csgo ranks guide

CSGO Ranks – Competitive Ranking System Explained

SkinCashier
Updated: August 12, 2021

Counter-Strike Global Offensive or CS:GO was released way back in 2012, and since then its popularity has pretty much gone only upwards, so much so that today, CS:GO is one of the most popular video games in the world as well as the biggest competitive eSports title. As such, a huge part of CS:GO has been its matchmaking system which assigns each and every player a certain rank.

Each rank has its name and discerns the skill level of an individual player which is then used to get a more balanced matchmaking system. Today we will be taking a close look at the ranking system of the game, as well as different CS:GO modes and ranks for each of them. We will also provide you with a guide that will start you on your journey through the CS:GO ranks, so without further ado, here is everything you need to know about CS:GO ranks.

CS:GO Ranks Explained

Before we get further into detail with any CS:GO ranks, it is important to clearly distinguish the differences between CS:GO ranks and CS:GO levels. These two subjects are completely different and have nothing to do with each other, but are often confused with one another, especially by new and inexperienced players.

CSGO consists of 18 different ranks that determine the skill level of each individual and use that information to provide said individuals with more balanced matches and better overall gaming experience.

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CS:GO Levels on the other hand have nothing to do with the ranks, skill groups, or matchmaking and only serve as indicators of much time and effort a certain gamer has put into playing CS:GO. These levels are often referred to as “Profile ranks” and can be increased by doing various in-game activities. New users will start with Private Rank 1 and work their way to Global General. Other ranks in between these two include different stages of Colonel, Captain, Major, and Lieutenant.

What Affects ELO in CSGO?

There are several different factors that calculate and determine how many ELO points your account will receive or lose depending on the outcome of each match. The number of points you gain or lose will be different after each match. The only thing we know for certain that affects this, for now, is whether you win or lose the match. But, there are a few other factors that help make the result more accurate. This includes:

  • The current rank of your teammates
  • The current rank of the opponents
  • Your current rank
  • Region of the players
  • Your score at the end of the match (K/D/A)
  • Number of won and lost rounds

From this, hopefully, you can see that it’s not only important to win in CSGO but to always do your best and perform better than you did in the previous match. Making sure to get more kills, win more rounds, not get reported, and not die a lot will significantly improve your rank and help you gain even more ELO points after each match.

All CS:GO Competitive Ranks List

As we mentioned above, ranks and the ranking system are a huge part of Counter-Strike, and many players who play competitively, regardless of their skill level, wish to rise through the ranks and obtain a rank that they desire. At the time of writing this, there are 18 ranks in the game and each has its own icon, name, and requirements that players can obtain.

Players can accomplish this simply by playing the game and achieving good results by winning competitive game matches. Below you will find a list of all ranks that are currently in CS:GO and that both new players and veterans can earn. The CS:GO ranks are listed from the lowest to the highest in the CS:GO ranking system.

All CS:GO Ranks List

  • Silver I
  • Silver II
  • Silver III
  • Silver IV
  • Silver Elite
  • Silver Elite Master
  • Gold Nova I
  • Gold Nova II
  • Gold Nova III
  • Gold Nova Master
  • Master Guardian I
  • Master Guardian II
  • Master Guardian Elite
  • Distinguished Master Guardian
  • Legendary Eagle
  • Legendary Eagle Master
  • Supreme Master First Class
  • The Global Elite
all csgo ranks

How do Ranks work in CS:GO?

Every time you win a match in Counter-Strike Global Offensive you gain a certain amount of ELO points. These points help you rise up the ranks, the more ELO points you acquire the faster you will increase your rank. However, not every win in CSGO will grant you the same amount of ELO points. There are several factors that affect how many ELO points you will receive after winning a match.

No one knows for sure the entire algorithm that calculates your progress in CSGO. This has been kept a secret by Valve and it has been hard to debunk the entire theory. However, we do know for sure that winning a game no matter what will improve your rank and reward you with a certain amount of ELO points. Losing a game will do the opposite.  But, the amount of points you receive is still unclear and is different after every match. Sadly, there is no way to display how many points you receive or lose exactly.

How to Get Your First Rank in CS:GO?

Getting your first CS:GO rank is not that difficult and everybody can get it in the game, however, it is a process and there are a few things that you will have to accomplish in order to get your first rank and then continue to rank up in CS:GO.

In order to receive your first ranking in CS:GO, every player will need to play the game enough to reach the second level of experience which will then allow them to open ranked matchmaking. In order to do this, players will need to participate in different CS:GO modes such as Death Match, Casual games, etc.

