My name is Top Ramen, I’ve been playing Counter-Strike games for over 10 years. The highest rank I’ve achieved is SMFC almost Global Elite. I’m here, to help you improve your game and finally get Double AK or Eagle. I will be publishing a series of guides that will primarily tackle the basics of what you need to know to be a good Counter-Strike player.
First up! Tips on which CS:GO assets you absolutely need, the ideal computer setup that will hold up throughout your grind to the top, and get you the rank you deserve!
Getting to Know the basics:
If you’ve never played Counter-Strike before, you need to know that this game primarily relies on your individual level, and to some degree of your teammates skill. Playing casual is a great way to learn the basic of the game and get an understanding of how the maps work. You will predominately be playing on De_Dust II so get use to it. Occasionally you’ll be lucky enough to experience something like Mirage or Cache, but it’s pretty rare. It’s also a great way to test your settings!
This guide will primarily be covering what peripherals you use to play and how to use them properly. Remember we are trying to optimize your game to make you the best you can possibly be, it takes time, practice, and of course a bit of money! These CS:GO assets will make the difference in how you play!
Arguably the most important CS:GO asset you can have is a good mouse. Without a proper mouse it’s extremely difficult to control your sprays or to 180 and kill an enemy that is killing you from behind. The most important aspect in determining what a good mouse is for you is COMFORT. How comfortable are you using the mouse? Does it fit your hand properly? Does it conform to your style of play?
An easy way to determine comfort is to look at how you grip your mouse. You may be have a claw grip, palm grip, or fingertip grip. I’ve provided examples below in order to help you define your style.
Once you understand which type of grip you have, you can look for a suitable mouse. Now I’m not going to give an in depth review of mice, however I can give you my advice on which brands I’ve tried and liked.
My personal favorite have always been the Steel Series mice, especially the Rival and Sensei Raw. The Rival 300 goes for about $59.99, and boasts itself as one of Steel Series most accurate OPTICAL mice. With the ability to customize the DPI, a solid scroll button, additional buttons just about the thumb rest, and a good weight, this mouse definitely stands out. For those with a fingertip grip or a palm grip this would make an excellent choice.
The Sensei Raw is very similar to the Rival 300 except it is ambidextrous and LASER. If you are a left-handed player this mouse will feel like a godsend. It feels great in the hand and has the same DPI customization as the Rival. The main difference is that the DPI is much higher in the Sensei Raw. Normally higher DPI is good if you have limited desk space, if you don’t it would be best to turn the DPI all the way down!
The Zowie FK1 and FK2 would make any Counter-Strike player, instantly better. There is something about the design of this mouse that just feels right in your hand. Whether you are left handed or right handed this mouse will do all the work. The DPI is naturally low at 400 DPI but can be raised to 3200, which is a bit drastic. If you are a claw grip user, these mice are probably the ones you want especially at $59.99 and $62.99.
This list is by no means exhaustive but some other mice that you might want to look at might be:
- Razer DeathAdder
- Cosair Vengeance M65
- Steel Series Rival 700
- Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury
- Logitech G303
Now that you have the proper mouse it’s time to talk about sensitivity and dpi and frequency! First things first, once you downloaded any drivers or extra software that comes with the mouse, turn off the damn mouse acceleration! You want raw input for accuracy. Make sure to turn it off in game as well, trust me this will improve your game by itself!
Sometimes refered to as CPI, dots per inch or counts per inch, is simply the measure of dots the mouse moves per inch on your computer screen. 3200 DPI means that you move 3200 dots in just one inch, while 300 is significantly less. Most guides will tell you that approximately 600 DPI on your mouse and a sensitivity of 1.7 or 2 in game is enough. Generally that translates into a full 360 degree of motion within 30 centimeters. The reason it is so low is because it is generally accepted that the lower the sensitivity the more accurate you are. If I move my mouse an few inches and I spin around 3 times, it doesn’t give you the chance to be hit the enemy let alone be accurate. The LOWER your sensitivity, the more ACCURATE you become. I tend to go even lower at 400 dpi and 1.3 in game sensitivity. In this way you find yourself lifting your mouse which is never a good thing, but you have much better control over your spray and two taps. Play around with the settings until you find something that is right for you. Remember you don’t need to have the exact same settings as a pro!
