Game Zone: Counter-Strike: Source (CS:S)

by glamdring

About the game

“THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE WORLD'S # 1 ONLINE ACTION GAME! Counter-Strike: Source blends Counter-Strike's award-winning teamplay action with the advanced technology of Source™ technology. Featuring state of the art graphics, all new sounds, and introducing physics, Counter-Strike: Source is a must-have for every action gamer.”

According to Valve, the games user base just keeps growing.

“Right now, there are people all over the world playing Counter-Strike: Source. Odds are, there are more people playing today than there were playing yesterday. It, like its predecessor, is quite simply a global phenomenon, originally created by and now sustained by the gaming community.

Counter-Strike: Source is a remake of Counter-Strike, and consequently retains all of its team-based objective-oriented first-person-shooter style gameplay. CS:S is a must-have for every action gamer.”


For setting up the game, I use PlayOnLinux. PCLinuxOS users can find this in Synaptic. Launch Play On Linux, click “Install” and search for “Counter-Strike: Source.” When it is done installing Steam, it should automatically prompt you to install CS:S. If you already have Steam installed, you should be able to simply install CS:S. If you are missing some files, PlayOnLinux will allow you to install the CS:S packages inside the same bottle as your current Steam. If you do not own the game, you can buy it digitally in the Steam store.

Game Information

Release Date: Nov 1, 2004

Minimum Requirements Windows®: 1.7 GHz Processor, 512MB RAM, DirectX® 8.1 level Graphics Card (Requires support for SSE)

Recommended Requirements Windows®: Pentium 4 processor (3.0GHz, or better), 1GB RAM, DirectX® 9 level Graphics Card                                                        

Minimum Requirements Mac: 1GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8 or higher, ATI X1600 or higher, or Intel HD 3000 or higher

Price: $19.99 (Often on sale for $5-$10)

Screen Shots

Provided by


Some users, especially those with modern graphics cards, experience issues running CS:S, so I have included some of the popular fixes.

Disable/suspend your desktop effects, if you have them enabled. I would suggest doing this while playing any games in Wine.

Make sure you have the Steam In-Game Community disabled. You can get to this in the settings menu of Steam.

Add “hl.exe” to your applications list in Wine configuration and set it to run as Windows 98. You can get to this menu by starting configuration in Wine, or if you used PlayOnLinux, you can simply select on the bottle/menu entry, click configure, and under Wine click Configure.

You can also add “GameOverlayRenderer.dll” to your Libraries, and disable it to ensure it does not run.


When you first launch the game, you will be given a list of options. I recommend you first go to your controls and make sure you are comfortable with the settings. I suggest you then go to the customize section and change your name from player to what ever you want. Most games use this to allow a user to enter their screen name and gamer tags. You should also spend some time exploring the options. You will find some useful things like mouse sensitivity, volume, and mic controls in the options.

When searching for a server, you can either use the simple search or the advanced version. I suggest you get used to the advanced version, because it allows you to see more servers and the ability to sort them easily. Some important things to look for in a server are the ping, VAC, and number of players. The ping measures the amount of time it takes for a packet to go from your computer to the host and back. The lower the value, the better. VAC stands for Valve Anti-Cheat, which attempts to detect modifications made to a game to help someone play a game better. VAC bans will completely remove your ability to play on VAC secure servers, rendering the game almost useless. One thing to keep in mind when looking at servers is not only how many players are playing, but also the maximum number of players. If you have a bad Internet connection, playing on a server with fewer players can help.

After connecting to a server, you will be prompted with a choice between two teams, Terrorist and Counter-Terrorist. Most of the time, it is best to hit auto team select. This will automatically put you on the team with fewer players or currently losing. When you select a team you will get the option to choose your skin, which simply changes the model of you that other players see. Depending on which team you are on, you will get a few team-exclusive guns, and also your skins will be team specific. All skins and models can be modded to look like anything you want. However, some servers force you to use the original ones.

Counter-Strike series is highly customized, so your starting money, guns, or custom changes may be different from server to server. Most servers will use the standard purchasing system to get guns, meaning you use your money earned in game to buy weapons at the beginning of each round. The amount of money awarded is affected by many factors. Some of the most notable ones are kills, objectives (bomb/hostage), team win/loss, and server configuration.

Tips & Tricks

Counter-Strike relies on you purchasing your guns, other than a default pistol, at the beginning of each round. The guns are broken down into simple categories, the most used guns are AK47 and M4 for Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists, aka T and CT, respectively. They also have a more powerful rifle , SG552 and AUG, which have scopes. Other than these rifles and the 3 snipers, no guns have scopes without a special mod. It is important to note there are no iron sites. You must rely on either the built in aiming system and or the scope. Snipers don’t have regular aimers. With this in mind, you will want to buy the correct weapons for the map, if you have sufficient funds. I would suggest starting out with the AK, M4, SG552, and AUG to get familiar with the game. (Some guns that don’t have scopes can still do a special function, like burst fire or use a silencer.)


The equipment section will become very important, especially as you learn how to use some things like grenades efficiently. The first item you should buy here is kevlar. If you don’t have the money, you can skip on the helmet. However, you will run high risk of being “dinked” in the head by a bullet. If you are a Counter-Terrorist and it is a bomb map, aka de, you will have the option to buy a defusal kit. This lets you diffuse the bomb considerably faster.


Grenades are very useful, but can be a bit tricky to learn to use efficiently. The most important thing to be aware of is if friendly fire is on or off, aka FF. If you are unsure, you can type FF into chat to check. If friendly fire is on, you have to be careful not to get a grenade too close to a teammate, or you might not have a happy teammate. Even worse, you could kill him, and many servers have team kill, aka TK, punishment systems. Even if friendly fire is on, be sure not to flash teammates or put smoke grenades in bad positions. Remember that this is a team game. Also, you can always hurt yourself, so be careful not to make that embarrassing accident.


