The New CS2 Ranking System: Explained

I can finally show everyone my true rank in Dust 2!

Anwell Patdu
Anwell Patdu - CS2 & Valorant Expert
9 Min Read

Valve shocked the entire Counter-Strike community by reworking the ranking system for CS2. This change went live on CS2 servers on September 1, 2023. It introduced new basic mechanics, visible ratings and leaderboards, and even a new game mode to the ranking system.

There’s a lot to unpack within the single patch, and returning or unaware CS:GO players might be in for a bit of a shock. So, we’ve taken the liberty of breaking down the new CS2 ranking system.

CS2 VS CS:GO Ranking System

A photo of individual map ranks in CS2.

Long-term CS:GO fans can rest easy, as the respective ranks and the tiers or divisions remained unchanged in the patch. The rank ladder basically just transferred over to CS2. This means that you’ll likely retain your current rank as long as you’ve still got the skills to match.

Hold your horses, and don’t jump in happiness just yet. One thing that Valve did decide to change is where your rank is relevant. Ranks are no longer global throughout the game. You can now earn individual distinct ranks for each map you play.

Overall, the change does seem reasonable. The maps in the game are so different that the general gameplay and strategies will largely depend on the map you’re playing. This opens up a lot of opportunities to grind the ranks. Technically, you could be Gold Nova Master on Dust II but only be Silver Elite Master on Inferno.

I think the change is good. It will help players improve and hone their skills for each individual map. Personally, I used to shy away from maps that I didn’t like as much to avoid losing my rank. However, with the new CS2 rank system, gamers have no more reason to be afraid. It won’t affect you much and will always match you up with other players within your skill level for that map, allowing you to develop at your own pace.

Premier Mode

A photo of the new Premier Mode in CS2.

The more juicy stuff of the new CS2 ranking system comes with the introduction of Premier Mode. The naming is definitely a bit questionable. Riot already revealed their Valorant Premier Mode months ago. This gave them more than enough time to change the name. So, this honestly seems more like a statement rather than a coincidence.

Now that the elephant in the room is out, we can peacefully explore CS2’s Premier Mode. Premier Mode provides an extremely competitive and professional-esque environment for all players. It will bridge the best CS players with the pro scene. Don’t get it wrong, though. It’s still available for everyone.

While the gameplay doesn’t change, the matchmaking and map-picking process does. Like Competitive mode, you’ll be playing with players within your same skill level. However, a new point mechanic called “CS Rating” will be at stake instead of competing for ranks.

Players can no longer choose the map they wish to play on. It will be replaced by a pick/ban system with five different phases.

  • Ban Phase 1: Team 1 bans 2 maps.
  • Ban Phase 2: Team 2 bans 3 maps.
  • Map Pick Phase: Team 1 chooses the map out of the two remaining options.
  • Team Pick Phase: Team 2 chooses the team they want to start on (T or CT).
  • Phase 5: Final preparations before the match starts.

The changes to the new CS2 ranking system are extremely promising. Not only do players feel more like pros, but they also get to experience different maps in the process.

Premier Mode will likely demote Competitive Mode to more of a “development and training” mode more than anything. I won’t be surprised when the day comes that people start flexing their CS Rating rather than their CS ranks.

What Is CS Rating?

A photo of CS Rating.

The new CS2 ranking system’s release is accompanied by a new elo mechanic in CS Rating. CS Rating is a visible number that is only affected by wins or losses. However, not all games are rated equal. Some matches will lead to more gains (or losses) than others, depending on the overall skill levels you are facing.

Streaks also play a significant factor in the CS Rating points you receive. Winning or losing consecutive matches can lead to massive increases or decreases, making them one of the best ways to rank up.

The new CS Rating system in Premier Mode paves the way for less selfish plays. So, I highly suggest learning the common smoke spots and throwing one to help your team win.

How to Get a CS Rating?

A photo of rating gain after a match.

Everyone has to start somewhere, right? Well, in the new CS2 ranking system, that holds true. Players will first need to get 10 placement wins before receiving their CS Rating. After that, the grind finally starts.

The CS Rating ladder starts at 0 and goes all the way up to 35,000. It also features a color-coded system that can act as a “rank” in Premier Mode.

  • Grey – 0 to 4,999 Points
  • Light Blue – 5,000 to 9,999 Points
  • Blue – 10,000 to 14,999 Points
  • Purple – 15,000 to 19,999 Points
  • Pink – 20,000 to 24,999 Points
  • Red – 25,000 to 29,999 Points
  • Yellow – 30,000 to 35,000 Points

The system evidently took notes from FACEIT. FACEIT has been a beloved third-party service for competitive games for years. It might be going away for good, depending on how well Premier Mode is implemented.

For the keen-eyed gamers out there, you might’ve noticed that the colors mirror the color-coding scheme of skin rarities. A nice little touch by Valve.

CS2 Global and Regional Leaderboards

A photo of the leaderboards.

The final feature that Valve introduced with CS2’s new ranking system is leaderboards. There are two main types: The Global and Regional Leaderboards.

The Global Leaderboard is a collection of the 1000 players with the highest CS Ratings in the world. The Regional board is a bit more localized, but it is still an impressive feat to achieve.

There are a total of 8 region leaderboards so far: Africa, Asia, Australia, China, Europe, North America, and South America. You can easily change your region by playing from that location. So, you can technically dominate on different boards by using VPNs while gaming.

Everyone gets to choose a name that can appear on the leaderboards. It will be subject to approval and cannot be changed for the duration of a season.

Quick Reminder: You need the Prime-enabled status to be eligible for any leaderboard ranking.

Final Thoughts

The new CS2 ranking system features are shaping up to be some of the best additions by far. It seems that Valve is finally taking its competitive gamers seriously and has started listening to the community. It makes you wonder what other changes Valve is cooking up with CS2’s highly anticipated launch just right around the corner.

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By Anwell Patdu CS2 & Valorant Expert
Hey, awesome game enthusiasts! I'm Anwell, diving into the gaming world from the days of the Game Boy Advance SP with Pokémon FireRed, evolving into a pro strategist in the intense showdowns of Valorant and CS2. It's a thrill ride I never want to get off!But hey, I'm not all about the competitive scene. Sometimes I'm kickin' back with the latest indie farming sims, where my farm designs—though not award-winners—bring a quirky kind of peace.As for the tech side, yeah, I've put together a PC or two, and it's a blast. But let’s park that for now; we're all about the gaming vibes here!All this joystick joy turned me into a wordsmith in the gaming universe, with a sea of articles to my credit. And the journey, with you all by my side, just keeps leveling up. So, stay tuned, stay connected, and let’s keep this game-night rolling! Ready for more action and less talk? Onward to our next virtual adventure!
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