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CS:GO Weapons Guide: Assault Rifles, Part 1 – Terrorists' Delight

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CS:GO Weapons Guide Assault Rifles

Assault rifles are the bread and butter of every self-respecting CS:GO player. (Image Credit: Valve)

Our CS:GO weapon guides have been coming out for several weeks now and we've covered a lot of ground. Yet, somehow the fun is just beginning as we finally reach the most important section of the arsenal - assault rifles and snipers.

We will start off with assault rifles today before our journey eventually takes us to snipers. As always, a brief overview of the weapon class is due before going over each gun individually.

CS:GO Assault Rifles Overview

What more can be said about assault rifles except that they are by far the most used and by far the most important weapons to master in CS:GO. You can suck with pistols, shotguns, LMGs, SMGs, and snipers and still be a productive player if you're a boss with rifles. Suck with rifles and you're borderline useless to your team. That includes primary AWPers by the way, because you cannot always afford the big gun as a team.

What makes assault rifles so important? They pretty much mix all of the good parts of various weapons without the negatives. For example, they have the snipers, shotguns, and powerful pistols' ability to kill an enemy with one or two shots all while approaching SMG levels of fire rate. It makes sense now, doesn't it?

There are seven assault rifles total in CS:GO. The unique part is that every single one of them is exclusive to one side - Terrorists have three, Counter-Terrorists have four. To keep the consistency, we will cover the Ts arsenal in this part of the guide and visit with the CTs in part two.

Shall we begin?

Galil AR

CS:GO Assault Rifle Galil AR

The Galil AR is the only Terrorist assault rifle that cannot kill an enemy with a single shot. (Image Credit: Valve)

  • Price: $1,800
  • Kill Reward: $300

We begin with the weakest and cheapest of the Terrorists' assault rifles - the Galil AR. Make no mistake, this weapon is still among the most powerful in CS:GO. It just pales compared to its demi-god peers.

The Galil is made for literal assault. That much we find out from its advantages compared to other rifles. It holds the most bullets per magazine (35) in its class and shares the title for the highest rate of fire with the CT's FAMAS. It is, however, by far the fastest bullet launcher in the Terrorists' assault rifles arsenal.

What makes it weaker than the guns to follow is its inability to one-shot kill armored opponents. That wouldn't be a stand-out thing if it were in the hands of the CTs, but Terrorists are used to rifles that can blow heads off with a single hit. More on that in a second.

Movement speed with all assault rifles is basically the same and recoil is horrible with all three T-rifles, so the Galil neither stands out, nor drags behind in those departments. It is slightly more inaccurate at long range, if only a negligible amount. It's still another negative point, however.

We've made the Galil AR look kind of bad, but the truth is - it's really good! Just not as good as the other assault rifles Terrorists have access to.

Because it only has the regular $300 kill reward and not $600 or $900 like SMGs and shotguns, respectively, the Galil is not the perfect weapon for anti-eco. It's still useful if you want more security as it is objectively better than any SMG or shotgun, being able to kill an unarmored enemy with one shot to the head at any distance and all. What makes it even more viable is that Ts rarely face the economic struggles CTs do and losing on a potential $300 or $600 of kill rewards is not that big of a deal.

Due to the discrepancy in damage-dealing between Terrorist and Counter-Terrorist assault rifles, the Galil can hold its own in full buy rounds too, so don't hold your head low if you don't have enough cash for an AK-47.

In conclusion, like all assault rifles, the Galil can be effective in any situation. It's a quick shooter that can mow down an entire team with its large magazine in a split second and is powerful enough to give you a chance in a full buy face-off. Exactly what you want from the cheapest assault rifle in CS:GO.

AK-47

CS:GO Assault Rifle AK-47

The AK-47 has been Counter-Strike's talisman for two decades. (Image Credit: Valve)

  • Price: $2,700
  • Kill Reward: $300

As we said waaay back in this weapons guide series, there are a few guns so iconic that they've become a CS:GO trademark. One of these guns is the AK-47. Arguably the most recognizable CS:GO weapon of them all has fully earned that status. It didn't become so famous simply based on looks.

The AK-47 was the undisputed king of Counter-Strike meta for nearly two decades before a simple price reduction of another gun shook that status. Even with increased competition, the Kalashnikov is keeping it together as the go-to weapon for Terrorists.

In brief, it is an incredibly accurate, hard-hitting bulldozer of a gun that can devastate an opponent with a single click of the mouse. Yes, we're still talking of a video game. Thought I should place a reminder here.

The AK is one of two rifles able to one-hit kill helmeted opponents. It's got a standard 30-round magazine, a relatively fast reload, and a manageable (within the first few shots) spray pattern.