Once this is done, every player will need to complete 10 ranked matches, and upon completion, they will receive be graded according to their performance. This means that you will need to win as many games as possible and keep in mind that your Kill count, your Deaths as well as the number of your Assists will affect the rank that you receive so make sure that you are always one of the best players in your skill group.

How to Rank Up in CS:GO?

After receiving your ranking in CS:GO, the next logical step in your progression would be asking how to rank up in CS:GO so here is what you need to know. In every game that offers ranked matchmaking, there are different things that affect your rank and the way to rank up, however, these things are never really revealed to the players.

Luckily, most of the time, and CS:GO is not an exception, the only way to rank up is to win matches. It is that simple. Sadly, there is no official information on how many games you need to win to rank up, and while speculation differs from one source to another, many agree that you gain a rank after you win around ten matches. Instead of playing even more games to slowly progress, you can try and play your best within the first 10 games. Winning all of them and making sure to have great stats, a lot of won rounds, and great team communication will ensure that you reach a rank as high as Legendary Eagle Master. It’s not possible to get any higher than LEM from the first 10 games in CSGO.

What are smurfs in CS:GO?

Smurfs are, in online games (including CS:GO), high skill players who abandon their main account with a high rank and then create new CS:GO accounts and play ranked games there. Playing with smurfs is unfortunately a common sight, but Valve is fighting this abuse quite effectively. It is sometimes the case that on low-ranking Silver I – Silver V accounts, one person will win the entire game because it turns out that the Global Elite is playing on their low-ranking friend’s account. Remember that smurfing in CS:GO is punishable in the same way as boosting and can result in Valve permanently banning you from ranked games.

CS:GO Rank Distribution 2021

When it comes to the CS:GO ranks distribution in 2021, various different charts that are available provide generally similar statistics of the Counter-Strike ranking system. If we take a closer look at the data, we can see that around 50% of the entire player base is concentrated more or less within the middle CS:GO Ranks ranging from Silver Elite Master to Master Guardian Elite, with the other 50% of the player base is either in the lower or higher level of ranks.

Examining the data further, we can conclude that around 4% of the entire player base is distributed between the silver I and Silver III, while Silver IV has about 5% of players. The Silver Elite rank has a slightly higher player count with a bit over 6% and within the rank of the highest Silver Elite Master there is around 8% of total players who play CS:GO. And that was it for the Silver Ranks.

The middle ranks that range from Gold Nove I to Master Guardian Elite seem to include around half of those who play CS:GO competitively and a majority of those players are included in the lower tiers. Gold Nova I, Gold Nova II, Gold Nova III, and Gold Nova Master all have a similar amount of players with each and every rank having between 8-9% of the entire player base.

The level two specter of the middle-rated player base which includes the rank of Master Guardian I, Master Guardian II, and the Master Guardian Elite rank gradually decrease in size by 1% each from 8% in the lowest rank to 5% in the highest.

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Lastly, we have the highest tier that ranges all the way to the Global Elite starting with the Distinguished Master Guardian with around 4% and then gradually decreasing as the rank increases. Above that we have the Legendary Eagle rank with 3.7% of players, then the Legendary Eagle Master which consists out of 3% of players.

Finally, we reach the Supreme Master First Class which is the second higher rank in CS:GO with 2.5% of players who play CS:GO games competitively only behind the Global Elite rank which is reserved only for the best players and consists out of less than 1% of the total skill group.

csgo ranks distribution infographic

The Types of CSGO Players Based on Rank

Another great thing about the ranks in CSGO is that you can tell what type of player both you and others are based on the current rank pool you are in. Here is a little something about each Rank medal that exists in CSGO and what you can expect as you go higher or lower.

Silver I – Silver Elite Master

This is the first section of medals out of the three different groups that exist. The Silver group contains 6 ranks, starting from Silver I, Silver II, Silver III, Silver IV, Silver Elite, and Silver Elite Master.

Players in this rank group in CSGO may still be new to the game and haven’t mastered any important concepts for fighting, team coordination, map control, or anything similar. You can also expect a lot of toxic people within this rank group, as toxicity is one of the main reasons why players can’t improve their ranks.

The main way you can escape the Silver ranks and move on to Gold is by focusing on improving your skills and communication. Don’t get mad if someone is a total noob and try to ignore them. Simply try to get more kills, stay alive, and win as many rounds as you can even if you have to do it by yourself.

Gold Nova I – Master Guardian Elite

This rank group in CSGO contains 7 medals in total. They progress starting from the lowest, which is Gold Nova I, then moves up to Gold Nova II, Gold Nova III, Gold Nova Master, Master Guardian I, Master Guardian II, and Master Guardian Elite.

