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CSGO Ranks » The CS:GO ranking system explained

If you are into CSGO and you really enjoy playing this popular esport on a competitive level, we have prepared an excellent piece for you where you can find out all about CSGO ranks, how the CSGO ranking system works, CSGO levels and more. For years, the CSGO ranking system has been relatively simple to understand, spanning eighteen levels that can be easily used to distinguish the new players from the skilled masters of CSGO.

In recent years, it has been claimed that the CSGO ranking system is a little broken in certain regions. There are inherent flaws to the mechanic that can sometimes end up with brand-new players being thrown into the mix against highly skilled combatants. There have been numerous studies on the topic, with certain publications working to break down the skill level distribution within CSGO, attempting to get to the core of the problem.

Today, we’re not here to answer that question – instead, we’re going to guide you through all the CSGO ranks that are out there in the competitive scene.

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What Are CSGO Ranks?

It has been said that the CSGO ranking system is a little strange, and for some, there’s no one explanation as to how it actually works. However, before we leap into the definition of each rank, we’ll need to quickly run through what exactly CSGO ranks are. Basically, once you’ve completed a competitive match, you’ll either gain or lose ‘ELO points’, which is essentially background metadata that determines your CSGO rank.

Ultimately, everything you do in the game contributes to your ELO ‘allotment’.

Let’s say you’re really new to CSGO – your first rank will vary somewhere between Silver III and Gold Nova II. This is a rule of thumb, and it will represent your skill bracket, and in most scenarios, you’ll be matched up against players that boast a similar skill set. This is an ‘ideal scenario’, and unfortunately, it isn’t always as clear-cut as this. If you hadn’t already worked it out by now, CSGO ranks represent your base skill in the game, and it’s an indicator of your abilities at positioning, aim, map knowledge, line-ups, awareness, placement, movement, and game sense.

If you’re going to climb the ranks, you’ll need to work on all these areas in the game. If you want to climb the ranks as quickly as possible, then work on your aim – it’s the most important controllable.

Read also: Methodology problems with how Valve’s CSGO Rankings for Majors

Breakdown of the Ranks in CSGO

Since Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was released, the ranks have remained unchanged. There are 18 CSGO ranks in total, and they’re as follows:

  1. Silver I (S1)
  2. Silver 2 CSGO (S2)
  3. Silver III (S3)
  4. Silver IV (S4)
  5. Silver Elite (SE)
  6. Silver Elite Master (SEM)
  7. Gold Nova I (GN1)
  8. Gold Nova II (GN2)
  9. Gold Nova III (GN3)
  10. Gold Nova Master (GNM)
  11. Master Guardian I (MG1)
  12. Master Guardian II (MG2)
  13. Master Guardian Elite (MGE)
  14. Distinguished Master Guardian CSGO (DMG)
  15. Legendary Eagle (LE)
  16. Legendary Eagle Master (LEM CSGO)
  17. Supreme Master First Class (SMFC)
  18. Global Elite CSGO (GE)

According to statistics, most CSGO players will sit somewhere between Gold Nova I and Master Guardian I – but that’s just a rough figure. It’s thought that around 30% of all players are still trying to find a way out of these ranks – if they were to read the advice littered throughout this guide, they’d climb up the CSGO ranks remarkably fast. It’s quite a big ask to run upwards through all CSGO ranks, but it’s achievable with enough time.

When we look at the top end of the spectrum, Global Elite, we can confirm that just 0.78% of all players compete at this level. It’s one of the hardest ranks to attain in modern competitive gaming, and it’s reserved only for the most godlike players in CSGO.

If you’ve heard about Danger Zone in CSGO, you needn’t worry about us not covering that here. We’ve put together a separate guide to break down the Danger Zone ranks.

What Type of CSGO Player Are You?

Now, you’ve seen a breakdown of all CSGO ranks – let’s discuss how you can improve that rank and move up in the world.

Silver I – to – Silver Elite Master

At this level, you’re a complete newbie. It’s safe to assume that your aim is off, you’re not aware of the best grenade spots, and your map awareness is slim to nil. Is that an accurate representation?

Fortunately, climbing up through the silver ranks is very easy – you don’t necessarily need to work on utility usage, just map knowledge and aiming abilities. It’s advisable to train for thirty to sixty minutes every day, identifying areas of improvement. There are many servers that will help you train your aim, such as headshot-only or FFA maps. If you’re really struggling, you can open up the aim_botz map, which can be found in the workshop, to fight only bots.

