A Guide To Overcoming CS2/CSGO Addiction

CS:GO (CS2) is the most successful and popular FPS game in the world with over 25M monthly active users thanks to all the elements that make it highly immersive and engaging, and for thousands of players, it’s also highly addictive.

This is a serious topic because CS:GO addiction is a real problem, and this is why we’ll provide you with complete information on why is CS:GO so addictive and how you can overcome it.

Let’s start by understanding why CS:GO addiction is a real problem.

CS:GO Addiction is a Real Problem

CS:GO addiction is a type of addiction to video games, which was recognized as a real mental health condition by the World Health Organization in 2018. Based solely on this, we can see CS:GO can be addictive, and people struggling with it are facing a real mental health condition and its subsequent problems and complications.

Governments around the world are also aware of this problem, especially China which decided to implement specific regulations and restrictions to counteract this issue. Because all players are required to link their Steam account to their real identity, they prevent underage users from spending too much time playing the game.

The Chinese government has limited the play time for underage users to 1.5 hours per day. 

Below, you will find a checklist with 12 questions that will help you determine if you are showing signs of CS:GO addiction.

How Do I Know If I Have a CS:GO Addiction?

To make it easy for you to detect the signs of CS:GO addiction, here you have a practical checklist:


  1. Do you find yourself playing CS:GO more than 4 hours per day?
  2. Have you stopped doing activities you previously enjoyed to have more time to play CS:GO?
  3. Do you find yourself constantly thinking about CS:GO even when you’re not playing?
  4. Do you play CS:GO because you consider it as a way to escape problems in real life?
  5. Do you find yourself playing CS:GO because you want to improve your mood?
  6. Are there times when you get bored of playing CS:GO but you just keep gaming?
  7. Do you feel constantly fatigued throughout the day?
  8. Do you find yourself lying about how much time you invest into playing CS:GO?
  9. Have you noticed a decline in your hygiene habits?
  10. Do you feel anxious when you are not playing CS:GO?
  11. Do you find yourself unable to stop playing CS:GO when you really need to?
  12. Do you find yourself spending money mindlessly in the game (buying cases, playing CS:GO gambling games or buying skins)?


If you have answered yes to 2 or more of the 12 questions, it’s highly likely you’re struggling with CS:GO addiction, and hence you should take action immediately.

If you’d like to learn more about the reasons that make this game highly addictive, below you will find a full list.

Why Is CS:GO So Addictive?

Let’s dissect all the elements that make CS:GO a highly addictive game for thousands of players, because as you’re going to see, many factors will come into play.

An Immersive and Action-Loaded Game Theme

From all the first person shooters out there, CS:GO is for millions of players the title that nailed the game theme the best. And now that CS2 has been released, it has gotten even better, because the graphics are more immersive, adding more adrenaline to the gaming experience this title offers.

You can embark on high-risk missions in the game from the safety of your home, shoot at other players with a wide myriad of weapons from knives to machine guns, play with friends or strangers online from around the world, communicate with teammates freely and engage in pretty intense scenarios such as rushing to help your team deactivate the bomb when there’s only 2 teammates left alive.

It’s also worth adding CS:GO has created its own economy by bringing users the possibility to customize their weapons with the famous skins. And this is just another factor that makes CS:GO the #1 FPS game, because you can customize more factors to make it a truly personal experience.

In a nutshell, CS:GO allows players to experience action-movie-like scenarios and situations without leaving their homes, and this is why it’s become one of the most popular esports in the world, sharing the top 3 with League of Legends and Dota 2. However, this is the very same feature that makes it highly addictive for some players.

It Is Highly Competitive

The nature of the game is also competitive, because you have to cooperate with teammates in the most popular game modes such as Competitive and Casual, and also play against other players, in a battle of Terrorists vs Counter-Terrorist. This simple setup is enough to make the game one of the most competitive in the world, and explains perfectly why players become so immersed and attached to it.

The game is based on multiplayer action, and hence it will always be competitive, regardless of the game mode you choose. Making it a title with a highly addictive potential for many users.

You Got to Grind If You Want to Win

If you want to scale up the ranks, or simply focus on winning more skins and items, it all comes down to this simple principle: you got to grind if you want to win. Be it playing lots of matches every day or completing all the missions of the newest Operation Pass, players have to put in the reps to reap the rewards, and this is another factor that makes CS:GO highly addictive.

This inherent nature of the game makes it highly engaging, and while it’s awesome if you can keep it under control, for some users it might be too much and they might develop an addiction.

You Can Measure Your Progress Easily

CS:GO offers you an ideal way to measure your progress in the game, which is the ranked system. If you want to climb up positions, you need to invest your time and energy into playing Competitive matches, and because some players become too focused on scaling up their ranks, it’s easy to see why they become addicted to the game.

