The weapons in the Counter-Strike series form the basic framework for the games' combat gameplay.
There are a total of 25 weapons in most Counter-Strike games, and another 19 weapons added in Global Offensive, 10 of which are replacements of old weapons, giving a net total of 9 new weapons with wholly unique properties and roles and a combined total of 34 weapons.
Weapons are central to the combat in the Counter-Strike series, which players use to damage each other's health and kill enemy players to obtain kill rewards, gain tactical advantages, or progress to team elimination round victory.
In most games, a player may only carry one primary weapon, one secondary weapon, and a melee weapon.
In Deleted Scenes only, the player can carry more than one primary and secondary weapon. However, unlike in Half-Life, if the player already has that weapon and the player attempts to pick up the same weapon, it won't give the player ammo unless the first same weapon does not have maximum ammo. In that case, it will give the player the same new weapon with whatever ammo is in the new same weapon.
At the start of the game's first round, all players will spawn with their knife and their team-based spawn pistol. For rounds after that, if a player had lived through the previous round, they will retain their equipment they are equipped with when the previous round ends, and will receive a spawn pistol if they do not have a pistol when the previous round ends. If they died in the previous round, they will spawn with their knife and their spawn pistol.
Most weapons can be dropped and picked up, except for knives and in special situations where the game does not allow a normal weapon to be dropped or picked up. A player's death will cause their equipped primary and secondary weapon to be dropped. In Global Offensive, it is also possible to directly replace a weapon on the player's hands with a on the weapon on the ground by pressing the interaction key on the weapon on the ground.
Introduced alongside the Arms Deal in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, inspecting was added to give the player the ability to view details on their weapons in-game. Excluding the Gold Knife, all weapons can be inspected, and all equipment cannot be inspected. Inspecting weapons in-game is not to be confused with inspecting weapons from the player's Inventory.
In-game, using the default key
when the weapon is in an idle state will play an animation of the player inspecting the weapon by looking at all sides before returning to the idle state. This animation is only visible to the player, Spectators, and GOTV viewers in first person. There is no corresponding third-person animation, and thus the inspection will not be seen by other players.
The player can perform normal actions with the weapon at any point during the animation (such as reloading, firing, scoping in, or switching to other weapons), immediately interrupting the inspection animation to perform the normal action.
For most weapons, the weapon cannot be inspected unless the weapon is idle. Unlike other weapons, shotguns can be inspected while reloading, and doing so will interrupt the reload. After the inspection is finished (without being canceled by firing), the reload animation will resume.
The player cannot inspect scoped weapons when scoped in.
Global Offensive added new cosmetic features to weapons, primarily in the form of skins. They do not impact gameplay and are purely cosmetic.
Some variants include a StatTrak™ device, a counter that shows the total amount of kills acquired with the weapon by the current owner.
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All weapons are hitscanned to simulate the fast and straight travel of bullets in real life, meaning that when the player fires, the game immediately calculates its landing position and determine if it hit a target or not, and how much damage it dealt. All weapons have damage dropoff at a distance, and will disappear entirely if the shot travels too far.
Weapons deal damage upon hitting another player. The damage dealt to the target is dependent on several factors, including the weapon's base damage, the damage dropoff, the hitbox that is hit, effects of bullet penetration, effects of armor penetration, and the server settings for friendly fire in the event that the target is a teammate.
Rate of Fire
Rate of Fire determines how fast the weapon can fire. In Counter-Strike: Source and Global Offensive, this damage is represented by CycleTime in game files, which represents how many seconds of delay there is between two shots.
Formula for Round Per Minute: 1 : (<Rounds Per Minute> : 60)
Formula for Round Per Second: 1 : <Rounds Per Second>
Weapons need ammunition to fire. Each weapon has a designated amount of loaded and reserved ammunition. When the loaded ammuniton runs out, the weapon cannot be fired until it is reloaded.
Recoil causes prolonged periods of fire to become increasingly decentralized from the player's crosshair aim as well as the player's point of view to "bounce" upwards.
Inaccuracy causes a weapon to have a natural and uncontrollable random angle of deviation from the player's crosshair. Inaccuracy varies depending on the weapon and the player's current action.
Depending on the surface hit and the weapon's own properties, a bullet can continue to travel and damage targets beyond a surface after hitting a surface.
In Global Offensive, when a player's torso, abdomen and pelvis or head hitbox is hit by a weapon, their screen and aim will violently shake upwards, simulating the effects of being disoriented from a bullet injury. This is known as aimpunch. Given a target without armor, hitting the player in the legs and arms apply no aimpunch, hitting the torso, abdomen or pelvis applies moderate aimpunch, while hitting the player in the head applies severe aimpunch.
