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CS:GOPedia/Blog/Guides/CS:GO Weapons Practice Guide: Guns Spray Patterns and Control of Recoil Compensation

CS:GO Weapons Practice Guide: Guns Spray Patterns and Control of Recoil Compensation

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Any PC gamer who plays First Person Shooters has played Counter-Strike or at least heard of it. It's been one of Valve's premier franchises ever since it debuted back in 2000. Since then, the series has seen several new entries such as CS 1.6, Source, Condition Zero and Global Offensive, each bringing updated graphics, new weapons and other changes. However, one thing which has remained constant throughout every iteration is the amount of skill and practice it takes to become a good player of the game.

Spray pattern and recoil compensation control

Counter-Strike has always been known to have a high skill ceiling. It's gameplay rewards practice, knowledge and teamwork. It's one of the reasons why it's so popular in the realm of eSports. Is this the same reason why you have installed Counter Strike Global Offensive? :)

The game rewards players who take the game seriously, making it highly competitive in nature. Simply hours of practice aren't enough, any player seeking to play like a pro needs an in-depth knowledge of the game's mechanics and inner workings to gain an upper hand.

CS:GO is a very complex game which has many mechanics and advanced tactics that can be taken advantage of. There are many facets to its gameplay which must each be mastered by any player who hopes to play like a pro. This includes maneuvers like bunny hopping, proper utilization of cover, different tactics of shooting and aiming and CS:GO spray control.

For this article, we'll focus exclusively on spray control and how to master recoil pattern. It's one of the first advanced techniques which amateur players should learn because it doesn't take much technique or dexterity to pull off. All it requires is the knowledge of spray patterns of CS:GO guns and how to compensate for them.

What are guns spray patterns in CS:GO?

First, let's start with understanding what exactly spray patterns CS:GO are. All guns in Counter Strike Global Offensive have recoil. Recoil makes guns progressively inaccurate with sustained fire. The longer you fire a gun, the more your aim starts to move away from where your gun was aimed when you started firing. The guns possess this behavior to model and emulate the behavior of their real life counterparts.

Recoil vs Inaccuracy

While it's true that recoil is a huge factor behind overall inaccuracy and increased the spread of a weapon, it's not the only factor at play. Too many novices make the mistake of assuming that all missed shots are due to recoil. The other factor at play is an inaccuracy. Inaccuracy also varies from gun to gun and decides the chance of a bullet hitting on target. It increases or decreases based on if you're running or walking, standing or crouched, jumping or surfing. Since it's random, there's no way to compensate for it.

Unlike inaccuracy, the recoil of a weapon isn't random. It follows a fixed pattern. The spray pattern varies from gun to gun, with some guns having a small and tight spread and others a large one. When considering a single weapon, the spray pattern is consistent and doesn't vary from time to time. This means that you can compensate for the spray pattern by moving your mouse in the opposite way and negate its negative impact.

To summarize, there are two factors which cause missed shots:

  • Inaccuracy: Random and can't be controlled. Can only be reduced by moving less.
  • Recoil: Each gun follows a consistent and predictable pattern. Can be accounted for.

What kind of spray and recoil patterns do guns have?

Each of the guns in CS:GO have their own unique spray pattern. In general, most guns first climb up when they start firing and then begin to sway left or right. Many guns even start with a bias towards the left or right direction.

For example, CS:GO AK spray starts by climbing towards the top while moving slightly towards the left, then it stops climbing and moves completely to the right and then oppositely, in the left direction and then towards the right again. This cycle of moving left and right stops only when the player stops shooting or the AK-47 finishes its magazine. The most accurate guns have a tight spread and only recoil in the upward direction.

Broadly speaking, the guns in CS:GO can be organized into two categories based on their recoil:

  • Long upward deviation, with sideways movement: M4A4, AK-47, Galil, AUG, FAMAS
  • Relatively short upward recoil with no sideways deviation: P2000, Glock-18, USP-S, P250, G3SG1, SCAR-20

Here's a short description of the spray pattern of each gun:

AK-47

Ak-47 spray pattern

AK-47 Recoil Compensation

AK-47 Spray pattern

AK-47 Recoil Compensation

AK-47: The spray pattern of the AK-47 climbs towards the top while moving towards the left, then it stops to climb and moves to the right and then in the left direction and then towards the right again.

M4A4

 M4A4 Spray pattern

 M4A4 Recoil Compensation

M4A4 Spray pattern

M4A4 Recoil Compensation

M4A4: The spray pattern of the M4A4 is similar to that of the AK-47. The recoil first climbs up and then starts swaying back and forth between left and right.