It certainly doesn’t end here, though. Once you’ve climbed up out of silver, you’re just starting on your CSGO ranking journey.

Gold Nova I – to – Master Guardian Elite

At this point, you’ve probably logged a few hundred hours in CSGO. It’s here that you’ll need to be finessing skills other than just your ability to aim accurately. For instance, you’ll need to acquire advanced game sense, gathering a better understanding of the maps, routes, lanes, and tactics.

There are many tactics you’ll naturally pick up at this stage, and an array of talents that you’ll still need to study to acquire. For example, we’re hopeful that, at this point, you’ll understand how to place your crosshair for optimum performance. If you’re not totally clued up on this, we can help you find the best CSGO crosshair.

It’s important to bear in mind that you’re still stuck with around 30% of the total player base while you’re in these ranks. It’ll take more than aim alone to bring you out of these ranks and on the path to becoming the next Shroud.

© Steam

Distinguished Master Guardian (DMG) – to – Legendary Eagle Master (LEM)

Okay, this might sound strange, but it’s at this point that things will start to get sweaty. These are the ranks typically associated with the average competitive player – the gamers that care about their stats and performance, and the players that maybe stream their gameplay. While we’re not riding high in the ultimate CSGO ranks, we’re getting seriously close.

If you’re in these ranks, you’ll have played around 2000 to 3000 hours and will have a clear and defined edge against the competition. If you’re fighting against a player with just 1000 hours logged, your map, movement, and utility knowledge will likely be superior. But, to avoid losing that edge, you’ll need to play way more often, constantly working to sharpen your abilities.

Supreme Master First Class – and – Global Elite

Congratulations, you’re a remarkably talented CSGO player!

There isn’t a whole lot to say about these ranks, as they’re so close in their nature. There are plenty of circumstances in which a Supreme Master First Class player will trash a Global Elite player – there’s very little in it. However, you have managed to climb to the top of the mountain, and it’s here that you’ll start to be recognised – especially if you want to be.

Have you considered becoming a professional CSGO esports player? Maybe you should.

© Valve Corporation

How Do CSGO Ranks Work?

So, you know what they actually are, but how do the ranks in CSGO work?

Let’s say you’re a technical player and you want to fully understand how the CSGO ranks work. It’s a relatively simple concept, but it certainly has more caveats than other, plain competitive titles. Unfortunately, when it comes to the raw numbers, CSGO doesn’t reveal to players their actual MMR number – only their rank or medal. If you lose a game, your MMR will decrease, and when you win a game, it’ll increase – it’s that easy.

However, unlike other esports titles, the CSGO matchmaking mechanic isn’t just identifying your win-to-loss ratio. It’ll also take into consideration your:

  • KDA
  • MVPs count
  • Damage per round figure
  • Total number of bomb plants and diffuses

While winning the matches you’re playing weighs the most against the overall calculation, it isn’t the only thing considered by CSGO’s ranking algorithm.

Ultimately, in competitive CSGO, even a loss isn’t a bad thing, provided you’ve played to the best of your ability and ticked boxes elsewhere. At this point, we’d advise you to keep up to date with our CSGO news – if there’s an update to this system, you’ll be the first to hear about it.

How to Rank Up in CSGO (and Faster)?

How to rank up in CSGO? This is the all-important question that will be in everyone’s head as they’re pushing on through their CSGO journey. While it comes down to individual circumstances, there is a little advice we can offer you if you want to climb the CSGO ranks fast.

Find teammates – ones that you can rely on, of course. If you’re queuing and playing with random teammates, you’ll be at an immediate disadvantage. There will likely be no communication, no real teamwork, and a mixed bag of abilities. This is the simplest thing you can do to rank up faster, as you’ll be grinding CSGO with a team of people you’re communicating with, and who you actually enjoy playing CSGO with.

It’s important to have fun with them, too. If you want to practice, consider throwing down a private lobby and jumping into a CSGO 1v1 to sharpen your skills.

CSGO Levels

It isn’t just the CSGO ranks you need to be aware of, but also the levels. While ranks represent your skill level in CSGO, levels simply represent the amount of time you’ve given to the game. It’s a direct indicator of your playtime and XP accrual, and not of your abilities.

  • Recruit Rank 0 » 1,000 XP
  • 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

Currently, CSGO boasts around 40 levels, and you earn XP towards them by competing in any CSGO game mode. It’s important to bear in mind that most of these points needed can be picked up by playing in the main competitive mode, where you’ll grab bonus points for every round that you win.

