How to Get Better at CSGO

By: Mikele Schembri
Feb 13, 2019

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Many people, especially Silver and Gold Nova players, want to know how to get better at CSGO. This is a positive ambition for any CSGO enthusiast, but how does one go about it? How can you gain the skills required to play better and at the same time increase your rank? In this short guide, we will give you some fundamental principles and ideas about how you can get better at CSGO and master the game up to a certain level.

The Importance Of CSGO Training

Before we talk about the basic skills required to get better at CSGO, let’s talk about the importance of conscious, systematic, intentional training. Most people never engage in it and as a result, they do things without thinking them through.

If they happen to get better by just playing more, great. If not, they simply accept that their current level of skill is set in stone or assume that they’re better than their current rank. The main reason why they lose games is, you’ve guessed it, their stupid teammates.

Shifting The Blame On Teammates

In reality, teammates are never to blame for your inability to climb in rank, simply because on average, you get teammates and adversaries of the same level of skill as everyone else in your division.

Of course, you may get some terrible player in your team in one game, just as you can get a smurf in another game. Sometimes you encounter ruiners, other times you lose a very close game, and yet other times you win in much the same way. But on average, the ranked matchmaking system is fair for everyone involved.

Consistency And Climbing The Ladder

In terms of climbing in rank, what you need to do is improve your win rate by a tiny amount and keep it at about 50%. If you can get a 52% or even a 53-54% win rate, you are guaranteed to climb in rank over a long period of time. Of course, like everyone else who doesn’t have much experience with these matters, you may want results right now. But that’s not how it works.

If you practiced Judo, you would need around 5-7 years to earn your black belt. And that’s with consistent and guided training. In esports, you rarely have the opportunity to get a good coach who can tell you want to do and what not to do. But the higher you climb in rank, the more sophisticated your opponents become. Above LEM (Legendary Eagle Master), it is not unusual to find people with 3K, 5K or even 10K hours of play.

In that amount of time, it’s hard not to become decent at the game. And yet most people become average even with thousands of hours of play, simply because they never take the time to adjust their way of playing and develop the necessary skills required to excel.

Putting Time In And Taking It Seriously

One thing that happens when you take training seriously and make a conscious effort to get better at CSGO is the following: you actually start noticing how poor is your current understanding of the game and just how unpolished are your mechanical skills. When you just play the game to play it, you don’t think about these things and you simply assume that being good enough to win is good enough.

When friends play football together, they assume that the winning team has better players in it. And while that may be true, better doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things. If a player like Messi would play with them, he would put everyone to shame. Even the best player in a winning team can be 10 times weaker than a decent pro player who has been training with intent for several years or more.

The Importance Of Attitude

If you want to get better at CSGO, one of the things you need to fix is your attitude. It’s often said that a simple game and how you react inside of it shows some very key aspects of your personality. Fairness, the ability to stay calm, the humility to admit your mistakes, the capacity to communicate properly and focus at all times, as well as many other traits like these have a huge impact on your game.

As Morpheus tells Neo when they fight inside the simulator in The Matrix, you might be good, showing excellent intellectual skills: adaptation, improvisation… but your weakness, is not your technique. Esports is the same. Attitude is one of the key ingredients of winning. Fix your attitude and a lot of other things will fix themselves as a result.

Keeping Your Emotions In Check

Most players follow the roller coaster of the match. When they’re doing well, they get excited. When they do poorly, they get angry. They associate themselves emotionally with what’s going on inside the game and that makes them weak. It makes them vulnerable to unexpected changes in “temperature”.

What you want to do to get better at CSGO is to stay outside of the game and have a different movie running inside your head. Don’t let your inner film be the one of the game, in the sense that you shouldn’t be desperate about winning and live totally connected to what’s going on.

Success doesn’t come from desperately wanting to win, it comes from having a superior understanding of the game and being capable to stay calm and assess every situation properly before acting.

Becoming emotional sets you up for failure and mistakes because you start to get triggered by everything and no longer do your calculations as precisely as you should. So don’t say “I want to increase my rank!”. Instead, become a student of the game, seek better and better performances from yourself in each game, and then let winning come to you as a result. Don’t chase it. Just focus on what you need to do to get to the finish line first. Wanting it more won’t make it come to you easier.

Core CSGO Skills To Develop

The most important skills that you need in order to get better at CSGO are the following: aim, positioning, role expertise (AWP, lurker etc.), grenade usage, map expertise, communication, self-management, tactics and strategy.

The better you become at each of these components, the better you will become at the game. The higher you climb in rank, the better you will need to become at every element of the game in order to succeed. As a general rule, it’s best to start with individual skills and go from there. And to start with one role, one weapon or one map and build on top of that. Don’t try to master everything at once. You can only do so much.

Focusing And Training On One Skill At A Time

When training, when on your skills individually. Imagine that you’re going to a gym. Every day, have a plan for which “muscle group” you will train. And then use both training maps and real matches to get those muscles trained.

Keep in mind that it’s not how much you play, but how much you assimilate from your playing experience. That’s why watching great players play or watching replays can be even more beneficial than playing yourself.

Document Yourself; Ever Thought About That?

One last thing: have a notebook or a document where you take notes. If you’re serious about becoming a better CSGO player, study the game intensely and in a conscious way. That’s the best way to improve at a fast pace.