How To Rank Up In CS2

Counter-Strike is one of the most competitive esport titles out there, and all its players have the drive to become better than others. One way to verify your skill level is by using the CS:GO ranking system, which places players in skill groups reflecting their capabilities.

If you’re tired of being the lowest-ranked player in your friend group and want to have the last laugh, this article will tell you everything you need to know about ranking up in CS:GO. You will learn about how the system works, the top factors affecting your ELO, and general tips that will take you a long way. 

Understanding How The Ranking System Works

Before we get into the nitty gritty of ranking up in CS2/CS:GO, we must first understand how the ranking system works. We need to know the system before finding a shortcut around it. 

All Ranks In CS2

In CS2/CS:GO, there are a total of 18 skill groups. Here are all the ranks in ascending order:

All aspiring Counter-Strike players dream of achieving the Global Elite rank, the highest skill group in the game. However, reaching Legendary Eagle Master or Supreme Master First Class will already put you in the top percentile of players, enough to flex on your friends. 

How To Play Ranked In CS:GO

Before you can play the ranked mode in CS:GO, you must meet a few criteria. A fresh account must level two, which can be achieved by playing standard game modes such as Deathmatch, Arms Race, or Casual. 

After completing a standard match, you will receive experience points that eventually level your account to level two. Once leveled up, your account can play in CS:GO’s ranked mode, the “Competitive” mode. 

Getting Your First Medal

Once you meet the requirements to play Competitive mode, you must win ten placement matches to help the game understand where you belong in the 18 CS:GO ranks. In these calibration games, make sure to try your best and do not give up, no matter what!

The placement process will take a while, as the game will limit you to 2 wins every 24 hours. So, you will be playing calibration games for at least five days. Valve implemented this rule to prevent new players from meeting smurfs and hackers.

Once you have won 10 Competitive games, you will receive your first medal. Even if you win all ten games without losing, the maximum rank the game can give you is Legendary Eagle Master. But don’t get your hopes up, as reaching LEM on your first try is still very unlikely. 

Factors That Affect Ranking Up In CS:GO

If you have opened your initial rank and are unsatisfied, don’t worry; many others feel the same way. There’s no time to be discouraged, so let’s get into the secrets of ranking quickly in CS:GO. 

The CS:GO ranking system considers three main factors influencing significant increases or decreases in a player’s rank. Though Valve has never confirmed these factors, millions of community members consider them accurate. 

Collecting Round MVPs

The most effective way to affect how fast a player ranks up is through Round MVPs. After every round win, a player on the winning team receives an MVP award for being the most impactful player in that specific round.

CS:GO players have identified what actions players must take to become the MVP of the round. If a team wins the round by eliminating enemy players, the player with the most kills will receive the MVP.

However, the most effective way to “farm” Round MVPs is through planting or defusing the bomb. If your team wins a round due to the bomb exploding, the player who planted it will receive the MVP. It doesn’t matter how many kills the player got during the round, even if a teammate posted four kills. 

The same concept can be applied to the Counter Terrorist side. If your team wins the round by defusing the bomb, the player who defused it will receive the MVP for the round. This is why you often see players kill their teammates to steal the bomb. Defusing a bomb and getting the MVP will give you way more ELO than killing a teammate. 

A player averaging six or more Round MVPs per game will rank up incredibly rapidly. If you are getting only 1-2 Round MVPs per game in a six-game winning streak, you might not even rank up at all.

Maintaining a Good KDA

Valve has heavily emphasized consistency to ensure a player deserves to be in a specific rank, meaning you must have a good record of your average KDA. 

If you constantly top frag in every match you play, you will automatically attract the attention of Valve’s ranking system. Consistently being the first or second most impactful player on your team will help you rank up quickly.

On the other hand, if you are always bottom fragging on your team, you will lose a lot of ELO and derank incredibly quickly. 

Getting Win Streaks

Another unconfirmed yet widely accepted theory is getting win streaks. If you are stringing numerous streaks of green, you are essentially telling the game that your current skill group is too easy for you.

Many players complain about having smurfs in their games, and Valve is actively trying to prevent smurfing by quickly ranking up those accounts so they don’t ruin lower-ranked games. Valve isn’t going to check each account individually, so having your account achieve multiple win streaks will notify Valve of it potentially being a smurf account.

