Get Paid to Play: 5 Ways to Monetize Your CS:GO Skills
Updated July 25, 2023.
CS:GO has brought fame and fortune to many gamers out there; whether you're a pro player, a streamer like Shroud with an entertaining persona, or you've even just some extra time on your hands, you can also make a great profit off of this globally free-to-play game!
1. CS:GO Tournaments
If you've got what it takes to go up against other people who are there to win with prize money up for grabs, entering into CS:GO tournaments might be for you. Tournaments are the ultimate test of skill—you're going up against the best of the best. Whether that means locally or internationally, you'll be fighting alongside your team against opponents who have spent thousands of hours in CS and who practice their skills and strategies all the time.
Winning local games will likely get you and your team scouted for bigger matches and tournaments. Keep winning, and who knows, maybe you'll enter the CS:GO Majors where you can earn a chance at $1,000,000 prize pools!
2. Earn Points With Buff
If you're not familiar with how Buff works, it's a gamer's loyalty app that rewards you in Buff Points for spending time playing the games you're already playing. Whether it be online or with your friends you can earn points that you can use to purchase in-game items and even hardware. You won't be getting cash sent straight into your account but if you're up for joining the referral program and getting your friends on board you can get some free gift cards to go towards your next skin or game, without any extra effort.
» What are you waiting for? Try Buff out here!
3. Boosting or Coaching
There's a big difference between the two: one can get you banned, while the other is actually encouraged.
While we don't support boosting, you can earn quite a bit of cash from doing it. Boosting is when someone "boosts" a player's rank to one much higher than it should be, either by signing into their account and climbing for them, or carrying them to a crazy level by joining the lobby on a smurf or hacked account. Hacks are often involved in this process, and even when they aren't, both the booster and the player who got boosted stand a high chance of getting VAC banned by steam, as the very act messes with the entire match-making system.
Coaching is a great way to earn some cash if you've got the CS:GO skills and knowledge to share with others, and it's fun and rewarding! Many coaches are ex-pros who've gotten too old to compete or players who have extensive knowledge of the strategy behind the game. I've personally coached a few of my friends in other games from things like aim training, angles to hold, mechanics, and rotations. Let me tell you, that feeling of watching your student consistently do better and better after taking your advice can be more rewarding than actually winning the game yourself. It's a whole other feeling of being impressed when the student starts to do better than the master.
There are a few ways to get started with coaching outside of teaching your friends, the easiest being signing up on a coaching platform like GamerSensei and Pro Guides, or using freelance platforms like Fiverr.
» Looking to boost your FPS sniper skills? Read our pro tips for sniping in Apex Legends
Being successful in Streaming CS:GO doesn't necessarily mean that you need to be insanely good at the game and hitting clips all the time. Having an entertaining personality or finding different things to do in the game beyond being good can gather a lot of interest for you on your channel, like getting your mom to a high rank or role-playing while chatting with your team.
Whether you've got god-tier aim or you're doing something different, you have to have a presence on Twitch or YouTube that has some sort of showmanship or presentation. That means paying a lot of attention to and communicating with your chat, having a timetable or schedule for your viewers to follow so they know when they can catch you online, and making sure you're politically correct (unless the point of your channel is to not be)—so don't say or do inappropriate things while you're streaming.
Great CS:GO streamers to get influence from that are often live are PimpCSGO and Nikolarn. Check out Shroud too, as he originally came from the CS:GO world. Or if you want to get some inspiration on how to make content that's different from the intended purpose, take a look at some Rocket League content creators like Lethamyr or SunlessKhan.
» Need help? See our pro tips for streaming on YouTube
5. Content Creation
If you're not comfortable broadcasting live or having an audience to entertain, or you've just got extra content and more ideas to present to the world, maybe creating video clips like tutorials, guides, and montages is a direction that could work for you to make some money off of CS. There's a lot of opportunity to make interesting content based on what's in the community maps and servers, like minigames, surfing, aim maps, and much more. Making clips for YouTube or other platforms can be a lot less stressful than streaming and doesn't require as much of a beefy PC, though it certainly takes a much longer time to gather, create, and edit content for video clips than streaming takes.
The best way to get started effectively is to watch other successful content creators closely and get tips on how they produce, and reflect that in your own content. When watching with the mindset of creating your own videos, keep questions like these in mind:
- Do they read from a script?
- What background music do they use for which situations?
- How fast do they switch from scene to scene?
- How do they actively keep your attention?
- How do they do their intros and outros?
Alternatively, you can consider making custom CS:GO maps with interesting and unique playstyles for others to download and use. While you won't earn any money directly from the Steam workshop, if your maps become popular enough you can create a website to list them all and monetize that when it gains enough traffic.
» Build your custom online personality by learning about trading & selling on the CS:GO skin exchange
Start Earning From Playing Your Favorite Game
You're already playing your favorite games like CS:GO, so you might as well make them work for you and start getting paid to play! And don't forget to run Buff in the background for some free rewards with no extra effort.