CS:GO Weapons Guide: Grenades - From Noob to Pro

CS:GO Weapons Guide: Grenades
If you can't master grenades, you can't master CS:GO. (Credit: Valve)

It has been a long journey, but it is arriving at its final stop at last. Behold, the final part of our extensive CS:GO weapon guides! Fittingly, it won't deal with weapons at all. The final chapter is reserved for explaining grenades in CS:GO, what they do and when you should use them.

There it is. After nine parts of the EarlyGame CS:GO weapon guides, the first double-digit number on the list will also be the last. In part 10, we will go beyond guns and into the almost equally important section – grenades.


CS:GO Grenades Overview

Simply put, grenades can make the difference between winning and losing a match, between being a pro and being a noob. We can safely say that they are more important to victory in CS:GO than in any other shooter. Where else can you hear the term "learning grenades"?

While we can't teach you every single nade throw in the game here, we can give you the basics that will help you understand the importance of grenades within the CS:GO meta. The first thing you need to know is that there are six different types of grenade, each useful in its own way. Two of those are exclusive to one side. Why not begin with those?

Molotov (Terrorists)

CS:GO Weapons Guide Molotov Grenade
Molotovs can set fire to the rain. Take that, Adele! (Credit: Valve)
  • Price: $400
  • Kill reward: $300

The Molotov Cocktail, or simply Molotov, is one of three CS:GO grenades designed to deal damage. The spreading fire of this nade deals heavy damage (40 HP per second) and lasts for a whole seven seconds. Easy math: you can't stand in the flames and hope to survive.

On the offense, which you are going to be most of the time as terrorists, the Molotov can be used to push defenders out of comfortable spots and hideouts, and straight into your crosshair. Of course, there's always the possibility of misreading the play and wasting your $400 nade on an empty position.

Another common use of Molotovs for terorists is to block an entry into the bomb site after the bomb has been planted. When timed right, a molly can practically win you the round as it can eat up a valuable chunk of the time CTs have to retake the site and defuse the bomb.

A couple more things you should be aware of with Molotovs:

  • Their damage stacks up, so throwing two-three nades in the same area, while more often than not a bad move, can technically kill an enemy at double or triple the speed.
  • They deal damage to everyone, including you. Be careful not to molly yourself out of position! It happens more often than you think.

Next up: the Molotov's CT-side sister:

Incendiary Grenade (Counter-Terrorists)

CS:GO Weapons Guide Incendiary Grenade
Incendiary grenades are more expensive than Molotovs, but are otherwise the same thing. (Credit: Valve)
  • Price: $600
  • Kill reward: $300

We would love to be as descriptive about the Incendiary grenade as we were with the molly, but we would be saying the same things. At least in terms of stats and specs. What does change, however, are the situations in which you may find yourself as a counter-terrorist.

The Incendiary can save your bum in more than one way as CT:

  • You can stop or at least stall a bomb site rush.
  • You can cut off a counter-offensive if you try to go for a quick pick early in the round.
  • You can completely cut off a point of entry for seven seconds and regroup.
  • You can push defending terrorists out of position when attempting a retake.

There's a reason the Molotov and Incendiary are the most expensive grenades in each side's arsenal. That doesn't mean other nades are useless, though.

HE Grenade

CS:GO Weapons Guide HE Grenade
Well-timed double HE grenades can kill a full HP enemy. (Credit: Valve)
  • Price: $300
  • Kill reward: $300

The third damage-dealing CS:GO grenade is also the most conventional. The HE, short for high explosive, grenade does just that - it explodes and it deals high damage. How high depends on a lot of variants, but we will summarize the focal points for you:

  • A single HE grenade cannot kill a full HP player under any circumstance.
  • They deliver much more damage to unarmored (maximum 98) than armored (maximum 57) enemies.
  • How much damage the HE causes depends on the distance to the player and the hitbox it interacts with. Short distance near the torso/head area results in maximum damage.

When and where should you throw your HE? That really depends, the meta here isn't as clearly defined. Still, we can give you certain guides.

Because an HE can't kill on its own, pairing it with a teammate's HE or supressing fire can be a very successful strategy that takes down one or more enemies. This is best employed at key choke points of the map where multiple enemies are likely to gather (ex: Inferno banana, Mirage mid/ramp).

Another way to make the most out of your HE is to aim it at at an opponent you know is already damaged. If you nail the throw, you can knock him out cold or at the very least bring him closer to 0 HP.

A bit of a pro trick here: this nade's explosion moves objects around, so you can use it to push a loose weapon in a certain direction: either towards yourself so you can pick it up or away from the other team, so they can't pick it up. It's very satisfying when you successfully screw with the opposition.

