CS:GO Weapons Guide: Snipers | EarlyGame
Snipers are, bullet for bullet, the deadliest weapons in CS:GO

CS:GO Weapons Guide: Snipers - Watch Out for That Scope!

CS:GO
CS:GO Weapons Guide Snipers
Snipers are so key in CS:GO, there's a player dedicated solely to them on almost every professional team. (Credit: Valve)

Our long journey through the CS:GO weapon arsenal brings us to the final class of primary weapons - snipers. The big guns, as they are called, almost have more individual than common traits, but that's nothing new for CS:GO. Every weapon has its own character in this game and we'll uncover everything about the sniper rifles in today's guide.

Snipers are a popular feature in any first-person shooter, to the point of being a necessity. CS:GO is no different in that regard and snipers are indeed very important within the meta of the game. To the point where there's a special position designated to snipers within most if not all professional teams. What makes them so special?


CS:GO Snipers Overview

In CS:GO snipers stand out as the only group of weapons that can kill an opponent with a single shot, without exception. Not all snipers are made the same and we'll go over that in a bit, but a shot to the head from any of the four in-game snipers does the trick.

With an advantage like that, what more can be said? There are a lot of downsides: limited visibility when scoped, slow movement, high price, etc. None of those is enough to bring sniper usage down. It is, after all, a game of getting kills, not a game of sightseeing, running around or building a bank.

Even then, only half of the sniper rifles are parts of the CS:GO meta. We will find out why in the following paragraphs. Let's begin with the only gun that can be called cheap without the one saying it sounding like a billionaire's son.

SSG 08

CS:GO Weapons Guide SSG 08
The SSG 08 is a cheap, springy sniper that can always turn a round on its head. (Credit: Valve)
  • Price: $1700
  • Kill reward: $300

The SSG 08, commonly known as the Scout, is the cheapest CS:GO sniper by some distance. That must mean it is much worse than all of the rest, right? Eeeh, debatable. It is more mobile, more accurate and faster on reload than all its comrades, and has the second-highest penetration. When you really think about it, the SSG 08 is supreme for its price.

That's exactly why it is in such heavy use at higher echelons of the game, and other snipers are not. Its only issue, and the reason why it eventually gets replaced by another gun which we'll talk about in a moment, is the inability to kill an armored foe with one shot to the body. Of course, if it did, it would be the most OP weapon in CS:GO, so it's best that we have it that way.

The Scout is therefore ideal for snipers that don't have enough cash to buy the more expensive version. That makes it ideal for a force buy where this sniper's high penetration often means that just one body shot from a decent pistol can take a wounded enemy down.

When push comes to shove though, what any sniper would rather have in his hands is...

AWP

CS:GO Weapons Guide AWP
The undisputed heavyweight CS:GO champion. (Credit: Valve)
  • Price: $4750
  • Kill reward: $100

Us Counter-Strike dudes, we're all about size, and they don't come bigger than this. The AWP is the big gun and that title has been well earned. The most devastating force in the game isn't without its flaws, but as we said in the overview, shooters are about killing the enemy as fast as possible. The AWP does that to perfection.

This sniper can kill with one bullet anywhere above waist level, which makes up for the slow movement, slow reload and high price. Take and miss a shot without proper cover and you're basically dead. Nail it and the other team is immediately a man down. Simple as that.

The AWP is a good buy in virtually any situation when there are enough funds to go around. As long as you can use it, which apparently none of my Matchmaking teammates know how to do.

There are certain maps that favor snipers more than others but if you're good enough with this bad boy, you ought to buy it. The only, albeit notable exception, are anti-eco rounds. Weirdly enough, AWPs don't fare well against swarming pistols.

G3SG1 (Terrorists)

CS:GO Weapons Guide G3SG1
Price and inability to one-shot kill enemies with a body shot knock the auto-snipers down in the pecking order. (Credit: Valve)
  • Price: $5000
  • Kill reward: $300

The G3SG1 might be in the same class as the SSG 08 and the AWP, but it's almost nothing like them in actuality. One of two automatic sniper rifles and a terrorist exclusive, gameplay with this gun is completely different. While you would want to stay away from engaging multiple enemies with the bolt-action rifles, the G3SG1 specializes in exactly that.

Obviously, the fire rate is much higher here, damage and penetration are similar to the Scout. In other words, two bullets to the body are enough to kill an enemy. When you have 20 bullets in the magazine at 240 rounds per minute, being on the opposite side of that scope isn't a good idea. Why isn't the G3SG1 more popular among pro players then?

Two main things drag this weapon back - price and penetration. At $5000, it trails only the M249 in terms of price, and that LMG is completely out of even the silver meta, if ever there was such a thing. The lower penetration means it cannot one-shot kill an armored player unless it's a headshot. Additionally, the G3SG1 does come with a pretty heavy recoil that makes spraying rather difficult. Cap that off with the slowest reload time of all CS:GO weapons and you begin to see the picture.

The funny part is that while it is often considered a noob weapon, this auto-sniper would be quite difficult to manage in high-tier CS because of its inability to one-shot kill and its hard recoil. You'd have to go for the head more often than not as even half a second can be costly at that level. If you're gonna do that, why not stick to the much cheaper, more mobile and more accurate SSG 08?

SCAR-20 (Counter-Terorists)

CS:GO Weapons Guide SCAR-20
While slightly better than the G3SG1, the SCAR-20 is still far from high-tier CS:GO meta. (Credit: Valve)
  • Price: $5000
  • Kill reward: $300

Given the diversity of the CS:GO arsenal, I believe this is the first time I have said this in these weapon guides. Almost everything that was said of the G3SG1 can be said of the SCAR-20. There are few areas in which the terrorist and the counter-terrorist auto-snipers differ from each other.

The most glaring advantage for the SCAR-20 is the reload time which is almost 2 full seconds less than its counterpart. The CT gun also has a more controllable recoil and with every other key stat equal or close to the point of dismissal, we could say that CTs have it a little better.

That doesn't make the SCAR-20 more useful in competitive environment for precisely the reasons we mentioned in the G3SG1 section. Powerful these weapons may be, but key attributes keep them from breaking into high-tier CS:GO players' hearts.


If you are loving our CS:GO weapon guides thus far, then you'll be happy to hear that there is another part coming after this one. Then you may be a bit saddened by the fact that it would also be the finale to this mini-Odyssey, but hey, all good things must come to an end.

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