Ever since I began playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (also known as CS: GO), I’ve seen many new features added, many new players playing and an abundance of bug fixes; this is by no means a static game. There are several different elements to this game (such as the infamous ranking system, different weapons, weapon skins, etc.) so a new player may easily find themselves with a lot on their plate.
There are different rules for each and every game mode, but for every game mode there are two different teams; Counter-Terrorists and Terrorists. The terrorists’ objective in most game modes is to plant the bomb at one of two bombsites (A or B), wiping out any Counter-Terrorists they can. The bomb takes 40 seconds to explode and during this time, the remaining Counter-Terrorists must attempt to defuse this bomb. It can be considerably difficult for the Counter-Terrorists to defuse, or it could be a walk in the park; it all depends on teamwork.
Teamwork is an absolutely HUGE portion of this game; it is absolutely necessary to get along with your teammates and devise a plan to win effectively. In the “Competitive” game mode, the first team to win 16 rounds is victorious. To achieve this goal, you must be willing as a player to communicate verbally with your teammates, know all the different portions of the map you plan to play and how to navigate the map with ease. If you really get into this game, it is undeniable that you will experience some stress from time to time, but it is vital you know how to control that stress; if you let the game get the best of you, chances are you’re not going to be in the proper attitude to win.
THE RANKING SYSTEM
There are two different types of rankings in this game; one is your “Matchmaking Rank” (Master Guardian 1 in the image) and your “XP Rank” (Colonel Rank 34 in the image).
Your “Matchmaking Rank” is completely based off of your skill level; you will find that your rank can and will easily fluctuate both positively and negatively all depending on your performance. You can earn a rank by playing the “Competitive” game mode and winning 10 games. You will then be placed in a skill group that is an estimation of what level the game considers you to play at. Again, this can go up or down based on your in-game performance very easily, so be sure to warmup before playing a ranked match!
Your “XP Rank” is based off a plethora of variables; you may earn XP towards your rank by playing any of the game’s official game modes (including Deathmatch, Arms Race, Demolition, Casual and Competitive) and performing well in them. Every game mode gives a different amount of XP based on how well you performed, but the Competitive game mode gives out the most XP, however, if you wish to play Competitive you will need to achieve at least “Private Rank 3” in level. Once you reach “Global General Rank 40,” you’ll be able to reset your rank in exchange for a medal showing your accomplishment.
I highly recommend you keep your sound on at all times whilst playing this game; not only are the sounds very high quality and nice to listen to, but hearing sounds produced by enemies is absolutely vital for success in this game. You can very easily hear the bomb being planted as well as enemy footsteps sneaking behind you given you have your sound on! As mentioned previously, teamwork is necessary for success in this game, and telling your teammates where you hear enemy footsteps is definitely a beneficial move to make.
The soundtrack is also very well produced and you will hear it very often while you are playing the game. Given you have music volume on, you will hear it in the main menu, in a game and almost anywhere in-between. You can also buy different “Music Kits” from the Steam Community Market allowing you to rock a new song if the default gets old.
When most people think of Counter-Strike, they don’t really take the graphics into consideration to how the good the game is; this is because, quite honestly, the graphics are mediocre at best. Most modern shooters today are notorious for their stunning graphics and realistic explosions, but CS: GO lacks in this department.
The user interface, on the other hand, is quite nice. It is very easy to navigate and doesn’t take too much getting used to. You will notice that, on the main menu, you are greeted with news of new additions, different tabs for different options and you can easily see your rank as well as your profile with ease.
The anti-cheat for this game, although imperfect, is definitely a step above what you’d see in other multiplayer games. Many years ago, there was a huge cheating problem with this game as it was relatively easy to go into a competitive game and blatantly cheat without any repercussion for doing so; Valve quickly realized this was unacceptable and was causing many players to abandon the game. Now, the game has two very functional anti-cheat systems known as Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) and a community based system known as Overwatch.
VAC is responsible for automatically detecting a cheat process on an individual’s computer and banning them if one happens to be detected. Naturally, the team behind VAC is responsible for testing each and every suspicious process they may find on someone’s computer. Though not much is known about VAC, it is typical for a commonly spread cheat to get banned before a cheat that only one person uses does. Since the team behind VAC can’t necessarily test out each and every suspicious process quickly, they have developed another system known as “Overwatch”.
Overwatch is a system granted to trusted members of the Counter-Strike community to filter out anyone who is suspected of cheating. If a player receives enough reports in one competitive game, a demo of their gameplay will be sent to the Overwatch system. The person doing the Overwatch will then watch the demo and decide if the player is cheating. If enough unanimous votes are collected against the individual in question, they will receive a permanent ban; otherwise, nothing will happen to their account. This system has been proven to be very effective in the banning of cheaters and allows players to rest assured the players they report will be reviewed.
Overall, the anti-cheat system in this game is far from perfect, but it is most definitely a great system that has banned and will continue to ban a ton of players.
CS: GO is notorious among the gaming community for the amount of cosmetics (known as weapon skins among the community) it has available. Each skin in the game is worth a certain amount of money in real life. Most skins you will encounter just from playing the game will be worth under a dollar, but there are skins worth over $3,000 that are very rare. (Keep in mind that these skins don’t offer any in-game advantage!)
A player can obtain a skin in many ways. The first method of obtaining the skin is as simple as playing the game; every week, you are eligible for a weapon skin drop which will be rewarded once you rank your “XP Rank” up. This skin’s value will vary on your amount of luck, but won’t usually be worth too much; however, Valve periodically releases an item known as an “Operation” from time to time, which will allow you to participate in different types of missions and will allow you to get better types of weapon drops (I have received a $70 item drop before!)
Another method of obtaining skins is opening cases; you may come across cases just from playing as they drop randomly. Each case has a different set of items in it and can be opened for a key that costs $2.49. The amount of money a player can make from opening these cases will vary completely on luck, but I’d advise staying away from these as, for the most part, you will not make a return on investment.
Steam has been providing a marketplace solution for trading in-game items, along with a game launcher. But one of the best ways to find inexpensive skins is for example a 3rd party skins trading marketplaces.
Those websites (or services) allow people to cash out in-game items and earn real money, while Steam has closed environment with inability to cash-out your earnings. With 3rd party marketplaces, a user is able to trade with other people, which makes the whole trading process more interactive.
In conclusion, CS: GO is a very well-made competitive game that has a growing, thriving community of amazing players. It will definitely take some time for a new player to climb to the top, but it’s a very rewarding journey! Players with enough skill level can even opt to play professionally and get money for playing against other players. Overall, CS: GO has a great community, great developers and offers an overall fun experience for anyone with enough time on their hands to partake in. I would more than certainly recommend this game to anyone who loves competitive gaming.