To take part in CS:GO, you need to get to know the weapons. From the different types of guns all the way to the grenades, mastering these elements will be the only way you’ll reach the top of your game.
What are the CS:GO weapons?
In CS:GO, the weapons are key. As a first-person shooter, they’re the main way you play the game, meaning getting to grips with them and knowing what weapon is best to use is the simplest way to improve your gameplay.
Weapons are sorted into one of six different categories; Pistols, Rifles, SMGs, Heavy weapons, Grenades and Knives. Of these, five can be seen on the in-game buy wheel, while Knives are added by default to the character and only via cosmetic changes that can be made out of game by acquiring skins.
Everyone that plays CS:GO will have to get to grips with the pistols. You need to pick them up at the start of each half in the initial pistol round and also during save rounds where your economy is significantly lower in order to return to a full buy quicker.
There are three main default pistols. On the Terrorist side, you’ll always receive the Glock. The Glock is a useful weapon on the pistol round, as it comes with a relatively high fire rate on both the semi-automatic and burst fire modes. The weapon is also strong in this scenario as it provides an instant kill with a headshot, although it is rather weak on body shots and deals around 30 damage on unarmoured opponents and less than 20 if they pick up some Kevlar.
For the Counter-Terrorist team, before the game you get a choice between two pistols. The traditional default is the USP-S, a silenced pistol that is rather accurate over longer ranges and while moving. The P2000 is the other default pistol, which features more ammo and slightly less recoil than the USP-S. The decision on which pistol to use depends on your playstyle and whether you prefer to perform aim duals or go up close and spray a lot of bullets.
Both teams have access to the P250, a relatively cheap pistol choice occasionally picked up in pistol or eco rounds, with the former being purchased without acquiring Kevlar. They make a good alternative to the default weapons, producing a significantly higher amount of damage.
The CZ-75 is available to both sides and is fully automatic and powerful as well. Naturally, this is offset by significantly high amounts of recoil and long load times, meaning it’s only useful in close quarters to try and steal a weapon. The CZ can be alternated out by two different pistols, the Five-Seven on the CT-side and the Tec-9 on the T-side. Both are semi-automatic alternatives, with slightly lower fire rates, lower recoil and higher accuracy at longer distances.
The most powerful pistol is the Desert Eagle, or Deagle. It produces a significant amount of damage in a single shot and enough to kill an opponent in one shot to the head or two to the body. However, it comes with incredible recoil, so if you’re in an eco-round and come up against someone with a rifle and miss the shot on them, you’ll struggle to escape alive.
In CS:GO, rifles are effectively split into two sections; Assault and Sniper. The most well-known and well-used assault rifle is the T-Side’s AK-47. The AK has incredibly high accuracy on the first shot and one of the easiest spray patterns in the game to learn. A shot in the head at any time from the AK is a guaranteed kill.
On the CT-side, you have a choice of two main assault rifles, the M4A4 and the M4A1-s. Both weapons deal the same amount of damage, while the M4A4 offers more ammo and a higher firing speed. However, the M4A1-S has slightly higher accuracy and also offers a silencer, meaning bullets have no “tracers” and discerning your position is much harder. It also costs $200 less, meaning you could opt for another grenade.
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A step down from the T-side’s AKs and CT-side’s M4s are the Galil and Famas respectively. Both are cheaper alternatives, commonly seen in force buy rounds, and allow for stronger gun play against opting for SMGs.
Another set of rifles are the scoped assault rifles. On the CT-side this is the AUG, while the T-side holds the SG 553. These two weapons only became part of the CS:GO competitive meta relatively recently and were previously avoided due to their higher costs. Both weapons have a scope that you can quickly shift between and their high damage outputs mean they are incredibly useful at medium ranges.
The main sniper rifle is the AWP. Large, loud, heavy, slow and expensive, it offers a kill in one shot to everywhere bar the legs. Incredibly accurate while using the scope, as soon as you’re firing from the hip you lose that advantage and are at the mercy of the gods to if you’ll hit your shot. You must also remain still when operating the weapon, as moving any amount completely throws off the accuracy.
