CS:GO Newbie Guide

CS:GO Newbie Guide by Pandora

Hello my fellow noobs,

I thought I share with you what I learned in my years of playing CS so you get a good start into the game (if you are new) or get some pointers on improving your game (if you are a bit more seasoned).

The actual Gaming “Tutorial” begins further down if you have no interest in launch options, the console or auto execs

First of all let us start off with the basics:

The “Preparation”

When launching CS:GO you will see a video, if that annoys you go into your Steam launch options for CS:GO (library->csgo[right click]->properties->set launch options) and type in -novid this will remove the video on start-up, while you are at it you may also want to type -console, -refresh *X*** (X being your refresh rate) and if you need some more fps -highfor high CPU priority.

A full list of all available launch options is here

The Console

If you start the game now it will display a developer console on start-up with which you can check the damage you did after you died, customize binds or your crosshair in styles 2-6.

To do such things on the fly while playing you should bind the console to a button mine is F11 in this case so just enterbind “X” “+toggleconsole” into the console, X being the key you want to use for opening the console.


You can use this method to create buy- and usescripts in the manner of bind “X” “buy *itemY“* or make it do something for you *bind “X” “use **itemY“*.


You can also use the console to create you own crosshair (sort of).

First of all select a crosshairstyle with cl_crosshairstlye *X*** the styles you can use are:

2=Classic, Crosshair is dynamic when moving

3=Classic Dynamic, Crosshair is very dynamic/expands a lot

4=Classic Static, Crosshair won’t expand on movement or shooting

5=Dynamic, Crosshair will expand when shooting but not when moving

The next thing to do is to customize the thickness with cl_crosshairthickness *X, *lenght of the arms with cl_crosshairsize *X*** and the gap between them with cl_crosshairgap *X***.

There are many more commands considering if you crosshair is dynamic or the colour and occupancy you want it to have which can be found on the end of the topic or you can just use a Crosshair Generator, remember though all this needs to be put into the console or a autoexec.cfg file.

What is a autoexec?

A autoexec is a file you can launch at the start of CS:GO that will automatically insert binds specified in the file.

Sounds great, how do I do that?

You need to create a file in the folder \SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Global Offensive\csgo\cfg which is called autoexec.cfg, if you do this with an editor save it as all types and name it autoexec.cfg so it doesn’t say .txt in the end. The last thing to do is to exec it in your console with exec autoexec or add -autoexec to your launch options.

What do I write in it though?

Binds, crosshair commands, cvars and many more things, a full list of all available commands can be found at the Valve Wiki.

TIP:Here is a small video for all of this, lets say a TL;DR: HoltzmaN’s CS:GO Lessons – Configs & Console Setup

Okay I get it, you want to know how to actually master the game and not learn about trivial uninteresting things right?


Recoil or the movement of bullets somewhat randomly upwards from the centre of your crosshair.

Recoil comes from 2 sources.

  • The first reason: firing successive shots and moving while shooting.

While firing an AK47 for instance, you will see the 1st 3-5 bullets move in a fairly consistent upward motion. The AK47 tends to head a bit to the right as well where as the M4A1 is mostly upward. After the bullet pattern reaches a peak vertical rise you will see bullets tend to scatter left and right at about the same height. If you stop firing at any point, you will see your crosshair shrink back in. I see a lot of very new players just kinda spam click as if this accomplishes any sense of control. Your actual goal is stop moving (more on that later) to fire 3-4 bullets and move your crosshair in the opposite direction of the recoil, therefore placing every bullet relatively where you want it to go. After which stop firing, strafe to the side for half a second or so and once you feel your gun will fire accurately again, stop moving and repeat. It takes practice to get the feel of this. At closer ranges it may be a good idea to full out spray. The same principles apply but you’ll have to get accustomed to watching the left-right movement of your spray and adjust your aim as it happens.

  • The second source of recoil is movement.

While smg’s and pistols don’t suffer nearly as much from this, firing a rifle or sniper while moving drastically reduces your chances of hitting what you are shooting at.

Unless you are RIGHT next to your target and you feel moving while shooting outweighs being an easy target you should always come to a complete stop before bursting/shooting.

You may have noticed you tend to slide slightly when you release a strafe key.