If you’re able to commit enough time to CSGO to secure all 40 levels, you can pick up a prestigious CSGO service medal. When you unlock this, your CSGO level will drop back to one, and you’ll be free to start from scratch. It’s essentially akin to the ‘prestige’ model that has been utilised in Call of Duty multiplayer modes for several years.

If you’re dedicated enough to rank up to the maximum level once again, you can pick up an enhanced service medal.

© Tim Kikkert

What Rank is Shroud in CSGO?

At all times, there are plenty of people interested in Shroud’s CSGO rank. However, owing to his ever-changing Twitch streaming schedule, Shroud is constantly changing games. He’s essentially lost his CSGO rank in multiplayer, so it’s impossible to say where he places on the scale.

But, the last time he did play competitively in CSGO, he was awarded the rank of Master Guardian Elite. This is a good example of the imbalance in the CSGO ranking system, as Shroud should honestly rank way above this.

For the last few months, Shroud has pivoted and entered the dynamic world of VALORANT, but as it’s so close in mechanics to CSGO, he’d still be a beast if he decided to return. He’s a long way from being one of the best CSGO players right now, but he has that legacy.

Advice For Ranking Up and Becoming a Better Player

There’s nothing we can do to magically rank you up faster in CSGO, but we can tell you how to get started. Unfortunately, getting good at CSGO concerns individual skill levels, and some simply won’t have what it takes to hit the highest ranks. However, if you’re determined to climb as high as possible, these CSGO tips will help you to become a better player, faster. It’s a tough process to follow, and it’s an intense journey, but it can be rewarded to finally break into those higher ranks after years of trying to grind it out.

1. Improve Your Game

This is simple but it’s something people might not consider when looking at the big picture. If you want to get good, you simply need to… Get good. If you’re training regularly and playing FFA deathmatches, headshot-only servers, and competing against bots, you can train your aim with ease. That’s one of the most important things to consider with CSGO ranks. If you want to start aiming better, for example, consider checking out our guide on CSGO rates.

2. Find Good Teammates

If you’re going to play CSGO, try and play it with other people. This is seriously important, as you’ll need at least some level of communication with the team, including call-outs, role assignments, and general, in-game tactics. If you want to rank up fast in CSGO, you’ll need strong teammates by your side. If you don’t have friends that play CSGO, there are many team-finding platforms out there, or alternatively, you could track down teammates through social media platforms.

3. Specialize in One Role

If you want to climb to the very top of the CSGO ranks, you’ll need to figure out a specialisation. This is remarkably important in CSGO, and it’ll ensure you don’t stagnate and fail to ascend the ranks. If you’re trying to do a little bit of everything, you’ll never truly master anything in CSGO. For instance, if you want to be a cracked AWP player, let your team know that you’ve got that role covered, and run it every game until you feel truly comfortable with it.

Basically, the best CSGO players of all time have tended to specialise, and you should too.

4. Specialize in Several Maps

Nobody likes a one-trick pony, but at the same time, you can’t be amazing at absolutely every aspect of the game. When it comes to maps, it’s important to crush each map one after the other, mastering them over an extended period of time. There are many lanes, avenues, routes, and spots to consider, and understanding a map to its very core is key to climbing the CSGO ranks as fast as possible.

5. Follow the Professional CSGO Scene

Let’s assume you’re into CSGO betting – it’s safe to assume that you’re watching a lot of professional CSGO matches. If you’re not, then you should definitely tune in to some of CSGO’s biggest esports tournaments. When you’re watching the top esports players compete in CSGO, you’ll learn key spots that you never even thought of before. It’ll help you identify tactics, routes, and tricks to boost your CSGO rank and your performance in general.

If you’re trying to figure out how to get better at CSGO, watching the best players dominate the battlefield might help.

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CS:GO Ranks FAQ

What are CS:GO ranks?

CS:GO ranks are a way to gauge how well you’ve been performing as a player. It also helps with the game’s matchmaking to ensure players aren’t forced into unfair matchups. Each game played will earn or lose you ELO points that will eventually determine your CS:GO rank.

How can I improve my CS:GO rank?

There are a number of ways to improve your CS:GO rank but when it really comes down to it, the most important thing you’ll need is hours in the game. There’s no real replacement for hours of experience in the game. Finding your specialty is a big feather in your cap too!

What is the best CS:GO rank?

Most esports have some kind of ranking system that allows you to gauge where you are in the world of players. In CS:GO, the very best rank you can achieve is Global Elite. At this point, you should probably consider looking into playing professionally, who knows, your hard work could pay off!

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