The unwritten rules of CS:GO

These commandments enrich the Counter-Strike culture

Image via Steam Community, Ori Leve

Counter-Strike is a game of mannerisms. Aside from gameplay, players’ personalities are what make the CS:GO experience so immersive. Players can be either friendly and caring or toxic and insufferable. Sometimes you’ll love the community, and sometimes you’ll want to throw your computer out the window in anger

Although the CS:GO community has its ups and downs, there are numerous pieces of in-game etiquette that many players haven’t picked up on. Many of these are gained with a lot of experience in the game culture. Some pick up on these unwritten rules without any help. But for those who struggle to understand the cultural language of CS:GO, we’re here to help.

GLHF, GH, and GG

Wishing the other team “good luck have fun” (before the game), “good half” (at halftime), and “good game” (after the game) is a sportsmanship courtesy that quells the tension between players. It’s like lining up and shaking hands after a sports game; the player who doesn’t partake is considered a poor sport.

Drop your weapons after the match

Pressing “G” twice on your keyboard to drop your weapons is the only action your player model can perform once the game is complete. If you’re facing a wall when the game ends, you can juggle your weapons until the server closes. While it’s also a subtle way of saying “GG” without typing it in chat, it can be interpreted as an act of laying down your arms for peace.

Don’t talk during clutches

Imagine a scenario in which you’re in a game with your favorite professional player on your team and they’re in the clutch situation you’re watching. Do them a favor and observe in silent awe as they single-handedly win the round for your team. Your teammate may inevitably do something you would’ve never thought of in that situation.

If your teammate is crouching and looking at you during the buy period, buy for them

This is an odd rule that requires a lot of awkward stares from your teammates to learn, even if they have a microphone. When players do this, they’ll be happy to jump into action with any gun that you gift them. Your philanthropy will be praised much more if you buy for more than one teammate.

“Rush B, don’t stop” means don’t stop during the rush

The popular Russian slur/play-call followed by a five man blitzkrieg into the B site is Counter-Strike’s most humbled pistol round strategy. When your teammates say don’t stop, they mean it. Don’t stop. If you stop during the push, you halt your team’s momentum into the site, screwing up the major premise of the strategy – rushing.

Give your teammate the ace

If your teammate is skilled enough to get four kills in succession, give them the ace (the fifth kill) while the majority of your team is still alive. This gesture will be a morale boost for your comrade and a demoralizing act for the other team. Your ally will probably want those kills for their precious frag movie. Not giving them the ace is considered a “dick move.”

Don’t buy an auto sniper

A wiseman once said, “You break the auto ice; you pay the auto price.” Once the ice is broken, players will stumble upon an endless salt mine that ruins the competitive meta. Then a full-fledged auto sniper war between sides commences—the only way to end it is to call a truce. The best way to handle the broken ice is to turn the other cheek and not retaliate.

Check the game situation before buying an AWP

You should probably know what you’re going to do with that $4,750 sniper rifle before you buy it, or else your teammates will be enraged. It’s an expensive weapon that could ruin your team’s economy. If you buy it for yourself or for a teammate, you better be damn sure what its purpose will be, or else you run the risk of being a very expensive decoy.

Don’t leave the bomb in spawn

Forgetting the bomb in spawn because someone dropped it is more of a nuisance than it is an inconvenience. Taking a site and realizing no one picked up the dropped bomb in spawn can become infuriating since it can cost your team a round that could’ve been easily won. Politely asking your teammate to pick up the bomb doesn’t hurt.

Give your teammate the defuse if they had more impact on the retake

The above clip demonstrates this to a near perfect degree. Should the person who contributed nothing to the group project be rewarded for their “piece” of the workload? Certainly not. This rule becomes obsolete if your teammate is closer to the bomb and the bomb time is low. In that case, the round win is more important than earning the defuse.

Take that knife fight like a champ

When you see a player with their knife out in a one-versus-one situation, taking the duel is the CS:GO equivalent of a suspenseful wild-west shootout – with some laughs attached. Killing a player with their knife out in a non-serious situation will earn you a “No Honor” badge for the rest of the game. Honor is the most dignified trait to just about any competitor in the game.

Call out concisely and don’t complain

The ideal procedure for dying is as follows: die, call enemy position, call enemy damage, and then call where they’re headed (e.g. “Heaven is lit 78, going tree room”). Nobody likes a Negative Nancy who cries out against their method of dying. Consistently doing so can prove to be detrimental for team morale and can create a pessimistic team environment; misery loves company.

Don’t shoot bodies

Although shooting bodies is a widely used tactic for tilting, nothing good can come from intentionally shooting the enemy’s body after they’re dead—especially after the round is over/the bomb is defused. This rule is the “Golden Rule” of CS:GO; it’s more about respect than it is about the game. Don’t deface the dead.