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CS:GO Ranks Explained: How to Rank Up in CS:GO?

Thousands of players gather together in the virtual space of CS:GO to enjoy shooting matches. How to make the experience of each and everyone enjoyable to the max? How to unite teammates of a similar level and give them equal opponents? The in-game ranking system does this task perfectly well, by dividing players into 18 cs go competitive ranks.

In this CS:GO guide, you’ll find all the significant information about those ranks. The more you know about the internal processes in the game, the more you get from your virtual adventures.

Are CS:GO ranks important?

The primary purpose of ranks in cs go and other multiplayer games is to allow guys of roughly equal skills to play with each other. There is no point for beginners to fight against pro opponents – they will be smashed and feel no joy from the playing process. There is no point for experienced players to have newbies as opponents – any game loses its attractiveness by becoming too simple.

CSGO ranks allow beginners to play with/against beginners, and advanced players will be able to play with/against each other. Also, the ranks provide a way to check your in-game progress, to feel your skill growing match after match. That is, in fact, all they are designed to achieve and the fuss around them is just an aspiration of gamers to feel superior, which is quite understandable for a competitive game.

CS:GO Ranking System

There are 18 CS GO ranks:

CS:GO Ranks Explained Silver 1

Silver I (S1);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Silver 2Silver II (S2);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Silver 3Silver III (S3);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Silver 4Silver IV (S4);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Silver EliteSilver Elite (SE);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Silver Elite MastersSilver Elite Master (SEM);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Gold Nova 1Gold Nova I (GN1);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Gold Nova 2Gold Nova II (GN2);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Gold Nova 3Gold Nova III (GN3);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Gold Nova MastersGold Nova Master (GNM/GN4);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Masters Guardian 1Master Guardian I (MG/MG1);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Masters Guardian 2Master Guardian II (MG2);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Masters Guardian EliteMaster Guardian Elite (MGE);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Distinguished Master GuardianDistinguished Master Guardian (DMG);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Legendary EagleLegendary Eagle (LE);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Legendary Eagle MasterLegendary Eagle Master (LEM);

CS:GO Ranks Explained Supreme Master First ClassSupreme Master First Class (SMFC);

CS:GO Ranks Explained The Global EliteThe Global Elite (GE).

You can see a kind of tier system in the CSGO ranking system:

  • Six ranks for beginners (from S1 to SEM). Many players here don’t have enough experience to use any game strategy, to organize communication in teams, or even to shoot accurately enough;
  • Seven ranks for skilled players (from GN1 to MGE). Here you have big chances to meet players with a nice understanding of the game. They can use different strategies and are able to organize well-coordinated teamwork. These players know maps and weapons – their in-game skills are quite good.
  • Five ranks for the best players (from DMG to GE). You may think these guys are cheaters, but they are not. Their absolutely accurate shoots, excellent predictions of opponents’ actions, and just super successful strategies are the result of significant experience and talent.

This division into tiers is nicely visible in the CSGO new ranking system, introduced by Valve in November 2017. It changed the appearance of the virtual “shoulder marks”.

How to get your first CS:GO rank?

When you start playing CS:GO, you have no rank at all – the game should distinguish your real skills. To get your first rank, you have to win 10 competitive matches.

And here is the moment when CS:GO levels come into play.

You can’t play competitive matches unless you have reached the second level of experience. Get it by playing the game in other modes, for example Deathmatch and Casual.

Begin playing ranking competitive matches not only after reaching Level 2 but also after you feel ready! During this “exam” you’ll face opponents and get teammates of different ranks, starting from the lowest tier and then trying your strengths in more and more difficult matches.

Don’t expect to run before you crawl. Most beginners remain in the Silver ranks.

If you don’t play CS:GO for more than a month, you need to renew your rank. This time, one match will be enough.

How to rank up in CS:GO?

The game developers don’t reveal the exact mechanics of ranking up. The reasons are obvious – this would give cheaters a plan of making particular steps for getting high ranks unfairly.

Still, many players ask “How to rank up in CSGO?”, so here is the best working plan:

  • Play more and enjoy the game! This is a way to develop your skills, to learn the game mechanics, weapons, and maps, to dive into a deep understanding of the winning secrets.

The ranking system counts:

  • The number of won rounds. So, if your team wins with a score 16:14, the boost in your rank will be much smaller than after a 16:3 victory.
  • Ranks of your teammates and opponents. If you play with low-ranked companions against high-ranked opponents and win the match, the boost in your ranking will be more significant than in a match with high-ranked teammates against low-ranked opponents.
  • Your performance in the game. Become an MVP (Most Valuable Player), kill more opponents, die less in the virtuality.