The motion is slight but you’ll see a large improvement in accuracy if you eliminate this sliding before bursting. You do this by tapping the opposite direction movement key.

To make things clearer take the following example:

You are strafing to your right around a corner (which is obviously to your left) when you see an enemy. You release D (right strafe key) and quickly tap A (left strafe key) which will INSTANTLY bring you to a 100% complete stop allowing you to burst with full accuracy right away. If you fail to secure the kill move and repeat the process. This may sound complicated or a lot to remember but it will very quickly become completely second nature after you do it a few times and see the accuracy improvement it produces.

A video tutorial on spray control, counter strafing and stutter stepping can be found from many sources and Pro players, here is a small selection:

Steel: What the Fuck is Stutter Stepping

n0thing: n0thing’s Rants: Recoil control

HoltzmaN: HoltzmaN’s CS:GO Lessons – AK47 & Colt

Friberg: How to spray by Friberg – Recoil tutorial

On to the next one:

Crosshair placement/movement

Or where to be looking and why as you move throughout the map.

  • At any point in the round you should have a clear idea of where the enemy could be and prepare for it.
  • Your crosshair should always be at head level and a few pixels off the edge of the corner you are expecting contact from.
  • As you round the corner keep your crosshair on the edge so the moment you see someone your crosshair is already more or less on their face.

As far as movement, you are playing a pc fps. Not some weird console game where you have to move around like a robot.

  • You should more or less NEVER run in a straight line at an enemy or a corner that an enemy could come around. Always be moving on a slant.

If you think about it, if you were to come around a corner and someone was running directly at you. The process of putting your crosshair on them and shooting would be no different than if they were standing still. Their movement would not take them out of your sights. Its not halo, you don’t have to Look directly in the direction you are moving so take advantage of that.

Again, some videos from pros:

HoltzmaN’s CS:GO Lessons – Crosshair Placement & Improving Aiming

Steel: How to aim better

adreN: CS:GO Aiming help – Crosshair Placement

Okay, that covers the basics for now lets move on to the point you were waiting for, playing a match!

You generally should start by playing Deathmatch until you get a feel for the game and feel comfortable with your sensitivity and

Wait, you are playing with 3000 DPI and a sensitivity of 5?

You might want to take a look at AdreN’s Sensitivity Guide and then come back. Don’t say I didn’t try to help you.

Done? Okay, we continue where we left off.

As I said you want to play Deathmatch and get a feel for the game and sensitivity before you hop into Matchmaking, casual mostly gives birth to bad habits like crouching forwards/sideways and shooting or team attacking*.

When you are on Deathmatch servers we move on to our next topic:


I’m sure as a new player you will initially perform much better by running around with a P90 or some other smg/shotgun than you would with the standard AK47/M4A1.

These guns require less skill/mechanics and punish you less for poor recoil control or movement.

If that’s all you want out of the game great, have fun…

But if you want to improve and become a strong player you should focus on the high skill rewarding weapons that you always see the top players in your pubs using.

These guns (AK47/M4A1/AWP primarily with scatterings of other weapons based on money situation) are not chosen by everyone because they’re the flavour of the week or overpowered.

They simply provide the best performance per dollar and are effective in any situation at more or less any range assuming you learn them.

Learning how to use them will definitely give you an edge in the lower ranks on your way to global if you are willing to learn them.

You did this?

Okay, for starters let us hop into Matchmaking:


Or: wtf is this, halp?!

Matchmaking or the Classic Competitive game mode is there to play CS(:GO) in a competitive way, in earlier iterations of CS used for PCW’s and PRO games it made its way into CS:GO as a standard game mode.

The plan is simple, Counter Terrorists defend the bomb spots and win a round by killing all Terrorists or Defusing the bomb if it is planted, the Terrorists win a round by planting the bomb and having it explode or eliminating the Counter Terrorists before it explodes or the round time runs out.

You will need to win 10 matches to get your skill group and be allowed to play more than 2 matches per day.

As you will be initially be ranked in the lower ranks don’t lose motivation and continue to practise your game and you will get out of them.

