How does the economy work in CS:GO? Guide by SCOPE.GG

How does the economy work in CS:GO? Guide by SCOPE.GG

9 min

The economy is the most crucial part of gameplay in CS:GO and you should always pay attention to it. That’s the only way for you to come back in a difficult situation after losing several rounds in a row. In this guide we’ll be talking about how important it is to count money not only in real life, but also in CS:GO.

This guide will be divided in two parts, first is technical, explaining the mechanics of CS:GO economy. The second one is more practical advice to get better at the game.

Economy in CS:GO

First, let’s take a look at the most simple things that would be useful even for new players. Basics are easy: you get money for killing your enemy. Same deal with planting the bomb and winning the round. Game will reward you for any important action you do.

cs:go economy guide

Not doing well and losing several rounds will result in running out of money. That’s due to the overall cost of weapons, armor and utility being much higher than the reward for even winning the round. The obvious conclusion we can draw is to keep your economy healthy, you’ll have to die as little as possible, get a lot of kills and be useful to your team. It’s extremely important to constantly help around the map to win rounds, you won’t get far by just getting kills.

CS:GO kill rewards

Now let’s talk specifics. CS:GO developers tried to make the economy in the game much more engaging than that of Counter-Strike 1.6. For example, they added several reward tiers depending on a killing weapon.

  • Pistols - $300 per kill. That’s the default amount we got since CS 1.6.
  • Submachine guns (SMG) - $600 per kill. The community usually call SMGs “farm-guns” due to the ability to earn significant amounts of money. They are especially good when you know that your enemy won’t have enough money to get better weapons. The only exception is P90, the kill reward with it is default $300. It’s huge magazine size and formidable damage place it a step above other SMGs.
  • Shotguns - $900 per kill. The idea is simple: it’s much harder to get to your enemy with a shotgun, sometimes you won’t get a chance to fire it even once. That’s why the reward for it is so high. If you know how to properly use shotguns, it might be a good opportunity to get a lot of cash for your team.
  • Rifles - $300 per kill. Rifles are the most accurate and powerful weapons in the game, that’s why you get the average reward for it. It’s not the best way to earn money, that’s why you should try to survive as long as possible with it - you may not have enough cash to get another one in the next round. Along with usual assault rifles, Scout, and semi-automatic G3SH1 and SCAR-20 also have the default $300 killing reward.
  • AWP - $100 per kill. Bad news for players who like to kill any enemy with one hit - killing yields almost no profit to you. You should definitely think ahead before buying one, as your bank balance will definitely take a hit and losing AWP would be detrimental not only to you, but also to your teammates. And you’ll also have to use it properly, camping in one corner with AWP for the whole round is a waste of money.
  • Knife - $1500 per kill. Yeah, kills with a knife are the most profitable action in the game. Still, any time you look at your opponent’s exposed back, you should always weigh whether or not you should risk your life for $1500. But of course we all know that killing with a knife is not about the money, right?
  • Grenades - $300 per kill. Nothing fancy here, just get rewarded for a good throw.

CS:GO objectives rewards

Your economical situation isn’t affected just by kills, teamwork is also, obviously, very important. Here’s how much money you get for achieving various objectives:

  • Planting the bomb yields $300 for a planting player. If the attacking team still lost after planting the bomb, the whole team will still get an additional $800 as a bonus. That means you should, even in desperate situations to at least try to plant the bomb, it will be extremely beneficial for your team’s economy.
  • Winning the round by successfully detonating the bomb will reward the attacking team with $3500 in the next round.
  • Winning the round by successfully defusing the bomb will reward the defending team with the same $3500.
  • If the attacking team wins by wiping out the enemy team, they’re rewarded with $3250.
  • Winning the round by holding out the required 1 minute 55 seconds and not allowing the attacking team to plant will reward the defending team with $3250.
bomb-plant reward

Tips for different buying strategies (eco, force-buy, half-buy)

But first, let’s look at the differences between them.

  • Eco round is a common strategy when a team doesn't have enough money to buy good weapons. In that case, it’s usually a good idea to save money for the next round.
  • Force-buy is when a team decides to still buy something in a situation similar to eco round or when doing an eco round won’t yield you enough money to get a proper gear next round. Can also be employed when you’re sure that your opponent’s economy is weak and you think that you can handle him with pistols and farm guns. It is a risky strategy, but it can be fruitful.
  • Half-buy is a strategy that appeared in CS:GO. It’s employed when a team tries to equalise the economy for all players in a team. Sometimes players in your team may not have enough money for a proper weapon, but still have enough for a good pistol and armor. Usually players try to save around $1500-2000 so that they have enough cash to buy decent weapons, armor and grenades next round.
rounds buy in cs:go

Now let’s talk a little bit more about CS:GO economy numbers. On the pistol round every player has $800. Winning the round yields different amounts of money. It depends on how many rounds in a row you’ve lost previously.

