This page explains how to get more XP in CS:GO, and choose the best mode for farming xp to level up quickly.
Popular FPS games usually feature an introductory period that aims to ease new players into the games’ mechanics and prepare them for ranked play, as well as providing modes outside of a Competitive arena.
CS:GO follows this structure by locking off Competitive matches to new players, forcing them to earn a set amount of XP before allowing them to queue.
Whether you’re a new player looking to join Competitive matches as soon as possible, or a seasoned player hoping to upgrade your Service Medal, this guide will outline the best ways to earn XP and level up quickly.
This article contains additional reporting by Christian Vaz.
Players will find that they can gain two ranks in CS:GO. After playing ten placement matches, players will be given their Competitive Rank, which places them within one of eighteen skill groups.
The second rank is a player’s Profile Rank, which starts at Recruit Rank 0 and builds up to Global General Rank 40.
After a match or game mode has ended, players will be awarded XP (Experience Points). Awarded XP is split into sections which are each affected by different multipliers. Earned XP is awarded based on individual player performance (Score in the leaderboard) and does not feature in Competitive matches.
Every player is also entitled to an XP bonus that resets on a weekly basis. The weekly XP bonus consists of 5,000 XP and is awarded in two parts. The first 3,500 XP is dished out as 3x whatever XP a player earns in a round and the remaining 1,500 XP is then awarded as a smaller, 1x bonus.
Once a player hits the 5,000 XP cap, they will stop earning bonus XP for that week. If you happen to play very often, you’ll notice that your XP multipliers will reduce across all modes, stopping you from gaining too much. These measures are in place to encourage players to log in consistently, every week.
It’s worth mentioning that there is no party bonus for playing with your friends, meaning you’ll earn the same amount of XP when playing solo. That said, in theory, playing as a team should lead to better overall performance and more wins (and therefore higher XP) as a result of better communication between you and your friends.
Why Do You Need XP?
In short, there’s no way to play Competitive matches in CS:GO without having earned some XP first.
If you’ve just purchased CS:GO and are hoping to participate in Ranked matches, you’ll have to earn a minimum of 6,000 XP (Private Rank 2) in order to unlock the Competitive mode.
If you’ve already unlocked Ranked matches but would like to limit your queues to those with Prime Matchmaking, you’ll have to earn 101,000 XP (Lieutenant Rank 21).
There are still reasons to earn XP after reaching Rank 21, although this isn’t an essential grind.
Every year, Valve releases a Service Medal that players can obtain by reaching Global General Rank 40. This medal will appear on your CS:GO profile and recognises your achievement of reaching the highest Profile Rank in the game.
After claiming a Service Medal, your profile rank will be reset, and if you manage to hit Rank 40 again, you can upgrade your Service Medal to the next level. There are seven levels in total, spanning seven different colours.
Total XP Calculation: Your Score X 0.2
Deathmatch drops up to sixteen players onto a map to battle it out to determine who is the best. Unlike the Deathmatch modes in community servers which go for a free-for-all approach, Valve’s Deathmatch rules split the players into two seperate teams. Rounds of Deathmatch are settled after ten minutes, awarding the win to the player with the highest score.
Earning points in Deathmatch is straightforward, as all you need to do is kill some enemies. You can land almost double the points per kill if you switch to the bonus weapon whenever it is available.
Our biggest tip for obtaining the most amount of points in Deathmatch is to learn when not to switch over to the bonus weapon. Earning significantly more points using a different weapon may sound great, but there’s no point trying to use something like the Negev when you are in a wide open area.
Be aware of your surroundings and pick the perfect time to select the bonus weapon if it isn’t something that you feel comfortable using.
Depending on how good of a player you are, Deathmatch is actually the best way to earn XP, providing you are able to build a high score within the time limit. You might think that the 0.2x multiplier isn’t enough to make a difference, but you need to take into consideration how much XP you might earn in some of the other modes.
If you manage to reach 750 points in a round, you’d be looking at roughly 170 XP per game. Providing you can manage this feat across several rounds, you should certainly consider spending some time in Deathmatch to rank up quickly.
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Total XP Calculation: Your Score X 4.0
Casual is the lighthearted version of Competitive, upping the player limit on each team to ten players, turning off friendly fire, and disabling team collision. These changes, as well as lowering the number of rounds needed to win from sixteen to eight, help create an environment for brand new players to CS:GO.
The earned XP is capped at 1,000 XP in Casual games, although this is incredibly difficult to reach as that would mean you need 250 points in a single game. Regardless, Casual is one of the best modes to earn fast XP as you only need a modest amount of kills (under ten) to earn a respectable amount of points.
A cheap tactic you can try in Casual is to group up with your friends and try to stack together on a single team. Unlike Competitive, Casual allows players to spectate both teams after you die. This allows teams to gain an unfair advantage from dead teammates as they can highlight where the remaining enemies are. You cannot be banned or reported for this, as it is technically not cheating.
Total XP Calculation: Rounds Won X 30
Once you’ve reached Rank 2, you’ll be able to participate in Competitive games. Overall, these are the most consistent way to earn a good chunk of XP, with the maximum amount of XP available in each match totalling 480 XP (excluding the Weekly Bonus).
Competitive matches are the longest game mode in the game though, as matches can last over an hour. Ensure you have plenty of time on your hands before commiting to a match.
While this is a consistent way of earning XP, particularly skilled players may find Deathmatch more efficient for earning XP quickly, as Deathmatch XP depends on individual performance rather than rounds won.
While there are currently no active Operations, these events will grant a substantial amount of additional XP when in progress.
The last Operation included two types of XP: Guardian XP, which was linked to completing missions in the Operation Campaign, and Event XP which was awarded for participating in weekly events.
The last Operation resulted in the inclusion of the Wingman and War Games modes that we now have permanently in CS:GO.
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Wingman is a 2v2 competitive game mode that plays similarly to the Competitive mode but on a smaller scale.
Instead of having one large map like in Competitive, the maps in Wingman consist of a single bombsite. With only a minute and a half on the round timer and featuring a best-of-sixteen format, most games on Wingman last half the length of a typical Competitive match.
Total XP Calculation: Your Score X 1.5
Arms Race may not be the most efficient way for most players to earn XP, but it’s still a decent way to chip away at your weekly XP while trying out the majority of the weapons in the game.
If you are able to consistently win rounds, your score will ensure that you gain a satisfactory amount of XP.
As Arms Race games can be very short, dominating games in quick succession will reap the highest rewards.
Total XP Calculation: Your Score X 3.0 = Total XP
One of the least popular game modes in CS:GO, Demolition will multiply your overall score by three.
This mode combines the bomb scenario that you’d see in a Casual or Competitive game with the concept of working your way up through various weapons in Arms Race.
Here, players are required to eliminate at least one other player in a round to upgrade their equipment in the subsequent round.
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Experienced CS:GO players are given the option to review the match demos of players that have been reported on Valve’s competitive servers.
By correctly identifying the cheaters in each Overwatch case, players will receive an XP reward based on two factors: the number of accurate verdicts you’ve reached across several cases and your Overwatch Investigator score. You can increase your Overwatch Investigator score by continuing to assess reports with a high level of accuracy.
Reviewing Overwatch cases is one of the worst ways to earn XP as you can expect roughly 30 XP per case, and that’s only for an accurate case. In addition to this, the XP you are awarded for going through Overwatch cases is not instantly applied, with some players claiming that they haven’t received any Overwatch XP for months.
You can take solace in knowing that you are doing a great thing for the CS:GO community, just don’t expect much of a reward for doing so.