M4A1-S

M4A1-S Spray pattern

M4A1-S Recoil Compensation

M4A1-S Spray pattern

M4A1-S Recoil Compensation

M4A1-S: Similar to its sibling, the M4A4, this gun's recoil pattern follows a path where it first climbs up and then sways from side to side at the zenith. A key difference to note is that the vertical recoil is lesser.

GALIL 

GALIL Spray pattern GALIL Recoil Compensation
GALIL Spray pattern GALIL Recoil Compensation

GALIL: The GALIL's spray pattern shows that along with climbing, up it's also biased to recoil towards the left. As a result, at the peak, it starts swaying right before going left again.

SG 553

SG 553 Spray pattern

SG 553 Recoil Compensation

SG 553 Spray pattern

SG 553 Recoil Compensation

SG 553: This gun's recoil pattern can be thought of as the opposite of the GALIL's instead of being biased to the left, it has recoil movement towards the right. Additionally, when the recoil peeks vertically and starts swaying from side to side, the spray pattern shows a slight dip in the middle.

G3SG1

G3SG1 Spray pattern G3SG1 Recoil Compensation

G3SG1 Spray pattern

G3SG1 Recoil Compensation

G3SG1: This gun is a battle rifle and is very accurate as a result. Its recoil pattern is very tight and manageable. The gun only shows slight upward deviation when shooting.

FAMAS

 FAMAS Spray pattern

 FAMAS Recoil Compensation

FAMAS Spray pattern

FAMAS Recoil Compensation

FAMAS: The FAMAS has a tendency to spray from side to side, along with the upward recoil. It starts by deviating slightly towards the right and then deviating left, forming a smooth curve. Then it sharply swerves right and then left again.

AUG

 AUG Spray pattern

 AUG Recoil Compensation

AUG Spray pattern

AUG Recoil Compensation

AUG: The AUG's recoil pattern is very vertical in nature, with sideways movement creeping in only after all vertical motion has been exhausted. The drawback of the AUG is that it has a lot of upward recoil.

AUG Scoped

AUG Scoped Spray pattern

AUG Scoped Recoil Compensation

AUG Scoped Spray pattern

AUG Scoped Recoil Compensation

AUG Scoped: This is more or less the same pattern as that of the standard AUG, with the difference of being a much smaller spread.

SCAR-20 

SCAR-20 Recoil Compensation SCAR-20 Recoil Compensation
SCAR-20 Spray pattern SCAR-20 Recoil Compensation


SCAR-20: The SCAR-20 is a highly accurate gun with a very small spray spread. It's similar to the G3SG1 and shows some upward and downward recoil only.

MAC-10

MAC-10 Spray pattern MAC-10 Recoil Compensation

MAC-10 Spray pattern

MAC-10 Recoil Compensation

MAC-10: Most submachine guns in CS:GO have some horizontal deviation in their recoil pattern and the MAC-10 is no exception. It shows a 15° bias towards the left when climbing.

MP7

MP7 Spray pattern MP7 Recoil Compensation

MP7 Spray pattern

MP7 Recoil Compensation

MP7: The MP7 has a pretty tightly knit recoil pattern for an SMG. It starts with a slight left bias, starts moving exclusively right, climbs up slightly more and finally moves exclusively toward the left.

UMP-45

UMP-45 Spray pattern UMP-45 Recoil Compensation

UMP-45 Spray pattern

UMP-45 Recoil Compensation

UMP-45: This gun's recoil pattern is very curvy and doesn't show any sudden movements or change in direction. It starts with a slight a slight bias towards the right before shifting to the left.

PP-BIZON

PP-BIZON Spray pattern

PP-BIZON Recoil Compensation

PP-BIZON Spray pattern

PP-BIZON Recoil Compensation

PP-BIZON: This gun has one of the most unique and hard to master sprays patterns in the game. The first few shots go towards the right while the rest of them move the gun to the left and the final shots form a clump in the end.

P90

 P90 Spray pattern

 P90 Recoil Compensation

P90 Spray pattern

P90 Recoil Compensation

P90: This gun's recoil pattern is similar to that of an assault rifle's, with more sideways movement mixed in with the vertical movement. It deviates to the left in the middle of the climb, before coming back to the center.