After being hit by a bullet, the target is slowed down. The amount of speed reduction is dependent on the weapon used and the weapon the target is wielding.
In Global Offensive, some weapons also fire tracers. The tracer appears as a small white flash that travels along the trajectory of the bullet. This is useful for the targets to identify the position of the attacking enemy and quickly retaliate against them.
Different weapons have different frequency of firing tracers. Some weapons like the M249 fire tracers on every shot. Some like the M4A4 fire tracers on every third shot. Other weapons and weapons with silencer equipped, like the Dual Berettas or the USP-S, never fire tracers.
Different weapons have different firing sounds and different loudness to them. Silencers generally make the biggest impact to weapon firing noise.
In Global Offensive, a loud mechanical clicks are played alongside the firing sound when firing the final shots in a magazine, giving away that a player's magazine is near empty.
Some weapons (and sometimes equipment too) have a secondary fire ability, activated by pressing MOUSE2 by default. Secondary fire is usually a weapon's specialty or a different trait of the weapon.
List of secondary fire functions:
- Attaching/detaching a Silencer (USP-S, K&M .45 Tactical, Maverick M4A1 Carbine, M4A1-S)
- Zooming in (Zoom/Zoom 2x) (AUG, Krieg 552, SG 553, Krieg 550 Commando, SCAR-20, G3SG1, AWP, Schmidt Scout, SSG 08, Fiber optic camera)
- Activating burst-fire mode (Glock-18, FAMAS)
- Activating attached flashlight (Leone 12 Gauge Super, K&M Sub-Machine Gun (Deleted Scenes only))
- Switch (Radio Controlled Bomb, switched between detonator and explosive)
- Detonate explosive (Breach Charge)
- Riot Mode (Tactical Shield)
- Fanning (R8 Revolver)
- Throwing weapon (Spanner, Hammer, Axe)
- Heavy punch (Bare Hands)
- Stabbing (Knife)
On the buy menu, weapons are categorized by their types. In older games, there are five categories on the buy menu for weapons: Pistols, Shotguns, SMG, Rifles, and Machine Guns. In Global Offensive, Shotguns and Machine Guns have been further combined into one "Heavy" category. For categorization purposes, this wiki will categorize weapons from a real-life standpoint, loosely applying the categories of the original Counter-Strike.
The only melee weapon featured in the Counter-Strike games is the basic knife. The knife only works in very close range, but it is incredibly lethal and makes little noise. They are given on spawn and under most circumstances cannot be dropped. In Global Offensive, after the January 27, 2016 update, knives can be dropped in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, if the command
mp_drop_knife_enable is set to 1 (enabled).
The Machete, once planned to be a usable weapon, is seen by A.I Terrorists throughout the campaign of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero Deleted Scenes. This usable version was also cut from the original Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Condition Zero.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive introduced cosmetic knives that function identically to the basic knife but can be only received by unboxing. In addition, there is a Gold Knife exclusive to the Arms Race gamemode, though its attributes also remain exactly the same as the basic knife.
Pistols (also known as handguns or sidearms) are the secondary weapons in the Counter-Strike series, as well as the first weapons that can be used at the beginning of a match or upon respawning after death.
Generally, pistols are weak when compared to primary weapons and have a low magazine capacity. Despite these limitations, they are accurate with little recoil and have comparably fast reload times, and it is considered better to pull them out rather than reload any primary weapon due to their fast draw animation. Their cheap prices also make them good weapons to use on eco rounds.
Players will run at default speed using any pistol, Global Offensive excluded.
Shotguns are a type of primary weapon featured in the Counter-Strike series. Instead of firing a single hitscan bullet, they fire several hitscan pellets in one shot that combine to deal high damage. The pellets in a shot are scattered, and spread at a distance, restricting their effectiveness to close range. They are fairly cheap, costing less than most rifles.
There are only two shotguns in Counter-Strike prior to Global Offensive: the Leone 12 Gauge Super, utilizing a pump action firing mode, and the Leone YG1265 Auto Shotgun, utilizing a semi-automatic firing mode. Both shotguns suffer from heavy speed and range reduction, as well as being useless at long range, but excel at close-quarters combat and can deal extreme damage up close. In Global Offensive, the Leone 12 Gauge Super was replaced by the Nova, and 2 other shotguns were introduced. Most shotguns cannot fire underwater.
SMG, short for submachine guns, are a type of primary weapon featured in the Counter-Strike series. They are very cheap, costing below $2500.
