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CS:GO Danger Zone Ranks Explained

Counter-Strike has always remained faithful to its tried and tested formula of high-level five-on-five competitive gameplay featured by its Bomb Defusal scenario used in professional play. Yet, as times changed and the esports world was introduced to many new ideas, so did CS. At the height of the Battle Royale era in 2018, Valve introduced a new game mode to CS:GO that steadily became a fan favorite in its quest to deviate from the classic gameplay the franchise had offered for nearly 20 years. This was Danger Zone.

What Is Danger Zone?

Danger Zone is Counter-Strike’s take on the Battle Royale game mode mixed in with the intricacies and complexities that the classic gameplay has. Danger Zone pits 18 different players together spread out across an expansive map to fight against one another in hopes of being the last competitor standing.

Entering the Danger Zone puts you in an intense pre-match state. You will select where to land on a big, intricate map that is broken up into hexagonal portions. You have complete control over where you start. You get to select a perk that gives you a unique edge prior to deploying. These include gun damage increases and quicker recovery times. This gives you an additional degree of strategy and allows you to adjust your approach to fit your playstyle.

After making your way to the battlefield, one must hunt for everything they can find in their vicinity to help them emerge victorious. Players start off with no weapons, a singular Medi-Shot that is used to heal a large amount of HP, and a tablet to check out the map and purchase different kinds of equipment. Just like in traditional Battle Royale games, the playing area will gradually get smaller which forces the players to stay in close contact with each other. Failure to remain in the designated playing area will cause you to take massive amounts of damage until you either reach the safe zone or get eliminated. In a Solo match, respawning is not a possibility and everyone gets just the one life. In Duos matches, however, one can keep respawning for as long as their partner has not yet died themselves.

Supply crates, safes, and cash spread around the map are the only ways to get ahead of the competition and give yourself a better chance at winning, which essentially forces the player to keep moving and not stay in just one place. These contain all kinds of weapons, armor, and utility that can be picked up and dropped to one’s liking.

CS:GO Danger Zone Ranks

Compared to the 18 traditional skill groups in Global Offensive, the Danger Zone mode features 15 different ranks from the lowest tier, Rat 1, to the most prestigious in The Howling Alpha. Ranks were introduced to the Danger Zone game mode in 2019, giving players more of an incentive to play and grind out the Battle Royale mode. In 2021, a designated Ranked matchmaking option was made available for those who want to play at a higher level, while Unranked was also implemented for players that simply wanted to play for fun without worrying about their skill group.

Lab Rat 1

Lab Rat 1 is the lowest skill group available in Danger Zone. Not necessarily everyone starts from here since players can still earn a better starting rank, but it is still home for many that don’t take Danger Zone as seriously as the Competitive mode. The focus at Lab Rat 1 is on getting comfortable with the core gameplay: looting for weapons and equipment, navigating the map, and understanding basic combat mechanics.

Lab Rat 2

Lab Rat 2 is hardly a step up from Lab Rat 1, but perhaps a player with this rank is more adept at gaining kills and has even won their first match of Danger Zone. Still, being in this skill group means you are still a complete beginner and have a long way to go before progressing. If a comparison to the traditional CS:GO matchmaking ranks were to be made, the first two skill groups can be considered around the Silver 1 to Silver 3 level.

Sprinting Hare 1

Sprinting Hare 1 is the first noticeable stepping stone for a player trying to improve their game in Danger Zone. From the name itself, it already sounds a lot better than being a mere “Lab Rat” and the results would speak for itself. Reaching the Sprinting Hare 1 rank means that you have achieved some level of confidence when it comes to playing in a Battle Royale scenario and have no problems racking up multiple kills per session, especially against newer players.

Sprinting Hare 2

Still in the same league as Sprinting Hare 1, you’re starting to get that winning feeling and have been able to pick up wins here and there. Comparing it to the Competitive ranks, Sprinting Hare is around the same level as Silver Elite to Gold Nova 1. The rank’s logo is depicted with extra lines on each side which can be likened to claw marks, signifying the hard work and challenges faced to reach the rank.

Wild Scout 1

The Wild Scout ELO range can be considered the average of Danger Zone’s ranked player base and likened to the high Gold Nova to Master Guardian ranks of Global Offensive’s Competitive mode. Breaking through to Wild Scout 1 already makes you an experienced player and someone that is capable of stringing together multiple wins at a time. Only seldom will you ever finish a game as the first person eliminated or without a kill since your skill and familiarity with the map gives you an edge over those in lower skill groups. Struggling against the higher-ranked players is still normal, but more often than not you stand a fighting chance against them.

Wild Scout 2

Being in Wild Scout 2 is similar to Wild Scout 1, meaning you are comfortable with the Battle Royale concept and how the weapons of CS feel in the game mode. It’s just a step above Wild Scout 2 but already a respectable skill group to achieve.

Wild Scout Elite

This is the rank where things really get serious. Sure, it’s still in the Wild Scout ELO, but you’re closer to the higher ranks at this point than you are to someone in Wild Scout 1. At this point, you’re securing podium finishes more often than not and can easily dispatch anyone under you in rank. Still in the middle of the pack, but far from where you once started.

Hunter Fox 1, 2, and 3

Reaching the Hunter Fox ELO already makes you an above-average Danger Zone player and having that crest on your profile signifies a lot of hard work and dedication to the Battle Royale life. There aren’t really many differences between the three, but it is already a big step up from Wild Scout Elite.

Hunter Fox Elite

Hunter Fox Elite is the last step before reaching the true “big boys” of Danger Zone. Reaching this skill group already puts you in a level above most who ever touch the mode and a step better than those in the lower Hunter Fox ranks.

Operation Shattered Web

Operation Shattered Web was released two years after Hydra, ending a lengthy drought. It came with a ton of content and ran from November 19, 2019 to March 30, 2020 – crossing over to CS:GO’s COVID-19 era. The Shattered Web case was shipped out during this time along with three new collections and Agents as a different kind of skin people can purchase to customize how their in-game avatar looks. Shattered Web also introduced the Battle Pass concept for the first time which is something that has stuck until this day. Its price more than doubled that of what was previously being charged, now at $15 compared to the previous $6.

Timber Wolf

Reaching Timber Wolf does not make you a good Danger Zone player, it makes you officially great at it. This is one of the highest and most prestigious ranks in the game mode, with few ever reaching this kind of level. Win Streaks are a common occurrence for you now and your creativity in the battlefield has reached a different kind of level. It’s still not the top, but it’s already extremely close.

Ember Wolf and Wildfire Wolf

These two are the last pieces of the puzzle in order to reach the final peak of Danger Zone. Having the Ember Wolf and Wildfire Wolf ranks already puts you among the best players in the world, with only a select few that can say they are better. There is now almost never a time your kill count stays zero and being on the run constantly is a comfortable scenario for you given your superior abilities and map awareness.

The Howling Alpha

This is the most prestigious achievement in all of Danger Zone. Think of it as The Global Elite, but for Battle Royale. At this point, no one can dispute your excellence and you are truly one of the best Danger Zone players in the whole world.

Will CS2 Have Danger Zone?

Just like Operations, Danger Zone was one of the features in Global Offensive that has yet to make its way to the new game. Nothing is set in stone at the moment and nothing has been announced by Valve, but given its popularity, it has always remained a possibility. A few members of the online community have also noticed the term “Danger Zone” being present in Counter-Strike 2’s game code, but nothing has officially been said about it yet. At the moment, all anyone can do is simply wait.

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