What is CS: Counter-Strike fundamentals

Welcome to Counter-Strike

Counter-Strike is arguably the most played, traditional and challenging first-person shooter in history. But there are those who ask: what is CS? Why have people been playing it for over twenty years? How can I understand it?

Well, it is not an easy task. But, if you are parachuting in the world of Counter-Strike, we will try to give you an insight into this game so complex and that has captivated gamers for decades.

What is CS
Very competitive, CS still captivates millions (Image via Valve)

What is CS? Here is a list of the most rudimentary concepts of Counter-Strike, needed both as a team and at an individual level.

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Spray patterns

Accurately spraying and knowing where your bullets are going to hit is easily the most crucial concept in the game. It may take hundreds of hours of practice, but it is worth the effort. Don't be discouraged if you have trouble understanding a spray pattern right away - even the professionals had to start from somewhere.

Grenade types and trigonometry Smoke grenade, incendiary, and flashbang pitches can be learned by studying guides on YouTube or experimenting in a match. It may seem like a lot to remember, but enough repetition of the grenade points on each map (and knowing how they affect the enemy's line of sight) will become natural over time.

Grenade types and angles

Smoke grenade, incendiary, and flashbang pitches can be learned by studying guides on YouTube or experimenting in a match. It may seem like a lot to remember, but enough repetition of the grenade points on each map (and knowing how they affect the enemy's line of sight) will become natural over time.

Economic management

Knowing money management shortcuts is the key to success in a CS: GO team environment. After learning about trends and buying behaviors, you will be able to strategize more effectively than before. So, what is CS is a lot for your economy.

Common prefabricated angles

Have you ever wondered how an enemy knew your position before looking around a corner? They probably pre-fired a common angle. Yesber's pre-fire practice maps at Steam Workshop are the best for learning these angles, offering a number of different configurations and weapons to help you adjust your skills.

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Map rotations and times

Knowing the enemy's location is vital to winning the rounds. If you know that there are fewer enemies in a bombed location based on the time elapsed, making a timely rotation can give you and your teammates an advantage.


Crosshair is an easy way to distinguish experienced players from newbies. A general rule of thumb to follow is to keep your aim level with the enemy's head (or where you anticipate a player might spy).

Power positions

Your positioning is sometimes the difference between winning and losing a round. If you are familiar with how the enemy team behaves and reacts to a position in a place or a bottleneck, you can use this information to your advantage. Make the most of the utility and change your position regularly to increase your chances of catching your enemy off guard.

What is CS
Maintaining a good position is essential in CS (Image via Valve)

Learn from your mistakes

Don't make the same mistake twice. If you continue to newbar, enemies will exploit your poor decision making until you are forced to adapt. The most powerful tool for self-learning in CS: GO is the demonstration system. It may seem tedious to watch the game again, but it is useful if you want to learn about the nuances of the game.

Coordinate moves and trades as a team

CS: GO is a team game. It is essential that you press bombing locations as a team, defend bombing locations as a team, theorize strategies as a team, and even die as a team. Being a lone wolf (or a stalker) is often harmful when you're playing with four strangers. Unless you are well understood with each other and have a strategy in hand, playing as a team is the way to go.

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Be aware of your teammates and cover different angles

Holding different angles and shock points and assigning them to players can benefit you on both the terrorist and counterterrorist sides. When your position is compromised, it is almost always best to step back and ask for support from teammates who are guarding the place and rotating instead of going in alone.


Instead of complaining after taking a stray bullet to the head, stop and communicate with your team. Tell where you died, how much damage you did to the enemy player and where they will go. This is especially crucial in a clitch situation.

Avoid toxic behavior

Nobody likes a rude teammate. If you are going to be critical of a teammate's style of play, do it constructively and without a harsh tone of voice. When discussions arise, it creates a bad environment for the team.

Plan the trade when playing defensively

If you and a teammate are covering a location and looking at the same angle, be sure to keep that point of shock in a different point of view. Coordinating trades with one or two teammates is essential to avoid pushing on both sides.

Avoid looking when the bomb is planted in the attack

There is no need to start fights with enemies that approach the place. It is best to listen to the pump chronometer and force CTs to check every corner and angle as they enter the site. The likelihood that they will find, kill and deactivate the bomb in time decreases dramatically as you take your time.

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Protect your ally when he is planting or deactivating the bomb

Always be sure to cover your teammate when he is planting or deactivating the pump. If you can't cover them, try to isolate yourself or even sacrifice your life, if necessary. This way, you are giving your team a better chance of winning the round.

Pay attention to the trajectory of the grenade and count

This rule applies to your teammates and enemies. If four smokes are dropped from the Terrorist side of the map, for example, it is usually indicative of an execution towards the nearest bomb location. On the other hand, if two incendiary grenades fly at a shock point on the side of the CT, there are at least two defenders on that side of the map.

Don't slow down when spying on a sniper

Under no circumstances, take a slow look at a sniper - especially if you also have an AWP. This sniper is purposefully holding that angle for an extended period of time and they intend to kill you as soon as they see your character's first pixel. Guarding your position and using grenades to get them out of there is the best method to combat passive snipers.

What is CS
(Image via Valve)

But then, what is CS?

The game has almost infinite levels of complexity, spanning a period of 20 years. CS: GO is not a deadly shoot-kill-die-reappearance fight. It is a shooting game dynamic and complex tactic, which usually rewards intelligence instead of mechanical skill.

Remember: in CS, brains are generally more important than muscles. There is always something to learn from a game, be it a casual game or a professional game. To be considered one of the best in the game, it takes commitment and dedication. But if you invest the time and effort to hone your skills, learn the basics and keep the basics, you will end up among the best.

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Journalist, 26 years old. Passionate about what I do and what I write about.