Brief: Looking for a guide to understand the ranking system in Counter-Strike? Here’s all you need to know about CS:GO ranks.
What is CS:GO rank? A rank is a feature that describes a player’s estimated skill level. It is assigned individually to each account.
A longer explanation: Ranks in CS:GO are used to determine players’ skill levels. They are meant to group players with similar skills and are calculated using the advanced ELO points system – you get positive points if you win, but you lose points if you lose a match.
Curious? In this guide, in addition to the list of ranks, you will see all the facts about the ranking system. You will find out what ranks are there in CS:GO and how the whole system works. Most importantly, you will also learn how to rank up (and get a higher rank)!
All CS:GO ranks
Just a few years ago, there was only one group of ranks, which only applied to 5v5 competitive mode. After the introduction of new game modes – Wingman and Danger Zone – two more groups were added.
Wingman ranks look exactly the same as Competitive ranks. As far as Danger Zone ranks are concerned, they were created from scratch – they have a different look and there are fewer of them.
Here are all CS:GO ranks in order:
In competitive mode there are 18 ranks – from Silver 1 to Global Elite. Each rank has its own icon, which looks more and more interesting with each upgrade.
Here is a list of CS:GO competitive ranks:
Danger Zone Ranks
In Danger Zone mode you will not see standard ranks like Silver or Gold. These are 15 completely new ranks that are inspired by the world of hunters – from the Rat to Howling Alpha.
Here is a list of CS:GO Danger Zone ranks:
Just like the competitive mode, the Wingman mode has 18 ranks – from Silver I to Global Elite. As you can see, they have exactly the same names and icons.
Here is a list of CS:GO Wingman ranks:
Can you trust ranks in CS:GO?
Yes and no. Generally, the ranking system in csgo was created with one goal in mind: to group players according to experience and skill level, so that the game is more enjoyable and balanced.
You may now think that this means that players with lower ranks always represent a lower level and play less well than players with higher ranks. This is unfortunately not true. 🙁
While the difference will be large when comparing a player with Gold Nova with a player with Global Elite, the difference is often small (or there is no difference at all) when comparing Legendary Eagle Master with Global Elite.
This is why it is not worth looking at the rank in 2020:
- Rank is not always adequate: It is often the case that players with a better rank play worse than players with a lower rank. It simply does not always correspond to the actual skill level.
- Players play MM’s for fun: Rank and matchmaking is not as important as it was a few years ago. Now, results on tournaments and platforms such as FACEIT and ESEA are much more important.
- MM have many disadvantages: Unfortunately matchmaking mode is far from perfect. Although there are many advantages of this mode, there are also many disadvantages, which we will talk about later in this guide.
How does CS:GO ranking system work?
The overall functioning of the ELO ranking system in CS:GO is quite simple. As we have described above, in Competitive Mode, you get points for winning a match and lose points for losing a match. Every time you cross the elo point range, you get a higher rank.
Unfortunately, we do not know the exact number of points. Valve does not provide information on how ELO points are calculated or how ranks are distributed (for which it is criticized by the CS:GO community).
What we know for sure about CS:GO ranking system:
- Point levels: The ELO system is divided into 18 levels. Each rank is 1 level. Although we don’t know the exact values, we can assume that they are fairly equal. For example: If 1 level is 100 points, Silver I players have 0 to 99 points, Silver II players have 100 to 199 points, and Global Elite players – over 1800 points.
- Earn and lose points: ELO points can be earned and lost. Every time you win a match you get positive points, and if you lose you get negative points. For example: If you have 1250 points and lose the match by losing 10 points, you will have 1240 points.
- The most important factor: The main factor in determining the number of points is whether you win or lose the match. However, it can happen that despite winning, you will get negative points or even lose your rank. This can happen, for example, when you play poorly and the match ends with a score of 14-16, even though the opponents had much lower ranks.
- Other factors: Apart from the most important factor that is winning or losing, other factors that influence the number of points are: the number of rounds won and the number of MVPs received. These are used because the main goal of CS:GO is a team play.
It can be said that after above mentioned update the ranking system has been slightly improved – but unfortunately not yet fully fixed.
What is CS:GO rank distribution in June 2020?
As we mentioned earlier, a few years ago CSGO ranks underwent a major transformation. It has completely changed the rank distribution. It has become much more difficult to get higher ranks, such as the Supreme Master and Global Elite.
As this change has turned CS:GO upside down, many people are constantly checking the percentage of players in each rank.
Interestingly, nearly 70% of players have a rank between Silver I and Gold Nova IV. This means that only 3 out of 10 players play better than Gold. 😀
Here’s CS:GO rank distribution in June 2020:
How to rank up in CS:GO?
Nobody’s ranked up in the beginning. Valve doesn’t want beginners who started the game for the first time to play tournament matches right away. Such players generally don’t know any basics, such as weapons types or keyboard settings.
In order to be able to join a tournament match and gain a rank in CS:GO for the first time, you need to complete several steps.
