How To Rank Up In CS:GO
Competition lies at the very heart of CS:GO, so it should come as no surprise that many players take the ranking system very seriously. It’s quite simple. Players are ranked based on how good their performance is. Having a higher rank will ensure you’re paired up with better teammates and opponents, leading to more exciting gameplay. Besides, being a Global Elite comes with some serious bragging rights.
Just to be clear, this page will talk about Competitive Rank, not Profile Rank. There’s not much to talk about concerning your Profile Rank – it can’t go down no matter how much you lose, so it reflects how much you’ve played the game more than anything. Let’s be frank. There are players out there who have been playing for years and barely managing to get out of Silver.
As long as you get a few casual games under your belt to qualify for competitive matchmaking, you’re good to go. Additionally, a profile rank of 21 will allow you to access Prime matchmaking. This has some benefits but you’ll get to it naturally just by playing the game, so you shouldn’t worry too much about it.
CS:GO’s Competitive Ranking System
Experience is really important so a high Profile Rank is not to be entirely ignored as a factor for determining player skill. However, Competitive Ranking is the true badge of honour that speaks of how good a player is. The ranks, all 18 of them from Silver 1 to Global Elite, are based on a point’s ranking system called Glicko-2. Glicko-2 was originally invented as a way of ranking Chess players and was designed as an improvement to the more famous Elo rating system.
Essentially, each rank has a certain number of so-called Elo points associated with it. Gain enough points, and you’ll reach the next rank. Should you lose too many points, though, you’ll be demoted.
There’s a lot of mathematics involved in determining these scores, but we’ll cut straight to the point. The system was invented to account for “flukes” and good or bad runs. This means that CS:GO’s ranking system rewards consistent quality play, rather than simply winning a bit more than losing or winning decisively with a huge score advantage. As such, the quickest way to rank up in CS:GO is by winning consecutive matches.
However, this is not always viable. You win some, you lose some – that’s just the nature of the game. Still, understanding what impacts your competitive rank and what doesn’t can greatly help you improve.
What determines if you rank up in CS:GO or not?
The ranking system cares about one thing, and one thing only: results. Points are awarded exclusively for winning rounds. It’s always balanced, though. The winners gain points, while the losers have some points deducted from their total.
CS:GO is a team-based game, and you can only rank up with the rest of the team. With that in mind, contrary to popular belief, the following things do NOT affect your point gain:
- K/D ratio.
- Hostage rescues
- Bomb plantings/defusals
- Anything else that is not a round win or loss
However, how many points you gain from a winning round is affected by the relative sum totals of your team and the opposing teams. It’s quite simple – if your team is lower ranked, you’ll gain more points from winning and lose less from losing, and vice-versa. CS:GO’s matchmaking ensures that teams are more or less balanced, though, so the difference is usually not that noticeable.
When your team wins a round, the total point gain is divided among the team’s members. The lower your initial point total, the bigger your relative share. Additionally, the MVP will gain the biggest share due to contributing the most to the team.
Advice for ranking up in CS:GO
With all of the above in mind, it should be clear what the most important thing for reliably ranking up is a good team. No matter how good you are personally, one player is not enough to consistently win rounds. So here are some CS:GO tips for raising your competitive rank.
Play with a pre-made team
Solo queueing is not likely to get you good results. You never know who you’ll be paired up with, whether they’re willing to play as a team and how good their skills are. So try to find a full team of communicative, able players with whom you’ll play regularly. The importance of team play cannot be stressed enough.
Communicate with your team
This one goes hand-in-hand with our previous statement. Winning rounds and matches is all that should matter to you, and this cannot be achieved if all of you just go running around without a sound goal or strategy. Like we mentioned earlier – either the whole team gains rank points, or the opponents do.
Don’t play for kills
A lot of gamers enjoy boasting about impressive K/D ratios, but flashy kills and impressive scores are not going to get you to Global Elite. Keep your eyes on the prize, and play to win rounds and matches rather than to show off how many headshots you can get. If you can get MVP in the process, great, but it shouldn’t be a priority.
This concludes our guide to ranking up in CS:GO. If you have any additional tips or pointers, we’d love to hear them in the comments below.