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- Complete the objectives
Counter-Strike is a team-based game, but it's also objective oriented. Each team has a job to do -- typically one side must go and do something, and the other side must stop them. It's important that both teams be aware of their objectives and try to carry them out. On some servers objective play is enforced, although on most it is not strictly enforced. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that in any game, it is one team's job to do go something, or kill the enemy team. Wandering around or exploring is not helpful to completing your objectives, and will waste everyone's time (remember, players who have died are sitting out and are forced to wait).
Your primary goal should be to complete the objectives. Don't dawdle.
- Don't camp when on the offensive team
House rules vary from server to server, but generally in Counter-Strike camping is considered a valid tactic when it is done by the defending team, and when it is done to actually defend the objective. Other types of camping are usually considered inappropriate, however. For instance, the offensive team should never camp their own spawn point -- how can they complete their objective if they're not going anywhere? It is generally thought to be acceptable for the offensive team to snipe (rather than outright camp) if they do it intelligently (and hopefully to support other assaulting teammates), but if you're the last member of your team left, you'd better start thinking about how you're going to approach the objective. ...
You can't fulfill your objectives when you're camping, so don't do it.
- Don't accuse others of cheating without proof
Unfortunately, part and parcel with Counter-Strike's popularity are cheaters. The more popular a game is, the more cheats and exploits arise for it -- and Counter-Strike is exceeding popular. Most cheaters are very obvious; by their very nature they are unskilled players (otherwise they wouldn't be cheating!), and so tend to give themselves away very easily. That said, however, novices tend to overestimate the number of cheaters they are playing with -- rank novices will assume that anyone who can kill them without them being able to respond is cheating. Experienced players who are not cheating routinely get accused of cheating by newbies, and it is not appreciated, to say the least. Thus, accusing someone of cheating because they beat you is only going to turn everyone on the server against you; no one likes a whiner.
Yes, some people cheat. However, that doesn't mean that everyone who can kill a newbie easily is cheating.
- Don't spawn kill
At spawn, there is a short countdown where players have the opportunity to buy weapons. On some poorly designed custom maps, some spawn points or within line-of-sight of some enemy spawn points; none of the standard maps have this flaw. Unfortunately, some players like to take advantage of this fact: After a round has resulted in the elimination of one team, the next round starts with the winning team retaining all their weapons and the losing team having none. If some spawn points are in line-of-sight of the enemy's this means that the moment the round starts the armed team can take potshots at the other team with no risk of retaliation. The problem is exacerbated on maps with the AWM, since the one-shot-one-kill effect means that as soon as the countdown timer ends one team can kill members of the other for free. This is extremely poor etiquette; killing the enemy before they even have a chance to buy equipment because of a poorly-designed map is extremely bad form. Another form of spawn killing involves memorizing the location of enemy spawn points and firing through walls right after spawn in order to hit them; this, too, is considered bad form.
On poorly-designed maps, at least let your opponents prepare themselves before you shoot at them.
- Don't spawn rush
On very small maps, it's possible for one team to rush -- run as fast they can as soon as the round starts -- to the other team's spawn point before the team has been able to finish buying weapons and equipment. Needless to say, this isn't considered a very sporting tactic, since the winning team can always do this if they've killed all the other team the last round.
Choose a better tactic than simply rushing the enemy's spawn point.
- Don't use offensive decals
Some people like to use decals of pornographic scenes or which contain offensive slogans. Some servers have actually disabled custom decals to avoid this problem. A taunting decal is just fine, but keep the offensiveness quotient down.
Come on, be mature.
- Don't kill hostages (hostage rescue)
Don't kill the hostages! It's the Counter-Terrorists' jobs to rescue them safely, and it's the Terrorists' jobs to protect them and prevent the Counter-Terrorists from rescuing them. Think about it: Terrorists can't get their ransom (or whatever they're after) if they kill the hostages. Don't shoot the hostages, even as a joke. In particular, some Counter-Terrorists like to shoot all hostages except one, and just rescue that one -- so they have fewer hostages to worry about. This is just plain cheating.
There are huge monetary penalties for killing hostages for a good reason.
- Don't use hostages as human shields (Terrorist)
It is the job of the Terrorists to hold the hostages and prevent the Counter-Terrorists from rescuing them; thus, it is a perfectly valid tactic to defend the hostages by camping in the area. However, literally standing behind the hostages -- or worse yet, arranging them in a circle around you -- is just plain bad form. That being said, it's certainly possible, and often happens, that in the heat of battle hostages get caught in crossfire -- that's a part of the game (and the players who kill the hostages get a penalty). But don't start by standing behind the hostages.
Don't use hostages as human shields. Only the weakest terrorists resort to such tactics, even in real life.
- Don't plant the bomb on mobile objects (Terrorist)
In custom maps that contain movable objects, such as cars and trucks, it's possible to bring a car to the bomb site, plant on the car, and then drive away -- the bomb will stay on the car and thus the Terrorists can hide the true bomb site from the Counter-Terrorists. This is, to put it simply, cheating. The Terrorists must plant the bomb at a valid bomb site (there are often several per map) -- planting it on a mobile object is clearly violating the concept of the map.
Don't play games with planting bombs on cars instead of on the ground at bomb sites.