Counter-Strike; it's a name you've heard uttered by your older brother, father, uncle or grandfather, but you've never bothered to check it out for yourself, passing it off as an older, inferior game when compared to the run-and-gun antics of CoD warfare. With the impending release of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive however, you're keen to see what all the fuss it about, and why over a decade later, this franchise is still the king of online shooters.
Well we're here to save your ass. If you try and run your CoD game tactics in the harsh world of CS:GO you will barely last 30 seconds. Follow these tips to improve your chances of survival.
Movement speed and sound
First mistake that most CoD players make is that they run around the map like a headless chook, which is a surefire way to guarantee death. Sound and movements speed are a huge part of CS:GO and knowing when to run, walk and crouch are crucial to survival. Running into a scenario will ensure that you are heard, walking is often a better choice when getting from area to area. When you are sure that your enemies are nearby, crouch at all times - not only is it silent, but your accuracy will improve greatly. On the same token, listen out for others making noise, chances are you will hear them before you see them, and someone's mistake will often be your gain.
Short, controlled bursts
If you hold your finger on the trigger, you're going to hit a whole lot of wall before being shot in the head. Counter-Strike is relentless when it comes to bullet spread and recoil, so you absolutely MUST fire in short, controlled bursts. Not only will it increase your accuracy, but it will allow you to move faster in an attempt to find cover during a gun fight. Once you become familiar with the game mechanics, then you can work on firing with the finger down and controlling your recoil, but 9 times out of 10 you are better off firing with burst fire.
Study the maps
When a game has been this popular for over a decade, change doesn't come easy. While there are some new maps and game modes included with CS:GO, you can bet your bottom dollar that the classic maps such as de_dust and cs_office will still be the most popular servers that are populated. Regardless whether you're playing a classic or a new map, study it at all costs. Learn where the choke points are, alternate routes, the best hiding positions and where you should strike and how. You'll soon learn that the vents in cs_assault are never safe, that the filing cabinets in cs_office could save your life and that the double doors on de_dust2 are a sniper's delight.
Take cover when possible
Cover is scarce in CS:GO but if you're smart it could save your life. Peeking out from behind a doorway, filing cabinet, box or metal casing is always going to be better than standing out in the open. While it's good to take cover, also be aware of what your opponents are hiding behind. Wooden doors can be shot through, as can metal coverings which will yield some damage, or may at least scare them out of hiding. Always be aware of your surroundings.
Quick reflexes are key
I know that CoD can demand some quick reflexes from players, but it has nothing on CS:GO. Most fights are actually 1v1, which means you need to fire on your enemy first and make it count. Train yourself to aim for the head and pull it off with pinpoint accuracy, because if you make a mistake it will leave you open for death. Unlike CoD there is no instant respawn, if you die during the first twenty seconds of the round you'll be cursing yourself as you sit in the spectator section waiting for the game to be over. Life is valuable, and CS:GO will make you see that.
So there you have it. Take this tips on board, learn the game and you'll be well on your way to stardom. It may be a shooter, but Counter-Strike is a whole other sport when compared to Call of Duty or Battlefield for that matter, and if you don't treat it with timid respect, chances are you'll never see the value in one of the most important shooters of all time.
By Stephen Heller