Here’s what to do is rank up in CS:GO:
- Step 1: To start a competitive match, you need to gain level 2 by playing several non-ranked matches. After each match, you will earn some XP (experience points). It will most likely take you about 2 hours to accumulate enough XP.
- Step 2: Once you have reached level 2, you can start the first ranked match. To get the first rank you have to win 10 games (maximum 2 per day). The rank will depend on the number of won/lost matches, your results and the rank of other players.
- Step 3: All subsequent ranking matches will be played according to the ELO system – you will receive positive points for winnings and negative points for losses. Keep in mind that the rank does not change after each match. At least a few matches are needed to get or lose the rank.
How do you get high rank right away?
It is very possible that you are now wondering what to do to get the highest possible rank after just 10 matches. This doesn’t happen often, but there is a chance that your first rank will be Legendary Eagle Master or even Supreme.
To make this possible, you need to use the WTFS method. WTFS stands for: Wait, Train, Find, Start. Unfortunately this is not some magical way to get the Supreme Master rank on the same day. You have to be patient.
Here’s how to get high rank after 10 matches with WTFS method:
- Wait: Don’t play matchmaking games right after you start the adventure. Wait a few weeks and take the time to learn the game, gain experience and improve your skills. During these few weeks, don’t forget to read the guide on how to get better at CS:GO.
- Train: What’s more, during the first weeks, focus on practice to improve your skills. Start training schedule or play on deathmatch servers to become a good player in a short time.
- Find: As time goes by, start looking for other good players and invite them to join your friends. Do a little research – ask how long they’ve been playing and check their current rank. Tell them you’re looking for teammates and suggest a CS:GO 1v1 duel to test their skills.
- Start: After a few weeks of our training, you will be playing on the Legendary Eagle level. Then start playing ranking matches with players who have rankings between Legendary Eagle and Global Elite.
This way, after you have played 10 matches and won most of them, you will most likely get the rank of Legendary Eagle Master or Supreme Master. All you need is patience and training!
How to reach Global Elite in CS:GO?
The current rank distribution clearly shows how hard it is to get Global Elite in CS:GO. For every 1,000 players there are less than 10 players who have that rank. So it’s no wonder that many amateur players are looking for all sorts of ways to achieve it.
Your rank is impacted by 3 main factors: you, your teammates, and your opponents. Based on these factors, we have created 3 lists of tips that should help you to become a good player and join the elite.
Here are 3 aspects that determine whether or not you will get Global Elite:
The first and most important factor in deciding whether you can reach the Global Elite in CS:GO is you.
That’s why you decide whether or not you can win the Global Elite:
- Aim and muscle-memory: Individual skills can determine whether you win a match. That’s why you should practice aim and muscle memory every day, for example by using CS:GO aim training.
- Grenades: In addition to aim, learn how to throw grenades – especially flashes and smokes. This skill very often determines whether you win or lose a round. Also, add CS:GO jump throw bind to throw more difficult grenades.
- MVP: It is possible to lose a match and get a higher rank at the same time. If you lose, the more MVP you have, the less ELO points you lose – and vice versa.
- Prime status: CS:GO Prime is a feature that makes it possible to play less often against cheaters. That’s why you need to activate it. Otherwise it will be almost impossible to get into the Global Elite.
- Trust Factor: The Trust Factor determines which players you will meet. You should try to have a top-quality account to make your gameplay more enjoyable and to make it easier for you to get higher CS:GO rank.
- Maps: Even Global Elite players can’t always play well on all maps. Only play on the maps you know and like to play on. This will reduce the number of lost matches.
- Pro players: Looking at professional players can dramatically improve your skills. Watch pros play to better understand the game-sense and learn unusual moves. You may also want to customize your game settings based on pros settings. For the crosshair, check out CS:GO pro crosshairs list.
2. Your teammates
Your teammates are the second factor influencing your rank. However, you have no influence on them if you play solo. That’s why you should join the premade.
That’s why your teammates decide if you get the Global Elite:
- Variability: Try to find 4 players with similar skill levels and play premade with them. The probability of winning increases if you play with the same people all the time.
- Communication: CS:GO is a team game and requires good team communication. If you don’t talk and communicate with each other, the game will become much more difficult.
- Motivation: Lack of motivation is never helpful because it weakens team morale. Motivate your colleagues, ignore toxic players and never give up.
- Winning rounds: You have to play well, but it’s not your KD ratio that matters. What counts more is the sum of the wins of the rounds that you write down in your team’s account.
- Experience: The number of hours played affects your understanding of game mechanics and overall game sense. When your team is inexperienced, defeat will be inevitable.
3. Your enemies
Your enemies are the third factor on our list. Although it directly affects your rank, you do not have any influence on it because you cannot choose your opponents.
That’s why your opponents decide if you reach Global Elite:
- Cheaters: Playing against a cheater on the opposite team almost always means defeat. If you meet them often (e.g. due to a low Trust Factor), it will be difficult for you to get better.
