Calling and Communication in CSGO
A simple guide on calling and communicating effectively in CSGO
Communication is an essential skill in the game of Counter-Strike; it is generally used for coordinating strategies, informing teammates of valuable information and enhancing team play/coordination. This can be done using a microphone and either the in-game voice chat or an external voice communication software (Skype, TeamSpeak, Mumble etc.). Although communication is important in CSGO, it is extremely dependant on what information is broadcasted over the microphone to your team and whether it is useful or not. Ideally, when communicating you want it to be short and concise.
Console Command “voice_scale #”
Firstly, for the players who use the CSGO in-game voice chat, there is a command to adjust the volume of your teams microphone output. This command is particularly useful in clutch situations by lowering the volume of their microphones and still be able to attain information through the game's audio cues. To do this, open up the console (` key under Esc) type “voice_scale #” and a number between 0 to 1. Refer to the image below.
Strategies for the round are most commonly called by the in-game leader during the buy time and during round of a competitive match. In a structured team environment, the buy time call generally sets the tone for the round and mid-round call determines which bombsite an attacking team will push given the information they have. For the CT side, the mid-round call is generally for rotations to occur. However, in the sense of matchmaking particularly the lower ranks, it is not uncommon to find all five players roaming solo due to the lack of leadership and overall inexperience. With the disorder of being matched with four random teammates, it is often tough to get stubborn teammates to cooperate when running a strategy or plan.
Informing Teammates of Valuable Information
Information plays a key role in putting yourself and your team in a more favourable position than your opponents. Without quality information, you’re basically jumping into the deep end. There’s a difference between expecting an enemy to be in a certain position and knowing exactly where they are positioned, obviously the latter is more advantageous. For example, there are several viable default setups for the CT side of de_dust2, you can always expect a certain setup but you cannot know for sure unless you obtain that information. Valuable information is what the name suggests, any information that your team can utilise to help provide them the edge over their opponents.
Information is mainly gathered through visual and audio cues. It can be further developed through the application of problem solving. Normally, it is best to call what you can hear and what you can see to your team. However, there are good forms of communication and bad forms of communication. Here are some examples and scenarios on how to communicate effectively:
Scenario One: Three Terrorists rush Long A (de_dust2) and kill the CT player
- "Four long, with bomb, pushing fast"
This is an example of a good call, short and right to the point. It informs your team how many players to expect coming up long, suggests that the position of the two other players is still unknown, the enemy team is probably committing themselves to the A-Site.
- "They're Long A"
This is an example of a poor call. It is not very specific or informative as the number of players is unknown, whether the terrorists are committing or have fallen back, whether the bomb has been spotted.
Scenario Two: As a Terrorist holding outside Long A (de_dust2), you hear two HE grenades explode inside of bedroom
- "Double nade Long"
An example of a good call, from this information a player can deduce that there are probably two CT players at long early in the round.
- "Nades Long"
Although, it suggests there are more than two CT players are at Long A, it is not specific enough to determine how many players are present.
The take home message here is, when communicating information to your team keep it short and concise. No one wants to hear or be distracted by calls that do not contribute to the round. For example, it is highly unnecessary to voice your opinion on how ridiculous your death was over the microphone.
Communication to Enhance Team Play
Unlike professional teams, where the players have played together for an eternity you need to tell your teammates what you’re doing (flashing, smoking, watching an angle etc) because they can’t read your mind. As chaotic as matchmaking can be with four random teammates, this form of communication can improve your coordination as a team and provide you with the upper hand in certain situations. The significance of teamwork will increase as you progress through the ranks of matchmaking to the point where excellent team play will overcome individual brilliance. Here are some examples and scenarios:
- Telling your teammate you’re flashing an area – “Flashing Cat”
This prevents team flashing from occurring, given that you have communicated before you throw the flashbang and your teammate knows when to turn from it. In addition, it can secure an easy kill for your team if an enemy happens to play that position.
- Telling your teammate you’re unable to support them or requesting cover – “I’m blind/reloading/rotating off a position/planting for [spot]/smoked out of [spot]”
This lets your teammate know that you are unable to help them if they choose to engage in a gun battle or push further. It can also inform them that you are vulnerable and may require covering fire.
- Telling your team which spot you’re covering – “I got [spot]”
This ensures that all possible entry routes to a site is covered and very helpful for setting up crossfires.
- Telling your team where you have eliminated an enemy – “Dead A-Site”
This eliminates a position to check for an enemy player when pushing into a site, allowing the team to focus on other positions where another enemy player may be. It also informs your team you have made a pick at a certain position, which will aid in deciding which bombsite to hit T-side.
The above examples and scenarios are only samples of what good communication is. There are several methods of delivery to communicate the same message across to your team. On an end note, remember that a couple of words can be the difference between losing or winning a round. What information you pass on to your team is up to you and what your teammates extract from that information is up to them as well. Be specific but also keep it short.
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