The CSGO ranking system is the main competitive benchmark for online CSGO players. CSGO players take their ranks seriously as they are the result of many hours of gameplay and honing their skills. While we know players like their ranks and try to increase them as much as they can, we might not understand how the process works ourselves.

csgo gameplay
CSGO Competitive mode allows you to play with or against the very best

The simple answer to ranking up is playing more games and getting better, but what if you want to understand the mechanics behind the ranking system in CSGO? In this guide, we'll take a closer look at the system based on a variety of information we managed to gather on the Internet.

CSGO ranking up system

When you first start playing the game competitively, there are no ranks available. While you may be familiar with the mechanics of the game playing with bots or with your friends, other things become just as important in competitive as "aiming and shooting". Things to think about features of the weapons, map details, strong teamwork, and other factors you normally don't think about.

csgo ranking system new badges
The CSGO ranks now have a new makeover

Earning your first competitive XP level, which is Private Rank 2, requires earning EXP from playing casual matches. To do this, you would need to play and win 10 placement matches, but you are limited to winning only two matches in a day. This is because the game's ranking system needs time to gauge your skill level.

Remember that when still unranked, you won't be queuing with players with rank Master Guardian 2 or higher unless you are queuing with a full 5-man squad. But once you've reached the 10-win requirement, the Ranked and Competitive matches will be available.

CSGO ranking up system (cont'd)

After your first 10 wins, you will be placed into one of CSGO's Skill Groups, of which there are a total of 18. Your rank is a reflection of your performance and skill in CSGO. This is different from your XP level that determines your total time and effort spent in the game.

csgo badges exp level
The badges measure how much time you've put into the game rather than skill

While you can now play as many competitive matches as you want, you would only be queuing with other players that are 5 ranks, plus or minus, within yours. Except for, of course, queuing with a 5-man squad. Depending on how you perform in each game, your rank readjusts accordingly. It is uncertain how the game decides to place someone in a Skill Group, but winning as a team guarantees progress.

If you stop playing competitively for a month, your Skill Group or rank will go away, but you only have to win or draw one match to get it back. Failing to do so, however, would mean you won't be playing with Master Guardian 2 players or above. But the requirement is simple enough anyway.

csgo ranking explained funny
What the CSGO ranking system really means

The Skill Groups of CSGO ranking system

An online CSGO stat analysis and database called CSGO Stats can give you a distribution graph of the players' ranks, and many other statistics you might want to find. On the distribution graph, you can see the percentage of players in each rank. The graph gets updated using samples of random matches.

Here's a list of all 18 Skill Groups in CSGO ranking system:

  1. Silver I
  2. Silver II
  3. Silver III
  4. Silver IV
  5. Silver Elite
  6. Silver Elite Master
  7. Gold Nova I
  8. Gold Nova II
  9. Gold Nova III
  10. Gold Nova Master
  11. Master Guardian I
  12. Master Guardian II
  13. Master Guardian Elite
  14. Distinguished Master Guardian
  15. Legendary Eagle
  16. Legendary Eagle Master
  17. Supreme Master First Class
  18. The Global Elite
csgo ranking distribution
Distribution of the ranks in CSGO

Earning your first rank as a beginner

As a beginner, here are the steps you need to keep in mind before getting your first rank:

  • Hash out the basics with bot practice
  • Gain some online experience with online matches in other modes, except for competitive. You can train against others here without dropping ranks if you lose
  • Test out as many weapons as you can to find your playstyle
  • Focus on a couple of maps only. As a beginner getting into competitive, you absolutely need to know the ins and outs of the maps you play. Therefore, you can start learning a few of them at first and their Callouts (names of the map locations).
csgo wins per rank
If you want to climb the ranks you have to win
  • Download training maps and practice on them, especially before playing competition maps.
  • When you think you are ready, win your first 10 competitive matches to earn your first rank. When you get to the 2nd Private EXP level, you can have a rank that determines who you queue with.
  • Whatever initial rank you get means nothing in the long run. Keep working on your skills and playing more matches and your rank will change accordingly.
  • Learn about CSGO Launch Options and how to use them. These would allow you to tweak the game's settings for FPS and gameplay experience. Find the most comfortable settings for yourself if you want to play competitively.

Moving up the ranking system in CSGO

Congratulations! You now understand how to get better at CSGO and are well on your way to reaching Global Elite on ranking system in CSGO. Right now, you need to know how to actually climb up the CSGO ranking system.

csgo competitive mode screen
This is what you'd be looking at often when playing competitively

Here are some useful tips to keep in mind that can boost your ranking significantly faster:

  • Master the spray patterns of your favorite weapons
  • Pay close attention to the minimap
  • Know all the details of CSGO virtual economy
  • Always use grenades tactically: for drawing out enemies, rushing opponents, retreating, etc.
  • Always be a team-player
  • Switch up your tactics and keep the enemies guessing each round
  • Stick with your team, don't be a hero
  • Get good at peeking
  • Remember to practice before you play competition
  • If at first you don't succeed, try and try again

Want more guides and tips on games like CSGO? Check out our website at for lots more.