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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Abbreviated as CS:GO or just CS) is the latest edition (since July 12, 2014) of the Counter Strike franchise by Valve. It’s entire series consists of First Person Shooting video games by Valve and Hidden Path, all started from a Half Life 2 mod by Minh Le and Jess Cliffe. The game is based off of the Source Engine, created by Valve and later editions have been built off the later updated versions of the Source engine. The Counter-Strike franchise have been world renowned for it’s competitive, strategic and repetitive gameplay, being the choice games for major video gaming championships around the world.

Gameplay

The Counter-Strike franchise have always been a first person shooter combined with team solving and strategic skills. The game is renowned for being competitive due to it's team effort and clever implementation of using strategy to win the game. Players are required to play and work as a team in order to win as a team. Rather than spawning in with a predefined set of weapons either given by the game or customized by the user, the player has to earn money and buy their own weapons every round (assuming they do not survive the previous round). Traditionally, there are two teams players can choose/join in, Counter-Terrorists and Terrorists. Usually, the Counter-Terrorists (CT) either has to prevent/defuse bombs by the Terrorists side, or to rescue hostages depending on which map the game is playing on. The Terrorists (T) has to plant the bomb and wait for it to go off without it being defused or prevent CTs from rescuing hostages. Either team can win by killing off all the members of their opposing force.

With the introduction of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, not only there are a magnitude of game mechanics changed along with updated graphics/a update of the Source engine, but also new elements and game modes added.

The goal of the Counter-Terrorists are to:

  1. Completely eliminate the Terrorist team
  2. Defusing a planted bomb before it explodes
  3. Running down the clock if the bomb has not been planted on Demolition, Casual and Competitive Bomb Defusal maps
  4. Rescuing any of the two hostages on Casual and Competitive Hostage Rescue maps
  5. Get the most points in the Deathmatch and Arms Race gamemodes (only applies to a single player)

The goals of the Terrorists are to:

  1. Completely eliminate the Counter-Terrorist team
  2. Planting the bomb on any of the two sites, and making sure it explodes before any Counter-Terrorists can defuse it on Demolition, Casual and Competitive Bomb Defusal maps
  3. Running down the clock on Casual and Competitive Hostage Rescue maps
  4. Get the most points in the Deathmatch and Arms Race gamemodes (only applies to a single player)

As said previously, there are multiple game modes added with a few more in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive compared to the previous games in the franchise.

The game modes consists of:

  • Deathmatch
  • Arms Race
  • Demolition
  • Casual
  • Competitive

Deathmatch

Deathmatch is Not a team effort game mode, meaning that whether or not you work with the team doesn't depend on who wins simply because a single player can win instead of an entire team. The game mode is rather fast paced because instead of having objectives, an economy or spawn points, the player can freely respawn anywhere with a randomized gun or any gun they choose (using the buy menu). Upon respawn, the player is invincible for a short while until they either move/shoot or any other action (note that the player can only choose a weapon while they're invincible). This feature is to prevent instant spawn killing. The only objective is to kill as much of the opposing team players as possible, which will allow them to rack up points depending on their weapon. Every so often, the user will be opted to use a 'bonus weapon' which they will be able to respawn with a random weapon, earning them even more points for every kill they earn using said weapon. The rounds ends by counting down the clock with the victor being the player with the most points (number listed under 'score'). Two players (or more) can tie by getting the same amount of points as the game ends.

Arms Race

Fans of the Call Of Duty series will recognize the mechanics of this game mode. This game mode is similar in terms of pace and teams to deathmatch, but players will have to race against each other to earn 27 'levels', or a weapon cycle while being forced to use a predetermined weapon. A player can 'demote', or descend a weapon cycle another player by using a knife. The player who first gets 27 'levels' or kills another player using a 'golden knife' will win the game, but two players (or possibly more) can tie by getting a knife kill at the same time (but overall, this is highly unlikely).

Deathmatch

Deathmatch's mechanics are very similar to casual. Rather than buying weapons/gear, the player are given them by every start of a round (kevlar/helmet are still bought automatically like casual). Their loadout next game depends on how well they did last game. On the first round, they are given the default assault rifle of that team (M4A4 for CTs, AK47 for Ts). If a player has gotten a kill last round, they advance to the next weapon (which can be either better or worse). Depending on how many kills a player has also can help them in their next (more kills will earn you a flashbang or even a fire grenade). The entire game is team based, meaning that the team with the most wins, win the game. Demolition will always last for 20 rounds and it is possible to tie the game. A team can 'clinch', or gain a number of wins so that the other team cannot beat them

Casual

Casual is a more 'downtuned' version of competitive. While it is not Counter Strike: Global Offensive's main game mode, many people still play it for a more 'laidback' gameplay. There are two teams with different objectives depending on the map. In Bomb Defusal, The Counter Terrorists has to defend against the terrorist and protect the two bomb sites (A and B site) from them trying to plant and successfully detonating the bomb. The Terrorists has to engage the Counter Terrorists and plant the bomb on any of the two bomb sites. In Hostage Rescue, the Counter Terrorists has to rescue the hostages from near the Terrorists spawn points. The Terrorists has to keep any of the two hostages at bay from being rescued by the Counter Terrorists. Rather than buying kevlar and helmet armor, those are already purchased for the player at the start of every round. A game will always last for 15 rounds, 4 minutes per round. The team with the most wins, win by default but because the game round limit is an odd number, it's impossible to tie but possible to clinch.

