A guide to CS:GO’s weapons

Welcome to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Screengrab via Ardeleanu

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a simple yet complex game, and the weapons are definitely not like other first-person shooters.

With most weapons, you can’t aim down the sights. You need to learn about crosshair placement and spray control before you can polish your skills. Each weapon has its own recoil pattern and style of play, so practicing and mastering these concepts are vital to your success in competitive CS:GO.

Once you learn about the basics of aiming, you can check out more advanced aspects of the game, such as utility usage, teamwork, and winning clutch situations. Until then, it’s best for you to learn about the in-game weapons and their respective values before you dive right in.


Grenades are quite possibly the most underestimated weapons in Counter-Strike, as they can shift the pace of any round in seconds. They can flush out enemies from power-positions, block off vantage points, and even be lethal when timed right. All you need is a good in-game sense of throwing trigonometry and grenade physics, and then you’ll be golden.


Pistols are the least powerful weapons in CS:GO. In most cases, you won’t be winning many aim duels with these guns, unless your enemies make big mistakes. The best way to use pistols is to be in your opponents’ faces, combine your close-quarters gameplay with grenades, and have as much team support as possible. That way, it puts more pressure on your enemies to not screw up against these measly peashooters.

Sub-Machine Guns

SMGs are often used as spray weapons. The philosophy of “spray and pray” isn’t always effective with these weapons. Instead, aim and shoot downward to let the spray hit the enemies the right way. Of course, you can also use them for aimed shots. In competitive, SMGs are often used in the second round, where you spend some money for a better weapon, but they can be used in different situations as well, such as a team eco force buy.


The Heavy category consists of two types of weapons: shotguns and light-machine guns. Heavies are typically not a part of the weapon meta, but it can sometimes be fun to bring them out when you just want to have fun. Otherwise, you’ll be feeding the enemy team kills because you’re easily outclassed by your opponents’ meta guns.


Assault rifles and sniper rifles are the most commonly used guns in the CS:GO because of how effective they are. They’re the most efficient ways to wipe the map clean of enemies, but at a cost. Their recoil patterns are the hardest to master, and it can take countless hours of practice before you can comfortably say you’re good with one gun. Patience with rifles is the main key to eventually holding down lanes like a pro player.

Moving forward

The best way to get to know each weapon is by using them in different casual game modes. If you turn on “random weapons” in Deathmatch, you’ll be able to get a good feel for all of them and you can adapt them to your playstyle. That way you can become closer to the game’s weapons in ways you never thought possible.