What’s a typical thing for any player to do once he has $6000 in CS:GO during a game? Buy an AWP of course! So what if two of his teammates already have one? So what if his team is attacking? It’s only natural to want to kill your opponents with one shot.
Today we’re going to tell you how and when to use AWP, when a simple assault rifle would be better and will give you some tips and tricks about this incredibly popular killing machine.
What are the pros of AWP?
The most obvious one is AWP is the most powerful gun in the game. But if we dig a little deeper, we may find it’s key features and we can understand how AWP works in conjunction with the assault rifles of your teammates.
In skilled players hands AWP becomes a weapon of retribution, allowing him to almost completely deny his enemy from taking hold of key positions on a map without them using grenades and careful strafes. Your team may work out it’s strategy around the AWP player, but that also means that it should be at the hands of a person who is the most skilled with it.
AWP is one of the most effective weapons for an entry fragger. Unless your enemy knows the exact place your sniper is hiding in, he’s as good as dead. And that will be an advantage for your whole team, especially as attackers. If you cleared one of the key positions, that’ll force an enemy team to relocate to be able to cover everything. As a matter of fact, you can win a round with one AWP and four pistols in your team by just covering your sniper and making space for him.
Don’t expect to be a great sniper by just watching pro players use it. This is a weapon that requires a lot of practice. If you spend most of your time playing with M4 or AK against bots, spending all of your money on AWP in a ranked match will definitely be a bad idea, as that just will be detrimental for your team.
Playing with AWP is complicated due to its unusual characteristics. It's a very heavy and very expensive bolt-action rifle. What that means is you’ll be spending two seconds reloading after every shot, making you extremely vulnerable for a counter attack. Usually, missing is equal to dying. That makes AWP pretty weak during clutches.
Let’s take a closer look at this rifle.
CS:GO AWP Specs
AWP is the most powerful weapon in the game. It always kills even an armored enemy with a bodyshot. It can kill up to four enemies standing in a row with a headshot or up to two enemies with a bodyshot.
It’s damage is about 115 (depending on a distance) for a bodyshot, around 450 for a headshot and around 85 for a legshot (even though it’s not lethal, it’s still really unpleasant for a player you hit). Magazine reload time is 3.7 seconds.
This rifle is very heavy. Movement speed of a player character with AWP is 200 units. In comparison, movement speed with a knife is 250 units. What’s even worse, movement speed drops to 100 with a scope on, making a sniper extremely vulnerable to an enemy with a rifle.
It’s price is $4750. Even though it’s not the most expensive rifle, the most expensive being semi-automatic sniper rifles, but if you consider everything else you’ll want to get: AWP, armor, pistol for a close quarters combat, grenades and defuse kit for a defence players, all of that amounts to almost $8000.
What’s also worth mentioning is that AWP without a scope, aka noscope, is quite inaccurate. You shouldn’t try to replicate those crazy moments you might have seen in professional games. Don’t forget that even pro players may just be lucky sometimes. That’s why noscope shouldn’t be used outside of dire situations like an enemy jumping you point blank, leaving you with no time to scope up or change a weapon.
Pistol as a main tool in sniper’s disposal
What’s the main skill for a sniper with an AWP? An ability to quickly do flickshots without missing you might say. In this case, you’re mistaken. Don’t get me wrong, aim is an extremely important skill for AWP, but there’s no player in this world who never misses. Even pro players (for example s1mple) don’t follow the “one shot - one kill” rule. Once in a while you may miss, what should you do about it?
Just imagine an opponent suddenly appearing right in front of you after an AWP shot. Of course, you may try to hit him with a noscope, although that’s a bet that may cost you not only your life and losing your precious rifle to an enemy, but even a round. That’s why it's the perfect time to remember that you have a pistol.
Every sniper has to know how to shoot almost every pistol in the game. An excellent choice would be fast and/or powerful p250 or FiveSeven. You may also take a Desert Eagle, but that’s an option for the richest players with a good economy. You shouldn’t take pistols like CZ-75, it’s very long deploy animation won’t do a good job in protecting you from a suddenly appeared enemy. Tec-9 is also a mediocre choice due to it being more of an assault weapon.
If you have a sniper rifle but don’t have enough money for a pistol, don’t shy from asking your teammates to get you one.
When should you buy AWP?
To understand that, it would be easier to look at situations when you should NOT buy an AWP.
- Don’t buy one if your team already has a couple of sniper rifles. That makes your team extremely immobile, so you should warn your teammates whenever you’re going to get AWP if your team only has one.
- Don’t buy one if your team doesn’t have enough money to buy some good weapons. Most of the time in situations like this you’ll be left without a proper cover, dying and wasting tons of money.
- Don’t buy an AWP without armor. There are situations when you have to take a risk to turn the game upside down, sure. Although usually that will just leave you vulnerable to enemy grenades due to a low movement speed with AWP.
- Don’t buy an AWP if you’re going to hide in some corner for a whole round instead of actually assisting your team. With your teammates dead, an opponent’s team will have no trouble pushing you out.
Why is knowing the grenades especially important for a sniper?
The more default grenades you know, the easier it will be for you to snipe your enemies. It’s much more dangerous to try to peek an enemy without grenades, as missing a shot without some form of protection may result in your death.
You should never forget about oneway smokes, allowing you to see what’s happening on the other side but blocking your enemy from seeing you. Oneways will help you to survive and get away unscathed after an amazing kill on more than one occasion.
Flashes also fall into this category. Practice doing instant flashes that will blow up at your opponents’ face without ricochets. Don’t shy away from asking your teammates to throw a grenade for you to peek. By the way, you can find all of the most useful and tricky grenades on the grenade prediction page on SCOPE.GG. You’ll see a result in your ranked games just after a couple days of practicing your default grenades!
Tips and tricks with AWP
Considering how difficult an AWP is to use, players have already found some tricks to make their life easier.
Decreasing reloading time
There’s a concept of a quick reload in CS:GO. What that means is you can interrupt the reloading animation at a certain moment, but the reloading itself will complete regardless. You probably remember how long it takes for a player character to turn the rifle in his hands, insert a new magazine, turn it again and pull the bolt. To do a quick reload, try to quickly switch your weapon to a knife and back as soon as the magazine is in place.
The main benefit of this trick though is not in a quicker reloading time as you might think but with an increased mobility. By trial and error players figured out that quick reload won’t make your weapon fire faster than usual, but that allows you to get a movement speed boost from switching to your knife. Take a shot, reload, switch to your knife to quickly relocate to a safer position.
Flickshooting with AWP
This technique is on a whole other level and it won’t be easy to master. A beginner with AWP usually takes a position, scopes up and waits for an enemy to get in sight. Here’s a quick rundown why is it bad:
- Scope narrows your vision. Your enemy may just walk around you and you won’t see a thing.
- Holding the same position nullifies your presence on a map and most of the time prevents you from assisting your teammates.
Sometimes the game requires you to quickly react to events like an enemy team attacking from different directions. That’s when flickshot or fastzoom comes in. That means not playing zoomed in all the time but zooming in only a moment before taking a shot. Here’s how it works:
- You notice your enemy.
- You aim at him with the center of your screen.
- You press the right mouse button and almost at the same time take your shot.
Here’s how pros do it:
Herein lies one of the most important skills for a great sniper - to always feel the center of your screen and to stop moving at the moment of shooting.