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Knowing your weapons is probably the most essential part of Counter-Strike. Weapons have different rates of fire, different accuracies, and different magazine capacities. Most weapons have a primary usage mode, and an alternate fire method. Different weapons also encumber your movement to different extents; for instance, a heavy sniper rifle will make you move effectively at the speed of a walk, whereas a knife or pistol will give you the fastest movement. When the magazine is empty, weapons must be reloaded, requiring a certain period of time which is different for each weapon; while reloading, the player is vulnerable to attack, although he can switch a sidearm if available.
Most weapons lose accuracy when fired when fired continuously or when the shooter is moving; knowing the abilities of your firearm is essential to being a competent Counter-Strike player.
When two codes are given, the one on the left is the one used by the mod version of the game and the one on the right is that used by the retail version. In 1.6 most of the gun names changed; when a gun is still commonly known by its original name, its original name is included in parentheses.
- knife: Knife
The knife is your standard close quarters knife. It is mostly used as a humiliation weapon by sneaking up on your enemies and knifing them from behind. In its standard usage, it has a slashing attack, and in the alternate attack it has a thrusting type of motion. The slashing attack does less damage, but also can be used more frequently. The knife can also be used to open vents and other breakable objects.
Unless you're out to embarrass your opponent, the knife is not very useful, with one exception: It can be a relatively low-noise option for opening vents.
- usp/mk45: KM .45 Tactical (USP)
$500; 12 rounds per clip, $50 per clip, 48 rounds total. Initial Terrorist weapon.
The USP is the initial Counter-Terrorist weapon (the cost applies to the Terrorists); all Counter-Terrorists start with it. It is arguably the most accurate pistol in the game, which makes it even more surprising that the Counter-Terrorists begin with it. It delivers moderate damage and has a reasonably high rate of fire, and so is a very competent weapon. The alternate fire switches back and forth between silenced and unsilenced modes.
The USP is a fine sidearm for a Counter-Terrorist with an assault rifle, or a Terrorist strapped for cash.
- glock18/9x19mm: 9x19 mm Sidearm (Glock)
$400; 20 rounds per clip, $20 per clip, 90 rounds total. Initial Terrorist weapon.
The Glock is the standard Terrorist weapon. It has a reasonable rate of fire and a high magazine capacity, and in recent versions the damage has been increased to make it comparable with the USP as a decent sidearm. The alternate fire alternates between single shot mode and burst fire mode where three rounds are fired per shot.
The Glock makes a decent sidearm for the Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists alike.
- deagle/knighthawk: Knighthawk .50C (Desert Eagle)
$650; 7 rounds per clip, $40 per clip, 35 rounds total.
The Desert Eagle is a common favorite in the game. The .50 AE rounds do severe damage when they land a hit; the Desert Eagle is somewhat accurate, but only each shot is fired slowly. It holds only seven rounds per clip, but you can make those seven rounds count in close quarters.
The Desert Eagle is a common sidearm among snipers.
- p228/228compact: 228 Compact
$600; 13 rounds per clip, $50 per clip, 52 rounds total.
The P228 does reasonable damage but has poor accuracy. At its price, it's not worth it.
The P228 is rarely used by expert players.
- elites: .40 Dual Elites (Terrorist)
$1000; 30 rounds per "clip," $20 per clip, 120 rounds total.
The dual Berettas sound like a lot of fun, and they're worth seeing, but they're not worth the steep price (one can almost afford a submachine gun at $1000). They have poor accuracy, only moderate damage potential, and a very long reload time (since you have to reload two guns, not one).
They're fun to play with, but the dual Berettas are only good slugthrowers at extremely short range and not much else.
- fiveseven/fm57: ES Five-Seven (Counter-Terrorist)
$750; 20 rounds per clip, $50 per clip, 100 rounds total.
The Five-Seven has quite reasonable accuracy -- even while moving -- and a sufficient capacity, but does very little damage.
Since a pistol is for killing, you're better off with a USP or a Desert Eagle.
- m3/12gauge: Leone 12 Gauge Super
$1700; 8 rounds per breach, $65 per breach, 32 rounds total.
The M3 is lesser example of what is in effect a humiliation weapon. It's a pump-action shotgun, which while it does significant damage at close range, requires sneaking up on the opponent. It has a relatively slow rate of fire (since the action must be pumped each time), although it does have the benefit of being nearly as accurate while moving and, since it is reloaded one slug at a time, reloading can be interrupted to continue firing at any time.
The M3 is relatively expensive for its worth, but using it effectively will not amuse your enemy.
