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CS:GO - Guide 2019

Our comprehensive guide to everything you need to play CS:GO in 2018.

If you've never played CS:GO before, then at first glance it can seem like a rather primitive version of the flashier, more explosive shooters that tend to dominate the market. First impressions can be deceiving, however, and this is actually one of the more in-depth and intricate FPS games out there.

On the surface, CS:GO keeps things simple. There's a limited collection of weapons that you can buy during the match, and yes for the most part it's a case of pointing, shooting and killing enemies on a map. There are no vehicles, parachutes or grappling hooks here - just a beautifully clean and stripped-back FPS where true complexity comes from competing at a high level.

Everything here is simple to understand but very, very hard to master. You can always go better and improve your performance, and part of that comes from understanding the myriad customisation options that can be endlessly tweaked to support your gradual mastery of the game. There aren't many other shooters that reward you for creating a custom config file to your liking, after all.

Whether you're a new player dipping their toes into CS:GO for the first time, or a battle-hardened veteran, we've put together a massive collection of guides that will help you improve at all areas of the game. From improving your aim to mastering recoil control, we've got everything you need to get more out of CS:GO this year.

UPDATE - 2019

Over the last couple of months we've added a huge number of CS:GO gameplay articles to Metabomb, and so we wanted to take the chance to tidy up our core guide to help you access every last one of them. Keep an eye on the homepage for more developments, including news coverage of the biggest CS:GO esports events.

CS:GO - Weapons

CS:GO’s home to a number of weapon, each with their own price and characteristics which can make it difficult to know which ones are worth spending your hard earned cash on.

In this section we’re highlighting all of the guides that’ll help you get a better idea of what the strongest weapons are, and how you can improve your skills at handling them.

  • Best weapons 2018 - A comprehensive look at all the top weapons in the game right now - CS:GO - Best weapons 2018
  • Recoil control guide - Each gun has its own recoil pattern and it can be difficult to control the serious kick that comes from pulling down the trigger. We’ve broken down how recoil operates, as well as the various methods to control it so that your bullets are flying exactly where you want them to go - CS:GO - Recoil control guide
  • AWP guide - We've put together an essential guide to mastering this tricky but immensely rewarding role in CS:GO - CS:GO - AWP guide 2018
  • Best Assault Rifles - If you're looking to drill right down into the very best Assault Rifles available in CS:GO right now, we've put together an essential guide - CS:GO - Best Assault Rifles 2018
  • Best Pistol - We've gone through the pros and cons of all the pistols in CS:GO to help you pick the right tool for you - CS:GO - Best Pistols 2018
  • Grenades - This article explains all of the different grenade options that are available in CS:GO, and we've got some tips on getting more from them as well - CS:GO - Grenades guide
  • Best Sniper Rifles - If you're more of a measured, thoughtful sharpshooter, our guide to the best Sniper Rifles in CS:GO will help you make the right choice for the right situation - CS:GO - Best Sniper Rifles

CS:GO - Training

There's plenty you can do outside of matches to improve every area of your gameplay. We're putting together a number of guides that will help you nail down your core skills in no time.

  • How to improve - From improving your teamwork to use the communication tools effectively, we've put together a guide that will help new players and veterans alike gain that extra edge in the game - CS:GO - How to improve
  • Best training maps - You'll go so much further in the game if you take some time out to hone your skills in maps designed to test specific skills. Our guide to the best current training maps will help you polish your recoil control, reflex, aim and grenade skills - CS:GO - Best training maps 2018
  • Best Deathmatch maps - Finding the right Deathmatch maps to train on can be tricky, and you definitely don't want to pick up bad habits from badly designed rulesets. Our guide to training up in Deathmatch contains everything you need to know - CS:GO - Best Deathmatch maps 2018
  • How to improve your aim - It goes without saying that having solid, reliable aim is an absolute must if you want to climb the ladder. Our guide explains all the various ways to sharpen your accuracy and train that muscle memory - CS:GO - How to improve your aim
  • How to surf - Surfing is something of a peripheral training requirement, but mastering this skill will help improve your general mobility instincts and is well worth taking time to perform - CS:GO - How to surf and play surf maps
  • Best players - We've hand-picked a list of the very best CS:GO players in the world. Pay close attention to this bunch if you really want to up your game - CS:GO - Best players in the world 2018
  • Best jumps - There are some extremely useful shortcuts available in CS:GO, but some of them are quite tricky to pull off. We've put together a guide that will help you master the most important jumps in the game - CS:GO - Best jumps

CS:GO - Gameplay

In this section we've pulled together all of our guides to some of the core gameplay elements of CS:GO. Have a browse through the following articles if you want to get ahead on some of the fundamental gameplay systems of CS:GO.

