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Stable and resistant to most physical shocks, this improvised plastic explosive has a detonation velocity of over 8,000 meters per second when ignited.
―Official description

The C4 Explosive, commonly called simply the C4, is an objective equipment used in bomb defusal scenarios, exclusive to the Terrorists. It is seen in throughout the Counter-Strike series.


C4 (Composition C-4) is a plastic explosive with a clay-like malleable texture, making it a versatile explosive. It is 91% composed of RDX (Research Development Explosive) and has a detonation velocity of 8,092 m/s (26,550 ft/s).

At the beginning of the round, a random Terrorist will be given the C4. However, if a human player is playing with bots, and the settings are set to "bots defer goals to humans", only human players will be given the C4.

In Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, the Terrorist carrying the C4 will have a brown backpack on their back. In Counter-Strike: Source and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the bomb will appear strapped to their back.

In earlier games, when playing as a Terrorist or as a spectator, the scoreboard will show the word "Bomb" next to the name of the Terrorist carrying the bomb. In Source and Global Offensive, the scoreboard shows a bomb icon next to the name of the player carrying the bomb. If the bomb carrier is killed or if he has dropped the bomb, the HUD on a Terrorist player will show "(player name) dropped the bomb". If another Terrorist player picks up the dropped bomb, the HUD will say "(player name) picked up the bomb".

The C4 can be dropped and picked up by other terrorists. If dropped in Source games, a bright light can be seen flashing. In the radar, there is a red dot (in Counter-Strike and Condition Zero) or the C4 icon in red and emitting a signal.

For balancing reasons, if the C4 is dropped, only a Terrorist can pick it up. Except under specific circumstances where the game codes them to (such as in Weapons Course), Counter-Terrorists cannot pick up the bomb. The dropped bomb cannot be moved with explosions or when shot at. Some areas have invisible brush clips and triggers that prevent the bomb from being thrown into unreachable positions. However, doors can effortlessly move a dropped bomb.[2]

In Global Offensive, if the bomb carrier stays idle for too long, the bomb will be automatically dropped. Running with the bomb out is the same speed as with the knife in all games.

On bomb defusal and Demolition maps, it can be only planted at a bombsite. After a certain amount of time (45 seconds by default or 40 seconds under a competitive ruleset), the C4 will explode.

In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive campaign Wildfire, in the storyline Co-op Strike mission "The Enemy Of My Enemy...", both players will be deployed with a C4. Planting the C4 at specific points on the map are objectives that the players must perform to proceed. Unlike normal C4, they are not detonated with a timer, and will instead detonate after the players had left the Compound, destroying it completely.


To plant the C4 as a Terrorist, one must walk to a bombsite (usually indicated by the letters A or B and when the C4 icon and down arrow is flashing), select it using [5] key and holding [Mouse 1] button or holding USE key (default: [E]),but only in Global Offensive. The player will spend 3.2 seconds planting the bomb.

In Global Offensive, the bomb will have a different beeping sound with a slightly lower pitch when it is planted on bomb site B. The start of the animation is always marked by a radio exclamation, a switch sound and a series of electric beeps audible to all players. During planting, the player is always forced into crouching.

In Counter-Strike, Condition Zero and Source, during this procedure, the planting player cannot move or jump but can crouch and uncrouch and can still turn freely during the planting phase.

In Counter Strike: Source the player model will bow down to plant the C4 regardless if they are standing up in the first person view. On the other hand, in Counter-Strike and Condition Zero the player model will not have a bowing animation if they plant standing up. In addition, in Counter-Strike, Condition Zero and Source, the bomb planting procedure is silent to all other players except for the planting player.

When planted, the C4 will emit a loud beeping noise alongside flashes of red light that gradually increases in tempo. In addition, the round timer is disabled once the C4 is planted.

In Danger Zone, all Safes come equipped with explosives, players with bombs can arm these in the same way, however the bomb will not be expended.


De dust bomb site A exploded

The bomb detonating, rendering the Terrorists victorious.

