Let's begin with the beginning

CS:GO Weapons Guide: Exclusive Pistols - The Basis of Every CS:GO Match

CS:GO
CS:GO Weapons Guide Exclusive Pistols

Half the pistols in CS:GO are restricted to one side of the playing field. (Image credit: Valve Corporation)

Today marks the starting point of our extended guide on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive weapons. Just like the game spawns the players with a pistol in hand, we are also going to launch this series with a look at CS:GO pistols, how they work and when you should rely on them.

CS:GO Pistols General Overview

Pistols are, like in many other shooters, a sidearm. It is usually a last resort in instances where you run out of ammo on your main weapon. CS:GO's economy means this is not always the case, however, and you will generally use a pistol a lot more than in, say, Call of Duty.

There are ten pistols total in CS:GO. Two terrorist exclusives, three counter-terrorist exclusives and five common pistols available to both sides. If you know anything about attention span, you'd also know that going over ten guns, pistols at that, at once is way too much. That's why we are focusing on the exlusives today and will leave the remaining half for Part 2.

Terrorists first.

Glock-18 (Terrorists)

CS:GO weapon guide Glock-18

The Glock is designed for rushing sites. (Image credit: Valve)

  • Price: $200
  • Kill reward: $300

The Glock-18 is the spawn weapon on the terrorist side. It has been since 1999. While arguments can be made that statistically speaking, it is the weakest weapon in CS:GO, its usefulness far outweighs that of some other guns we're going to tackle later on.

The Glock's status as a spawn pistol guarantees that it plays a key role in any CS:GO match as players at higher levels would almost never go for a pistol buy in the first round of a half. That money is better spent elsewhere. For example – armor.

Armor penetration and base damage are the Glock's main flaws. Both are considerably lower than its CT counterparts, but where the Glock lacks in quality, it makes up with quantity. The T-side pistol holds a 20-round magazine, with six magazines to spare. The reserve ammo is an absolutely needless overkill but we'll let the Glock have this one.

The size of the magazine itself does play a huge role and having a few backup mags surely doesn't hurt. The usually preferred CT spawn pistol – the USP, holds just 12 rounds at once with two backup mags. Two Glock mags contain more bullets than the USP's full arsenal.

Despite its low damage and penetration, the Glock can still one-shot kill an opponent without a helmet at close to medium range. A helmet is impossible to buy in the first round of a half, so all good there. Once the CTs put on the hats, though, the Glock's effectiveness drops like a stone.

Finally, we reach the Glock's signature feature: the burst fire mode – the Glock's one of two CS:GO weapons to offer such an option. Naturally, firing three bullets at once massively increases the base damage, but has just as detrimental an effect on accuracy and recoil. Burst fire is scarcely used because of the latter. It could still come in handy in niche situations. Just don't use it at more than a couple feet from the enemy. You won't enjoy the results.

The combination of the Glock's advantages and disadvantages makes it perfect for rushing bomb sites...which is what we want from a T-side pistol. Especially a T-side spawn pistol. The strategy is simple: bridge the distance to the CTs as quickly as you can and spam at headshot level in hopes of a bullseye. That's what I do.

Tec-9 (Terrorists)

CS:GO weapon guide Tec-9

The Tec-9 has been through highs and lows since the early days of CS:GO. (Image credit: Valve Corporation)

  • Price: $500
  • Kill reward: $300

Long gone are the days when Tec-9 was king, but the other terrorist exclusive pistol is still scary enough in 2020. We're going in reverse this time and will begin with strengths. Once again, the thing that stands out is magazine capacity. Currently, the Tec-9 holds 18 rounds with 90 more in the back. You might be sensing a trait here, but the common features between the Glock and the Tec-9 end here.

The latter offers great damage and penetration for a pistol, so much that it can one-shot kill a helmeted opponent at minimal distances. At the same time, its recoil is a nightmare and moving inaccuracy doesn't help either. While it's definitely tempting to spam a pistol with an 18-round mag, our best advice is to avoid that. Slow taps are by far the most effective way to use this pistol in 2020, which means it is of no great use in the opening round, but can be a more than servicable sidearm later on.

See, told you there's not much in common with the Glock. Moving over to the Counter-Terrorists.

