CS:GO Danger Zone Ranks Explained
Last Updated: April 4, 2023
Danger Zone is a CS:GO game mode that was designed to offer players the possibility to enjoy Battle Royale games without switching from CS:GO to PUBG, Fortnite, or Apex Legends.
Valve’s objective was very logical from a business perspective and the result is more than decent.
Millions of CS:GO fans enjoy playing Danger Zone with their friends. This is a game mode that encourages you to team up with at least one or two more people to maximize the amount of fun you will have.
But when you’re just beginning to compete, it’s not entirely clear how Danger Zone ranks work and what you’re supposed to do.
In this guide, you will learn more about the topic.
Danger Zone Ranks in CS:GO
CS:GO Danger Zone Ranks were released more than half a year after the release of the game mode.
The decision was made because of the popularity that Danger Zone reached in a short amount of time and in recognition of the fact that players were taking this mode quite seriously.
After a while, some of the players became really good and the matchmaking system was starting to have problems.
How do you create balanced games if you don’t keep track of people’s skill level? It’s nearly impossible. And so the Dangerzone ranks were introduced.
These ranks are quite numerous and allow the matchmaking system to make fine distinctions between the players. To what degree are those distinctions put to use, only Valve can know.
So far, the community hasn’t been offered that many clues about how the ranks are utilized internally to ensure fairness.
Some even speculate that they’re used only as a way of making the players feel good about their CS:GO accomplishments. Others say that they are in fact taken into account when the seeding is done for the games.
Whatever the case may be, there are 15 ranks in total and you can climb all of them if you’re skilled.
Images courtesy of Valve Corporation
The 15 Danger Zone Ranks
These are Danger Zone ranks that are available at the moment, from the lowest to the highest:
- Rat 1
- Rat 2
- Hare 1
- Hare 2
- Scout 1
- Scout 2
- Scout Elite
- Fox 1
- Fox 2
- Fox 3
- Fox Elite
- Timber Wolf
- Ember Wolf
- Wildfire Wolf
- Howling Alpha
Below the Fox 1 rank, you’re just a newbie who’s trying to figure out how Danger Zone works. It will take you at least several hundred matches to reach this respectable rank but the better you are as a CS:GO player, the faster it will happen.
Even though it’s a Battle Royale mode, Danger Zone requires many of the skills that are used in Competitive play.
Therefore, if you’re a Legendary Eagle Master, you shouldn’t have much trouble climbing the ranks up to a certain level, which will likely be Timber Wolf.
Another thing that’s going to help is Battle Royale Experience. If you have 1000 hours of play in a game like PUBG, when you try Danger Zone you will immediately feel familiar with the setting.
Because the Battle Royale rules and mechanics of this game mode are very similar to those of PUBG.
How Danger Zone Works
The classic Danger Zone experience involves 18 players who spawn on a map like Ember, Sirocco, or Vineyard, and need to start searching for equipment. In the process, these players will naturally encounter each other.
The longer the game goes, the fewer the players that remain. Because each duel usually results in someone’s death. The goal is to be the last man standing, or at least one of the last six.
The guns and equipment you will find are not different from the ones in the main game. You’re still playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with all of its guns and mechanics, but you’re doing it following different rules.
The available map space shrinks over time, forcing players to get closer to each other. If you’re not careful, this can catch you off-guard.
You should always figure out ahead of time what areas of the map will be available at each stage of the game and then seek to position yourself in such a way that you can always transition to a great spot.
Getting trapped in an open space without a wall or at least some boxes in front of you can be deadly. In other first-person shooters, running from point A to point B without getting killed is relatively easy. In CS:GO it’s really difficult.
If someone sees you, you might be dead in just a few seconds.
Players who know how to aim and have found a good gun will eliminate you with just a handful of bullets.
Of course, you can always fight back. But if they are much better equipped and sitting in a good position while you are out in the open, your odds of winning the duel are slim.
How to Get Better at Danger Zone
Just like in other Battle Royale games, the competitors need to find the right balance between scavenging for resources, fighting other players, and staying hidden.
If you’ve won your first few duels, finding a good hiding place is usually a great idea. However, you will need to develop a lot of patience to play this way.
One of the reasons why many players don’t rank up is because they’re impatient.
They feel the need to do something at all times and don’t know how to play in a calculated manner. Beginners are particularly prone to making this error.
In Competitive CS:GO, anyone who’s above the Gold Nova ranks understands that you can’t be effective if you take too many risks and try to do too much.
You need to wait for the right opportunity and then take advantage of it. That’s true not just in the main mode of CS:GO but also in Danger Zone.
Here are several principles that you should follow if you want to increase your Danger Zone rank in CS:GO:
Master Every Weapon
Danger Zone differs from Competitive quite significantly. In Competitive, you know ahead of time that you will have the opportunity to buy the equipment that you desire and that you’ll be able to do it regularly, as long as you don’t lose too many rounds in a row.
When you run out of money, you and your team will save and will buy again the next round. But in Danger Zone, it doesn’t work that way.
You need to make do with what you find. And this means that you need to be a lot more versatile. You cannot choose your guns based on your preferences.
The best rifles in CS:GO are the AK-47, the M4A4, the M4A1-S, and the AWP. If you have any of these rifles and are competent at shooting with them, you’re in a great position.
However, the Battle Royale mode forces you to play quite frequently with completely different rifles, whose strengths and weaknesses you must learn.
If you only understand the spray patterns and the capabilities of the best guns in the game, you’ll struggle to win Danger Zone matches.
In this game mode, you spend most of your time using a relatively modest gun. And that gun is often not one of those that you’re familiar with.
Learn to Use Time in Your Favor
Always ask yourself: should I be taking duels right now or should I stay hidden? If you’ve already won some duels and are well-equipped for the end game, you probably stand to gain more from patiently waiting for the other players to eliminate each other than from trying to eliminate them yourself.
Never take risks that are not worth taking or necessary. When you play, always keep in mind that the other players are subjected to the same rules. Time is initially against everyone.
But if you’re making smart moves, it will start to run out in your favor. Because the map will shrink and you will get to duel players who are equipped far worse than you.
Take Risks Early, so You Don’t Have to Take Them Later
If you don’t take any risks in the early game, the players who win their initial duels will get significantly ahead of you and you will have a hard time winning duels against them after that.
Because of this, you cannot sit idle for the entire duration of the game.
Always be ready to win one duel early and then take advantage of your superior equipment. After you’ve gained enough of an advantage, start taking your own safety into account and play cautiously.
Of course, you can do the exact opposite and be as opportunistic as possible. But you will not be able to win games that way, unless you’re really lucky. Games are usually won by people who take risks early and get ahead by winning the first few duels.
Danger Zone Ranks Controversy
Danger Zone has been criticized for its apparent lack of strict rules when it comes to how the players can compete. If you want to play with your friends, there is no rank limitation.
This means that you can be a beginner and get help from a top-tier player.
This flexibility has led some to believe that Danger Zone ranks are more of a way of giving players a way to brag about their skills than an actual variable that’s taken into account by the matchmaking system.
Another controversial aspect of Danger Zone ranks is how you rank up. Nobody knows exactly how the system works but presumably, getting kills and finishing in the top third of the players should earn you points, while getting eliminated early should lose you points.
The system is not transparent with how it operates, but it’s clear that the better you are, the more you’ll rank up.