For someone that loves Counter-Strike since childhood and versions 1.3 or 1.6 when the game was still only a mod, it’s an absolute pleasure to see how much the game improved over the years.

Just like with a bottle of fine wine, it’s aging well and has more quality as time passes by.

All of us that play the latest release, Global Offensive, find new CS:GO ranks a delightful and exciting new thing that brought innovation in how matchmaking works.  

The modernization that developers took to bring the game into a modern FPS era made the game shoulder-to-shoulder with many AAA titles on the gaming market. 

How does it all work? How does your rank progress when playing the game?

To answer these questions, here’s our simple guide on CS:GO ranking system. 

The CS:GO Ranking System

Now, when you think about it, could you ever imagine Global Offensive without ranks?

The ranking system has become a huge part of Counter-Strike, and there’s no way you could ever go back to basics and play the game without it.

It finally fixed the matchmaking that’s now much enjoyable for many experienced players that hate getting matched up with less-experienced ones. 

To be honest, probably the less-experienced players love the new matchmaking a little bit more because now they can enjoy the game and play with players with similar skill levels. That means not being slaughtered in every match when facing pros in the opposite team.

The ranking system plays a vital role in creating much more reasonable matchups by assigning the players one of 18 different ranks based on their skill levels. 

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Based on your rank, you would matchup only with the players that share a similar skill set. That’s perfect for all newbies that play the game for the first time, as they’re not going to lose their desire to play after a few rounds.

The Distribution of Ranks Amongst Players

Now with a new ranking system in place, the players are divided into 18 different ranks that will later determine their matchmaking. 

The distribution of ranks among the players created a better glimpse into how they’re performing in matches and how can we rate their skill levels.

Among 18 different ranks, the biggest player base ranks somewhere in the golden middle of a rank ladder with around 50% of the entire CS:GO player base. That’s somewhere in the range from Silver Elite Master to Master Guardian Elite- a total of eight ranks in between these two.

The remaining ten ranks divide the rest of the 50% of the players and rank them either as beginners or pros. 

The golden middle has somewhere around 7-8% of players in each rank, which’s double as much compared to ranks above and under with around 3-4% in average for each rank. 

The last and the most desirable rank Global Elite has less than 1% of the entire player base as it’s very difficult to reach it – it takes a monstrous effort to achieve this last stage.

The Things We Know About How the Ranking System Works

The exact algorithm behind the ranking system in CS:GO is not a well-known fact, and there are only a few things that all can agree on how the system rates the players.

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Global Offensive uses Glicko 2 system for gathering information on the player’s performances during competitive matches. Glicko 2 analyzes different parameters and gathers enough data for classifying the overall performance and skill level of all players.

Counter-Strike is not the only game that uses the Glicko system for its ranking system. Games like DOTA, Team Fortress 2, and others use this system for creating much reasonable matchmaking. 

The easiest ranks to go through are the first ones, which is obvious. You’ll only need to compete in 10 matches for getting to the first rank on the list, Silver I. That will be your first step among many when going through all 18 ranks.

From that point, it will take a lot of playing time and improving your skill if you want to make your way to the top. 

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While it’s still debatable what data this system records, we can all agree on some basic facts that will help you progress through the ranks much faster.

If you’re looking to do so, you should improve your K/D ratio and try to make as many assists kill possible. The time spent playing will not make you progress through ranks unless you find a way of improving these aspects of your game. 

Probably the best advice we can give you is to play competitive matches and tournaments. The system will analyze how good you’re doing among the players with the same rank as yours. 

By playing the game competitive, your skill levels and statistics will have a positive incline after learning how to be victorious in a tough matchup. 

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The most important thing is not letting ranks ruin the whole gaming experience for you. When playing Counter-Strike, you should always have fun and enjoy the game. Only like that, you’ll remain focused enough for your road to the top.

Conclusion

The ranking system overhauled the whole Counter-Strike franchise and produced content that will only grow in the future.

As time passes by and we learn more about ranks in Global Offensive, we conclude that this game will remain one of the favorites in many years to follow. 

A game that’s now 20 years old, we should only admire it and salute its glory. We can’t wait and see what will happen in the future of the franchise.