- xm1014/autoshotgun: Leone YG1265 Auto Shotgun
$3000; 7 rounds per breach, $65 per breach, 32 rounds total.
The XM1014 is a fully automatic shotgun with a high rate of fire, rendering it a truly devastating weapon at close range. It is often considered a rather skill-less weapon, often resulting in it being referred to as a "newbie stick." In maps where most encounters at at close quarters, however, it is extremely effective and should not be overlooked. It, like the M3, can be fired in between reloading slugs, so the disadvantages to reloading during a firefight are reduced. It is, however, fairly expensive.
This is a good choice of weapon on maps where nearly all encounters are at close quarters.
- mp5navy/smg: KM Submachine Gun (MP5)
$1500; 30 rounds per clip, $20 per clip, 100 rounds total.
The MP5 is a standard choice of submachine gun, although like all submachine guns it is relatively inaccurate and does inferior damage to a rifle. At short range an MP5 can hold its own; at medium to long range it starts showing its weaknesses.
It's standard fare for its price class, but like most submachine guns it has its limitations.
- tmp/mp: Schmidt Machine Pistol (TMP) (Counter-Terrorist)
$1250; 30 rounds per clip, $20 per clip, 120 rounds total.
The TMP has a high rate of fire and is relatively quiet, but does relatively little damage.
You're better off with another submachine gun.
- p90/c90: ES C90 (P90)
$2350; 50 rounds per clip, $50 per clip, 100 rounds total.
The P90's claim to fame is that it has a very high clip capacity; the downside is that even at medium range it is rather inaccurate. It is, however, an extremely strange looking gun that people often like to buy if only to be different.
Its high clip capacity doesn't outweigh its low accuracy.
- mac10: Ingram MAC-10 (Terrorist)
$1400; 30 rounds per clip, $25 per clip, 96 rounds total.
The real Mac-10 is well-known as an inaccurate firearm, and the Counter-Strike version is no exception. It does relatively low damage, but has a high rate of fire.
The MP5 is an all-around better weapon for only $100 more.
- ump45: KM UMP45
$1700; 25 rounds per clip, $25 per clip, 100 rounds total.
The UMP has very good accuracy, but a relatively low rate of fire and a reduced clip capacity. For close combat, it is outmatched by all the other submachine gun -- its rate of fire simply cannot keep up.
The UMP is a good beginner's weapon. Once you mature, however, you will find its faults limiting.
- famas/clarion: Clarion 5.56 (Counter-Terrorist)
$2250, 25 rounds per clip, $60 per clip, 90 rounds total. The Clarion can only hold 25 rounds, and can select between automatic fire and burst fire (the burst fire shoots its three rounds a little faster than it would in normal automatic fire mode by holding the trigger down). It is not very accurate and not very powerful, but it is an affordable alternative to the Colt for the Counter-Terrorists.
- galil/defender: IDF Defender (Terrorist)
$2000, 35 rounds per clip, $60 per clip, 90 rounds total. The Defender can hold more rounds than the Clarion, and can't select between full auto and burst fire, but is somewhat cheaper. Other than that, they are comparable low-end assault rifles.
- ak47/cv47: CV-47 (AK-47) (Terrorist)
$2500; 30 rounds per clip, $80 per clip, 90 rounds total.
The AK47 is the standard no-zoom assault rifle used by the Terrorists (and is only available to them). It is a hard weapon to use well, but is very accurate when used properly. The key to using the AK47 is to remember that it is only accurate when fired from a standstill, and only for the first shot or two of a burst, and after that the accuracy severely degrades. Even in close quarters, holding down the trigger on the AK47 is not a good idea due to its extremely poor accuracy. It is surprisingly cheap for its accuracy when used properly.
Learn to fire only one shot or two at a time when holding still, and the AK47 becomes an extremely accurate weapon.
- m4a1: Maverick M4A1 Carbine (Colt) (Counter-Terrorist)
$3100; 30 rounds per clip, $60 per clip, 90 rounds total.
The Colt is a favorite in Counter-Strike; although it is available for purchase only to Counter-Terrorists, one will often find Terrorists using Colts that they've picked up from their killed enemies. The Colt is extremely accurate, and although its accuracy is considerably reduced when fired in bursts, it does not nearly have the same accuracy problems that the AK47 has. Furthermore, the Colt is a very competent close quarters weapon as well, even when in motion, whereas the AK47 has severe accuracy problems in that context. It is noticeable more expensive than the AK47, but it is well worth it. When equipped with the silencer, the rate of fire and damage are slightly reduced but the accuracy remains the same.
Fired from rest and in two- or three-shot bursts, the Colt is a devastating weapon.