The in-game sensitivity should never reach over 5 especially if you have control over the DPI customization of your mouse. Generally most people use around 2-3, but that may even be too fast for some of you. Take your time and develop your style, awpers and entry fraggers may feel they need higher sensitivity, while lurkers or support want lower sensitivity.
Although I don’t think this needs to be mentioned, there is some discussion on whether using 500hz or 1000 hz is better. The frequency or polling rate is essentially how often your mouse communicates with your computer. At 1000hz it is sending signals back every millisecond, while at 500 it is about 3-4 milliseconds. While 1000hz allows you more control, 500 hz may be less responsive, but more accurate. Try both and make a judgement. Some of you may not even be able to tell the difference.
Every element of your equipment is important, none more so than your mouse-pad. Again for the sake of optimization we want to fully utilize the new CS:GO assets we’ve obtained. If you are going with the lower sensitivity that means you need a good 30cm of clear area that won’t disrupt your mouse. If you have the space I would recommend a 900x400x4mm XXL mouse pad. These are the big boy mouse pads, the ones you use when it takes a full arm motion to do a 360. Having such a large canvas to work on is beneficial for those times when you would otherwise be in an awkward spot. When your mouse meets the end of the mouse pad, yeah you won’t have that issue with a mouse pad of this size. If you don’t have the space don’t worry a 450x400x4mm should work just fine.
There are several to choose from whether it is Razer or Steel Series. Personally I just went to my local computer store and picked up the biggest, cheapest, gaming one they had. It’s made a world of difference when it comes to full arm motion; much smoother.
The PC gaming community is known as keyboard warriors, so it’s safe to assume that the keyboard is an important component. It’s not so much about the keyboard itself that you are concerned with, but rather the different switches they use. Different mechanical keyboards will use different switches to give the keys a different feel. We will cover the basics so you know what you’re looking for.
Cherry MX Switches
Probably the most common switch used for gaming keyboards, Cherry MX switches require very little force to press making it great for precision; what we are trying to achieve! This is a linear switch meaning it has the simpliest function, thus it is not tactile and will not make a loud clicking sound.Because they require such a low actuation force they allow for rapid tapping, useful for the pistol dance in round one. Keyboards like Corsair Gaming K70 utilize the red switches, and is worth taking a look at.
Cherry MX Brown
Noticeably different from the Red’s the Cherry MX Brown are a tactile switch that gives you a signal to know when it’s pressed. It feels like a little bump in the stroke of the key, which lets you know you’ve pressed the key. They are not discernibly louder than the Red’s and require the lowest actuation force out of all the switches to activate. Again because we are trying to optimize our game, being able to tell whether we pressed A and D together to stop and take an awp shot is actually a big deal.
If you can get your hands on a Ducky DK9008 or a Das Silent keyboard, you’d be living the dream. They are relatively difficult to get in the US or Canada, unless you order online!
Cherry MX Blue
Another switch you should be aware of when looking at mechanical keyboards is the blue switch. This tactile switch makes the most noise out of all the switches. Not only is it louder, but also requires the most force to be pressed. This is the type of switch you want if you are the confident type and know exactly what you are doing. It is both accurate as well as extremely satisfying to use. Keep in mind the noise if you live with other people, they can get quite loud. The blue switches are very similar to the green switches that Razer uses and gives the user a similar feel. Most notably the Blackwidow Ultimate edition uses the blue switches, but you can also get Ducky, Das, and Corsair keyboards that have them.
Depending on the space that you have on your desk you may opt for a smaller keyboard. The blackwidow tournament edition makes for a great keyboard that you can literally take anywhere with you. If you are particular to a certain set up, you will definitely appreciate the detachable wire and standard keyboard carrying case they give you. It’s okay to go for the bright shiny LED keyboard, so long as WASD, shift, and control work!