  • Attacking and Defending - Some tried and tested tips for getting ahead of the game whichever side you're playing on in CS:GO - CS:GO - Attacking and Defending guide
  • Austria - A comprehensive overview of the latest map to hit CS:GO, with tips and tricks for coming out on top - CS:GO - Austria guide
  • Boosts - You can gain a distinct environmental advantage by mastering some of the most important boost opportunities in CS:GO. We'll show you how to find them, and then exploit them for a tactical advantage - CS:GO - Best boosts
  • Economy - Mastering the game's economy is essential if you want to achieve and maintain your team's tactical advantage throughout the flow of a match. We explain how it works, and how you can improve your economy thinking process - CS:GO - Economy guide
  • Ranking Up - Want to rank up faster in competitive matchmaking? We've got a guide that explains how the system works, and how you can make a faster climb through the competitive ranks - CS:GO - How to rank up
  • Danger Zone - A new Battle Royale mode called Danger Zone hit CS:GO at the end of 2018. In this article you'll find out everything you need to know about how it works, along with some essential tips for coming out on top - CS:GO - Danger Zone guide
  • Game Modes - There are loads of different game modes available to you in CS:GO. In this article we break down what's on offer, and what you'll need to achieve to win in each one - CS:GO - Game Modes guide

CS:GO - Settings

Creating an auto-exec file and making tweaks to your system settings is vital if you want to get the most out of CS:GO and start climbing the competitive ladder.

Below we’ve outlined all the guides currently up on the site that cover everything to do with personalising the game to your liking. Expect this section to grow significantly over time.

  • How to create an auto-exec file - Your main ticket to customising the game to your liking, but one that’s not exactly obvious or easy to pull off if you’re not used to tinkering with system settings. Our guide will walk you through the process from start to finish - CS:GO - How to create an auto-exec file
  • Best launch options - Who would’ve guessed that there are even more ways to tweak the game? Launch options run when you boot up the game and can make your UI experience a little smoother and more useful in combat too. Make sure you have a look at our guide to see what useful commands you can setup - CS:GO - Best launch options
  • Best settings - Fiddle around with your video settings and you could achieve a drastic change in your frames-per-second and make your game run buttery smooth. Our guide explains how to achieve this - CS:GO - Best settings guide
  • How to open the command console - If you want to input commands manually then you’ll need to figure out how to open the command console, but the process for doing so isn’t immediately obvious - even to long time players. Have a read through this article to find out more - CS:GO - How to open the command console
  • How to change crosshair - This is what you’ll be relying on to point and click on enemies, so it’s fundamental that you get this set up just right. We’ve put together a page that explains how to optimise your aim options - CS:GO - How to change crosshair
  • Best radar settings - The default radar doesn't provide you with anywhere near enough information to work with at a competitive level, but our guide will help you customise it to perfection - CS:GO - Best radar settings
  • Best keybinds - A few tweaks to the default keybinds can provide dramatic improvements to your efficiency. We'll walk you through some of the most important settings to tweak in this regard - CS:GO - Best keybinds 2018

CS:GO - Account

Certain members of CS:GO’s community will be eligible to participate in Overwatch as a member of a virtual jury, or go ahead and create a Prime account for exclusive matchmaking privileges.

You’ll find all of our articles linked to account upgrades and privileges just below.

  • How to get Prime - If you're unsure how Prime matchmaking works, or if you want to know how to access it, then we've put together a guide that'll walk you through all the key details - CS:GO - How to get Prime
  • How to level up - There are certain game modes in CS:GO that will help you level up much faster with greater XP gains. This article explains how to spend your levelling time most efficiently - CS:GO - Best ways to get XP and level up fast
  • Overwatch guide - Overwatch is one of Valve's ways of weeding out those who use exploits to gain an unfair advantage in the game, and it works by inviting players to act as members of a jury. We've put together a guide that'll explain how it works and what you'll need to do to gain access to Overwatch - CS:GO - Overwatch guide

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John Bedford avatar

John Bedford


John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief and looks after the day to day running of the site when he's not writing about Hearthstone.