CounterStrike: Global Offensive is one of a few titles that were able to age like fine wine.
Throughout the years, the magic of CSGO has brought generations of fans together. The diversity and balance of maps, weapons and utilities is arguably the biggest contributing factor for the shooter’s continuing relevance.
Learning the game’s competitive maps is one thing, but mastering its vast weaponry is another. CSGO’s offering of 34 weapons ranging from inexpensive pistols to the ever famous AWP sniper rifle gives players numerous possibilities each and every round.
But like any other games, there are weapons that will always be relevant in the game’s meta. If you are following the competitive scene of CS, you may observe that pro players only use a portion of the currently available guns – and there’s a reason why they do so.
With that, here’s a handy guide on CSGO’s best weapons in the competitive scene. We will differentiate ecos – or cheap guns that can do decent damage to the big boys – the standard rifles that everyone should learn.
Pistols are often used on eco rounds. They are cheap yet effective if used properly with strategical game sense.
The default pistol of the CT side, the USP is the highly favored pistol over its sister, the P2000. The USP’s selling point is its accuracy in long range and a high kill rate with headshots against unarmored opponents.
Despite being weaker on body shots and a relatively shorter clip compared to P2000, the USP is the go-to pistol of many pros.
Often dubbed as the “CZ:GO” whenever pros get a multi-kill with it, the CZ is the first automatic pistol in the game with a rate of fire that matches rifles. It only has 2 sets of measly 12 bullets but learning its recoil pattern and control will surely give an edge for players who invest in their ecos.
The “Deagle” is an iconic pistol in CS. Its capability to take down opponents with a single headshot – regardless of armor and distance – have left numerous clutch plays in pro games. Spamming the Deagle won’t be smart for its horrible recoil, but mastering the ‘one-taps’ can make a difference in eco rounds.
SMGs & Shotguns
Rifles are the main stars of competitive CSGO, but it is an economical game as well hence the need to make the most out of the money is essential - that's where SMGs and shotguns are for.
The MP5-SD is the latest addition to CS’s artillery. An alternative to the MP7, this MP5 replacement offers an integral silencer which allows stealthy engagements compared to other SMGs.
Arguably the SMG of choice among pros, the UMP is a cheap yet efficient choice for its bargain price of $1200 tagged along with decent damage and armor penetration. It has a very controllable recoil that players can find themselves shooting laser-like projectiles once they master it.
The XM1014 is a pretty expensive choice for a shotgun at $2000. But along with the price comes an automatic shotgun that can make-it-rain in small rooms and narrow corridors. It is best used at maps with tight choke points.
Exclusive to CT, Mag-7 is an extremely popular shotgun due to its high damage and tight bullet spread in close range. It also has a better penetration compared to other shotguns – one shot with all pellets hitting can guarantee a kill.
It has a relatively slow moving speed and a long reload time with a rather small clip, but these would be lesser issues once a player gets the groove of this weapon.
Alas, the main stars of the show are the assault and sniper rifles offered in the game. All competitive matches of CS:GO rely heavily on these beauties, and it is a must even for the casuals to at least familiarize themselves with these guns.
M4A4 is a CT exclusive with a high rate of fire. It is easier to spray compared to some assault rifles but its main drawback is the lack of damage compared to its T side counterpart, the AK47. The M4A4 only has an 80-90 damage compared to AK’s 100 plus damage on a headshot.
It is observable at pro games that players even at CT side prefers to pick up a dropped AK over their M4’s given a chance.
Its sister, the M4A1-S has a removable silencer and a better accuracy than M4A4. However it has the lowest ammo capacity among automatic rifles with only three rounds of 20 bullets which is highly disadvantageous in long rounds.
T side’s iconic AK47 is arguably the deadliest weapon in the game. As said earlier, it has a one shot headshot damage. Unlike other rifles, the AK is pretty hard to control with a high recoil rate and spray inaccuracy. But mastering its control is definitely rewarding to players, add that to its budget $2700 and players on T side can surely gain a winning economy.
CSGO is a game of economy, and balancing eco is the role of the Galil and Famas. Both are cheap alternatives to their main counterparts on both sides, they are inferior in most cases but can still get the job done for players who want a full buy but a shy short for an AK or M4. They cost $2000 and $2250 respectively.
Also known as Scout, the SSG 08 sniper rifle is known for its mobility, price and a good one shot headshot chance. Its $1700 price plays a large role for teams opting for half buys or eco rounds.
The high-risk-high-reward AWP is the most used sniper rifle in the game. At a massive cost of $4750 and a lesser reward of only $100 per kill, the AWP gives back with an instant kill as long as the player hits the enemy at any part above the legs regardless of armor.
The AWP has a lot of drawbacks. Aside from its massive price tag, it has a slow firing rate, slower movement speed and a long reloading time. It is also the only rifle in the game that can insta-kill a teammate (with a headshot).
Despite its disadvantages, it also has the ability to turn the whole game around, with numerous players establishing iconic moments with the famed weapon.