In this rank pool, you can expect players who already have an impressive amount of hours put into the game. This means they have decent shooting, aiming, and strategic skills already developed. However, they still won’t be the best in terms of decision-making, planning, and quick reactions.

For most players, this is where their rank progression stops, as more than 30% of the entire CSGO player base is stuck somewhere within these ranks. If you want to improve your rank and enter the top 10% of players in CSGO, which is above Legendary Eagle, then you must take it a step further and carefully analyze how professional players like Shroud, S1mple, Niko, and many others play.

Distinguished Master Guardian – Legendary Eagle Master

Here is where things get really competitive and where players have already grasped quite a lot about the real mechanics behind Counter-Strike Global Offensive. When you reach these ranks, you can almost always expect players with insane skill in most areas of the game. You can’t expect to lower your guard and play based on hope or luck.

In these ranks, you must rely heavily on your team, communicate about every single detail, know the map callouts for popular maps perfectly, and simply analyze each situation and act accordingly.

Supreme Master First Class and Global Elite

Even when you hear the names of these two rank groups in CSGO it’s normal to get intimidated. Being among the Supreme Master First Class and even the Global Elite is an honor not many CSGO players get to experience in their lifetime. It’s no wonder, as it takes extreme focus, effort, and learning to get to this stage.

No amount of practice will get you to Global Elite unless you understand the concept of the game. Skill is important, but you must learn to work alongside your team and truly understand how other players think. Only then you will know what it takes to be among the best of the best in the world of CSGO.

CS:GO Danger Zone Ranks

CS:GO Danger Zone is essentially a battle royale mode of CS:GO and while the new mode itself has received mixed reactions from the community, it is still a decent way to get some practice and play some interesting and different CS:GO games. Regardless of whether you like to play the CS:GO Battle Royale mode or note, it is important that every player know that the ranks and the ranking system for this mode are completely separate from both the standard CS:GO ranks and the ranks of the CS:GO Wingman.

While CS:GO Wingman ranks are separate yet similar to standard CS:GO game ranks which we will discuss later, the CS:GO danger zone competitive game ranks are completely different, not just systematically, but in name as well. So each of the CS:GO competitive game modes that you can play will give you a separate rank that you can show off to your friends and if you play good enough, even improve.

CS:GO Wingman Ranks

CSGO Wingman is a special four-player mode in CS:GO that allows competitive matches in which players are divided into two-player cells and compete against the other team. While the standard five versus five mode is a lot more popular, CS:GO Wingman has its own dedicated player base as well as its own ranking system.

While all of the Wingman ranks in CS:GO are the same as the ones in standard competitive matches, due to a smaller player base, it is a lot easier to rise through the ranking system and achieve your own desired rank in CS:GO. As far as the CS:GO ranks themselves are concerned, there are a total of 18 ranks within the Wingman CS:GO ranking system and they are exactly the same as their regular CS:GO counterparts.

As far as the Wingman mode is concerned, players can only choose to play on a couple of different maps, and each of those maps only has one site. The entire experience of Wingman games is different but is a great way for new players to get some practice and improve their skill level. Hopefully, players will get more maps to play on and get more practice on their through the ranks to the Global Elite.

Summary

This article contains detailed information about the CS:GO ranking system and CS:GO ranks in general as well as rank distribution in CS:GO in the year 2021. The article also covers all of the different ranks in both Wingman and Danger Zone modes, as well as a general guide on how to obtain your first CS:GO rank, and then proceed rising through the ranking system of the game.

CS:GO Ranks FAQ

What is The Highest Rank in CS:GO?

Currently the highest rank in CS:GO is Global Elite.

On Which Level Do You Get a Service Medal in CS:GO?

In CS:GO you will be rewarded with a Service Medal after getting 40 experience levels.

What are Service Medals in CS:GO?

Service medals are special rewards in CS:GO that you get after getting 40 experience levels in any playlist.

How Do CS:GO Ranks Work?

It’s simple – you increase your rank when winning competitive matches and lose rank when losing matches.

How Many Ranks Are There in CS:GO?

Currently There are 18 CS:GO Ranks for the competitive playlist. There are also 40 experience levels for service medals.

What Ranks Can Play Together in CS:GO?

Everyone has to be within five ranks of each other to play together in CS:GO. The limit is 5 ranks.

What Rank Can Unraked Play With in CS:GO?

Unranked players can only play together with others that are between Silver 1 and Master Guardian 1.

What are The Best CS:GO Ranks?

Currently the 5 Best CS:GO Ranks are Distinguished Master Guardian, Legendary Eagle, Legendary Eagle Master, Supreme Master First Class
and The Global Elite.

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