After the C4 was planted and enough time had elapsed without the Counter-Terrorists defusing it, the bomb will detonate and the Terrorist team will win the round. Global Offensive competitive mode has 40 seconds timer for the C4. In Counter-Strike, Condition Zero, Source, and Global Offensive casual incarnations, the timer is set for 45 seconds by default.

When it is too late for the bomb to be defused with a kit, a radio message will automatically yell at CTs to get out of the bombsite or warn Ts that the bomb is going to explode.

The damage of the C4 in Counter-Strike is 500 at point blank. In Global Offensive, the explosion radius is 1750 hammer units, and the explosion usually deals 500 max damage, dropping off over distance; on Vertigo and Nuke, the explosion only deals 400 damage, while on Inferno it deals 620 damage. Wearing armor further halves the amount of damage taken at most ranges, and half of the absorbed damage is deduced from the armor value. The player, on most maps, can survive the blast from full health (with 1 health remaining) when standing at 788 units away with armor or 1046 units without armor.[3]

Walls cannot block damage from the C4 explosion as long as the player is still inside the blast radius.

If any player is killed by the C4 bomb, the kill icon will not appear nor add a death point in score list, but the player will still lose all of his weapon and equipment in the next round.


Csgo defusing new

A Counter-Terrorist using a defuse kit to defuse the bomb.

After the C4 is planted, the Counter-Terrorists must defuse the bomb before the timer finishes in order for them to win the round, regardless of whether any Terrorists are still alive. The time it takes to defuse C4 is 10 seconds or 5 seconds with a defuse kit.

Only CTs can defuse the bomb. To do this, one must walk up to a planted bomb, look at it and hold the "USE" key for 10 seconds (5 with a defuse kit). The player may defuse either when standing or crouching. When defusing, the player cannot fire their weapons. If the player's field of view shifts too far away from the bomb, the player stops holding the "USE" key or the player reloads (in older games), the defusal process is stopped and any progress is lost. Because of this, the CT who is defusing the bomb is highly vulnerable to attacks.

When the C4's light turns white indicating that the timer has finished, the defusal will fail after a very short moment and cannot be initiated again.

After the September 15, 2015 update for Global Offensive, when a CT player defuses the bomb, a multimeter attached by wires to the bomb will appear in their left hand when they are defusing the C4, somehow representing a defusal process. When the CT puts the device down, it is a sign of the defusal process nearing completion. This is implemented to make fake defuses more difficult. In Counter-Strike, Condition Zero and Source, the defusal process is not visually identifiable (and can thus be faked easily), with no animation being shown in both first-person and third-person, and the defusing player's only real identifying feature is a defusing sign above their heads which only shows for the CT players.

Update History

Counter-Strike 2
February 6, 2024 [UNDOCUMENTED]
  • Planted C4 will now emit an even lower pitched beeping sound when planted at bombsite B than before.
October 17, 2023
  • New sound for final 10 seconds of bomb beeping
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
June 22, 2020
  • Bomb defusal progress will now reset if the defusing player turns too rapidly while defusing.
August 2, 2018
  • Planted C4 will now emit a different beeping sound when planted at bombsite B.


Getting score for either defusing or planting the bomb was added in Counter-Strike, the reward points are still available in Source. If the bomb was planted before the round time runs out but the bomb gets defused then the Terrorists get a $800 reward bonus on top of the cash amount for losing.

In Global Offensive, planting the bomb will reward the player $300 (excluding Arsenal: Demolition). In Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Source, the planting player does not get the $300 reward.

Task Reward

Successfully plant the bomb

2 score points for the planter.
Successfully defuse the bomb 2 score points for the defuser.

Appearance in Deleted Scenes

In Deleted Scenes, the C4 itself makes one appearance in Counter Terrorist Training, already planted and serving as an objective that requires the player to defuse it as training against future explosive threats.

In story proper, variations of the C4 (Explosive Charge and Nuclear Weapon) appear as mission objectives that require defusal by the player, and the player equipment RC Bomb retains some of the C4's characteristics as a device that requires planting.

