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Top
CS:GO

How to Play AWP in CS:GO

Antonio Kaurinovic

The AWP, alternately known as the Magnum Sniper Rifle, is one of the deadliest weapons in CS:GO. It is a high-risk, low-reward kind of weapon. Unlike other rifles, the cost of this deadly weapon is $4750, and the kill reward is only $100. Therefore, this weapon should be used carefully and only in certain situations. Keep reading and find out how and when to use AWP in your competitive CS:GO matches.

awp csgo

Image Credit: PC Gamer / Valve

When to Buy an AWP?

The real question is when to buy an AWP. This weapon should not be used under any circumstances in early-round or anti-eco rounds. It is a mid- and late-game weapon primarily used on full-buy rounds. Keep in mind that there might be someone better with the AWP on your team. If that’s the case, let them have it. Do not buy a secondary AWP just because you have enough money to do so. It is not a good idea and almost always results in a round loss.

The Full Buy

For the full AWP buy, you will need a total of $6,750; $4750 for the AWP itself, $1000 for kevlar and helmet, and an additional $1000 for a set of grenades: two flashbangs, a smoke grenade, and a HE grenade.

You will need flashbangs to get onto desired positions and escape from dangerous situations. The smoke grenade is a standard map control grenade, and every player on the team should have one. In addition to that, you will also need a HE grenade instead of an incendiary grenade or Molotov. The bullet from an AWP will provide an instant kill with every shot except for leg shots. The leg shot will deal 85 damage, and the best way to finish off that enemy without re-peeking is with an HE grenade.

Double AWP Setup

Although it is never recommended for more than one player in the team to have an AWP, a double AWP setup can sometimes be desirable. The only time this is acceptable is when playing on the CT side, with one AWP on each site. However, be careful and try not to lose the weapon. Just imagine the scenario when you and your teammate are on a retake with two AWPs; it’s almost impossible to retake the site in that situation. You will either try and fail or throw away an AWP and change it for a rifle on the ground, which will, in the end, hurt your economy. That’s why two AWPs should always be played on different sites to avoid this kind of scenario.

The Glass Cannon

Another popular buy option is the glass cannon AWP. This means you are only able to afford an AWP without kevlar, and the whole buy will cost you $4750 in total. It is a risky move, but it can be profitable, especially if the glass cannon knows how to do it. If you play glass cannon, make sure to stand far away from your enemies to avoid getting sprayed or receiving any damage from utility. Just make sure to be careful because, without kevlar, a single HE grenade can kill you. The best way to play glass cannon is to stay on-site and hold a steady angle from a long distance.

AWPing Styles

There are two main AWPing styles; aggressive and passive. Let’s compare the two biggest AWPers in the last decade, Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz. S1mple is a pure example of an aggressive AWP style, a player who attacks and storms into the sites with an AWP like he has an AK-47.

On the other side, dev1ce plays passively, and his whole game revolves around his positioning. However, dev1ce is also one of the most consistent players because he doesn’t have to hit any impossible shots. He makes every shot look easy just because of his perfect positioning.

Both aggressive and passive playstyles have their ups and downs, and both require a hefty amount of training to do them properly.

AWP Training

In order to train to use an AWP effectively, you can download additional Steam Workshop maps: training_aim_csgo2 and Aim Botz – Training

Training_aim_csgo2 is a great map to train with every weapon, including the AWP. It comes with different levels, multiple training mods, and at different distances. It’s great to train your reaction time and your reflexes.

The second map, Aim Botz – Training, is perfect for training reflexes and flick shots. There are moving bots that you can toggle on and off and change their speed, making it a perfect map for flick shot training.  

Alternatively, you can train with the AWP on Deathmatch servers. This is both good and bad. It can help you develop muscle memory, but it will also be unrealistic. When playing on DM, everything happens so fast, and you must use flick shots; there is no other way around it. However, competitive matches are much slower, and incomparable to Deathmatch. In a competitive matchup, your primary goal should be to minimize flicking and try to get secure shots.

Tips & Tricks

Positioning

When playing AWP, everything is about positioning. The better your positioning is, the easier the shots you can take. Try to avoid positioning yourself in a way that you have to take some impossible shots. Try to make it as easy as possible.

The second thing about positioning is your escape route. You need to always have a secure route to escape, or at least cover to hide behind, in case you miss a shot or get swamped by multiple enemies. Change your position after every single shot. For example, on Inferno, you can position yourself behind the car; after taking the shot, no matter if you hit or miss, just fall back and reposition behind the next cover, which is a wall just behind the car. After taking that shot, fall back once again towards CT spawn or coffins, whatever you feel is a better option. You need to be able to feel the game and get that in-game sense to know instinctively what to do next.

This will help you avoid getting punished for missing a shot. If you miss, it does not mean you have to die. One more thing: don’t play off angles with AWP. Just don’t!

Economy Management

Money management is also very important, especially if you are the primary AWP user of your team. You have to learn how to manage your money in order to maximize the amount of time you can buy the AWP. Always calculate how much money you will get in the next round and never overbuy on eco rounds. If you are not sure how to do that, check out our CS:GO economy guide.

Rotate

Keep in mind that enemies will be afraid of you if you use an AWP. No one will willingly peek into AWP range and risk losing their life just to engage in an unfair fight against the AWP. After a few rounds, your enemies will anticipate you if you constantly play at the same spot. Try to change positions as much as you can because if you don’t, you will probably get bombed out of existence. Be creative and try to surprise them by never allowing them to know on which site you are.

AWP Movement

In-game AWP movement is a little bit different from regular CS:GO movement. You need to get used to crouch peeking. If you crouch before peeking, you will still remain accurate when moving. Alternatively, you can use opposite commands. For example, if you want to peek left, you move left with A. Press the control for the opposite side, D, just before you shoot, and your shot will be perfectly accurate.


The AWP is a powerful weapon, and it is not for everyone. If you want to become the primary AWP of your team, you will have to work hard. It is not enough to just play AWP in competitive matches; to reach high ranks, you have to practice on a daily basis. Try to watch professionals play and learn from them. You can’t learn their skillset just by watching, but you can learn a lot about positioning and maybe a few new tricks from certain maps.