Most submachine guns have a fast rate of fire, little to no speed reduction, and low to moderate recoil, making them very good for short-distance combat. Unfortunately, submachine guns are outclassed by rifles at long range because the latter inflict more damage, have better armour penetration, less damage dropoff, and are more accurate. Nevertheless, they are still useful for cash-strapped teams.
Assault Rifles are a type of primary weapon featured in the Counter-Strike series. The assault rifles featured in the Counter-Strike series are fairly expensive weapons with very high damage and recoil, but have relative speed reduction. Most assault rifles are equipped to fight enemy combatants at medium to long range. Some of the assault rifles have unique features such as the FAMAS's burst-fire option and the M4A1's removeable silencer.
Sniper Rifles, as their name suggests, are made for extreme-range combat situations. In the Counter-Strike series, there are two types of sniper rifles: bolt-action sniper rifles and fully-automatic rifles (nicknamed auto-snipers). The former inflict heavy damage at the cost of punishing inaccurate users, but the latter have a faster firing rate at the expense of lower damage. The Schmidt Scout, SSG 08, and the AWP are bolt-action rifles while the Krieg 550 Commando, SCAR-20, and the G3SG1 are semi-automatic rifles. Due to their strong killing power, their price is on the higher end of the spectrum.
To discourage hipfiring and close-quarters fighting with these weapons in general, the crosshair will not show up when using these weapons.
Machine Guns are a type of primary weapon featured in the Counter-Strike series. They are made for defensive or suppression combat, being extremely heavy and generally expensive weapons with fast firing rates and large magazine size. Before Global Offensive, the M249 was the only machine gun in the multiplayer Counter-Strike games and was the most expensive weapon at $5750. Eventually, the introduction of the Negev in Global Offensive brought the total number of available machine guns to two.
In addition, some beta maps for Counter-Strike such as Forest and Desert feature the M2 Browning Machine Gun placement. Due to serious balance issues with the weapon, the maps featuring them are removed during development. They can still be found in some Counter-Strike custom maps, and reappeared officially in Deleted Scenes.
Flipped weapon viewmodels
Counter-Strike is one of the earliest and most infamous examples of having weapon view models that appears to be weapons intended for left-hand use when used in the right hand mode (and vice versa).
In reality, most of the weapons featured in Counter-Strike do not have left-hand variants due to the majority of the users being right-handed. Even if they do exist, using a left-hand weapon with the right hand will cause many inconveniences, such as having the user being showered by the ejected cartridges due to the ejector port being on the left side. This can cause severe burns in real life as the ejected cartridges may fly towards the person who is using the weapon (in which this serious issue is reflected with left-handed infantry who had to wield weapons meant for right-handed individuals). This also results in extremely awkward bolt pulls in bolt-action rifles since the nondominant left hand holding the front of the weapon now needs to move back and pull the left-facing bolt back towards the user's chest.
The cause of this is because that the modeler of the weapons, Minh Le, had a preference to originally create left-handed view models instead of right-handed view models, as he is left-handed. The weapon models had always been modeled correctly for right-hand use, but left-handed view models were created before right-handed view models with these correct models. Due to the majority of the players being right-handed, players were confused by the left-handed view models. So the option of flipping the view model was added. In order to save time and resources, the right-handed view model is a mirror of the left-handed view model, thus causing the aforementioned problems.
The problem repeats in Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, Counter-Strike: Source (though some weapons, such as the MAC-10, are correctly portrayed), and even in Left 4 Dead 2's International Weapons port of Source weapons. In Global Offensive, the problem is fixed - weapons are correctly shown in the right-handed mode, although the left-handed mode is still just a simple mirror of the right-handed mode.
- Sometimes in Counter-Strike and Condition Zero, there is a bug where the player can carry more than one secondary or primary weapon. (However, some maps can also grant players this ability). If this bug occurs, the fast switch for that category will be disabled and require the player to select a weapon in that list, much like in Half-Life.
- If this bug occurs, the player cannot purchase ammo for the first weapon in that category; the player can only purchase ammo for the second weapon that he can get in the respective category. The only way to get ammo for the first weapon is by picking up a weapon from either primary or secondary. (If you have two secondary weapons, you will have to pick up a primary and vice versa (provided that the killed player doesn't have a primary weapon)). However this works only for SMGs as pistols does not use rifle/shotgun ammo. Furthermore if the player has 2 primary/secondary weapons that shares same ammo for each other, it will draw from a single ammo reserve due to sharing same cartridge, but allows to resupply both primary/secondary weapons.
- Weapons in retail versions of Counter-Strike would disappear if dropped on the ground when the round restarts. In Beta, they would remain on the ground, and thus players could retrieve a firearm from a killed player at the next round.