Behind The Scenes

The equipment version of the C4 itself does not exist in-game, but evidence indicates that they were present at one point in development and were scrapped.

If the player tries to use console commands to spawn a C4, the console will display the following error message and crash.

Host_Error: no precache: models/w_backpack.mdl

The error message indicates that the C4 was originally going to be in the game present as an equippable equipment, and audio files of beeping sound exist. Even though the C4 was scrapped and no bomb with the coding was included on all single player maps, the coding was never removed.

Apparently, it is an explosive device and the item was used by Terrorists only. It is unknown what it was intended to administer, let alone, what its intended target was.


Team Tactics
Someone Set Us Up The Bomb csgo Someone Set Us Up The Bomb
Win a round by planting a bomb.
Rite of First Defusal csgo Rite of First Defusal
Win a round by defusing a bomb.
Second to None csgo Second to None
Successfully defuse a bomb with less than one second remaining.
Counter-Counter-Terrorist csgo Counter-Counter-Terrorist
Kill a Counter-Terrorist while he is defusing the bomb.
Short Fuse csgo Short Fuse
Plant a bomb within 25 seconds [excluding Demolition mode].
Participation Award csgo Participation Award
Kill an enemy within three seconds after they recover a dropped bomb.
Clusterstruck csgo Clusterstruck
Kill five enemies with a bomb you have planted.
Wild Gooseman Chase csgo Wild Gooseman Chase
As the last living Terrorist, distract a defuser long enough for the bomb to explode.
Blast Will and Testament csgo Blast Will and Testamant
Win a round by picking up the bomb from a fallen comrade and successfully planting it.
Defusus Interruptus csgo Defusus Interruptus
Stop defusing the bomb long enough to kill an enemy, then successfully finish defusing it.
Boomala Boomala csgo Boomala Boomala
Plant 100 bombs.
The Hurt Blocker csgo The Hurt Blocker
Defuse 100 bombs successfully.
Combat Skills
Defuse This! csgo Defuse This!
Kill the defuser with an HE grenade.
Arsenal Mode
Shorter Fuse csgo Shorter Fuse
Plant five bombs in Demolition Mode.
Quick Cut csgo Quick Cut
Defuse five bombs in Demolition mode.

Blast Will and Testament css Blast Will and Testament
Win a round by picking up the bomb from a fallen comrade and successfully planting it.
Boomala Boomala css Boomala Boomala
Plant 100 bombs.
Clusterstruck css Clusterstruck
Kill 5 players in a C4 blast.
Combat Ready css Combat Ready
Defuse a bomb with a kit when it would have failed without one.
Counter-Counter-Terrorist css Counter-Counter-Terrorist
Kill a CT while he is defusing the bomb.
Defusus Interruptus css Defusus Interruptus
Stop defusing to kill a terrorist and then successfully finish defusing the bomb.
Participation Award css Participation Award
Kill an enemy player within 3 seconds of them recovering a dropped bomb.
Rite of First Defusal css Rite of First Defusal
Win a round by defusing a bomb.
Second to None css Second to None
Successfully defuse a bomb with less than one second remaining.
Short Fuse css Short Fuse
Plant a bomb within 25 seconds.
Someone Set Up Us The Bomb css Someone Set Up Us The Bomb
Win a round by planting a bomb.
The Hurt Blocker css The Hurt Blocker
Defuse 100 bombs.
Wild Gooseman Chase css Wild Gooseman Chase
As the last living terrorist, distract a defuser long enough for the bomb to explode.
Defuse This! css Defuse This!
Kill the defuser with an HE grenade.