This is CS:GO, so there must be some downsides. One of those is that same spray pattern, which goes wildly horizontal after the first 7-8 shots, which makes spraying with the AK-47 very difficult. Another minus is the strong recoil that can compromise tap accuracy. The weapon is also veeeeery loud, which is a huge contrast when CTs are using the M4A1-S. There's no concealing that you're holding an AK-47.

These are rather minor issues that more so guide the player as to how to best use this gun than actually hinder his gameplay. You'd rather tap if given the opportunity and stick to bursting at most unless it's absolutely necessary to go for the spray. Hey, if you're going to play a lot of CS:GO you're going to play a lot of AK-47, so learning that spray pattern should come to you anyway...eventually. Until that happens, better stick to our advice.

The AK-47 is obviously a great choice in any gameplay situation and is objectively the best choice in every situation if you are not an AWPer. Please, for the love of what is holy and sacred, drop that P90 and pick up the AK!

Ahem... yeah... where was I? Oh, yes, got it! So, the AK-47 is going to do great whenever, but there are cases where you might want to buy something else. We're mostly talking of anti-eco rounds where going for one of the economy-boosting guns could reap long-term benefits. In addition to building some bank, you can avoid potentially giving the opposition a very powerful weapon to work with in the unfortunate event that they catch you by surprise and kill you.

Other than that, AK all the way!

We still have the challenger for the crown to review, though. Let's see what he got!

SG 553

CS:GO Assault Rifle SG 553

The SG 553 is the best CS:GO weapon to not crack the meta. (Image Credit: Valve)

  • Price: $3,000
  • Kill Reward: $300

The SG 553 (often called Krieg) is a very powerful assault rifle that comes with the bonus of having a scope - one of two non-snipers to have that trait. So why is it generally considered inferior to the AK-47 and is that assessment actually correct? Let's find out!

Build something up before you bring it down is our approach on this one. The SG 553, just like the AK-47, deals enough damage to take down an enemy with one hit to the head. What makes it special among CS:GO weapons is that it has 100% armor penetration - the only such gun in the game. Sadly, that is much cooler than useful as the only practical advantage is that you need one less shot to the stomach to kill an armored opponent - three instead of four, compared to the AK-47.

The problem is that you'll probably be dead by then because the SG 553 has by far the lowest rate of fire out of all assault rifles. That's one obstacle holding it back. Another one is its movement speed, which is also the lowest among assault rifles. The snail's pace is of course enhanced when you're scoped in and it's generally not recommended to move in open space while scoped because you're unlikely to escape if you encounter enemies.

The scope itself is something unique to the SG 553 and its CT counterpart - the AUG. Its practical advantages are quite a few. For one, it increases your vision during long-range combat. By extension, it also increases accuracy. This gun is accurate enough unscoped, but it becomes a laser once you're in that tunnel vision.

Finally, and this is quite important - it greatly reduces recoil. Normally, the SG 553 goes all over the place after the first couple of shots, but with the scope on, it is much calmer and creates a more manageable spray pattern. A clever quirk is that the dot that serves as a crosshair while scoped in begins to fade when you spray with this gun, gently reminding you that even with reduced recoil that's really not what you should be doing with a scoped rifle.

Of course, there are also downsides to the use of a scope. We already spoke of movement speed, but we also mentioned the term tunnel vision on the side. A scope can greatly increase your sight in a limited area, but it also obscures everything else. Our best advide for using the scope is after you've already recognized where the enemy is and then activate the scope if needed.

Now that we've gone through the ups and downs of using the SG 553, let's discuss its use in-game and why it has played second fiddle to the AK-47 all these years.

In theory, the SG can be used in the same capacity as the AK. Many players found that out after the scoped rifle's price deduction a couple of years ago. Now back at $3000 and overgoing a nerf last year, the SG 553 is back in the gutter. Why? Because it does what the AK-47 does, but slower and at a higher price.

The scope is technically a plus but it would rarely add much value to a Terrorist because they so rarely have the opportunity to camp and hold an angle. It doesn't make sense to buy an SG during an anti-eco because it's expensive and you gift the enemy a powerful rifle if you die foolishly.

This leaves the SG 553 with the unfortunate title of the best CS:GO weapon to not be a consistent part of the meta. The short era of a cheaper, faster Krieg that threatened to dethrone the AK-47 is unfortunately gone. All that's left are the memories of NiKo's rage and the few Mohicans that still bring the good ol' Krieg out here and there.

All New Game Releases - November 2020

We're not done with CS:GO weapons yet. In fact, we're not even done with assault rifles. Join us next week for an overview of the Counter-Terrorists' arsenal. To spend some quality time until then, check in with the EarlyGame YouTube channel.

Kiril Stoilov

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