Ultimate Guide to Getting Good - Part 4: Eliminating Your Mistakes



Sun 7th Jan 2018 - 8:30pm

Now, that we have aim, movement and economy down, it's time to lay the last basic and general stepping stone for your journey to getting good: Fixing your mistakes. Because, after all, the hardest enemy to beat is you.

In CS:GO, there are a lot of mistakes to be done and the first thing you will need to do is realise that you do make a lot of them. The greatest players didn't get there by thinking that the others should've done better or that they themselves were performing at their very peak. The greatest did not find the last bit of an error in their teammates, but they found their fault and started from there to fix their team. A big part of CS:GO in a game itself is the mentality, and a bigger part of CS:GO is to be honest with yourself so that you can work on your mistakes. There is no point in lying to yourself, as you will eventually have to face the truth, at which point it most likely is too late to accept said truth.

Your Mentality

Step number one to fixing or eliminating your mistakes as a player: Fixing your mentality.

"There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true;
the other is to refuse to believe what is true."
-Søren Kierkegaard

A lot of mistakes in CS:GO are frequent and too easy to forget about for players of all skill groups and if you are not willing to watch, listen, and learn, you will have a bad time getting better over a short but especially longer period of time. Part of this is looking for ways you can increase the chance of winning instead of blaming the enemies for their cheats, "random" playstyle, or blaming your teammates for your lost round.

"So, blaming your IGL for losing matches isn't 100% accurate because even if he send your team to a stack,
doing it correctly or killing your enemies would win rounds, which means it's not only about the wrong strategical choice."
-Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo

Even if a member of your team makes a mistake, a single mistake is often not the cause of a lost round or match. People make smaller mistakes all the time and before you fix those, you cannot really point to others and blame them instead of looking at your self and what got them in that situation in which they made that final mistake.

Keeping It Cool

There is not much you can do but reward yourself with positive thoughts. Every time you spot a mistake be happy that you spotted it and that you now have a chance to fix it, as it otherwise could hold you back for weeks, months, or even years. Stop being tilted at every single mistake of your teammates and keep in mind that no one is perfect, neither are you, which is OK. Not being perfect is just a few steps away from almost perfect, if you do it right. By trying to keep yourself from tilting you will keep a cool head, allowing you to see your current situation through a lens of realism instead of rage. If you are worked up about a few mistakes that happened, you will become blind to ways of correcting the easily fixable mistakes and tendencies that are in your power.

A word of clarification: This mostly counts for being in-game and random teammates. Of course, especially if the members of your actual team ask you for advice, you can point out mistakes. The point is to look at yourself instead of blaming others, not to ignore every mistake they make.

Progress Defines Success

You should never get demotivated from finding fault in you or your system. Finding these mistakes and faults will allow you to fix them instead of carrying them around with you for a while. It is okay to struggle today if that means that you will be better tomorrow.

Using Tools for Maximum Efficiency

There are a lot of tools that you could use to analyse your playstyle and create a sheet full of mistakes you need to work on. I will show you these and tell you how you can efficiently use them.

Demo Review

In CS:GO, you can download your MM demos as well as your demos played on popular 3rd party PUG services like ESEA and FaceIt. In those demos you can fly free by using your "Jump" key twice, switch between point-of-views with left and right mouse buttons as well as the usage of the numbers 1 to 0. On CTRL you can have a look at a bigger map, which allows you to review the game from the bird perspective, to see who moved where. I should note that MM demos have a "lowlights" feature, which I would not recommend, since you do not catch any context and most of the time just see the enemy one tapping you out of the server, anyway.

In general, demo reviews allow you to revisit the plays you made and evaluate what you did right and what you did wrong.

Control Panel and Map

By pressing SHIFT and F2, you will be able to activate the control panel seen in the picture above. This panel will allow you to switch between rounds, click on the timeline to go to a specific part of the match, pause and play the demo and slow down (or speed up) the demo, in case you want to write down bullet points about the game as it unfolds without losing track of it. Keep in mind that this control panel is quite buggy, so have patience when switching between rounds, especially backwards.

By using the panel to review rounds where you were at least partly responsible for your loss multiple times will allow you to write down even the smallest nuances and what decisions got you into that position, for example.

Stroke List

Using a Stroke list in order to find out why you died is an effective way of reviewing a demo. First, you will need to categorise the possible causes of death/loss, like "overpeeking", "outaimed" (it happens, in which case you could've done better by flashing etc.), "stupid decision", and so on. If you want to concentrate on one type of mistake, like overpeeking or decision making, you can divide those categories into other sub-categories in order to get a better look at what went wrong.

Peer Review

If you still struggle to see yourself through the eyes of a realist, it is recommendable to let either a friend, who you will know will be honest, or a kind stranger on platforms like Reddit, review one or a few demos of you. This will take away almost every bias of the demo review and will allow you to get a second opinion on what a good play is, too.

Be sure to thank the person reviewing the demo afterwards, as reviewing demos takes a bit of time.

Fixing Bad Habits and Mistakes

Bad habits are easily developed and can cause you to have disadvantages in many situations. The first step you should take to fix bad habits is to actively think about them while you play, which should also start with your practice, like aim maps and so on. A lot of people quick switch randomly, which will get them killed every now and then when a bloodthirsty Terrorist suddenly jumps around the corner. If you actively think about not doing those habits, eventually you will get used to no doing them.

If you still struggle to fight your bad habits, like instantly crouchspraying or quickswitching, it is reasonable to consider unbinding the key that causes you to keep these bad habits, which can be done by typing "unbind [KEY]" in the console.

Fixing your mistakes, like overpeeking and baiting teammates, can only be done by trying to make use of your discipline and again, think about actively avoiding doing such actions. Eventually, maybe after a lot of hours, you will get used to not doing those mistakes as often again, which will most likely be a big leap forward.

If you find yourself lacking in skill in many situations, consider what is written in this picture.

For more help, see this article about skill and the three other Ultimate Guides at the very top of the article.