Play Counter Strike

Play Counter Strike

This is for the people who dont play games that often, because unless you have a natural gift you wont get playing once in a month, here is how to play counter strike. Follow the simple steps below

First off, you'll want to download and install the game. This can be done by downloading Steam (containing the game engine that runs CS and its servers) free from the official website (look on Google). Once installed, CS:Source can then be purchased through Steam.

Once everything is loaded-up, open Steam, and log in. Then click the "Servers" button from the Steam menu. Wait a while for the massive list to appear. In Counter-Strike, each of those servers has a different game playing. The current map for each game, the number of players and whether the server has a password are all shown in the servers window. Double click a server to join.

One thing you'll want to look out for is the "Latency" of a particular server; ideally, you want this number to be as low as possible, giving you the best possible (glitch/lag free) experience. You'll also develop favourite maps as you play and develop your style. Along with different maps come different game modes; one example is death match, where the emphasis is on getting many kills in a row, each new kill will raise you up to a better weapon in many cases. Another game mode is demolition (a.k.a. de_) where the terrorists can either win by killing all the counter-terrorists or by planting and detonating a bomb, which the CTs can try to defuse.

Wait for the server to load, some servers take longer than others, depending on how many additional tweaks (music, lights, other game effects) that server has. You'll know when the loading is nearly done because the screen will say "Sending client info...". Then the fun begins! You'll first have to choose a side (Counter-Terrorist or Terrorist), each have slightly different weapons, and spawn at different locations in the map.

Chances are you will join a game that's already underway, if so, you'll have to wait until that round finishes, until then you will spectate (i.e. have the point-of-view of another player). Clicking the left mouse button can switch between players to spectate and space-bar allows you different spectating views. These are all default controls.

When the round starts, press "B, this will bring up the gun menu. At the start of every round in CS, you'll need to buy your toys to play with:) It may seem long at first but there are a few tricks, you can re-buy what you bought last round automatically (though obviously not if you have just joined a game) and the menu can be navigated and the guns chosen using keypad numbers. Soon it will become a reflex and take no more than 2secs to get 'locked and loaded' as they say...

A brief note on weapon choices. There's no hard and fast rule here as everyone has a different style of play, but pretty much everyone agrees that on CT, the M4 Carbine is pretty accurate, on T, the AK is powerful but needs control to manage the recoil. Other guns have their own personalities (wow that's sad?) so you'll just have to get in there and find out for yourself!

Movement and strafing is what gets most people confused. It needs a quite accurate coordination of the W,A,S,D keys and the mouse. The mouse controls where you look and thus where you shoot and is the most important skill for your hand to master. The mouse sensitivity can be adjusted in the in-game options menu. You want to start off low and increase the sensitivity as you get more comfortable with the CS environment.

Ok, shooting, this is what everyone's here for. Basically I'll say this as simply as possible, this goes for all weapons - especially rifles. CS is rather realistic...any more than 2 or 3 shots becomes a spray, a spray is bad because it is not very accurate. Fire a few shots at a time and squeeze the bullets out, don't rap hard on the mouse button. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, remember? Generally, you should aim for the torso or head. If you do feel inclined to spray (and trust me there are times when it just "happens") aim at the feet, then you might have a chance of nipping his head. Stick to the 2/3 shot principle and you'll go very far.

In-game communication takes different forms, some people don't bother with it, but it does come in useful for bragging or complaining, plus its fun when you're playing with friends. You can chat by voice, by typing, and for tactical comms, you can use the in-game pre-recorded commands such as "Go, go, go!" and "Cover me!", which no-one pays much attention to, generally speaking:)

A few miscellaneous words of advice...don't camp (wait in a corner/shadowed place and shoot people that walk past), it will get you killed faster by people who play that map often, and it will just end up making you more frustrated. Also, try to get a sense of your team's abilities and try to add something different to it: for example using a Scout rifle and sniping at the opposition. Grenades are useful in tight situations and for disposing of cornered rats (careful, they bite).

From personal experience, how you're feeling emotionally can affect your game play enormously. If you're feeling irritated or annoyed then you're not likely to play very well. The best attitude to try and maintain is happy-go-lucky, taking things as they come and shooting everything that moves!

That's pretty much it, have fun playing the game, it's extremely satisfying and challenging in ways that many games are not, and there's ALWAYS a bigger fish.