Competitive

Competitive (also known as MatchMaking) is the main game mode of Counter Strike: Global Offensive and takes as the successor to all the previous Counter Strike games. One of the main purpose of Counter Strike was to enhance the 'competitiveness' and game mechanics of Counter Strike, as the game is very famous for professional gaming. Like Casual, the same objective applies for the two teams but with a more longer, serious gameplay. In order to play a competitive match, the player are able to either play by themself, or in as a team (2 to 5 players). From there, the player agrees that they cannot leave the match or else a refraction is given to them (a temporary ban in which the more times they are given a ban the longer it is next time). In theory, a full game of Competitive can last for 90 minutes, but that's only counting if each team waits out for every round to end (including time bonuses).

Like the previous games in the Counter Strike series, the player has to manage enough money to be able to buy Kevlar body armor and a Helmet which will decrease damage done to the body and helmet respectively. After 15 rounds, a team switch is done in order to ensure that 'team-sided maps' or maps where a specific team has a specific advantage is balanced out. It's pretty obvious now that Valve wants a more, 'serious' take on the Counter Strike series and they did take that advantage when developing CS:GO.

Ranks

The ranking system was introduced since the release of Counter Strike: Global Offensive in an attempt to separate the 'pro' players with the 'newbie' players in competitive matches. There are 18 different ranks in CS:GO and are in order:

  1. Silver I
  2. Silver II
  3. Silver III
  4. Silver IV
  5. Silver Elite
  6. Silver Elite Master
  7. Gold Nova I
  8. Gold Nova II
  9. Gold Nova III
  10. Gold Nova Master
  11. Master Guardian I
  12. Master Guardian II
  13. Master Guardian Elite
  14. Distinguished Master Guardian
  15. Legendary Eagle
  16. Legendary Eagle Master
  17. Supreme Master First Class
  18. Global Elite

With the first (Silver I) being the lowest rank, and the last (Global Elite) being the highest rank possible in the game. Most players would think that the performance of a game affects your rank, but the system however is complicated. At first, a new player (or new account) would start off without a rank (unranked status). A rank is usually given to that player after their first 10 wins. Their new rank status doesn't have to start off from Silver I (the first rank), so if a player does fundamentally good at their start (10 wins, 3 loses), they may start off as a Nova I. After a player has achieved a rank status, they have to continually climb their way up to Global Elite, rank by rank. Most players are satisfied with Master Guardian (nicknamed 'Double AKs') or the famous Distinguished Master Guardian (DMG). However, endgame users who has spent years of playing Counter Strike (or rather more, hackers) are found to be at Legendary Eagle or higher. There also has been reports saying that players have loss or tied in a game, but still managed to rank up. This only asks the question if performance depending on players are also involved in the ranking system. Valve has never really explained how the system works so users are assumed to just play to the best of their abilities and will be ranked accordingly.

As stated above, the ranking system separates the 'pro' players from the 'newbie' players. This means that players in a match will most likely not be playing with other players with extraordinary skills (although, 'pro' players can easily create new accounts and buy the same game, starting off from the beginner ranks as a skilled player). Players are allowed to invite friends to a team however, and can add anyone of any rank to join a competitive match. When finding a game using a team, the rank of the players are selected by the lowest rank to the highest rank. In example, a team consisting of 5 players, 2 players are Gold Nova III with another being a Gold Nova Master, and the other 2 are Master Guardian I. This means that the game will search for players who are Gold Nova III to the rank of Master Guardian I, which does get abused a lot for skilled players wanting to play against lower ranked players.

Strategies

In the beginning of Counter Strike: Global Offensive (rank wise), users are expected to not have much experience, thus allowing users to get used to the game. However, more later gameplay involves heavy tactics and strategies involved in order to gain an advantage against the other team. In a very high level of gameplay, basic first person shooter skills doesn't matter anyway since players are expected to do so anyway. Having a cooperative and communicative team is a key fundamental in the Counter Strike Series. It's very important to know how to or when to engage in combat, as coming into a firefight at the wrong time could throw off the match for your team. Strategies can range from simple sound usage all the way to being able to execute clutches (when a player has to solo another team). There are a lot of guides by default on steam (using steam overlay allows you to browse the internet while being in game).

