, the AK-47 will kill with a single headshot from any distance, even if the enemy team is fully armored. Professional players prefer using these two above anything else, except the AWP.

CS:GO Ranks

The highest rank in CS:GO is Global Elite. Only a tiny percentage of players get to that level; you will need years of practice to reach it. There are 18 ranks in total, and the lowest is Silver I. Anything above Legendary Eagle requires a high level of competence.