  • On maps like Prodigy and Vertigo where bottomless falls exist, if a human player playing as a Terrorist (un)intentionally drops the bomb into one of these bottomless falls, all Terrorist bots will jump into the fall and die in an attempt to retrieve it. This can happen in all games, though Global Offensive attempts to address the problem with adding invisible walls that only block the C4 and triggers that reset the bomb position to its last location with a solid ground when it falls out of the map.
    • Strangely however, if the bomb is dropped into the frozen river in Survivor, few bots will attempt to retrieve it and will instead attempt to eliminate the opposition in order to win the round. However, some bots may still enter the river to attempt to retrieve the bomb, but will end up drowning in its waters.
    • If the bomb is dropped/planted in an area where players cannot reach it easily (e.g. on top of a crate) or behind large movable props such as barrels (in Source), the bots may struggle to reach and interact with it.
  • When the C4 was first introduced in CS Beta 4.0, the Terrorist armed with it did not need to select it to plant the bomb. Instead, he would have a designated key that plants the bomb immediately. It could be planted anywhere, even in areas outside the bombsites. This caused many gameplay issues in which a Terrorist could easily plant it in the spawn zone. If it detonated, no money was given and the round would not end.
    • In Beta 4.1, it was updated so that the bomb can be retrieved if planted outside a bombsite. In Beta 5.0, the bomb was reworked as a seperate equipment in slot 5 that requires the player to plant inside a bombsite by holding down the fire key.
  • Before Counter-Strike 1.6, if the bomb is planted, the round timer will still run. In other words, if the C4 is planted while the round timer is under 45 seconds, the CTs will win by default. This has been changed after 1.6 as the round timer is disabled if the bomb is planted and it will require a CT to defuse the bomb.
  • In GoldSrc games, if a Terrorist bot is in the process of planting the C4 and a (human) player activates the bot_kill command in the console, the console will say "(bot name) killed self with (a headshot from) c4" for the bot that was planting the C4.
  • A Terrorist with a tactical shield cannot pick up a dropped C4 while the shield is deployed.
  • In Source, if a Terrorist starts to type the C4 code in third person, a muzzle flash will appear as if the player had fired his weapon.
  • In Global Offensive, there was a glitch in which the Terrorist arming the C4 apparently places the bomb back into his grasp right after it was set on the ground. Moreover, even if the planting animation displayed the Terrorist crouching during the allotted time, that player may actually be standing up. Later on in an update, these visual errors were fixed as the players are forced into crouching to plant the bomb.
  • In the GoldSrc Counter-Strike games, if playing on a map with vehicles such as de_jeepathon2k (a cut beta map), Terrorists can drive into the bombsite, plant the bomb in the back of the vehicle, then drive wherever they like with the bomb ticking in the back. Once the bomb explodes, even if nowhere near the bomb site, Terrorists will win. Be careful however, as the bomb can drop out of the vehicle if it is driven too fast.
  • In Source, if a player plants the C4 on a prop and moves the prop away, it will levitate in mid-air. In Global Offensive, the C4 will clip through any movable props, making this impossible. In addition, Global Offensive had made most props immobile, leaving only tiny and minor props movable.
  • In the older Counter-Strike games, after the C4 is planted, the flashing light of the bomb can be seen through players.
    • Currently, the sprite is still seen through props.
  • In some custom maps, if the bomb detonates and kills a hostage, the player who planted the C4 will receive a penalty as if he killed the hostage himself. In other words, that player will lose a lot of money but he will get some back in the next round. Note that whoever planted the bomb is still vulnerable in being kicked out from the server, should the option be enabled.
  • If bot_debug 1 is used, bots will continue to attack nearby enemies (with their knife if they're in close-quarters range) even if their status is set to ignore all enemies and their set goal is to escape from the bomb.


