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Eight professional tips to save your ass at Counter-Strike
Hardly any other game stands so much for an entire genre as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, CS:GO for short. More than 500,000 people shoot their way through countless rounds every month, which also means that about half of them lose. Again and again. No wonder, the game is complex, it is fast, it is demanding. If you want to be good, you have to put time into it. Or read this article.
We asked someone for tips who earns a lot of money with CS:GO: Florian “syrsoN” Rische, just 22 years old, comes from a small town near Halle an der Saale and is an eSportsman. He is the AWP shooter of the German team ALTERNATE aTTaX. If he were a footballer, Florian would be the star striker. As a sniper, he is responsible for precise shooting with the most powerful weapon in the game and is also successful at international tournaments. We meet him online for an hour of noob tutoring.
Take the right crosshairs to hit more efficiently
The crosshair is the most important tool in every shooter. But the CS:GO crosshairs are not suitable for real professionals – even though they can be adjusted in detail: Some of them diverge while running to show the increased scatter, others cover the whole screen and have only one point in the middle. “That's not my case, but I wouldn't recommend the default crosshairs,” says Florian. Professionals build their own crosshairs. And this works with the developer console (“Options” -> “Game settings” -> “Activate developer console”). Once the Developer Console is active, you can put it on an unused key in the “Mouse/Keyboard” menu (like the ^ key below the ESC key) and then open it.
Professionals now type “cl_crosshairstyle 4” to get a crosshair that stays statically in the center of the image. Instead of the 4, you can experiment with other numbers, Florian says, but nobody in his team does: “With the professionals, everyone plays with the 4.” Two more commands make the tool perfect: “cl_crosshairsize 3” and “cl_crosshairgap -2”. Voilà, a compact crosshair for the essentials.
Always keep the crosshairs at head height
“Many beginners make the mistake of guiding the crosshairs quite deeply,” says Florian. Logical: The weapon is in the lower half of the screen, everything exciting happens in the upper half. So many players point their weapon downwards to see more of the action. When an enemy passes by, most players immediately shoot – and hit him in the foot for minimal damage. A head shot, on the other hand, is often fatal.
If you look at pros like Florian playing over his shoulders, you can see what he means by head height. He leads his crosshairs along an invisible horizontal line. Florian recommends the game mode Deathmatch as an exercise for the correct height: Tactical procedure is not the main focus here, it is more of a constant kicker where you get a lot of practice.
Create your own server and test the pro settings
You don't always have to give in to the pressure and chaos of a normal round: We meet Florian alone on the private training server of his team, he loaded the map de_dust2 to demonstrate some tricks. On this private server he discusses new tactics and running routes with his team mates and the coach. There are instructions on how to set up your own server with optimal training conditions.
Thanks to a command in the developer's console, the impacts of Florian's projectiles are illustrated by red squares. If you observe them, you can see why beginners with automatic weapons should fire short salvos instead of continuous fire: Florian pulls out his AK 47 and simply holds it on a wall. Permanent fire. The red squares land everywhere, but not at the point where Florian's crosshairs are, the track goes up, to the left, to the right, then again to the left. And this is the trick: Each weapon warps differently, but according to a certain pattern. Florian shows how it's done right: again continuous fire, this time he is heading towards the scattering. Hardly a beginner can do this, as a professional you have to master it in your sleep, especially with frequently used weapons. The result: The red squares remain where their crosshairs point.
An own server is also suitable to practice the correct handling of grenades. There are certain throws on every map that beginners don't necessarily get to by themselves. On YouTube there are the most important tricks – for example for de_dust2, on which Florian is shooting.
Buy yourself some apparently useless grenades
They make Counter-Strike what it is: a game that's not just about shooting, but about tactics. Without well-placed grenades, you can't get half as far. You can never have too many grenades, especially smoke and blinding grenades, says Florian. The grenades have to be bought like any weapon in the game between the rounds with the game currency. Many players ignore the grenades and prefer to save on thick sniper rifles. But if you have to save the money you get after kills and every round, it's not the grenades.
Even the barely used bait grenade, which only imitates the sound of a rifle and is supposed to confuse the opponent, can be useful, says Florian. Because it looks like a blinding grenade that temporarily blinds any player looking at it, opponents are likely to turn around when they approach. You can take advantage of that: Throw a bait grenade around the corner, run right after it and aim at the opponent while he turns away.
You should also vary the way you throw a grenade: After dragging the grenade, don't just release the left mouse button, but press and release the right one instead. Then the grenade flies in a steeper trajectory – and not so far. Perfect to catch enemies behind crates.