  • $1400 after losing a single round.
  • $1900 after losing 2 rounds in a row.
  • $2400 after losing 3 rounds in a row.
  • $2900 after losing 4 rounds in a row.
  • $3400 after losing 5 or more rounds in a row.

Losing several rounds in a row is called a streak. The more you or your enemy lose, the bigger the streak, giving you or your opponent more chances to fix your economy. At the very least $3400 would be enough to buy a rifle like Famas or Galil, giving you an opportunity to win the game back.

What is eco round in CS:GO? Breaking the habits in your head

New players may have seen professionals do it during their games, but they probably don’t get the idea behind it. CS:GO gave us the chance to win a round against rifles even with a default pistol, something that was almost impossible in the past, back in CS 1.6. After watching games like this, the boys are going to matchmaking to do the same thing as their favorite players did. But doing eco isn’t as simple as just not buying anything. Pro players aren’t just giving the round away to their opponent. Let’s take a look at the common mistakes casual players do in this situation.

First, there’s no need to do two eco rounds in a row after losing a pistol round. You shouldn’t just let your opponent have even one free win. With the new economy, you’ll get $1900 even if you’ve lost the pistol round and another $2400 after losing the next round. Overall, you’ll have $4300, more than enough to buy a decent rifle, armor and a couple of grenades. With that, you’ll be able to get the next round against your opponent, who probably still has a couple of farm guns from the previous round. If you’re OK with using Famas and Galil (to be fair, quite underestimated rifles), you’ll have enough money to buy all the utility.

Second, there’s absolutely no need to force-buy after losing a pistol round. If you really want to get something, buy a P250 or Desert Eagle. These aren’t expensive and might give you a slight chance to win a round. Just wasting money on force-buy is a risk that may cost your team a couple more rounds.

On the other hand, if your team managed to plant the bomb during a pistol round, but you still lost it, that's an entirely different situation. You’ll have $800 more, allowing you to even get rifles. At the very least you’ll be able to get Galils, or use the “AK drop” strategy. What that means is the richest players drop an AK-47 to their teammates, who in return buy something like Desert Eagle to give something back to their teammate and armor for themselves. This strategy is very popular among the professional players. You’ll be almost in the same situation as your opponent, who’ll probably be buying farm guns, giving you a chance to turn the game upside down.

Use every opportunity

If your team decided to do an eco round, that doesn’t mean that your whole team should just rush the enemy under heavy fire to start the next round as quickly as possible. The least thing you can do is discuss the plan for the next round. As an attacking team you should aim to plant the bomb, try to deceive your opponent and lure him away from your actual attack direction. Getting an additional $800 would definitely be useful for a losing team. As a defending team you can try to guess where your enemy is going to attack and meet them as a whole team.

Another great way to use eco rounds is to try to disarm your opponents team. You’ll force them to buy a new rifle in the next round, worsening their economy and maybe even forcing them to do eco of their own in a couple of rounds.

If you have a great marksman in your team, he may risk it and buy a Desert Eagle. With proper use this gun can easily turn the round upside down. Here’s an example:

Imagine a situation like this: your team doing eco, but someone had enough money for Desert Eagle and armor. He does a couple of frags and the rest of the team happily rushes the plant with Glocks, thinking they’ve already won. All of a sudden, another enemy player is camping the plant with a proper weapon, easily killing your whole team with a single spray.

In order to avoid situations like this, try to play around the player who bought a good weapon. Don’t try to shoot at an enemy rifler with a Glock, let Desert Eagle deal with him. Don’t rush after a single kill, it’s better to wait for the enemy's movement and try to cut him off. Protect the Desert Eagle player, this way your team will get the most out of this purchase.

Simple economy tips for solo play on Faceit and Steam matchmaking

Even if you know how much money you get for kills and wins in CS:GO, you probably still won’t be able to understand how much money your opponent should have at any given moment of the game. You’ll learn all the intricacies of it in a couple of years. Then you’ll be able to know your enemy’s weapons and utility even before the round starts and how you should counter it.

If your economy is ruined and several teammates have just $1400, you shouldn’t ask them why they bought something. In this situation even after full eco they won’t be able to get a proper full-buy in the next round. Remember about streaks? They’ll have just $3300 on their hands, that's a pathetic amount of money for a mid-game and it probably won’t be enough to counter whatever your opponent might have. But buying armor and a simple pistol to try to wrestle the round in your favor is a good idea for a force-buy in this situation.

If your team is on a lose streak and gets $3400 several rounds in a row, don’t try to do a full eco round. Having $6800 in the next round is not necessary and may cost you the game. In this situation you can utilize the “1500 buy” strategy, meaning you can purchase something until you have $1500 left. This way you’ll definitely have more chances of winning the current round. Even if you’ll lose it, you’ll still have $4900 left, more than enough for a full-buy in the next round.

Good luck on server!