  • The game file name for this item is "c4". However, in Global Offensive the model name is "ied".
    • In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, C4 is referred to as "C4 Explosive".
    • "IED" is the acronym for Improvised Explosive Device.
    • The C4 has unused PaintableMaterial and player_loadout_slots properties found in the item schema, although the bomb does not have any custom finishes or alternatives replacements.
    • The in-game files also mention 2 unreleased alternatives for the bomb: Custom Code C4 and Radio C4.
    • In Global Offensive, you can rename the bomb without changing any files, but this wasn't always the case. The old method involved editing the items_game file, then purchasing a name tag from the in-game store to rename the bomb before changing the file back. The items_game file used to be very open to several exploits like this, especially in Team Fortress 2, but most item data is now stored server-side.
  • In all games prior to Global Offensive, the C4 is referred as 'she' in one of the radio report menus (She's gonna Blow!). When called out, it's referred as 'it' (Get outta there, it's gonna blow!).
  • The in-game description claims that C4 has a detonation velocity of 8,000 miles per second (roughly 13,000 kilometers per second), which is far higher than the C4's actual detonation velocity of 8,092 m/s, or roughly 5 miles per second. This is likely a developer oversight and was later changed to a more correct 8,000 meters per second.
  • In Counter-Strike: Source, upon planting the C4, the size of the C4 appears bigger than the world model and before the player plants it.
  • In the GoldSrc Counter-Strike games, if a player observes a Terrorist planting the C4, there is no animation between the allotment when the Terrorist finishes setting the time and when the bomb is set on the ground (it appears that the bomb is magically placed on the floor from the hands of the user). In Source and later released games, there is an animation that properly fixes this.
  • The arming code for the C4 in Source and Global Offensive is 7355608.
  • During the alpha development of Global Offensive, the C4 had a different model.
  • In Global Offensive, a small update on August 25, 2015 made defusing the bomb cause party sounds with glitter and balloons bursting in the air. This was done to commemorate ESL One Cologne 2015.
  • The C4 during each Christmas update since the December 18, 2018 update has a candy cane on it and it is gift-wrapped.
  • There was a HD version of the C4, featured in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive trailer.
  • In custom maps with water, the explosion caused by the C4 cannot harm players if they are in the water, even within the blast radius.
  • If bots are equipped, they will automatically switch to wielding the knife when the bomb is about to explode and will attempt to leave the bombsite. Interestingly, even if a bot is far away from the ticking C4, that bot will still follow the aforementioned behavior. If human players are present, they will have the advantage to kill bots as the AI controlled players rarely switch back to their firearms even if they see enemy players. They will, however, switch to a firearm when they see an enemy player while the bomb is about to detonate in 5 seconds (usually at 8 seconds) in Source. In older games, if the C4 is about to explode and bots from both teams clash at the bombsite, there is a small chance that they will start a knife fight, usually causing every bot near the bombsite to be killed by the explosion. In Global Offensive, when the timer runs out, a special beeping sound can be heard, and the red blinking light will turn white, and the bomb will go explode after 1 second; in previous games, the C4 will go off immediately after the timer runs out, whether it is being defused or not.
  • CT bots will give up defusing the bomb and run if the C4 is about 5 seconds to detonation if they have not interacted with the C4 yet. Sometimes, the CT bots will say unique quotes if they managed to defuse the C4 seconds away from detonation.
  • In older games, crates or other objects near the C4 will be destroyed. In Counter-Strike: Source and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the explosion does not harm the props in a bombsite (most large props will in Global Offensive are actually completely unmovable). Instead, specific brush objects will be destroyed in some maps, such as Train. In Counter-Strike: Source, a fire will appear if the C4 has successfully detonated. Sometimes, there is a glitch where the smoke is still in the air and the fire (although only a small amount) will still appear. However, the fire won't harm players as it a sprite instead of being an actual entity.
  • The beeping sound the C4 emitted when planted at different bombsites was changed in the August 2, 2018 patch due to players often getting confused as to which bombsite it was planted at on Nuke.
  • Based on an unused viewmodel and several unused icons, it is possible that the player may have been able to use the bomb in Deleted Scenes. This may have something to do with the scrapped mission Sniper.
  • In Source games, the console will read "player" taken damage from world, when the player is damaged by the C4. In the Counter-Strike: Source beta, if the player is killed by the C4, the kill icon will appear and it uses the suicide icon. The console will read ""player" stands bit too close to the bomb".
  • Unlike weapons which have preset throw distances, throwing the C4 in Global Offensive is extremely randomized, with even minor changes in the angle resulting in extreme differences in the result.[2]

See also

External links

  • C-4 at Wikipedia