Keep getting killed in the first 30 seconds of a round? Fed up with dying so much? Sick of spending most of your time in Spectator mode? As there's no doubt plenty of new CS gamers out there, I thought it useful to put together a few hints and tips for people unfamiliar to the game. If you're a "newbie" or even not, but feel your skills need brushing up, here's some pointers: Learn the maps! Sounds obvious, but the top CS players know the maps inside out. Try to master one map at a time, pick one that you like and play it and play it and play it! There are a number of hiding places/areas of cover that people often use, you need to learn these to increase your kill ratio. If you're walking up on a "usual" hiding place or cover point, jump around the corner already firing! The chances are you will score a kill as bullets will be flying before the other person has had time to react (if they're hiding there that is). Doesn't always work, but when it does it's satisfying Also, learn where the bottle-necks are; most maps have them (e.g the central tunnels in de_dust), and use these to your advantage i.e don't go charging into a bottleneck as you're sure to get your legs shot out from beneath you. These areas are prime for HE/flashbang devastation, just be careful that none of your team-mates are ahead of you! If you're new to the game, another good tip is to hang back slightly from your teammates as a bottleneck is approached. If one of your buddies in front is killed before you, forewarned is forearmed as they say Use your ears! I'm always surprised to see people not reacting to what's going on around them. Your EARS are just as important as what gun you're carrying! A good tip - whether you're a newbie or experienced player - is to use headphones rather than speakers. It's FAR easier to judge where footsteps are coming from, and it may give you the edge in getting into position, readying yourself for an enemy appearing. Listening for incoming footsteps is a sure way to increase your kills; if I hear enemies approaching and I feel I have time, I'll lob a HE nade in that direction, or if they're close possibly a FB, before jumping around the corner with my own little surprise Use the radar! The radar is an important tool, and when one of your teammates makes a call such as "Need backup" or "Taking fire need assistance" or "enemy" spotted, look at your radar and it will highlight the team-member who made the call. Again, it's a case of forewarned is forearmed! Use cover! I love it when I see enemies standing exposed in the open, completely static. Use cover around you! If you're watching a doorway for example, don't just sit there (unless you have very fast reactions), keep yourself tucked away and listen for footsteps, or keep ducking in and out of cover to check the entry point of the enemy. You'll last longer and surprise more enemies Pick the right equipment! Many new people just go for the biggest baddest guns they can afford, and forego all else. This is a mistake. Kevlar and helmet are ESSENTIAL in a firefight, and will often make the difference between playing to the end of the round and racking up kills or sitting it out in spectator mode. Alot of people don't think to be the case, but it is VITAL. You might have an M4 and full load of ammo (costing nigh on $3500) but that's no good if my mP5 nails you to the wall easily is it? Even on the first round of a map, BUY armour. I ignore nades, FBs, and buying better pistols; stick to the default, buy armour (you won't be able to afford a helmet but the kevlar will help) and a bit of extra ammo. As you progress through a round, you can always pick up spare nades and weapons from dead enemies or teammates. If you're a CT, and if you can spare the cash, buy a defuse kit! They can make a big difference in winning or losing a round, and remember, if you defuse successfully it means ALOT more money for you next round. Buy the right weapons! The weapons vary significantly in cost, power, speed and recoil, and each needs to be mastered separately. Newbies who run around with AK47s are sitting ducks, as it takes a while to learn how to use it; many times I've faced an enemy with just a pistol, and beaten an AK. Why? Because they couldn't use the weapon. General weapon hints are as follows: Fire in short bursts, especially on the more powerful weapons. Heavy recoil means the spray area will be big, and you'll likely miss with more shots than connect with your target. This is especially important at long range also. A good test is to find an empty server (or start your own game with just you and a friend), play a couple of rounds so you increase your money, then try out various weapons on a wall. Pick a point on a wall to aim at, use short bursts from various distances, then try a major burst: you'll see quickly which weapons are badly inaccurate during sprayage!!! Remember that rifles are the most powerful weapons in Counterstrike: aside from the heavy machine gun and the Desert Eagle pistol, they are the only weapons which will penetrate cover such as boxes, to wound enemies. Aside from the sniper rifles, the Colt M4a and AK47 are most people's weapons of choice. The M4a is the easier of the 2 to use, with the AK47 being for good aimers only: even with armour, you can be killed by just a couple of well placed AK47 shots. The trouble is, the AK47 has horrendous recoil: short bursts are ESSENTIAL, or you're as good as dead. My suggestion for new players is to - initially - stick to machine guns, such as the MP5 navy (it's the best allrounder). Ok so it's not as powerful but, as you're likely to die often initially, it's cheaper than most and you won't find yourself running out of money constantly. Master ONE gun at a time, and stick with one gun until you're good with it (unless you really can't get on with it to start with). Leave the rifles for now - especially sniper rifles as that requires a good knowledge of the maps and you'll largely be static if you find a good spot (and you NEED a good spot to use the sniper rifle well). And remember, although you'll be buying a cheap machine gun each round, you can always pick up better weapons from dead players. Key binds! Use keys which work for you! Personally I use the arrow keys, and dis-regard "turning" (I can look around fine with the mouse!), instead replacing them with "move left" and "move right", effectively strafing. Make sure "jump" and "crouch" are easy to reach and as you get better, "last weapon" can be essential (again make sure it's bound close to your movement keys, I use Numpad 0 for it); if you're in a one-on-one fight and you run out of ammo, you normally don't get chance to reload. So if you use "last weapon" you can switch automatically to the pistol and keep on firing to win that extra kill for your team. This tactic needs practice (you need to remember to switch and remember that although not as powerful, pistols still kick that health down and will score plenty of kills), not least in ensuring that the last weapon in the "memory" is the pistol or main weapon: no use switching to that smoke grenade! General tactics Aside from the bits above, here's a few other helpful hints: A thing I often see is people running around with their guns aiming at the ground, or close to it. When that sneaky terrorist runs around the corner brandising his AK47, you lose precious moments if you gun's pointed at his feet rather than his head! So remember....as you move through a map, aim your gun at chest/head height all the time! If you're disciplined in this, it will pay dividends! Use HEs and FBs! If you know enemies are round the corner, lob a FB to blind them before you jump around with all guns blazing - blind enemies = dead enemies, unless they have a lucky spray. Use walls and the environment to place these too - bounce them off the walls to get to the position where you want the HE/FB to explode...again, you need to learn the maps for this. Aim for the chest/head: partly linked to running around with your crosshairs held high, but chest/head shots kill quickly (especially headshots). This takes practice, but be aware as you play of where you're hitting the enemy. Only practice will help you improve here... Reload! Sounds obvious doesn't it, but remember IF there's opportunity, duck down behind a crate or duck back behind a corner to reload whenever you can. Even if I've fired only 1 bullet, I'll often reload anyway....that last bullet can make all the difference! There's loads more hints, but that's all I've got for now. I'll add more if people want more.... Cheers Matt ps If anyone wants me to talk them through some things in-game then my handle is MrGrumpie, if I'm free I'll be happy to jump on an empty server with you.