“A strong open-area LMG, the M249 is the perfect choice for players willing to trade a slow fire rate for increased accuracy and a high ammo capacity.”
The M249 is the designation of the US-adopted version of the Belgian FN Minimi, a light machine gun firing the intermediate-caliber 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge, adopted for the United States Armed Forces. The M249 in older Counter-Strike games is the Paratrooper version, lacking a fixed stock. In Global Offensive, the fixed stock is present.
In-game, it is one of the two machine guns in the multiplayer Counter-Strike games, and the only one available in games prior to Global Offensive. It is available to both teams. Terrorists cannot purchase this machine gun in Assassination maps.
The M249 is currently the most expensive weapon in all games in the series, at $5750 in earlier games and reduced to $5200 in Global Offensive. It also has a high ammunition cost in GoldSrc games where ammunition needs to be bought. As the M249's 5.56mm ammo does not share with assault rifles that also uses 5.56mm ammo means the only way to refill the ammo without cost is pick up another M249 from dead player, which is a very rare possibility. These properties make it a rare sight in competitive games with high economy management, but is more common in public matches due to its large magazine and good damage output making it a fun weapon to use.
It has a large magazine capacity and a large reserve ammunition capacity, but has a very long reload and is quite heavy due to being a light machine gun. These properties makes it stronger for fighting against groups of enemies.
The M249 deals high damage, able to instantly kill targets with headshots in Source and Global Offensive at close range regardless if they're using helmets. It also has a high penetration power, allowing for suppressive fire through surfaces.
The M249 has quite strong recoil and inaccuracy, restricting its range of effectiveness to mid-range combat.
Prior to Source, bots will always spray the M249, regardless on how their difficulty is set. However, this technique can still be very lethal when players are at close proximity.
|CS 1.6 and CS:CZ|
|Chest & Arm||31||23|
|Chest & Arm||34||27|
|Chest & Arm||32||25|
- Spray bullets at full auto and strafe when you encounter enemies at close range. The weapon is deadly in cramped sections of a map.
- If friendly fire is enabled, do not spray bullets if there are teammates in front of you; because the M249 has a large cone of fire, some of the bullets may hit your teammates. This also applies to hostages.
- Never spray bullets at your enemies beyond close range. The weapon's high inaccuracy makes it ineffective and makes you an easy target. At longer ranges, burst firing or tap firing is the most effective tactic. It is preferable to shoot 2-4 shots in bursts although it is possible to fire single shots as well.
- In Source, burst fire and aim for the head is an effective tactic, especially in tight areas.
- Should you need to spray bullets at medium to long ranges, aim for the leg and you may score headshots from the recoil climb.
- Do not attempt to engage enemies at range if they have a sniper rifle. They will able to easily kill you (while you will struggle to kill them) as you cannot run fast with the M249.
- Use this weapon to provide fire support to your team. Firing at enemies on full auto will discourage enemies from fighting back in the open.
- It's possible to aim somewhat accurately while at full auto; the bullets will generally go upwards and to the right, making it possible to hit targets at longer ranges by compensating.
- Do not panic and spray aimlessly when enemies appear. The weapon still has great inaccuracy and recoil, and careful compensation is needed to use the weapon effectively.
- Use this weapon to distract the enemy or to provide your teammates with suppressive fire.
- This weapon is not quite versatile - its slow movement speed makes it slower for the player to quickly react to situations. Instead, the M249 is more useful to draw fire from teammates or defend important spots.
- Switch to your sidearm or knife if you have to run.
- Using the M249 at full-auto while running is a bad idea, as it massively increases inaccuracy to nigh unusable levels.
- Carefully select a defensive firing location while defending objectives like a bombsite or important hostage areas.
- The M249 will completely shred thin cover. Use it to draw out hiding enemies.
- Shred enemies up with the M249 when they are in a group.
- Take cover or traverse to where your teammates are when you need reload due to the long reload time. It is important to reload when your magazine is less than 30 bullets.
In the Tour of Duty, the M249 kill challenge appears in:
|Easy||Kill 2 enemies|
|Normal||Kill 8 enemies|
|Hard / Expert||Kill 3 enemies without dying|
The following bots use the M249 as their main weapon:
The M249 is usable in Building Recon, found in a crate next to a mounted M2 Browning, shortly after defeating the T-90 in the level. It can also be seen behind the weapons counter in Counter Terrorist Training. Ammo packs for it can interestingly be found in Alamo despite not appearing in the level.
- In both Counter-Strike and Condition Zero, the muzzle flash may not sync properly when the user is jumping after firing a shot.
- In Condition Zero, if a player holding the M249 is in a crouched position, the left hand will clip through the gun in third-person.
- Oddly, if carrying a hostage, the player moves faster while wielding the M249. This also applies for the Negev.
- The M249 was the only light machine gun available in the Counter-Strike multiplayer series until the Negev was introduced in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
- The M249 in the GoldSrc Counter-Strike games appears smaller than the M249 in Source Counter-Strike games.
- In earlier games, rounds on M249's ammunition belt never disappear, even when ammo count gets to zero, making it seem as if the gun never needs to be reloaded. This is to reduce memory, as with the P90, UMP-45, AUG, Krieg 552, and the Krieg 550 Commando.
- In Global Offensive, the gun now properly displays the diminishing bullets when the M249 is running out of ammo.
- Prior to Condition Zero, the world model lacked both the ammo belt and the carrying handle present in the first-person view.
- In Global Offensive, the carrying handle is removed from the model.
- M249's data in Counter-Strike: Source' VGUI buy menu states that its firing rate is around 600 RPM. However, in-game it fires at approximately 750 RPM. This is likely due to Valve reusing the old VGUI data from Counter-Strike 1.6.
- In Counter-Strike 1.6 (and older betas), the ammo box was colored black, like the M249 itself. In Condition Zero and later games, the box is now colored green.
- Prior to Source, the third person version of an M249 user shows the gun being reloaded by replacing the ammo belt, but in Source and Global Offensive, the ammo box and ammo belt are seen being replaced.
- Prior to Global Offensive, it was one of the 4 uncut weapons to retain its original name, the others being the Maverick M4A1 Carbine, the MAC-10 and the Five-SeveN.
- In GoldSrc Counter-Strike games, if the player skips the reloading animation with no bullets left, then the first-person viewmodel will still show bullets in the magazine. Interestingly, the bullets only disappear when the reload animation starts.