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Half-Life: Counter-Strike in 2016

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Terrorist or Counter-Terrorist Which do you prefer? Personally, I’m a CT at heart. Both sides are evened out fairly well in terms of firearms, but there are certain maps in which I believe there is a definite advantage to a particular side (for example: cs_747 favors the CT side slightly more than the Terrorist faction, while de_prodigy is the opposite). But most maps are designed where it’s really anybody’s game (example: de_dust).
I highly encourage everyone to test out each side on different maps and see for yourself. In either case, you play to have fun not to “save the world” (this is a good thing because if you’d seen some of the stupid manuevers I’ve pulled off your confidence in all Counter-Terrorist actions would immediately drop).

Scenario Objectives

Either side has its own mission to complete. In a “cs” map, CT’s are to rescue the hostages, while the Terrorists are to prevent this from happening. For a “de” map, the Terrorists are to reach one of the two bomb sites, plant the C-4, and make sure that the CT’s don’t carry out their objective– defuse the bomb (Photo to right: my brother defusing a bomb). On the “as” maps, the CT’s are to protect the VIP and the Terrorist are to assassinate the VIP. You get the idea.
Of course, as you play, you’ll notice that these objectives are not always completed (actually, in my experience this is the case in 90% of the rounds I’ve played in). Instead, an alternative strategy is used: Kill everyone else. It’s quite effective, but not an easy task. The key, unlike in a Deathmatch round, is to work as a team– because if you don’t… they will. Move into a new area in groups, scanning all fronts from which the enemy could attack from.

Alternate reload times (this sounds nearly impossible in a open area brawl, but in certain situations it can be practiced and eventually mastered). Teamwork is everything! Don’t go out there and try to be a hero because you’ll only end up being a grease spot as well as someone else’s frag.


Mapping Things Out

Another part of Counter-Strike that may seem difficult is the fact that you are not familiar with the maps. A good way to overcome this problem is to observe the maps on which you want to play. Better yet– watch others play on the maps (this can be done when you’re dead or a number of other ways). By doing this you should be able to get a good idea of some of either side’s stronger and weaker positions, such as the sniper lofts in de_cbble, or the bridge in cs_italy.
You must remember your role in the game– consider mapping things out as part of your briefing because, Terrorist or Counter-Terrorist, before they set off to complete their mission objectives they are briefed in detail. No one’s going to stop and show you around in the middle of a game, so it’s up to you to learn on your own. Not to forget that the fact that you might not know where you are, doesn’t effect the fact that everyone else does– Ignorance is death.

Staying Alive

At first, it might seem impossible to end up as one of the few (if not the only one) living at the end of a Counter-Strike round. Of course, things like that take practice. How can this be done effectively? If you’re a beginner and you jump onto some server with a bunch of guys who’ve been playing since its release — it probably won’t help you much to improve your play.
One way I’ve found that is very effective is the play with bots. CS bots are great for improving your abilities. You can set them at one of the 4 difficulties to suit your own skill level (I highly recommend practicing with a couple bots of higher skill level for a challenge and general improvement).

The bots are pretty intelligent and will take advatage of the AI capabilites from the original Half-Life in order to retreat, regroup, snipe, and hide from sight. And it’s not just like putting in enemies for deathmatch-like purposes– they actually do set the bomb and try to rescue hostages. Johnny and I play with RealbotĀ (click to download the file– nomally, I would rather give you a link, but it seems that the new bots are not as good as in this version) from

I have to admit that I am a much better player than I used to be before practicing with the bots. The bots are NOT perfect, which makes them more realistic since not every shot fired in a CS round is a direct hit (even though it might seem like it at times). How do they do that? The bots follow what are called way-points, which is a path-like grid system, in order to move in the map as a real CS player might move.

Of course, their moves can become predictable, but the programmers did a good job because it’s been really hard for me to notice. Basically, the rules for staying alive are just like any other first person shooter, so I’ll be brief: PRACTICE, duck back from oncoming fire and reload, be quiet. The final rule I have for myself is to try to not be the first man out there in a “big” round– while the first man on each side has a higher chance of getting more kills, he also has the highest risk of being killed (especially if your team decides to take another route that doesn’t directly cover your position).

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