Smoke Grenade

CS:GO Weapons Guide Smoke Grenade
Knowing your smokes can take your game up by a few levels. (Credit: Valve)
  • Price: $300
  • Kill reward: $300

This is the first of the truly tactical grenades. We've stil llisted its kill reward, which is default for all nades, because you can actually take damage if a smoke hits you and in the unlucky circumstance that you're at, say, 1 HP, you may actually die by Smoke. The more you know.

The Smoke grenade is easily the most important one in CS:GO. That's because it can be of great assistance on offense and defense in a miriad of ways. What it does is create a thick cloud of smoke that lasts for 18 seconds and completely obscures vision for the first 15 of those as it slowly fades out in the last three.

In a tactical shooter with high skill ceiling, often times going out in the open field means certain death. That's where Smoke grenades step in. The cover they provide can be vital in scenarios like:

  • Fighting for better early round positions
  • Crossing an open area
  • Blocking out CTs upon entering site
  • Blocking Ts from entering site
  • Blocking entries to the site after a successful plant
  • Smoking the bomb after planting, so CTs don't know its exact location
  • Smoking the bomb as CTs, so the defuser can stay hidden while defusing

And many more situational examples. Note that Smoke grenades can extinguish Molotovs and Incendiaries and neither can be thrown into a Smoke without getting immediately extinguished. A smoke thrown onto a fire nade has reduced volume, however, which can make a key difference in some cases.

Smoke grenades in CS:GO are the main tool that turns a shooter into a tactical shooter. When we mentioned "learning grenades" earlier, what we really meant was learning Smoke grenades. Every map has its almost mandatory throws that you must know if you ever want to be any good at the game.

The other purely tactical grenade that's in heavy rotation is:

Flashbang

CS:GO Weapons Guide Flashbang Grenade
Flashing a camping sniper is often the best way to avoid his deadly scope. (Credit: Valve)
  • Price: $200
  • Kill reward: $300

What we said about getting killed by a Smoke goes the same for Flashbangs, so don't be the guy that dies like that!

Flashbangs are unique in their own right. This is the only CS:GO grenade of which you can carry two at a time. Quite helpful when trying to push, well, anything, their effect can vary depending on distance, angles, line of sight, etc.

When a Flash detonates directly into an opponent's face, they will be completely blinded for about two seconds and partially blinded for five. Those numbers scale down when the enemy is further away from the Flashbang, is not looking directly at it, has his back turned, etc.

I say the enemy, but Flashbangs affect everyone equally, regardless of who has thrown them. Like with fire and HE nades, you gotta watch out for doing more damage to yourself than the enemy.

Like every grenade we've spoken of so far, Flashbangs can be utilized in many scenarios:

  • Peeking a corner
  • Covering your tracks when caught in a bad position
  • Stalling an enemy push
  • Negating a camper
  • Stalling a retake
  • Blinding enemies while going for a kit defuse

And once again - other more situational cases. We can mention that similar to HE grenades, Flashbangs can be very effective when you're playing as a duo: one throws the Flash, the other goes for the kill. Much faster than drawing your own gun after a throw.

Last, and definitely least, we have:

Decoy Grenade

CS:GO Weapons Guide Decoy Grenade
Decoys are the cheapest item in the entirety of CS:GO. (Credit: Valve)
  • Price: $50
  • Kill reward: $300

Once again, a non-lethal grenade can be lethal. The Decoy actually has a little bit more firepower as it actually deals minor damage upon detonation. Which is perhaps the most useful a Decoy can ever be. Hate to pick on the underdog, but facts are facts.

Decoys mimic your strongest weapon's firing sounds to create the illusion of more firepower in the area it's been thrown in. This can be of use in theory. If, for example, you're the lone wolf defending the site you can create the sense that you're not alone with a Decoy.

In reality, that rarely works because of the pattern in which Decoys are "shooting". Every semi-experienced player will be able to tell the difference straight away, except for maybe sniper rifles.

Where players can't tell the difference is in the visuals. Decoy grenades are built nearly identical to Flashbangs. As no one wants to get flashed for a few seconds, they would usually try to turn away when they see one flying their way. That's when the Decoy lives up to its name. You know what you've thrown, so you don't turn away and boom - enemy down!

Decoys are not completely useless and their price means they see some play here and there, but we can say with conviction that it is the only CS:GO grenade that's not an integral part of the game meta.

With that, we put the final stamp on our extended overview of CS:GO weapons. We made it to the end with blood, sweat and tears, but we made it. Now go through all ten parts, learn as much as you can, and go conquer the world. We believe in you, champ!

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