  • Try to get used to having your crosshairs at around about head or shoulder level at all times, this will allow you to quickly dispose of players appearing around corners. Also, this will drastically improve your awareness of your surroundings; running round staring at the floor isn't very wise.
  • A list of reliable and accurate weapons that have a fairly easy learning curve: Clarion, M4A1, CV-47 (i.e. Ak-47), MP5, ES Five-Seven, C90, IDF Defender, Kreig. Once you get a bit better you will start to formulate your own tactics and possibly become specialised in a certain skill, then you can start using the Scout rifle and the Deagle.
  • Controlling recoil - what everyone struggles with, it pays to have a steady hand (and a steady mind i.e. not annoyed or frustrated), the 2/3 shot principle will help you with this. Also, when engaged in a possible long-range fire fight, set your crosshairs at a point where you know the player's head will be and then simply move your body side (i.e. strafe) to side to avoid his bullets whilst trying to line his head up for the headshot. This way you don't have to adjust aim using the mouse, which can be tricky and slow, instead, your whole body shifts position.
  • Boxes, these can be found in most CS maps, especially Aim maps, these are used for cover and are so designed that a player can stand behind them with only their head showing over the top. This can actually be an advantage for shooters, focusing your target area to just a black semicircle appearing over the top of the box which you have to hit.
  • Fast doesn't mean hasty - although he who sets his aim up quickest usually wins in a fire fight, it doesn't mean that you can't spend that extra half a second to make sure of your target and make any last minute adjustments to accommodate for sudden sideways movements. Carelessly wasting shots can result in either a rare lucky kill or (most likely) you running out of bullets at a crucial time. Also bear in mind that the more shots you fire, the more offset your aim will be, so make your first shot a good one, then the 2 or so shots that follow it will be more accurate than if you had rushed your first shot without having steadied/composed yourself.
  • There will be times when your team is getting pinned down to the extent that you either can't exit your spawn or whenever you do you are gunned down like rabbits. This is a tricky situation and is one of those where you can easily end up with several deaths in a row. The key here is, as always, not to panic or get angry and try and rush out, determined to get out before you can be seen. Most likely the opposition have a firing point easily accessible from their spawn. Follow the lead of more experienced players on your team. If they know what they're doing, they will be patient, using any corners and any narrow corridors approaching your spawn to their advantage. Here grenades serve as weapons and also as distractions. There is a fine line between trying to camp and getting blown to pieces by enemies who you never even see (grenades bounce around corners) and trying to get out of your spawn to put some covering fire down. Above all don't rush, try to listen to footsteps and gunshots to determine where the enemy is, then act!
  • Grenades are great. To throw, equip the grenade, hold down left click, aim, then let go. The pin can be out for as long as you like so take your time aiming. Although bear in mind that continuous bombardment (especially of spawning areas) is considered bad CS etiquette and amateur play.
  • Weapons considered 'unwelcome' and 'noobish' not to mention 'a pain in the ass' amongst most CS players is: the Magnum Sniper Rifle (a.k.a 'AWP'), M249 machine gun, Shotguns, Bullpup, D3/AU-1, and Flash grenades. These are, quite frankly, easy weapons to use and win with, and they don't lead to a very enjoyable gameplay experience for those getting massacred:)
  • A final note on close-quarters battle (CQB); often you'll find yourself in a situation where you're confronted with an enemy with nothing but a few boxes in the area. What do you do? Well the best advice to keep in mind here is to get behind any cover available; reducing the area your opponent has to shoot at. If this is not possible then things get interesting:) You must above all remain calmer than your enemy; if he starts jumping around pulling off his dodging moves don't panic! Keep a cool head and if you feel confident whip out your pistol (but a rifle can be effective as well). Then try and strafe in a controlled manner always with the intention of lining your crosshairs up with his head/torso. Also don't feel pressured to go for the kill straight away, there's always a route out of that hotspot...try to out manoeuver your opponent, try to wear him down until he makes a mistake and forgets to strafe or strafes in the same direction twice (allowing you to predict his next movement) if he doesn't kill you in the first second you meet, then it's pretty much fair game to you both.
  • Don't get into petty arguments or abusive exchanges, they ruin your game and could possibly get you banned from the server.
  • Don't hack or use aim bots or other additional software, it isn't worth it and is unfair for those trying to play the game properly.
  • If you feel your skill level dropping in a game, use it as an excuse to take a break, get some air then rejoin in a different server.
  • Try not to get downhearted when you encounter better players, like I said, there is ALWAYS a bigger fish and those better players will feel just the same as you when they come up against pros.
  • Having said all this, CS is a very competitive game and most of the time you will be up against it, getting wasted on the losing side. Don't try and cheat by leaving and joining on the other team, the best way to learn is by going up AGAINST better players, they will respect you more for sticking it out. Look at those times as opportunities for innovation, try new weapons or tactics, just keep up the sportsmanship, and hold station.

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