This is a good thing, as you can climb the ranks super quickly. Many players reported that they have gotten into “rank-up streaks,” where they would go up one skill group after every win in their win streak. 

How To Rank Up Fast In CS:GO

Understanding how to “cheat” the system to rank up quickly can come in handy, but at the end of the day, you won’t belong in a high rank if you don’t have the skills. In this section of the article, we’ll discuss the top tips to help you become a better and more valuable player. 

Understand The Weapons

We must remember that Counter-Strike is a shooting game, so weapon play remains the most critical aspect of the game. To achieve higher ranks in the game, you must learn how to use most weapons, how to shoot with them, and how to control the different spray patterns.

Though memorizing spray patterns for all weapons could be daunting, you should at least master the most commonly used guns in the game. For rifles, focus on the AK-47, M4A1-S, M4A4, Galil-AR, and FAMAS. For SMGs, look to learn the P90, MP9, and MAC-10. 

Though you may not be an AWPer, it’s good to at least know how to use the weapon in case a situation arises where you’re stuck with it. The same idea applies to shotguns and pistols, as well.

Familiarize Yourself With The Maps

Getting your feet wet playing on competitive maps is a must. You must know the ins and outs of at least three CS:GO maps and have a general understanding of the remaining ones. 

You must know the most common angles that players use so you can prepare for an upcoming gunfight accordingly. Know the cheeky corners so your opponents can’t surprise you. 

Most importantly, you have to know all the relevant callouts so you can provide your team with information. This concept goes two ways, as it allows you to understand your team’s comms as well. 

Maintain Proper Crosshair Placement

We all know getting headshots is the most efficient way of killing an enemy player, so let’s keep this idea drilled inside our minds. The term “crosshair placement” refers to maintaining your crosshair at head level at all times.

By placing it accordingly, you reduce the time it takes to flick your crosshair to an enemy player’s head. Since you have already covered the verticality of your crosshair, you only have to move it horizontally.

Just remember that different areas of the map have varying elevations, so you must constantly adjust your crosshair placement everywhere you go. 

Queue Up As Five

Players in the best CS:GO teams worldwide have worked together for years. Team chemistry and understanding how each other plays improves overall coordination and teamwork. 

It’s always better to play in a team with people you know rather than having four strangers in your team. A team of average-skilled players who work well together is favored to beat a team of high-skilled players who don’t communicate efficiently. 

Grab four other friends and start climbing the ranks together. Not only will you improve chemistry, but you will motivate each other and, most importantly, have fun together, too!

Utilize The Three Shooting Styles

In CS:GO, there are three primary shooting styles you must be familiar with:

  1. Tapping: This shooting style is incredibly effective at long-ranged gunfights. When tapping, you shoot one bullet at a time and wait for your weapon to reset before your next shot. 
  2. Bursting: This shooting style is helpful in mid to long-ranged gunfights. Like tapping, the idea of bursting is to shoot 3-5 bullets at a time, then wait for your weapon to reset. 
  3. Spraying: The most common shooting style is spraying. When spraying, you hold down Mouse 1 and pull your crosshair down to control the recoil. You must take time to master the spray patterns to be good at this shooting style. 

Practice Strafing And Movement

Shooting your gun accurately is crucial in CS:GO, but movement is almost equally important. Learning how to strafe and move appropriately during a gunfight makes it harder for your opponents to land a lethal shot on you.

While taking long-ranged duels, start bursting your weapon while moving left and right in between bursts. Mastering such a simple concept can already make you better than half of the player base! 

Proper movement is also required to move around the map efficiently. Landing jumps on key areas can give you a strong position that will surprise your enemies.

Communicate With Your Team

Communication doesn’t make you aim or move better, but it is still essential to make you a more valuable player. One of the main reasons people play CS:GO is for teamwork, where they are supposed to work together to achieve the same goal. 

As a player in the team, you are obliged to inform your teammates of what is happening in the round. How many players do you hear, where did you last see the player that killed you, and what do you plan on doing next.

You don’t have to relay your every move but make sure to pass on any relevant information that could impact the current round.

Use Different Types Of Peeks

In a typical one-on-one gunfight, one player holds the angle, and the other is the aggressor, in other words, the person peeking. With this scenario in mind, we can conclude that you will be the peeker half the time.