- aug/bullpup: Bullpup (AUG) (Counter-Terrorist)
$3500; 30 rounds per clip, $60 per clip, 90 rounds total.
The AUG has one zoom level and is a good combination of a straight assault rifle and a sniper rifle. Its accuracy is only moderate, especially when fired in long bursts, but it is a common rifle chosen by Counter-Terrorists (and is only available to them).
The AUG is a favorite assault/sniper rifle combination.
- sg552/kreig552: Kreig 552 (Terrorist)
$3500; 30 rounds per clip, $60 per clip, 90 rounds total.
The SIG is the Terrorist counterpart to the AUG (and is only available to them). The SIG is the more accurate weapon, but they are both quite comparable and have the same price.
You can't go wrong with the SIG in experienced hands.
- scout: Schmidt Scout
$2750; 10 rounds per clip, $80 per clip, 60 rounds total.
The Scout is a popular sniper rifle with multilevel zoom. It has a reasonable rate of fire and a fairly rapid reload for a sniper rifle. Unlike the AWM, it takes at least two hits to deal a fatal blow, but it can land those two hits quickly and accurately. As with other sniper rifles, remaining still while firing is essential to hitting your target. The Scout also has the additional benefit of being extremely quiet; even at moderate distance, the target cannot hear the Scout being fired; contrast this to the AWM, which is the loudest weapon in the game. It is also very affordable, with a cost in between the AK47 and the Colt.
At first the Scout seems underpowered, but in capable hands the Scout can quickly take out enemies.
- awp/magnum: Magnum Sniper Rifle (AWP)
$4750; 10 rounds per clip, $125 per clip, 30 rounds total.
The AWM (often referred to as the "awp," which is its internal designation) is really the only effective one-shot-one-kill weapon in the game. Like the Scout, it has multilevel zoom, but unlike the scout, any hit except to the extremities will result in a fatality; the AWM is a fearsome weapon. It makes a godawful noise when fired; it is obvious to anyone remotely nearby when someone is sniping with it. Of all the weapons, it has the slowest rate of fire, but its power is unsurpassed. It is, however, correspondingly very expensive.
This is the ultimate sniper weapon. Coupled with a Desert Eagle as a sidearm, a competent AWM sniper is very difficult to rout.
- sg550/kreig550: Kreig 550 Commando (SG550) (Counter-Terrorist)
$4200; 30 rounds per clip, $60 per clip, 90 rounds total.
The G3 (available only to the Counter-Terrorists) is a sort of a cross between a sniper rifle and an assault weapon, and it is unfortunately a match does not work very well. The G3 has a reasonable rate of fire, but when fired this way has exceedingly poor accuracy; the firer must put a great deal of pause between each shot to get the accuracy afforded to other sniper rifles. Further, the rounds require at least two hits to take down a foe, which coupled with its poor accuracy makes it almost counterproductive as a sniper weapon. In close quarters, it is almost useless. Finally, it is unbelievably expensive for what you get -- it is the second-most expensive weapon in the game, more expensive even than an AWM.
Avoid purchasing the G3, unless you're showing off. You are much better off with an AUG or an AWM -- and they cost less.
- g3sg1/deau1: D3/AU-1 (G3) (Terrorist)
$5000; 20 rounds per clip, $80 per clip, 60 rounds total.
The SG550 is the Terrorist equivalent of the G3. It has the same drawbacks as the G3, although it is somewhat less expensive.
Again, avoid the SG550. Switch to an SG552, a Scout, or an AWM instead.
- m249: M249
$5750; 100 rounds per clip, $60 per clip, 200 rounds total.
The Para does only one thing, but it does it well: It sprays bullets. At a whopping 100 round magazine and a moderate rate of fire, it can keep throwing out bullets when your enemy has to reload. The disadvantage there is an extremely long reload cycle, and -- more importantly -- very poor accuracy.
The Para is really only suitable for close combat situations; it can keep throwing out bullets but it can't deliver them accurately.
- tank: Fixed gun emplacements
On some custom maps, fixed gun emplacements are available. The amount of damage they do is variable but usually very high, and they generally have unlimited ammunition and a moderate rate of fire; however, they usually have two serious drawbacks: first, using them usually puts you in a position where you are easily exposed to enemy fire, particularly from sniper weapons; and the second, they often have atrociously bad accuracy.
Fixed gun emplacements really are only useful at the beginning of a match, when nobody can yet afford effective assault rifles or sniper weapons, or when your team is already dominating and so you can afford to use them for their suppressive effect. Otherwise they're showoff weapons that are more likely to get you killed other than doing anything useful for your team.