CS GO Matchmaking

Everything you need to know about the CS GO Matchmaking
What is important to know about the CS GO matchmaking?
What is the CS GO Trust Factor and what is CS GO Prime Matchmaking?

Here you can find the following topics:

  • 1. How to play CS GO Matchmaking & Basics of a Ranked Match
  • 2. About Prime Matchmaking
  • 3. Valves new Trust-Factor (important read)
  • 4. All CS GO ranks (extra article)
  • 5. CS GO Elo analysis + How to rank up (extra article)
  • 6. Bans & Time Bans
  • 7. Is the CS GO matchmaking good or not?

1. What is CS GO Matchmaking & How can I play it?

In CS GO you can play different game modes, the most exciting and most played is of course the CS GO matchmaking game mode. In these ranked matches you play based on your CS GO ELO value and will be queued against players with equal skill. The performance gets rewarded with a suitable CS GO rank icon (from silver to global elite). The CS GO matchmaking mode is also called CS GO classic competitive mode or CS GO ranked mode.
For the CS GO matchmaking Valve created more factors to improve the competition and to make it fair at all: Valve added Prime Matchmaking, the Trust Factor and the ban system.

Requirements to play CS GO matchmaking:
To play CS GO ranked matches, players just need to get to level 2 in the CS GO profile ranks. The profile ranks are just a personal level system that does not have impact on CS GO matchmaking. This keeps fast smurfs away, but of course it is still easy to enter ranked matches.

How to get a matchmaking rank:
To get a CS GO rank icon you have to win 10 matchmaking games, while the maximum is two per day. This means in the best case you need 5 days to get a CS GO rank. After getting the rank, the limitation is removed. This is a system to prevent new players who rush too fast into matchmaking games.

Basics of a matchmaking game:

  • CS GO matchmaking games can be searched alone, but also with team mates. To ensure a fair game there is a maximum allowed gap between the skill ranks (5 ranks difference is max). If 5 players group up, any skill difference is allowed.
  • To play CS GO matchmaking games, a search time is calculated based on the map pool and the rank, once 10 players that fit together are found the countdown of 20 seconds starts. Only if everyone accepts, the ranked match will start.
  • A CS GO matchmaking game takes place between 10 players in a 5vs5, the game starts when everyone has successfully connected to the server.
  • The mode is Best of 30, this means the team that reaches 16 round wins first, wins the game. If both teams have 15 wins, the game ends with a draw.
  • After 15 rounds the sides T/CT switch.
  • Each round has a starting time of 10 seconds and a fixed maximum time of 120 seconds, the end sequence is about 8 seconds. Doing the math each CS GO game requires an average of 50 minutes to accomplish but some stomps can be much faster.
  • Every player starts with the same amount of money, each kill in the game gets rewarded with more cash. A big part of the game is the correct timing and behaviour how to use the money individually but also as a team to make the right decisions.
  • When a player disconnects from the game, he has 180 seconds to reconnect, if he wants to come back at all, this time window is fair enough.
  • The better team brings the win home and the winning team players will have a higher chance to rank up. crown

2. CS GO Prime Matchmaking

Prime Matchmaking anticipates the impact of cheaters, trolls and smurfs to improve the overall quality of CS GO competitive games.
How to get Prime Matchmaking
The requirements for the CS GO Prime Matchmaking are:

  • Level 21 in the profile ranks (Lieutenant) OR a CS GO service medal.
  • Deposit and verify your real mobile phone number.
  • Activate the CS GO Prime Matchmaking in a lobby.

Now the CS GO matchmaking system will only queue players against each other who have also Prime Matchmaking enabled. Same goes for groups, if at least one player has no Prime, the whole lobby can’t search for Prime Matchmaking.

3. Valves new CS GO Trust-Factor

Valve realized that the Prime Matchmaking system is not perfect and needs to be adjusted.
In 2017 the CS GO Trust Factor came into play:
The Trust Factor estimates a players reliability with a set of mixed factors.

The Problem
The Prime Matchmaking system was too rough. While it ensured a better gameplay for all Prime players, it did the exact opposite for all non Prime players. The ultimate free for all anarchy and an empire for all smurfs, cheaters and trolls were born. Even players who could play Prime could voluntarily play without Prime. But for which reasons?

The Solution
The CS GO Trust Factor estimates a players range of behaviour.
What are the factors that come together in the Trust Factor?

  • The CS GO overall playtime as well as the Steam play time of other games.
  • How many reports did the player and how many times got he reported?
  • The overall behaviour in Counterstrike Global Offensive and Steam.
  • Be a positive member of the community and the Trust will increase.
  • Possible Factors: Amount of kicks, leaving rate and so on.

It is not possible to calculate or view your own Trust-Factor, Valve is taking this secretly.
Players with an equal Trust factor get queued against each other. This leads to a great gameplay for serious players.

Valve claims that the system seems to work and that it was the right call. The CS GO Trust factor will be adjusted over time to ensure a great gameplay. Well this is just the opinion of Valve – while we think it made the game better, still many ruiners troll around in higher matches. What do you think of the Trust system?

4. All CS GO Matchmaking ranks

In CS GO matchmaking games, players can achieve one of 18 skill group ranks.
We recommend reading our full article about CS GO ranks, with cool insights.
Did you know that you are better than average if you reach Gold Nova 3?

5. How to rank up in CS GO Matchmaking (CS GO Matchmaking Elo)

Is it real, is there are value behind the CS GO ranking system?
What is the key to rank up fast?
I took a close look onto this question how to rank up efficiently in CS GO in a detailed article.
What is your real rank?

6. CS GO Matchmaking Bans

Ohhhhhhh you got banned! :D
The CS GO Matchmaking ban system:

Valve needs to have a ban system, to punish offense people who insult or threaten other people and ruin games on purpose. To prevent these players from taking part in the CS GO matchmaking, valve has the ban system. The CS GO ban system has multiple stages to increase the penalty ascending.

Stage 130 minute ban
Stage 22 hours ban
Stage 324 hours ban
Stage 47 days ban

CS GO always counts the behaviour within one week, if a player commits another crime (in Valve’s eyes) the ban time adds up!

Hosting Abuse, Cheating & Overwatch Bans:

GSLT Ban – not meeting the server hosting rules8 days ban
Ruining games on purpose (trough Overwatch)30 days ban
Using CS GO cheats (trough Overwatch or Valve Anti-Cheat VAC)permanent ban

What can lead to a CS GO Matchmaking ban?
So what is it, people get bans for?

  • Two matchmaking wins on new accounts, lead to a matchmaking ban.
  • Leaving a CS GO matchmaking game.
  • Beeing AFK for a long time.
  • Getting kicked too often and also trying to kick other players too often! :D
  • Teamkills, shooting too often at teammates.
  • As a server admin: deactivating the game server login tokens.
  • Griefing: Any behaviour that ruins the game, like flaming & trolling.
  • Cheating: Of course, cheating in CS GO and using third party software is the biggest rule you can break and it will lead in a permanent ban.

Is the CS GO Matchmaking good or not?

The CS GO matchmaking is always under pressure, many people hate it and some love it. But the most important thing is: The CS GO competitive mode is the most played game mode.
It is demanding, it makes fun, it is hard. It throws 10 players into a battle field and in a short time it will be exposed if you fail or bring the victory home! This is touching man, losing is hard, some can’t even deal with a loss. Good players try to learn from a lose and think about how to make it better next time.

In my opinion, the CS GO matchmaking system works quite well, it got better in the past seasons.
There will always be a russian troll player or cheaters, but Valve is taking this serious and many games reach a high level.
What do you think about the CS GO matchmaking system?
What should Valve change?