It Is An Escape from the Real World Problems

CS:GO is a fun game, but for some players it’s a way to escape the problems from the real world, and this is a dangerous situation, considering how immersive, entertaining and highly addictive the game can be.

People also resort to other ways of escaping reality such as alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, food, and they are not different from using a video game, in this case Counter-Strike, to forget about the problems and struggles of their day-to-day life.

This is why we have included a question related to this issue in our checklist, and if you have answered yes to it, we recommend you to seek professional help because this is a real problem that deserves specialized attention.

About Case Opening

One of the features that make CS:GO even more addictive is case opening. Although it looks just like a simple mini game, it’s a high-stimulation form of gambling. Because you’re buying cases and keys, and opening them in hopes of landing an exclusive drop such as rare knives or gloves. And it sounds exactly like playing slots, where you’re betting money to spin the reels and see if you can land a high-paying combination or win the jackpot.

If we combine the already high-stimulation nature of the game with this extra feature, we can easily see why thousands of players can become so attached to it, to the point of developing an addiction to it. Because it’s how it becomes an extreme source of dopamine.

The Monetary Factor

Because CS:GO skins and items are worth real money, it’s also a factor that makes players get more involved with the game. Customization is a pretty powerful feature, because it feels good to personalize the appearance of your weapons and character. However, this same power can make a CS:GO addiction even worse, because now there’ll be money involved.

Provided there are plenty of third-party sites where users can buy, sell, exchange and wager their skins to win better skins or real money, it’s even easier for players to get involved, with the potential of making an already-existing CS:GO addiction even worse.

Case opening is just the tip of the iceberg, because players nowadays can play all sorts of CS:GO gambling games online, all with only two goals: getting new and better skins, or simply making more money.

Therefore, many of the players already struggling with a CS2 addiction will also suffer from an addiction to CS2 gambling sites, as they both have become part of the same ecosystem.

Action Plan for Overcoming an CS:GO Addiction

Here is an action plan on how you can overcome an addiction to Counter-Strike, so you can get your life back on track.

1. Be Honest About the Problem

The reason why we provided you with a checklist at the beginning of this guide is because it will help you see if you’re experiencing symptoms of an addiction to playing CS:GO, and it will also allow you to see what factors are fueling it and how severe it is.

Therefore, it all starts with being honest about the problem with yourself. Firmly recognize how many hours you’re spending playing CS:GO and extra features such as case opening and skins gambling games. You also must be honest about how it’s affecting your life, and how much it has changed before and after developing an addiction to the game.

You can write it all down, so you can let out all about the problem so you can become conscious about the issue. Doing this is the first and biggest step, and it will help you to overcome this problem, because you’ll be aware you’re dealing with a real problem, and now you will be able to work on the solutions.

2. Limit Your Exposure to CS:GO

The next step is limiting your exposure to CS:GO. We don’t recommend you go cold turkey, as it’s not sustainable in the majority of cases. Instead, if you play 10 hours a day, start by reducing them by 50%, and every week aim to reduce it more until you can quit it.

This is a long term process, because overcoming an addiction like this will take time and effort. Don’t worry about failing, because what matters here is the long term goal of being able to stop playing the game in an addictive way.

You can make it easier for you by making the game “boring”, such as deactivating features like voice chat, using an old keyboard or mouse, or resetting your custom configuration.

3. Limit Your Exposure to the Extra Features of Counter-Strike

If you have been involved in other types of activities such as skins gambling and trading, you also need to limit your exposure. To accomplish this, you can request pausing your gaming activity on such platforms or deactivating your accounts altogether, especially if we are talking about gambling.

4. Go Outside More and Join Activities You Like

Limiting the exposure is not enough if you’re not using your time in other activities. Be it martial arts, swimming, golf, bicycling, or any other type of activity, you need to keep your time occupied with things you love doing. It will make the quitting process easier.

5. Considering Talking about the Problem with Your Most Trusted Loved Ones

We also recommend sharing your problem with your loved ones you trust the most, such as a relative or close friend. Because it will allow you to get it all out of your chest, you can find support from people you trust, and possibly they can help you in the process to overcome the CS:GO addiction. You should only do this if you feel comfortable, and if you have none you can talk about this problem to, we recommend reaching out to a professional

6. Seek Professional Help

If you firmly believe this problem is severely affecting your life in different areas, and you cannot handle it on your own, you should seek professional help. The addiction to video games is a real and recognized mental health condition, and if you cannot keep it under control despite your efforts, seek a professional to assist you as soon as possible.

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