Here are the main peeking variations:

  1. Jiggle Peek: In this type of peek, you are revealing your shoulders and going back behind cover. The intention of jiggling is to collect information on your enemy’s positions, allowing you to prepare your crosshair for the gunfight. 
  2. Wide Peek: When wide peeking, you are extending your movement further than normal to catch your opponents off guard. By moving a few extra steps, your opponent must move their crosshairs to track you. During this time, aim your crosshair accordingly, and stop to shoot. 
  3. Crouch Peek: Crouch peeking is primarily used when you are peeking someone that is holding a close angle. When holding the angle, the enemy’s crosshair is likely placed at head level. By crouch peeking, your head isn’t at normal head level, giving you a split second advantage. 

Optimize Your In-Game Settings

In-game settings in CS:GO can be compared to the shoes a football player wears, or the racket a tennis player uses. Ensuring all your settings are catered to your personal preference can increase your efficiency and precision in the game.

Mouse sensitivity is crucial, as it directly impacts your ability to aim. Most professional players use low mouse sensitivity, making their aim more stable and accurate. Changing your sensitivity won’t make you improve immediately, but it could solve your current aiming issues.

Other in-game settings you should look to tweak are aspect ratio and resolution. Many high-ranked players prefer playing on 4:3 stretched, making player models appear wider, allowing for easier adjustments.

Though adapting your settings to follow professionals can be an excellent way to start, at the end of the day, it comes down to whether you’re comfortable with your new adjustments. 

Train Your Aim

Learning all the concepts discussed earlier can help you become “booksmart,” but it is unavoidable that you will still have to get your hands dirty. To see results, you must put in the effort by setting up routines to improve your aim.

Your training routines do not have to reach Bruce Lee levels of intensity. You can go into workshop maps and shoot 200 headshots a day, or go for a certain number of kills on deathmatch.

No matter what the routine is, just make sure you commit to it. Consistency is key to maintaining proper improvement. 

Learn Proper Grenade Usage

If you’ve played MOBA games before, grenades are essentially your spells in CS:GO. When grenade usage is mastered, you can influence an enemy’s decisions and put them in unfavorable situations.

HE Grenades are great ways to deal damage to opponents without seeing them. If an enemy is hiding in a corner, a molotov is the way to force them into an unfavorable duel. Smoke grenades are important to help your team gain control over the map. 

Flashbangs are incredibly useful to help set up plays for your teammates, or even yourself. If you’re weak in the aim department, you can find value elsewhere by assisting teammates with flashes and playing more of a supporting role. 

Watch Professional Players

If you want to become the best, you have to learn from the best. Professional players are miles ahead of everyone else because they have mastered every element of the game. Just by watching professional games, you can learn many new things.

When spectating, pay attention to how the players move. Focus on where they are positioned, how they move, and how they approach gunfights. You will notice trends and certain actions that you’ve never tried before.

Being able to apply one or two things you learned from watching a professional game can already take you a long way. 

Warm Up Before Playing

All basketball professionals shoot baskets before a game. Before hopping into a Competitive match, getting yourself warmed up and feeling comfortable is important. Otherwise, your aim might feel off, and you end up bottom-fragging.

Professional players can take up to 30 minutes to warm up, but we’re not at that point yet. Usually, a 5-10 minute warmup session should already suffice. You can shoot some bots for a few minutes or play an entire 10-minute deathmatch to get your aim fired up. 

Keep A Winner’s Mentality

Last but not least, you must maintain a strong mentality. You shouldn’t tilt, flame your teammates, or give up. When you’re down rounds and the game is looking grim, just remember that you’ve already committed time into playing the game, so you might as well play it till the end. 

After a tough loss, the first thing you should do is think about what you could have done better in that game. Don’t shift the blame to the other members of your team. This journey is about you, so you should focus on yourself. Come into every Competitive match trying your best. 

How Long Does It Take To Rank Up In CS2/CS:GO?

In conclusion, the speed at which you rank up in CS:GO is determined by how committed and skilled you are. Playing more games a day can help you rank up quicker, but could lead to burnout and poor performance.

Realistically, ranking up once every two weeks is a good goal to set. In theory, if that is the case, you would go from Silver I to the Global Elite in 36 weeks, which is less than a year. 

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