Guide to the Ranking System in CS:GO

Understanding the ranking system is any game is a headache especially if you are a beginner and the game is the ever-popular Counter Strike. The latest game in the CS series is Counter Strike: Global Offensive which immediately became popular after its release. However, CS:GO has a complicated ranking system which demands many sleepless nights to understand. A lot of online blogs and articles explain in detail this ranking system but they often use complex terms which makes it even harder to grasp the ranking concept. This article, on the other hand, describes the CS:GO ranks in plain English which makes it easier for the beginners to understand.

Counter Strike: Global Offensive has 18 ranks in total which are broken down as Silver, Nova, Master Guardian and Elites. Following is the brief overview of these ranks and their sub-ranks.


The silver rank is for the beginners. It is like the bottom of the food chain and all the beginners start off with a silver rank. In this rank, a player is a novice and inexperienced. There is no plan or strategy while playing the game and combating the enemy. It is also extremely difficult to escape from the silver rank because of smurfs. Smurfs refers to the experienced players in a video game who create a separate account in order to appear inexperienced and begin the game again. The purpose of this is to gain more cash rewards and improve their rankings. There are six sub-ranks in the silver category which are:

  • Silver I
  • Silver II
  • Silver III
  • Silver IV
  • Silver Elite
  • Silver Elite Master


After going through all of the silver categories, you will get a Nova rank. It is the middle ranking where the players are starting to learn more about the game. They have considerable practice to aim their guns and kill enemies. The Nova rankers need a good amount of knowledge about game strategies, pop-flashes, spray patterns and economy in order to graduate from this rank. The Nova rank is usually filled with all the mediocre players who are all aim and no brain, meaning they have skills and practice to aim and shoot the gun but they lack strategies which enables them to advance in the game. This category has four sub-ranks, which are:

  • Gold Nova I
  • Gold Nova II
  • Gold Nova III
  • Gold Nova Master

Master Guardian

Once you graduate from the Nova ranks, you will end up in Master Guardian. If you survived the Nova ranks through sheer willpower and shooting skills, then Master Guardian is the category where you will have to work on the strategy and planning. It is impossible to advance your ranks above Master Guardian if you don’t use your brains.

  • Master Guardian I
  • Master Guardian II
  • Master Guardian Elite
  • Distinguished Master Guardian


The ranks above the Master Guardian is where the elites of the game resides. These elites are truly professionals and have excessive knowledge as well as skills to eliminate their enemy. These ranks include:

  • Legendary Eagle
  • Legendary Eagle Master
  • Supreme Master First Class
  • The Global Elite