There are many general strategies to know before going into the world of not just Counter Strike, but general First Person Shooters. Players should know the rules of the game mode/game they're playing, this allows players to save themselves from accidentally shooting their teams in crowded areas. Many players are assumed to know how to correctly set-up game options to their liking and while maintaining a playable frames per second. Players should know that switching, reloading or doing any action with a weapon will force them into a delay. For example, throwing a grenade will expose you to fire from another enemy, and switching weapons will give the enemy enough time to gun you down. Reloading the weapon should be done in a safe place or when the player is behind cover. The following goes into depths of the very useful strategies in Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

Sound

There's a reason why footsteps in the Counter Strike series exists. Using sound is one of the easiest and earliest tactic a person could pick up. Although, this requires a setup with decent 3D sound (using headphones would be a great advantage). By simply having your enemies run around, you will be able to figure out where they are, what positions they could possibly holding and even what they might be doing. In example, a CT player hears footsteps behind a door but they stop momentarily without fading off into a distance, this gives the presence that the enemy may be behind that door. This is a very simple, yet effective tactic to use in mid to late game matches.

Recoil Control

Fans of the Counter Strike series will all agree that the recoil mechanics from the original Counter Strike games is completely different to Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Rather than having a completely random spray pattern surrounding the corsair, weapons will typically spray up and then left or/and right in possible different orders. Guns like pistols do not have a predetermined spray pattern, but other guns do. Higher level users should easily be able to control their recoil to some extend, but heavily experience/trained players can also memorize the exact spray pattern of a weapon or more. Note that accuracy and recoil patterns are changed when moving, but the most accurate when crouching. There are plenty of guides including Steam's personal game guides archive showing graphs and videos on how to counter weapon recoil.

The player can choose a weapon and remember the recoil pattern in their own time. This is easily accomplished by doing the following:

  1. Choose a weapon you want to learn the recoil pattern of.
  2. Stand completely still while facing a wall, the farther the distance, the more spread out the recoil has to be.
  3. Spray without moving your crosshair, and then take note of the bullet hole pattern.
  4. In order to counter recoil, move in the opposite direction of how the bullets spreaded out.
  5. Repeat until mastered

Players will be surprised how tremendously helpful being able to control their recoil. In dire situations where placing all of your shots in one place in the possible fastest time requires being able to do this. It's expected of very high level players to be able to do this, especially in 'pro' level gaming.

Step Shooting

There's a simple yet efficient trick to dodge bullets and at the same time, maintain accuracy with your weapon. Many good players use this trick in order to achieve the two advantages just mentioned. This trick involve simply moving at one side then stopping instantly by shortly moving in the opposite direction, and then shooting since the players corsair has became as accurate as a standing position. The player is assumed to compensate their movement to their corsair, or to move their reticle towards the enemy since doing this will bring off your aim. The trick is repeated until either of the players can pick each other off, allowing them to dodge each others bullets and at the same time, shooting accurately. There a plenty of strategic guides on how to do this, and simply using this will almost always give you a major advantage.

Grenades

Grenades may be a simple component to have in a First Person Shooter game, but it's an important strategy factor in the Counter Strike series. Many casual players do not take heavy consideration into throwing a grenade, but most users will find that it will always be thrown right above the corsair of the player in a parabola path. Most experienced players will have specific spots to throw grenades which is often memorized before playing a game. These spots have always been thrown from locations where the thrower are not exposed or risking themselves to gunfire or ambushes. Many guides and videos are available showing where to throw grenades, and landmarks can be used to identify where to throw them.

The following list explains the grenades available in the game:

  • The Molotov/Incendiary grenades is used to place down fire in a location so any unit going through it will be damaged (friendly fire will affect the damage to teams).
  • The Smoke grenade has the longest detonation time, but many users will find this useful since it can be thrown at great distances. Smoke is released from the canister which allows to mask the movement of players at the expense of letting an enemy know the general area of the that smoke grenade's team.
  • The Decoy Grenade can be thrown to fake the position of an 'red dot' (or enemy) on the enemy's radar. Random gunfire from different types of weapons will start to emit from the placed grenade and automatically explode after a short while. The decoy however is very obvious to decent level players can only bots will often get fooled by this.
  • The Flash Grenade (or also called Flash Bang) can be used to force an enemy to either look away from a location or become temporarily blinded and deafened when looking directly at. The most efficient way is to either get behind cover or look completely away from the Flash grenade. This grenade is mostly used to breach inside a new room and allow for a safer entry.
  • The HE Frag Grenade is used to either heavily damage enemy(s) behind cover or force them out of cover. The grenade when thrown will explode after a couple of seconds regardless of impact, and deals damage depending how far players are away from it.

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