The most useful and cheap grenades are the flashbang, which temporarily blinds/blurs the enemies screen and sound. Even if the enemy isn’t affected, they most likely had to try and take cover. This gives you the upper hand in attacking and retreating. One of the most popular tactics is to to stop before a corner or door and throw a flash grenade. This will catch the enemy by surprise and give you the best possible chance of winning any firefights.


Many servers block smoke grenades, because it can cause servers and clients to lag so I won’t spend too much time on them. The smoke grenade produces smoke in a small area, which can be useful to cover retreats or blind snipers. Smokes are very useful for blocking the vision of snipers through doors and windows. However, it only last a short period, so make sure you cross while you can. Smoke grenades have some very useful areas/maps, but in most cases, you are best off not buying one.


High-explosive grenades, aka HE and frag, explode a few seconds after being thrown. The damage dealt is dependent on radius to grenade, renowned for not doing much damage unless the grenade is very close to the enemy. However, the grenade has a relatively high low damage area, so you can easily inflict 10-20 damage on someone or an entire group/team with one HE. The most popular tactics are long range archs and bouncing off walls. This is one of those things you just get in game to get familiar with. Many people pick this up rather quickly, and it’s pretty fun to practice throwing HE grenades if I do say so myself!


Your players stance has a lot to do with accuracy and speed movement. It’s very easy to find yourself running around and spraying bullets rather than shooting with accuracy.


Standing is the default position. It allows for a quick movement and clear line of sight. Its greatest downfall is low accuracy. While standing, you have the option to either walk or run. In order to force walk, you will have to know the key binding to that command. Personally, I bind this to one of my side mouse buttons. That way, I don’t have to be clicking/holding any other buttons on my keyboard. While running, you will have the worst accuracy, other than climbing/falling, which means you will only get your first few shots off on target. Walking gives you nearly the same accuracy as standing still. It also allows you to move without making any noise. Walking is great for sneaking around, or when you know someone is in the area. However, when rushing and using things like flashbang grenades, you can try rushing in close quarters, so accuracy doesn't matter as much.


Crouching gives you the highest accuracy. However, you will have to sacrifice movement, speed and line of sight. Crouching is great for long range shots, strategic waiting, providing better cover and making you harder to see/notice. Crouching gives up the upper line of sight, but grants more lower line of sight, which allows you to see down through cracks or feet easier. This can sometimes be useful to get foot/knee shots, although some servers have rules against this.


The term camping refers to waiting/sitting still in one place waiting for the enemy, typically in a key area they must come through. This is an action of refusing to engage/fight, instead waiting at one point, like a bomb site, for the enemy to come. Typically, camping is frowned upon in some cases, like being strongly down/outgunned it is more acceptable, but not all servers have direct rules against it. Some servers may have rules saying “heavy camp.” This usually means it’s okay to do short term or strategic waiting, but waiting long term is an offense. A good rule of thumb is to just play as fairly as you can, and how you would want them to play if the teams were switched.

Identifying Teams

There are two popular tricks to this. The easiest is recognizing what Counter-Terrorist and Terrorist skins/models look like. If you did not alter them by default, Counter-Terrorists will have helmets and more tactical looks uniforms, while terrorists don’t have helmets and have unprofessional/terrorist looking uniforms. The second method is putting your aimer on them. A CT will have a blue name and a T will have a red name. You may notice throughout the game that this is the way the two teams are represented. Lastly, keeping track of where your team is and what they are doing helps a lot. This can sometimes be hard if you don’t have team players or lack of voice communication. In some cases, a server has a public Ventrilo or TeamSpeak server listed, aka vent and TS. You can also use radar, as long as it’s enabled, to track your team and enemies that are making noise/engaged.


I covered some of the basic shooting styles/functions. However, there are many things you can do to improve your accuracy. You will need to learn what works best for you, but some of these basic tactics are great to know. Don’t hold the fire button on automatic weapons. This is one of the natural responses to do, but will result in terrible accuracy. Rapid fire can give good results in close quarters, but if you want to shoot anyone who isn’t a few feet away, you need to be aware of the gun kick/accuracy. You can easily gauge this by how much the aimer separates/moves and where your bullets are hitting. To make quick adjustments, you can lower your aim. The down side to this tactic is that you will still have poor accuracy and are doing guesswork. Learning to control your gun can be difficult and annoying. I found the best tactic is to use bots on long range maps, or even just choose things to shoot at on long range maps. If you want to do this, you can create your own offline map, getting familiar with each gun or the gun you use most often. This is the only true way to learn how to control your gun. Typically, a burst fire method can be used, which you adjust by range. For example, with mid range shooting on the AK, I often shoot 3 shots and wait for about one shot between shooting again. You have to give your gun enough time to settle down. Some guns, however, have low kick and you can shoot much longer before accuracy goes down.

Quick Movements

You will learn many tricks while playing that allow you to do things quickly. I will share a few with you. My most used one is fast climbing ladders. This can be accomplished by climbing a ladder sideways. Instead of looking straight up jump onto the ladder facing an angle up, but looking sideways and hold down the up+strafe key. You should be strafing in the direction of the wall. This might sound very confusing, but you quickly understand what I mean when trying it in game. Another trick is to practice jump crouching into windows. If you run at a window and click and hold to jump crouch, jump+crouch, you can successfully pass right through the window instead of having to slowly crouch walk through the frame. I’m only giving you those two to get started. Jump into the game and you will have a lot of fun learning how to consistently improve your game play.