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The SSG 08, commonly known as the “Scout”, is effectively a cheaper, faster and slightly weaker AWP, and known for being able to acquire “jumping” headshots on enemies. The latter two weapons are commonly known as “auto-snipers”, due to being able to constantly shoot while scoped in, unlike the AWP. They are also two of the most expensive guns in the game.
SMGs and Heavy
Submachine Guns or SMGs are CS:GO’s ideal anti-eco weapon. They have a relatively lower cost than rifles, produce a higher kill reward and a headshot earns a guaranteed kill against an unarmoured opponent. The game’s iconic SMG is the P90, known for its high ammo capacity and very easy to learn spray pattern, and is used in a variety of close to mid-range situations.
The next best known SMGs include the UMP, the CT-side MP9, the T-side Mac-10 and the PP-Bizon. The UMP is a low cost but powerful member of the SMG family, as while it has the lowest fire rate of all SMGs, it also has the lowest recoil as well as good moving accuracy. On the other hand, the PP-Bizon is on the lower damage end of the SMG spectrum, but offers a significant amount of ammunition to spray enemies with.
The MP9 and Mac-10 have some of the highest fire rates of all SMGs. However, the guns aren’t used often, as despite this they have low damage, low armour penetration and high recoil. When seen, they’re usually in anti-eco or force rounds as teams attempt to grab stronger weapons.
In terms of Heavy weapons, there are two sections; Shotguns and Machine guns. For Shotguns, which produce the highest kill reward of all weapons, the most commonly used are the Nova, XM1014 and the CT-side’s MAG-7. The Nova is your traditional shotgun, with a short range, high damage but slow reload time and only one shot in the chamber at a time. While it deals the lowest damage of all shotguns, it also has the lowest pellet spread, so when up at very close ranges you can get some serious damage done.
The XM1014, more commonly known as the auto-shotgun, is the most expensive shotgun. It is also the most powerful, being able to send a large number of powerful shots in a relatively short amount of time.
The MAG-7, and its T-side counterpart the Sawed-Off, are pump action weapons. While both weapons suffer from a low rate of fire, only one of these are regularly used. The Sawed-Off suffers from a high spread, meaning you have to be super close to your opponent for it to be truly viable. On the other hand, the MAG-7 is one of the more accurate shotguns and retains this while moving or even jumping.
The Machine guns are the M249 and Negev. While these weapons are able to produce a lot of damage and have a lot of ammo, they are barely ever used in competitive CS:GO. This is due to their weight and difficulty to control. Until recently, both guns were the most expensive in the game, and while the M249 still holds this moniker, the Negev can be picked up for $1700.
Grenades and Knives
Grenades in CS:GO come in two categories, Damage and Tactical. The High-Explosive (HE) Grenade is the item that’ll come to mind when someone mentions grenades. The HE Grenade allows you to get damage into enemies who are in a position you’re unable to see directly. The maximum damage on offer from a HE Grenade is between 60 if they’re wearing armour, all the way up to 98 on an unarmoured opponent.
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The two main tactical grenades are the Flashbang and Smoke. Flashbangs do what they say on the tin, and provide an ability to blind opponents when thrown in their general direction. The length of blindness depends on the angle from which they’re exposed to the Flashbang, with effects lasting between one and five seconds.
The Smoke grenade allows teams to block the vision of opponents for up to 18 seconds through the production of a smoke cloud. These can be used to block off choke points or to create a “wall” at larger areas of the map to facilitate safer rotates.
The final grenades available are the Molotov and Incendiary grenades. These have dual damage and tactical purposes. The damage purpose is simple to understand, as if a player walks in the fire produced by these grenades, they will take up to 40 units of damage per second. The tactical aspect drawn from this is due to the fact that the fire can burn for up to seven seconds, meaning it allows a team to effectively block off an area for a short amount of time.
In the main CS:GO competitive mode, Knives are the only melee weapon you’ll get. When up close to an enemy, they’re incredibly powerful and strong. A stab in the back using its secondary option allows you to kill an enemy, while a few in the front will produce the same effect. No matter the different skin for the knife, the damage remains the same.