USP-S (Counter-Terrorists)

CS:GO weapon guide USP-S

The USP is the prevailent choice as a spawn pistol for Counter-Terrorists. (Image credit: Valve Corporation)

  • Price: $200
  • Kill reward: $300

One of two spawn pistols the CTs can choose from, the USP-S has one distinct trait. Notice that S in the end of USP-S? It stands for silenced. The USP is one of three CS:GO weapons to use a silencer and one of two to have a detachable one.

The silencer is not there only for cosmetic purposes. While attached, it increases accuracy and decreases recoil, in addition to the obvious perk of making the pistol quieter. All in all, there's no reason whatsoever that you should remove the silencer.

On the more negative side, the USP-S is very limited on ammo. As mentioned above, you get a total of 36 rounds, which is about a quarter of what Ts have with the Glock. Rate of fire is another area where the T-sided spawn pistol emerges victorious. If it's not clear by now, spraying and praying isn't the way to go with the USP-S.

Taking in consideration what the Ts pistol is good at and what the USP itself is good at, your best bet is to avoid engaging multiple enemies at once due to the ammo limitation and keep yourself at a distance to make the most out of the USP's higher accuracy and damage at distance.

Just like the Glock, by far its most important role in a CS:GO match is during the two pistol rounds. It is, however, slightly more useful down the line as it only requires two hits to the head to strike down a helmeted opponent, to the Glock's three. If you're precise enough with your shot, you could shock a terrorist or two. Don't spray the body, though. Would take about three eternities.

P2000 (Counter-Terrorists)

CS:GO weapon guide P2000

The P2000 is always there if you hold a personal vendetta against silencers. (Image credit: Valve Corporation)

  • Price: $200
  • Kill reward: $300

When you're stuck in a cave trying to spread terror upon the world, you likely won't have much of a choice when it comes to your arsenal. Counter-Terrorists have the luxury to pick their spawn pistol out of the USP-S or the P2000. Most of what was said for the USP-S accounts here as well, so let's just focus on the minor differences between the two.

The first thing that pops right up is ammo. The P2000 has a lot more of it: 13-round magazine + 52 reserve rounds. That's mostly because the USP-S is more accurate on the first shot, although that doesn't make the P2000 a spray-friendly pistol. Recoil is high, while the fire rate is not, so the strategy in pistol rounds remains the same. Oh, there's no silencer either. That's the other thing that pops right up.

The P2000 is often outshined by the USP-S, especially in high-tier CS:GO, because of that little accuracy difference. You're going for long-distance taps against Glocks anyway, so things like recoil and ammo might not even come into play.

Five-SeveN (Counter-Terrorists)

CS:GO weapon guide Five-SeveN

The Five-SeveN is the best out of the exclusive CS:GO pistols. (Image credit: Valve Corporation)

  • Price: $500
  • Kill reward: $300

Taking the same slot as the Tec-9 in the Terrorists' arsenal, the Five-SeveN is a rarity in CS:GO. That's in terms of a CT weapon clearly outperforming its Terrorist counterpart. Maybe it has something to do with the fact it was available to both sides in the very beginning. Anyway, to the gun.

The Five-SeveN is objectively better than any other exclusive pistol. Good damage, high armor penetration, good accuracy, a lot of ammo, low recoil. When put like that, you might ask why isn't everyone using it all the time. The answer lies in the price. CT economy can be extremely punishing and $500 are not something you could give away at any moment in time. Also, these advantages we mentioned are compared to other exclusive pistols, not CS:GO weapons in general and not even compared to other pistols really.

The Five-SeveN holds a 20-round magazine with five more to spare. Its base damage isn't amazing but the high armor penetration more than makes up for it. You can one-shot kill a helmeted opponent at short to medium range. Even at longer distances, this pistol can still be a threat due to its double-tap potential. Recoil doesn't really kick in until the third shot and a couple of bullets to the head are enough at any range.

The Five-SeveN is a weird one. It is among the better pistols in the game but not the best, which often makes CTs opt for the Desert Eagle when force buying. It is not the most expensive one, yet it's expensive enough to make players shy away during eco rounds. Finally, we rarely see people that know what they are doing buy a gun during pistol rounds. This leaves the Five-SeveN in no man's land.

It is a somewhat outlandish buy in most cases but it can be a reliable companion if you choose to acquire it. That's especially true if you struggle with the Deagle's shooting patterns, in which case the Five-SeveN is perhaps the best pistol you can go for.

Keep tabs on EarlyGame for the second part when we're going to tackle CS:GO pistols available to both sides of the barricade. Watch some videos to fill up time while waiting. Videos like this one:

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