CS:GO Beyond MM: How to Improve your Movement
Fri 31st Jul 2020 - 6:21pm
While a lot of people spent a lot of time playing Matchmaking (MM) and PUGs on FaceIt or ESEA, most of them don't know about the endless game modes that the community has to offer besides FFA DM or Arena 1v1. In this guide, I'll show you fun and challenging game modes that not only allow you to unwind or wake up but can also help you improve in one of the most mismanaged skills in CS:GO - Movement.
Community Server Browser
Before we get ahead of ourselves and talk about all of the different game modes and what you can do with them, let's have a look at the tool that Valve offers us to find all of these fabled community servers, the Community Server Browser. To get to this tool, you need to open CS:GO, click on play at the top left and use the dropdown menu to click on "Community Server Browser" at the bottom of the dropdown menu. You'll be greeted by something that looks like the image below.
Before you panic: Don't worry! It's easier than it looks. First, the only relevant categories for you will most likely be "Internet", "Favorites" and "History". In the Internet category, you'll look for and find new servers. If you like a server, you can either add that server from the "Favorites" category, opening the ingame menu via the escape button, opening the Community Server Browser and clicking on "Add current server" or later from the History by right-clicking the server you want to add to favorites before clicking "Add to favorites".
Now, to get a certain server to show up in the search results area, you need to type a tag into the tag/text search bar, for example, 1v1 to get 1v1 arena servers. There will be a few non-1v1 servers, however, that is due to the server admins willfully adding wrong tags to their servers, so keep an eye on the server name, too, before joining. You further narrow down your search by adding filters via the "Change filters" button at the bottom left, opening a new menu with filters such as Latency (Ping) or "Server not full". You don't need to fill in any of those, though.
Then, to see the best results, I'd advise you to press "Refresh all" at the bottom right, which will show you all servers the Community Server Browser will be able to show you due to your specifications in the search bar and filters.
The Game Modes: A Short Overview
Now, onto the meat of the article: The actual game modes and their potential impact on your movement. First off: No, it is not necessary to play any of these movement game modes to get good movement. However, if you have trouble gaining a thorough but natural understanding of the in-game limitations of the engine and their implications for you as a player (what is and isn't possible to do), playing these game modes can help you greatly, slowly giving you a good understanding of the game's movement.
The three most useful game modes are, in a descending list starting with the most useful:
- (Skill) Surf
Below, I'll show you how you can get started in the game modes listed above. Again, none of them alone will make you a movement god, nor does not playing these game modes mean that you won't improve your movement, however, they can help you get a good feeling for distance, speed, and navigating your environment, which can greatly help people struggling with movement.
KZ maps, alternatively called climb in the tags or name of a server, are best described as a parkour to people who never played KZ. KZ can combine the two following game modes, which are Surf and Bhop, in sections of maps with things that are more like situations you'll find on maps, like jumps from X to Y that can be similar to the jump from Window in Mirage Mid to Short. On a KZ server, it's your goal to navigate through the loaded map as fast and with as few checkpoints (that you can set yourself in most server with a menu on the left on your screen) as possible, even giving you the potential to set server- or worldwide-records on that map. Most of these maps require you to start the timer yourself with a button at the spawn area.
The start of KZ_colors_v2 as seen from the button to start the timer
Probably the biggest KZ community in CS:GO is called House Of Climb. On their website, you can find a server list if you don't want to go looking through thousands of potentially bad KZ servers. A lot of KZ maps have different themes that can change from room to room. It is not uncommon to have spots where you'll need to bhop through in order to not to get set back, as that would be a bhop section, however, the majority of KZ maps mostly have jumps as seen in the image.
Keep in mind that there are more difficult maps of KZ that I wouldn't advise you to try out the first few times playing KZ. Sometimes, the server tells you what difficulty the map has if you type "!map" in the chat or it even lists its difficulty in its server name. Happy climbing!
Surf maps are a bit different, however, they can really help you get your hand-eye coordination in relations to moving around in a virtual room (a cs:go map) with different speeds and at different angles. You'll probably be confused the first time you join a Surf server, as there aren't any platforms to jump on, but rather ramps to glide (surf) on.
The Tier 1 Map Surf_Kitsune on a 24/7 Kitsune Server
Surf maps can either be stage-based or linear, meaning they either have different rooms that are like checkpoints between sections or are linear, meaning you can only surf them in one go without breaks. Especially for beginners, I'd advise looking for maps such as Kitsune and Utopia, which are great introduction maps. In most server names, you'll find a mention of tiers, like "Tier 1" or "Tier 3-4". These tiers describe the difficulty of the map(s) on the server, with a higher tier being harder to complete. Especially at the beginning, I'd advise against tier 3+. One of the bigger surf communities and server providers is SurfHeaven.
How to Surf?
You want to glide along the ramps as seen in the image above from point X to point Y to complete a stage or map. To do so, you need to run towards the ramp jump and, when on the ramp, press only the movement button at which side the ramp is compared to you, meaning that if the ramp is to the left of you, you press your movement key for moving left, and if the ramp is to the right of you, you press the movement key for moving to the right. Press only those buttons, as pressing backwards or forwards will make you fall off. Now, with the positioning of your crosshair, you're determining if you're either surfing up, surfing down or just going on ahead, meaning that you can decide how fast you want to go and when you want to jump off.
It is important to note that, during airtime, you'll need to adjust your movement direction by pressing the necessary movement key (left for left, right for right) and move the crosshair towards that direction at the same time, which will make you strafe. Again, press only the buttons needed and no more. A good video for starters here.
Bhopping or Bunnyhopping is the act of continuously jumping whenever you hit the ground, as well as strafing in the air between those hops to gain speed and decide where you're going. Your goal on Bhop maps is the same as on Surf or KZ maps, as you want to finish the map as fast as possible. On normal settings on a competitive server, bhopping for more than three or four times in a row is mostly luck based and therefore not viable, one of the reasons I think this gamemode is the least useful one of the three, as the general movement aspect of CS:GO is already taught through Surf and KZ. However, Bhopping does have a real use in competitive play as you will be able to consistently land one or two hops when trying to out-pace someone in a match with enough practice.
Looking at a Bhop map that requires you to gain speed through bhopping even before the first platform
Again, some servers have tiers in their server name or tags, showing you how hard the maps on the servers are. Sometimes, when they're not shown in the name or tags, you may find them using the "!maps" command in the server. Most servers allow you to keep pressing space down to auto-bhop, however, if you want to gain an in-game advantage, I'd advise you to try out jumping at the right time using your scroll wheel.