- Average ELO: You will get more points if you win the match against players who have higher CS:GO ranks. The average ELO score of your opponents has an influence on how many points you get or lose.
- Experience: As with your teammates, the experience of your opponents is also important. You have to play and train a lot to always be better than them.
How many games do you need to rank up?
How many matches you will need to win to get promoted depends on your current rank. The ranking system is intelligent in this respect. This means that the number of matches you need to win increases as you reach a higher rank.
In a nutshell: The higher the rank, the more matches you need to win in order to get promoted. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to get from Silver I to Silver II, while getting from Supreme to Global Elite takes a lot of time.
Here’s how many winnings you need to rank up in CS:GO:
- In the Silver Tier you need 3 to 5 solid wins.
- In the Gold Nova Tier you need 4 to 7 solid wins.
- In the Master Guardian Tier you need 6 to 9 solid wins.
- In the Legendary Eagle Tier you need 8 to 14 solid wins.
- In the Supreme Master Tier you need about 20 solid wins (to get Global Elite).
What is a solid win? A solid win is a match that ends with a definite win, in which you performed exceptionally well. It will be a win with a round result greater than 16-10, MVP number greater than 3 and a similar skill level between the two teams.
Do CS:GO ranks matter nowadays?
Let’s describe it this way: CS:GO rank is less important than it used to be.
Though in fact, it all depends on the person. For some, achieving the rank of Global Elite is a dream, for others it doesn’t matter. So it’s best that you answer the question yourself. Is it that important for you to have a high rank in CS:GO?
CS:GO ranks in the past, and now
You may be wondering why we say rank doesn’t matter much. The answer is simple! Until a few years ago, achieving the rank of Supreme and Global Elite was something special. Is it still so in 2020? Not exactly. 😥
Experienced players will confirm that a certain “boom”, which for several years attracted hundreds of thousands of players to play matchmaking, has ended. This is hardly surprising, because in the meantime new gaming platforms for players have appeared, which are an alternative to matchmaking. The best example is FACEIT.
Even professional players are no longer trying to reach the Global Elite (many of them either do not have a rank at all or are somewhere on the LEM level).
CS:GO matchmaking disadvantages
We could write a long story about why rank is losing its importance. Though it all comes down to one thing – no desire to play matchmaking. If you don’t like and you don’t want to play MM, you won’t have a rank. Simple as that.
Why do players stop playing MM?
- First, cheaters and poor VAC security.
- Second, low tickrate 64, which often causes frustration.
- Third, frequent fluctuations in skill levels between two teams.
All this discourages a lot of people from playing CS:GO matchmaking. Thus, the rank is no longer so important.
Quite seriously, with the development of platforms such as ESEA and FACEIT, the rank has lost its shine and is increasingly rarely considered a real indicator of skill level.
So why play matchmaking and try to get matchmaking rank when you have better options? Answer yourself.
Frequently asked questions
Ranks in CS:GO are such a broad topic that it is difficult to create an article that answers all the questions. We do our best to make our CS:GO ranks guide, the best guide on the Internet. If you haven’t found some information above, you will probably find it in the FAQ section below.
What is the highest CS:GO rank?
The highest rank in CS:GO is Global Elite. Less than 1% of players have it. To get it, you must have a lot of experience and above average skills.
Your rank is gone. How do you get it back?
If you don’t play for a long time (at least 30 days), your CSGO rank will disappear. To get it back, you need to play at least one competitive match. If the break does not last too long, you will most likely get the same rank back. Otherwise, you may drop several levels down.
What ranks can play together in CS:GO?
To play together with a team of less than 5 players, the difference between the best and the weakest player must not be more than 5 ranks. If your team is a 5 player premade, you can play together regardless of the difference in ranks.
You won the match, but you lost your rank. Why?
The ranking system takes into account the number of rounds won and MVP received. If you win a match that was very balanced (e.g. 16-13) even though your opponents had much lower ranks – you may lose rank. Another possibility is to undo the ELO points for victories in which the cheater was present. This obviously works both ways – you can lose the match and still get a promotion.
Will you lose your rank if you surrender?
That depends. If your team gives up, the sum of rounds will be taken into account. If you have more won rounds than your opponents when you surrender, you will receive positive ELO points and you will not lose rank.
How do you know how many wins do you need to rank up?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to check the current number of ELO points or the number of wins you need to get a higher rank. However, if you see that your opponents have higher ranks than you at the end of the match, it is very possible that you are close to being promoted.
Why is the difference in ranks so big?
The ranking system in CS:GO always tries to match players of the same rank. If this is not possible (e.g. because of your region or time zone), then it selects players so that the average ELO points of both teams are the same. It may therefore happen that the difference in rank between the players in your team is significant.
How many CS:GO ranks are there?
CS:GO has 33 ranks in all game modes. In tournament and wingman mode there is 18 ranks, while in Danger Zone mode there is 15 ranks.
Who exactly is the smurf?
A smurf is a person who uses an account where the rank is much lower than in his main account. His skill level does not correspond to that of his opponents – he is much better than theirs and has fun with it.