How to Improve Your CS:GO Skills

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a competitive game that can be learned in just a few hours. But if you want to master it, it will take you a thousand hours, all this to improve your CS:GO skills. Its technical and tactical depth is phenomenal, and the road from Global Elite to pro player is just as long as the road from Silver I to Global Elite.

General Principles

To improve your CS:GO skills, you must work on each aspect of your game and become an active learner. You can’t just passively play the game and expect to get better. You need to take notes, pay attention to everything you’re doing, and discover your own mistakes and inefficiencies.

You can improve the game by watching professional players and their games from their perspective. Seeing how someone like simple makes decisions can be truly eye-opening. But you can’t copy a player’s entire style. 

You must create your own and develop a solid understanding of how the game works and how it can be won. This usually takes years.

If you wanted to become a black belt practitioner in Judo or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you wouldn’t expect to achieve this overnight. The same goes for CS:GO. You must start with the basics and gradually improve your understanding of it.

On a given day, you might decide to focus on improving your game sense. Then you might do some aim training. Then you might start playing CS:GO with a whole team, whose skill level is similar to yours. Or ideally, higher.

Intent makes a huge difference in the quality of your training. If you play the game without effort to notice things and understand them better, you’ll repeat the same mistakes over and over. If the number of hours wowerell that was needed, everyone with 10.000+ hours of CS:GO would be a pro.

But that’s not how it works. Progress requires more than just time. It involves improvement over time.

Key Principles

You can do this to become a better CS:GO player.

Develop the Right Mindset

Your goal should be to make gradual improvements, not to win games. Quite often, you play really well but still lose. Or you play poorly but win. It doesn’t help to reach a higher rank if you don’t simultaneously reach a higher level of competence.

If you’re focused on your improvement, you’ll rage less often and become much more resilient to negative in-game situations. A Many people quit as soon as they’re under pressure because they can’t deal with the emotions generated by stress and a seemingly hopeless situation.

Esports can be very frustrating at times. You depend upon your teammates, and they don’t deliver. Or you know in the back of your mind that they depend on you but you disappoint in three consecutive 1v1s. Learn to be patient or you won’t get anywhere.

Make Sure You Have the Right Gear

You can’t play CS:GO with a 20-year-old mouse and without a microphone. Get a decent microphone because you’ll have to communicate a lot. And if you aspire to become a professional player one day, invest in decent gaming gear.

In other game genres, this part can be skipped. But in first-person shooters, you need to make it your strength, not your weakness. Before practicing with the best weapons to develop recoil control and learn tips and tricks, spend a few hundred dollars on a gaming mouse and a keyboard.

All pro players do this. In a simple game that isn’t played competitively, it doesn’t really matter. But when the difference can be made by a 5% margin, every single optimization is important.

Once you’ve selected your gear, try to be consistent. If you keep your mouse or keyboard relatively often, it might be detrimental to your muscle memory. Find something that works and stick with it.

Train on One Map at a Time

You don’t need to master the entire game at once. Play one map until you’ve mastered it. Learn all the map callouts, what to do during the pistol round, how to position yourself based on the weapon you’re using, how to achieve map control, and so on.

After you’ve become comfortable on a map like Mirage, Dust II, or Inferno, you can learn one more. Ideally, mastering your second map should become a priority only after you’ve mastered the first and the game itself. Otherwise, you might spread yourself too thin.

Master the Key Weapons

Improve Your CS:GO Skills
Improve Your CS:GO Skills

The most important weapons in the game are these:

  • AK-47
  • M4A4 / M4A1-S
  • AWP
  • One Default Pistol / Desert Eagle
  • One SMG (whichever you like)
  • Galil AR

In total, you’ll need to know how to aim and hit headshots with 7-10 guns. The game will offer you a few dozen more, but you’ll almost never buy them.

To master each weapon, you must learn its spray pattern and how to control it. Without good spray control, you won’t hit anything. There are training maps inside the game that will help you to do this more quickly.

When you try to improve your aim, maps are irrelevant. That’s why you should work on these two elements separately. Pick one map, learn how to play with every important CS:GO weapon on it, and then move on to the next map.