One of the critical elements to playing counter-strike effectively is using sound. Using sound you are able to hear enemy footsteps, shots being fired, and are able to communicate with your teammates. If you use sounds effectively, you will more than likely be called a “hacker” because you were able to peak at the exact time, or shoot someone through smoke. With great sounds comes great responsibility!
Really anything that isn’t a speaker and has a mic is a good choice for a headset. Most of the time you will be basing your decision on comfort and sound quality both in-coming and going. Unless you have a nice fancy sound card that supports 5.1 and 7.1 channel you don’t need that to be a determining factor in the headset. Try to pick up a set of noise cancelling headphones because between the sound of your water cooler and mechanical keyboard, gaming gets loud. That, and the fact that it blocks the sound of your cussing, especially when you think the scumbag who’s been killing you every round has wall hacks.
Headsets to look at:
- HyperX Cloud I & II
- Sennheiser Game One
- Astro A40
- Razer Kraken Pro
- Steel Series Siberia v2
- Sennheiser HD 598 (no mic)
Of course this list is not exhaustive by any means, however each one of these headsets will give you top quality sound as well as mic quality (aside from the 598’s). Personally I use the Cloud I’s and find them extremely comfortable. It also has a detachable mic so that you can use them as regular headphones as well.I had to include the 598’s in here because the sound quality is absolutely ridiculous. If you have a stand alone mic, that headset will have you hearing exactly where the enemy is.
You have two choices here, a monitor that is 60hz vs a monitor that is 144hz. Top Ramen, I hear all these kids talking about how 144hz monitors are what the pro’s use, so I can’t be pro unless I have it. For the sake of argument, yes most pro’s use 144hz monitors,and most tournaments offer 144hz monitors; but are they really necessary?
Hertz determine how fast your screen relays the images and refreshes. The higher the hertz, the more information the screen can relay. Generally monitors will either come in 60, 120, or 144hz; you can always scale the faster monitors down if you want. This can potentially be a bottle neck depending on how fast your computer is. If you are able to obtain in game fps over 60 then you certainly want to consider anything above a 60hz monitor. If your computer is great, but your monitor isn’t able to properly utilize and relay that information, then that $400 processor you bought is a waste.
So is it really worth it?
If you aren’t already a battle hardened veteran then you won’t notice the difference. Normally the human eye cannot see anything above 60fps, however gamers swear by the 144hz monitor. I would say that if you are a dedicated awper then maybe you’d want to make this investment. The reason they are important to awpers is because the motion rate makes a big difference in determining whether your ‘flick’ shot hits or misses. The most common problem awpers report with 60hz is that they over compensate and end up missing their shot. Because the monitor refreshes faster at 144hz this issue becomes easily resolved. That’s not to say that once you switch over you will be a god at awping, but rather it will significantly help you make already difficult shots. If you don’t believe me head over to http://www.testufo.com/#test=framerates to take a look at the difference. Make sure to look at the vertical scroll test as well!
If you are considering getting a 144hz monitor you should look to Acer, Asus, and BenQ. Acer’s GN246HL Bbid 24-Inch 3D Gaming Display makes for a great monitor considering its price! Asus makes the VG248QE 24-inch Full HD Ergonomic Back-lit LED Gaming Monitor which is a bit more expensive than the GN246HL but is certainly worth the money! If those don’t tickle your pickle than maybe BenQ’s XL2411Z 144Hz 1ms 24 inch Gaming Monitor NVIDIA 3D Vision Supported may do the trick. Either one of these monitors would make a great asset to any CS player.
So what now?
Well after spending all that money on new CS:GO assets it’s time to actually play! Configure your settings until you are comfortable with sensitivity, sound, and brightness. These are the physical tools you will be using to wreck noobs, so make sure you spend as much time as you can getting acquainted with them. Don’t think just because you’ve got all new gear you are automatically good. You have what you need to get good, now it’s time to get good!
The noticed one –