Competitive CS:GO Maps: Ranked From Best To Worst
Counter Strike Global Offensive offers its players a selection of different maps on which they can play. Each has a different map layout, bomb sites in different spots, and requires different strategies.
In this article you will find information about all of the competitive CS:GO maps, ranked from best to worst.
What Are CS:GO Competitive Maps?
The competitive map pool, also known as the active duty map pool in-game, is a rotating selection of different maps picked by Valve for competitive matches. These maps all use the most classic Counter Strike game mode, where the terrorist side’s strategy is to plant a bomb in one of the two bomb sites and the counter-terrorists are tasked with defusing the bomb or simply killing all the terrorists. In Counter Strike: Global Offensive competitive matches are played out in a set of quick rounds, the first team to win 16 rounds wins the match.
Although there is a number of other maps, including the ones created by the community, the active duty map pool is selected to contain the most balanced map selection, at least according to the game creators. The map selection also changes with new updates, so players looking to enjoy Counter-Strike in its most classic form can expect that other maps will also make it to this list at some point.
Best Competitive CS:GO Maps
There are different qualities that players look for in Counter-Strike maps. The best CSGO maps don’t necessarily have to be the most balanced. A fun map can favor one of the sides without being boring. Here are the current active duty maps, ranked from best to worst.
Probably no one is surprised to see the most classic map in the game in the first spot. Dust II is considered by many to be one of the best maps, and its popularity certainly confirms this. Currently, Dust II remains the most played map in the game, while also maintaining its status as the player’s favorite.
A small map with two bomb sites placed relatively close to each other, Dust II delivers the quick match experience that so many players want from the game. Most rounds end quickly, with intense firefights in one of the closed spaces on the map. For AWP users, Dust II also offers a great way to test their skills, with some of the more signature sniping spots, particularly on the side of counter-terrorists.
While by no means the most balanced map, for many players Dust II remains their most beloved map and the only map they play. While it’s a very beginner-friendly map, Dust II also can be difficult to master, rewarding the players for their map control. Although it is one of the more CT-sided maps (the terrorist team very often has to charge in blind against the counter-terrorists) Valve has recently updated the map, to give the terrorists some advantage.
Another popular map, Mirage, is one of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive maps that was ported into the game for being the community’s favorite. Created by Michael “BubkeZ” Hull, Mirage is a three laned map, with an important middle area between the bomb sites.
Less focused on long firefights and favoring a more direct approach on the terrorist team, Mirage gives players a chance to quickly brawl it out in one of the key areas in the game with most rounds being decided rather quickly by whether the terrorists manage to brake through the CT defenses, or if they get stopped before the bomb site.
Better balanced than Dust II, Mirage gives CT players the ability to quickly shift between the bomb sites through the map middle, while at the same time giving the terrorist side easier control of the crucial middle area. Because of this Mirage emphasizes skill and really rewards players for their map awareness and knowledge.
The third most played map, Inferno is also one of the most balanced maps in the game. The win/lose ratio is spread almost evenly between the two teams, meaning that most games on Inferno can be a real test of skill.
More balanced than the previous maps, mastering Inferno requires a lot of experience from players, as there are many different ways for the terrorists to assault the bomb sites. Small mistakes can cause either of the teams to lose a round, since the opposing team can be quick to capitulate on these missteps, and regaining lost ground on Inferno can be a difficult ordeal.
The map also is a great place to practice aim in CSGO for all AWP enthusiasts, as there are many good sniping spots that allow the CT team to hold terrorists in a chokehold. On the other hand, this requires the terrorists to really focus on their grenade usage and teamwork.
Nuke is a unique map for many reasons. For one, it’s the only map in the active duty pool, where the two bomb sites are located directly on top of each other. The multi-layered design of the map gives it a love-hate relationship with many players.
The map starts the terrorist and CT team at the opposites of a nuclear facility, with most of the fight happening in closed spaces or corridors. Nuke also has a long set of tunnels and vents underneath, making for exciting gameplay.
Although there are many different ways to approach the bomb sites on this map, the complexity being above average than most maps can be a problem for many players. Rotating is not easy, and navigating the corridors and multiple levels of the buildings can be very confusing and lead to drawn-out and long rounds.
Perhaps one of the most CT-sided maps in the game, Overpass still remains a popular map, often due to its sheer size. Being one of the biggest maps in the game Overpass also includes a large number of open spaces, making it a great choice for AWP fans.
The counter-terrorists start in a much better position, being able to quickly run to the bomb sites, with many spots perfect for camping and taking out the terrorists as soon as they appear. It’s also hard for the terrorists to rotate towards other bomb sites, as they can very quickly be overwhelmed and taken out if they fail to rush and plant the bomb quickly.
Overpass really favors the players who have mastered the game’s gunplay, as you will often find yourself taking out enemies at longer ranges. If you want to practice your headshots, Overpass makes for a great map.
Located at the top of skyscraper construction, Vertigo is one of the less popular and played CS:GO maps. Many of the interior designs on this map are similar to another Counter-Strike classic map, Office. The players fight it out mostly in the closed spaces of the skyscraper.
With the terrorists spawning below the bomb sites and the counter-terrorists above, this map allows players to take a number of different routes to reach their destinations. One of the unique features of this map is that players from both teams can actually fall to their deaths.
While Vertigo favors fighting in close quarters, it still has some spots for the players to take shots at a long range. Nonetheless, it’s one of the least favored CS GO maps by players. The skyscraper corridors might seem a bit convoluted and simply too complex for the quick matches that most players prefer.
The last map on the list and perhaps the least popular of all the active duty maps, Ancient is one of the unique maps added to the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive map pool. Created to mimic an archeological dig, Ancient pits players against each other in a set of ruins, aesthetically similar to another classic map, Aztec.
Ancient is not a very popular map, to the point where many players aren’t even aware of its existence. Ancient follows a very basic pattern, two bombsites located on both sides of the CT spawn with corridors leading to the sites. The terrorist spawn is located similarly, providing multiple entries to every bombsite.
Ancient can be a bit CT-sided map, as the counter-terrorists have very easy access to each of the bomb sites. Likewise, they are able to defend bombsite A easily from multiple angles, making it difficult to plant the bomb easily, even after the later balance updates. Because of this most matches simply end with the terrorists continuously rushing B.
To Sum Up
This concludes the list. Although not everyone will probably agree with this selection, remember that the most balanced map is not exactly the most fun. What constitutes the best maps is hard to tell for every individual player, but one thing can be clear: Dust II remains king. If you want to learn more about CS:GO, head over to Skinsmonkey, where you can find more CS:GO knowledge and trade CS:GO skins for best prices available!
A true gaming enthusiast, especially Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Rust. At SkinsMonkey, he is involved in creating game guides based on his own experience.