M249

M249 Spray pattern

M249 Recoil Compensation

M249 Spray pattern

M249 Recoil Compensation

M249: Like most machine guns, this gun's recoil spread is huge. The gun starts by deviating to the left and then to the right while moving up. Towards the middle of the magazine, most of the shots fired around sideways with the exception of some shots that show a deviation to the downward left before coming back to where the rest of the shots were going.

NEGEV

NEGEV Spray pattern 

NEGEV Recoil Compensation 

NEGEV Spray pattern

NEGEV Recoil Compensation

NEGEV: While this machine gun shows less sideways movement when climbing, at the peak of its vertical recoil, it's movement becomes very erratic with the shots moving upwards, left and right and downwards.

P2000

P2000 Spray pattern 

P2000 Recoil Compensation 

P2000 Spray pattern

P2000 Recoil Compensation

P2000: This gun has a completely straight, upward recoil pattern.

GLOCK-18

GLOCK-18 Spray pattern GLOCK-18 Recoil Compensation
GLOCK-18 Spray pattern GLOCK-18 Recoil Compensation

GLOCK-18: The GLOCK-18 has a very tight spread with most of the shots moving the gun up and only a handful of shots showing very slight sideways deviation.


USP-S

 USP-S Spray pattern

 USP-S Recoil Compensation

USP-S Spray pattern

USP-S Recoil Compensation

USP-S: This gun is very accurate and easy to manage since it's recoil only pushes the gun up and not towards the left or right side. 

How to control spray and recoil in Counter Strike Global Offensive?

The easiest way to deal with recoil is to simply wait for a few split seconds between bursts of shots to allow the weapon time to reset and the crosshair to get back down to its pre-recoil position. This is an amateur strategy, though, which effectively limits the fire rate of a weapon. 

A better strategy is to move your mouse and aim in a way opposite to that of the recoil pattern to compensate for it. This is considerably harder and will take a lot of practice to perfect for each weapon that you use. There are mainly two things to focus on when trying to counter a spray pattern:

  • Getting the movement right: You need to move your mouse in a way which complements the natural movement of a weapon when firing, in the opposite direction. This means practicing the opposite of its recoil curve over and over.
  • Perfecting your timing: Simply moving your mouse in a way which is opposite to the spray pattern of the gun isn't enough, you need to make sure that movement of your mouse at any moment serves to counter the spray of the bullet which is being fired at that moment. This means that you need to get the timing right so that you don't overcompensate any of your shots.

How to find the recoil pattern of a gun?

The simplest way to see how a gun sprays are to start up CS:GO and start an empty server. Here, fire whichever gun you wish to practice with at a blank wall. When firing, take note of how much the gun moves and in which direction. Then, go up to the wall and inspect the bullet marks you made. This should show you the spread of the gun and how much sustained firing can impact aim, especially at long ranges.

Alternatively, there are many sites online that you can use to look up the bullet spread patterns of all the guns that the game features. These sites don't only show the deviation of each bullet, but also the pattern you should follow to counter the recoil in the form of an animation so that you can see how to exactly to time it as well.

In conclusion, there are many different techniques which one must master to get good at CS:GO. Controlling bullet spray is the easiest place to start from and the best way to improve the damage output of rapid-fire guns. Mastering this pivotal aspect of CS:GO can give you a competitive advantage over players who don't know how to counter recoil and fire more inaccurately as a result.

Some tips and tricks to master the spray pattern of a gun:

  • Practice every day: Practicing with your favorite guns on a regular basis is the only way to progress in this matter. The most efficient way of doing this is to shoot your bullets at a wall and investigate it up close later to see how well you did. Once you have some experience controlling recoil, you can take your newfound skills to a live match to see how well you can execute the move on other players.
  • Start small: It can be overwhelming to think that you need to master every gun to be good at CS:GO. While knowledge and practice with a diverse array of guns are always a handy skill to have, they're not necessary to succeed. Initially, you should focus on practicing with only your favorite gun since it's much easier and can be just as effective.
  • Trace out compensation patterns: Before you start practicing in-game, you should begin by tracing out the recoil compensation patterns which are available in online guides with your mouse. This will give you a good idea on how to counter the recoil of the gun and build up the foundation of your ability to tackle recoil.
  • Don't give up: Some people can find it hard to keep the spray of their gun in control. It's natural to feel that the task is impossible when starting out. However, persevering till the end will give you a competitive advantage over most other players who didn't bother to make the effort. It will be rewarding when you'll be able to kill faster than anyone else in the match.
by k1nd3r 
  • Last Update 24 November 2017
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