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Fragster | 1. November 2021

Counter-Strike Ranks Explained

The grind for a better rank flows like blood through CS:GO faithful, and the passion seems to blind some of the newbies. It’s important one knows what the ranks are in CS:GO and what affects them before they start the Competitive exertion. 

There are 18 different Counter-Strike ranks, grouped under Silver, Gold Nova, Master Guardian, Legendary Eagle, Supreme Master, and the coveted Global Elite. 

CS:GO Rank Distribution

CSGOStats is an independent statistics analysis website. After sampling a myriad of players over a long enough period of time, they’ve created this useful chart showing how players are distributed over the 18 Counter-Strike ranks.

Counter-Strike ranks distribution (via CSGOStats.com)

Counter-Strike ranks distribution (via CSGOStats.com)

Around 34 percent of the players belong to the Gold Nova ranks, with Gold Nova 2/3 being the average Counter-Strike rank of a general player.
Another 33 percent of the players belong to the Silver group, the least prestigious of all the ranks. 

Legendary Eagle marks the top 10 percent players spot.
A mere 0.78 percent of all the people that play CS:GO belong to the esteemed Global Elite.

How do Counter-Strike Ranks work?

The exact mechanics of how someone is ranked is a hidden secret, since making it public can lead to many people abusing the system and cheat their way to the top. But we do know some stuff, as leaked on Reddit by an insider. 

Your Counter-Strike rank depends on how many games you win. That part was too obvious. What’s more, is that the ranks also depend on your overall performance. Your KDA, damage per round, MVPs, bomb plants and defuses, etc. all contribute to your final rank. The quality of your teammates and opponents comes into the picture as well. So if 5 Silvers lose against 5 Global Elites, none of the 10 people are going to profit or lose much. 

Depending on all these factors, you can win more points than usual if you contribute a lot to your team’s victories. On the flip side, you can be spared losing too many points if you did your absolute best in your team’s defeat. 

To get your very first Counter-Strike rank, you’ll have to win a total of 10 Competitive matches, a maximum of 2 per day. Over a minimum of 5 days, your performances and your skills will be internally assessed, based on which, you’ll be given a particular rank amongst the 18 possible. 

Being inactive for one whole month will hide your rank, after which you’ll require either a win or a draw for you to regain it.

One of the most important aspects as to how ranks work in CS:GO is that the more the games you’ve played, the more difficult it is for you to escape a certain group of ranks. This is because the more you play and the more consistently you play, the more is the system’s confidence that it has worked out your true and appropriate rank. 

That may be damning but it is still completely possible for you to upgrade your Counter-Strike rank and rise. 

This is the reason why there are so many good players stuck in Silver. With the number of games they’ve played, they have definitely improved but it will take consistent above-your-own-average displays for the system to recognize a need to upgrade you.

Hence if you are a veteran Silver, it’s recommended to create a completely new account and restart your CS:GO journey. For as hard as it might be, there’s a great chance for you to break that hard Silver numbness. 

The highest of all Counter-Strike ranks: Global Elite

The highest of all Counter-Strike ranks: Global Elite

How can you rank up? 

You’ll find not a single CS:GO player who hasn’t asked this question. To improve and get the best possible rank is the ultimate goal of any serious gamer. And hence, there is never a lack of information on how one can rise above their current rank group: from hubbub-y advice to more analytical breakdown. 

Here is a short and simple guide on how to rise above your current Counter-Strike rank:

Get good. That is literally the most basic and first most thing you can and have to do. You need to improve yourself to have a chance to rank up. So what then? 

First off, you do need to improve on the game basics. Learn your spray patterns. Learn your nade lineups. Improve your raw aim off the server on aim maps or deathmatch. 

After learning and mastering all the basics, the real game starts. 

The most thrown-around advice and the truest advice, in fact, is that you should play with your own team instead of solo queuing. Not only will that make it much, much easier to execute strategies and easily win rounds, but it will also feed into the fact that CS:GO is a team game and hence, the ranking system, whatever the specifics are, is based around the team performance. 

Being the ultimate fragster isn’t going to get you too far if you’re not willing to play together with your team. And of course, the best way to do that is to play with people you know and you’ve practiced with before, as opposed to relying on luck to find the right set of teammates. 

Once you have enough mechanical experience, it’s teamwork that becomes extremely crucial. At a high enough rank, everyone is almost equal aim-wise. That is where the mental aspect of the game comes into play and that is how you truly get better and rank up. 

(For Silvers and Gold Novas, grinding and bettering gun mechanics and nade lineups is more than enough to advance and achieve a better Counter-Strike rank.)

Another very important point is to define and specialize in your role. Be it an AWPer, or the entry-fragger, or a lurker, your role has to be defined and you need to be a master in it. 

All of this talk comes down to one important thing. Winning rounds and winning matches is the absolute key to your ranking. Being a superstar team but losing every match is never going to help you rank up. But all the above paragraphs are still extremely important because winning a match is not everything. Winning matches consistently is the key and for that, a sound study of the whole picture is very important. 

At the end of the day, it is all a game to be enjoyed. Your rank will follow you and your skills, which you improve with time whilst having fun and not taking the littlest things too seriously and ruining your mood over it. 

Get good. Improve your Counter-Strike rank. And have fun!