So, after about three days, six hours, 25 minutes and approximately 59 seconds, you finally decided on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as your preferred FPS to waste hours on. Your PC is now beefed up with the latest hardware and complemented with a wide array of gaming accessories – chips and soda included.

But after appreciating what $2000 could do to get you in full gear, you find yourself staring at the CS:GO main screen with this question: “How the heck do I get started?”

Don’t panic; everyone goes through the beginner stage, even the most awesome ones on YouTube. Like with every other game, you need to learn the basics of CS:GO first, which is the very purpose of this article -To walk your shaky legs through the game. So let’s get to it before your bags of chips and cans of soda expire.


Optimize your settings


First off, you need to tweak both your PC and game settings to optimize your experience. The process isn’t exactly as easy as simply adjusting the brightness, so for a more detailed configuration guide you can check out this guide at Steam.

But you don’t have to follow everything up to the last letter; the guide is specifically made for competitive gaming, which you won’t be diving into yet. So just follow the more basic ones like adjusting your screen resolution.

The important thing is to find a setup that best suits your comfort, regardless of it’s the “best” setting. This is especially important in your mouse’s sensitivity and your crosshair. For the former, the default in-game sensitivity is a little too high, so turn it down a notch, unless you’re all about very quick movements (not recommended). Try to settle for a sensitivity that allows you to be steady when aiming.

And for the latter (crosshair), find one that suits your eyes. Change its color, size and style into something that gives you a better chance at honing on your targets.

Lastly, customize your keyboard. The general rule is: If a certain key causes you discomfort to reach or negatively affects your reaction time, move it.


Get to know the weapons

Each gun in CS:GO is different. The most important thing to take into account is the recoil, which directly affects your accuracy. Every time you fire a bullet, your crosshair will move from its default position. The longer you hold down on the fire button, the more your crosshair goes wild – this is commonly known as “spraying”.

You need to learn a gun’s spray pattern so you can adjust your mouse control accordingly to stay locked-in. To do this, simply join a casual match, pick a gun of your choice, find a blank white wall or something similar and fire away. The bullets will leave marks that show you the spray pattern.

Of course, you don’t have to learn every single gun, but prioritize the most commonly-used ones such as the AK-47 and the M4 Carbine. You need to do this with pistols, too, although you can spend relatively less time on them, unless they’re your preferred primary weapon.

If sniping is your game exclusively, you don’t need to spend too much time on bullet sprays; most sniper rifles aren’t capable of rapid-fire. In regards to your aiming, try your best to always go for headshots. It’s the most efficient way to take out enemies.

As for grenades, all you need is to learn which situations each type is best used. For example, you can use a smoke grenade to cover your ass while defusing the bomb. Also, grenades can be bounced off walls and other map objects. So if you had high marks in trigonometry class, you can put it to good use now.


Learn the game economy

What, did you think your numbers crunching ended when you bought your gaming setup? Price tags are attached to each item in the game. And while it’s unnecessary to memorize everything, you need to know by heart how much your preferred guns cost. Also, remember to always buy armor whenever possible; grenades are arguably the least of your priorities when budgeting.

Not everyone earns money in the same rate. Winning a match nets you higher money for the next round, as opposed to losing. In competitive mode, the money you make for every kill depends on the weapon you used.

Your team can plot different tactics based on everyone’s money at hand. For example, if the team is rather short on funds due to consecutive round losses, they can focus on winning the match via bomb plants (Terrorist only).

Alternatively, you can pick up guns dropped by players who bit the dust, which allows you to save up. Also worth noting is that the game automatically buys your gun’s ammo at the start of succeeding rounds. Well, assuming you survived. You don’t need to frantically press the “<” and “>” keys. And your gun automatically reloads at round start, too. Nice, eh?


Practice, practice, practice

It can be tempting to dive into different maps to sort of become a jack-of-all-trades, but it’s best to stick to one, two or maybe three maps to start. The most popular map is de_dust2, so you might want to start with that one.

Players typically have nicknames or codes for specific areas in a map. Naturally, you have no idea what they are. But thanks to the internet, you can save yourself from unnecessary insults by learning these codes – or more commonly called as “callouts”.

Learn the ins and outs of a map, especially places where you can safely reload your weapon. If you’re a sniper, find the best spots to sit your ass patiently. By knowing where players typically appear, you can preemptively fire shots. Most of the guns fire through objects. So if you know players typically go through a specific door, you can spray it with bullets in advance.

On a related note, you can also learn how much time it takes for your opponents to go from one point to another. It will similarly allow you to predict their movements. But be careful; your overall in-game awareness might take a hit if you’re too busy mapping out your opponent’s potential positions. Playing in casual doesn’t affect your rank, so feel free to practice as much as you want.


Don’t take things personally

And the most important thing to remember as a beginner in CS GO is to take everything in stride. Remember, you’re out to enjoy, which is the very essence of playing video games. Be prepared to hear a lot of insults – you’ll get a heavy dose of those every time you play. But don’t let it affect you. Well, unless it gets you revved up, causing you to play at peak performance.



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