Lets go on, I will provide videos to learn as I go along:

Basics for 5v5 competitive:

  • Check your demos sometimes and see what you are lacking (Crosshairplacement, Mapawarenes).
  • Work on those things on DM servers or on your aim on 1v1 servers, K/D couldn’t matter less for that just try to improve.
  • When playing mm bind “toogle voice_enable” to a key to use it if people talk in your clutch situations and try to be the backseat driver, they are probably at the same rank so they don’t know more than you.
  • Learn the map layout on local servers before playing it in competitive
  • Don’t only play de_dust2
  • If you feel like you need to warm up find a good routine for yourself to perform before playing.
  • Use your sound (Footsteps, Weapon drops, Reloads, Nade sounds [They make different sounds when they touch the ground for example]). Video: 3kliksphilip-Which sounds can enemies hear?
  • Play off of picks, being more than the enemy team is always a good thing (less people to hit a site or other people need to rotate), try not to hunt for frags you can still lose the round (Defend the Bomb and as CT don’t rotate too early [anchor]!)
  • Save your weapons it is no use to go dying 2v5 if you have to do a eco in the next round, two weapons are very valuable in that next round, even if it is just armour and pistols just try to get some exit frags and save the weapon, you have essentially 950$-1700$ of equipment on you.
  • Trade kills if possible! Video: Steel-WTF is a Tradekill

Those are the the basic points to remember, the next topics are more specific on those points but still written shortly:

Communicate with your team:

  • How many people are there (Footsteps[!])?
  • Which nades did they throw?
  • Do they execute or fake?
  • Have they gone back?

If you are dead call:

  • How many people are there?
  • Where do they go?(Deathcam)
  • How much damage did you do to them?
  • Do they execute or fake?

For your Team and morale:

  • If you lose the round give a nice try to the player, it helps keeping the morale up
  • Don’t rage at your teammates
  • Always communicate with them even if they don’t answer you
  • If things go badly try to call (switch positions around as ct, call strats and hits on sites as t)


  • There are 5 Smokes, 10 Flashes, 5 HE’s, 5 Molotov/Incendiarys and 5 Decoys per team and round, if they don’t rebuy them or pick one up from your dead tammates.
  • You can rebuy one Decoy and two Flashes (Not sure on that)
  • You can differentiate grenades on the sound they make when hitting objects(!)
  • When holding/atacking a site count the grenades thrown by the attacker/defender to use it against them, if they have less grenades the harder it is for them to attack/defend.
  • Hold out with your grenades over the whole round for the afore mentioned reason.
  • Communicate with your team on when to throw flashes/smokes (Flashing people in, Smoking off choke points)
  • Use popflashes Steel-WTF is a Popflash
  • The rotator smokes first and the site anchor last. Anchors are the guys that stay on the site when the second guy rotates for example the player in pit or on b site on inferno is the anchor for his team. They rotate when the bomb is seen, it is definitely a execute or the bomb is being planted in worst case.
  • Small Trick: Bind grenades to a keyboard key to save time selecting them Video: AdreN_TV-Throwing grenades fast

Videos to learn:

3kliksphilip: CS GO Grenade Tutorial

3kliksphilip: CS GO Advanced Grenade Facts

Buying and Ecos:

  • If you lose the first round you can force up or save the second round but you also need to save the third either way(when you lose the second round), the later option in round two will give you more equipment in round four.
  • If you win a round buy, even if it is a force up with fewer nades then usual.
  • Eco if your team is under 3000$, also buy nothing when under 2500$ on an eco.
  • On an eco the person with the most money can drop pistols (until he has 3000$) and/or buy nades for that rounds execute/push.
  • If you got money to spare(>2500$ after a full buy) drop a famas or even an m4 for the one with the lowest amount of cash (< 5000$) to allow him to buy nades
  • Buy armour
  • Buy a defuse kit if money permits
  • Buy nades, even in the first round a smoke/flash/he/kit can make all the difference
  • Buy and eco as a team(!!!!!)
  • Small trick: On the second round force you can drop someone who bought armour (vest+helmet) a UMP for the maximum surprise
  • Small trick no2: buying a pistol on buy rounds is usually a waste of money when you don’t play a sniper

God damn it, I play so good now why am I not consistent and cant seem to topfrag every round?

Maybe this will help you to understand why.

That’s all from me for now, if I missed something feel free to complete it folks or drop me a message so I can add it in (I might add something if I think of something). If there are questions just ask, many people (including myself will answer you and explain it).

Other Counter Strike: Global Offensive Articles

Leave a Reply