- If the player hit secondary fire while reloading a shotgun, the animation will pause.
- In older betas, discarding a weapon causes it to be lost permanently.
- Prior to Global Offensive, the player holds all pistols except the Elites with his support hand cupping the base of the grip, a manner known as «tea cupping». In real-life this is extremely unrecommended as it does not help retain the recoil, especially on a large-caliber pistol such as the Desert Eagle, in which case would also cause feeding issues because of its magazine's design.
- In Source and Global Offensive, it is possible to see the inactive weapons another player is equipped with on their models:
- The player's primary weapon is on the model's back.
- In Global Offensive, submachine guns are not placed on the model's back as a Counter-Terrorist. Instead, they are hung in front of the model's chest.
- The player's knife is hung on the model's belt in Global Offensive.
- In Source, players' secondary weapon is carried in a pistol holster.
- If the player has the Dual Berettas, that player will receive an extra pistol holster on the left leg. It will disappear when the player is killed or has dropped the weapons.
- In Global Offensive, as a Counter-Terrorist, the player's secondary weapon is in a pistol holster on the model's right leg. As a Terrorist, it is stuffed in the model's trousers from behind.
- The player's primary weapon is on the model's back.
- Most of the firearms in Counter-Strike were renamed possibly due to legal/licensing issues (e.g. the Desert Eagle becoming the Nighthawk .50C). The case continues in Source.
- The notable exceptions include the Maverick M4A1 Carbine and M249 which are both US military designations of the Colt XM4 and FN Minimi respectively, whereas the Ingram MAC-10 retained its real-life name and company name mainly due to the fact that the company, Military Armament Corporation, that held the rights to the weapon went bankrupt in 1975.
- In Global Offensive, most names of the firearms are now accurate, and the company names are simply omitted. However, all inscriptions bearing the company name present on weapon models are intentionally altered.
- Regardless of the player's choice of left-handed or right-handed viewmodels, all players wield the weapons right-handed in third-person view.
- In Global Offensive, an outdated in-game tip incorrectly instructs the player to hold the inspect key to view the animation.
- In Global Offensive, all pump-action shotguns reuse the pump sound of the Pump Shotgun and the Chrome Shotgun from the Left 4 Dead series. Also, all weapons reuse the draw sounds from Left 4 Dead series' weapons as well.
- Most pistols' reloading animation involve the magazine dropping free instead of being taken out manually.
- In Global Offensive, a magazine will be dropped to the ground (excluding most shotguns) when players reload. The magazine is visible in both first and third-person.
- In Global Offensive, the cartridge icons representing the current number of bullets in the magazine are rifle cartridges, regardless of the weapon used.
- Prior to Source, it was possible to fire most weapons even if their respective draw and reload animations had not completed. This was fixed in Source and Global Offensive.
- In Global Offensive, one can «fast-draw» right before the reload animation is complete. This is done by switching to another weapon and back when the ammunition counter has changed. It doesn't speed up the reload rate for all weapons but does help to get out of scope mode without having to cycle through the zoom (this only applies to bolt-action sniper rifles).
- In Global Offensive, bots do not purchase weapons that were added in updates. They can however use it after they were controlled by human players and the next rounds starts.
- Furthermore, in all games, bots do not use burst fire mode for the Glock-18 and the FAMAS. However, they do use it if these weapons were set to burst mode before bots retrieved them. In CS:GO, this can be done by controlling a bot and setting the weapon to burst mode. As a note, bots with the FAMAS rifle on burst mode will have a notable advantage at long ranges due to increased accuracy.
- Due to the way the weapons are animated and programmed in the Counter-Strike series, there are several notable discrepancies between how the weapons function in Counter-Strike and real life:
- Closed bolt weapons do not track an extra round in the chamber.
- Most reloads always end with a cock or tap of the bolt release, even when such an act is unnecessary.
- In some cases, weapons do not lock back when all the rounds in the magazine were fired. Examples include the UMP-45, the M4A1 and the SG552 prior to Global Offensive, most pistols and the Galil AR in Global Offensive, as well as the XM1014 in both cases. In other cases, weapons automatically lock back at the start of a reload when the weapon still has rounds remaining in the chamber. Examples of weapons that have this error are the SCAR-20 and Dual Berettas.
- In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, most weapons are cocked once when drawn (e.g. the slide on a pistol is pulled once, the pump on a pump-action shotgun is pumped once), but they do not eject a round when doing so.
- Counter-Strike: www.counter-strike.net - News Archive - Older News. Archived from the original on 2001-06-10.