Using CS:GO console commands may help you to play better and increase your rank faster.

CS:GO Rankings and Levels

There is a big difference between ranks of players and their in-game levels. If the CS GO rankings are all about “sorting” players by their skills, the levels indicate how much effort they put into the game.

There are 40 levels in the game (often called profile ranks). Their icons are shown in the picture below.

Recruit Rank 0 1,000 XP 0
Private Rank 1 5,000 XP 1,000 XP
Private Rank 2 5,000 XP 6,000 XP
Private Rank 3 5,000 XP 11,000 XP
Private Rank 4 5,000 XP 16,000 XP
Corporal Rank 5 5,000 XP 21,000 XP
Corporal Rank 6 5,000 XP 26,000 XP
Corporal Rank 7 5,000 XP 31,000 XP
Corporal Rank 8 5,000 XP 36,000 XP
Sergeant Rank 9 5,000 XP 41,000 XP
Sergeant Rank 10 5,000 XP 46,000 XP
Sergeant Rank 11 5,000 XP 51,000 XP
Sergeant Rank 12 5,000 XP 56,000 XP
Master Sergeant Rank 13 5,000 XP 61,000 XP
Master Sergeant Rank 14 5,000 XP 66,000 XP
Master Sergeant Rank 15 5,000 XP 71,000 XP
Master Sergeant Rank 16 5,000 XP 76,000 XP
Sergeant Major Rank 17 5,000 XP 81,000 XP
Sergeant Major Rank 18 5,000 XP 86,000 XP
Sergeant Major Rank 19 5,000 XP 91,000 XP
Sergeant Major Rank 20 5,000 XP 96,000 XP
Lieutenant Rank 21 5,000 XP 101,000 XP
Lieutenant Rank 22 5,000 XP 106,000 XP
Lieutenant Rank 23 5,000 XP 111,000 XP
Lieutenant Rank 24 5,000 XP 116,000 XP
Captain Rank 25 5,000 XP 121,000 XP
Captain Rank 26 5,000 XP 126,000 XP
Captain Rank 27 5,000 XP 131,000 XP
Captain Rank 28 5,000 XP 136,000 XP
Major Rank 29 5,000 XP 141,000 XP
Major Rank 30 5,000 XP 146,000 XP
Major Rank 31 5,000 XP 151,000 XP
Major Rank 32 5,000 XP 156,000 XP
Colonel Rank 33 5,000 XP 161,000 XP
Colonel Rank 34 5,000 XP 166,000 XP
Colonel Rank 35 5,000 XP 171,000 XP
Brigadier General Rank 36 5,000 XP 176,000 XP
Major General Rank 37 5,000 XP 181,000 XP
Lieutenant General Rank 38 5,000 XP 186,000 XP
General Rank 39 5,000 XP 191,000 XP
Global General Rank 40 N/A 196,000 XP

Almost any in-game activity gives you XP points – battle effectively on the official servers of Valve to get a lot. When you level up, the game gives you a random item (once per week) – CS:GO skins or cases, to open, to use in matches, or to sell on the site for real money.

After reaching the 40th level, you get a Service Medal – click the button “Get Service Medal” near the level progress bar. The level icons will change their color, and you will be able to repeat the same way on the levels stairs. This scheme works for a few times per year. The developers change these medals year after year, so each of them is unique. Will be you dedicated enough to assemble your own CS:GO medal collection?

Medal Collection in CS:GO

The phenomenon of smurfs

This doesn’t mean the popular blue creatures, but refers to high-ranked players who play against beginners in the game. Such smurfs want to get rewards for leveling up, but they don’t want to put in effort for this. So, they:

  • deliberately lose matches and fall to the Silver ranks;
  • easily win matches there, playing against inexperienced guys;
  • repeat these steps again and again.

This sucks for most gamers. It spoils the game excitement for everyone, including smurfs themselves.

Beginners in CS:GO should know about smurfs. If suddenly you lose matches and can do nothing about it, this doesn’t necessarily mean you are a total noob – maybe there is a smurf in the opposite team. Don’t lose your confidence!

Also, players of any level should remember about smurfs. You may get a teammate that spoils the game and does nothing for victory – this may be a smurf, and his intention is to reduce his rank and the ranks of everyone in the team. It’s better not to play with such guys. Don’t add them to your Steam friend list.

Some players think that Counter Strike Global Offensive ranks have a lack of truly top levels – pro-players are more skilled than most GEs. But maybe they are in an entirely different dimension and aren’t interested in ranks. Playing in such Esports events as ESL Pro League Season 7: Finals is all they need.

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