Peeking the Right Way: Using a Game Mechanic to Your Advantage



Sun 27th Oct 2019 - 9:36pm

Like all games, CS:GO has some of its own weird game mechanics - one of which is showing more or less body area when peeking from the right or from the left. In this article I’m going to make you understand that mechanic and how you can use it to your advantage. Using it correctly will not make you a master in the refined art of peeking correctly, but will definitely up your chances of getting a kill and survive to tell the story (and probably die later in the round). This article also aims to not only show some common spots where this advantage can be explored, but also how you should do it to increase your chances of success.

CS:GO models are created in a way that makes playing and peeking in a certain way more advantageous than others. One of those situations is when peeking an angle - if you peek from your right side, you’ll have an advantage against an opponent watching you from the left.

But why is that? Due to the way the characters are modelled, holding the gun makes them slightly tilt to the right. Since the “camera” is not exactly centered, it somewhat shifts to the right as well. What it does is that you’re able to see across the corner when in reality you shouldn’t be able to see just yet. It happens the exact opposite when peeking from the left - since your body is tilted right, for you to be able to see across the corner it will need more body to be exposed.

Is it a bug? That’s totally a matter of opinion. Some players consider it a bug, others a feature that you should be able to learn and use to your advantage. In my personal opinion, it should be fixed. We’re talking about a competitive title that strives on skill and having these somehow random elements eliminate some of the skill involved. But as I said, you may feel otherwise.

In the images below you can see an example on Dust2 Long. If both players peek at the exact same time, the one on Long Doors will be able to see the opponent first, giving him precious milliseconds to shoot first before the other player is even able to cross the corner.

The same happens on Mirage’s Short - peeking from in front of Ladder room to Top Mid (Smoke recommended), you’ll have the advantage if someone picks from Upper Mid. Don’t do this in the beginning of the round though, as the Ts will always reach there first, even if you strafe jump from Mid Window to Short.

Here is another example in Overpass’ WC, which shows just how ridiculous this mechanic can be sometimes and in some spots. The amount of body cover you have when peeking from the right compared from the other side just goes to show how much of an advantage knowing how to play with this is mind is.

But is it always advantageous to peek from the right? That solely depends on the environment around you. As most players will know, when opening an angle, you should always do it from as far away from the corner of the wall as possible. Being far allows you to spot enemies first that could be doing the same thing on the other side, but closer to the wall - that’s not a game mechanic, that’s exactly how the real world works and it translates into the game the same way. Now, let’s imagine you peek from the right, but with a wall close to you. If, on the other side, you have an opponent peeking from the left but far away from the wall, he should have the advantage and spot you first. I’ll repeat, the different may just be of a fraction of a second, but every CS player knows that’s more than enough for you to get killed and you won’t even understand what hit you.

Knowing these game mechanics to get easier frags also requires you to play smart. When playing a match, simply peeking from the right is not enough. If your opponent is already aiming at your position, you’ll get shot first unless he’s looking somewhere else or is just bad. That’s where map knowledge comes in: knowing which spots are commonly guarded, where Flashbangs should be used to clear angles, etc. Let’s say you use a flashbang to bait a shot from your opponent. Since he retreated to cover himself, you can then peek the opposite angle from the right and just wait for a possible re-peek. If you’re playing against better opponents, they generally won’t re-peek it dry, so beware of counter-utility. If you’re unsure on whether you should peek or not, it’s generally better to retreat and look for another possibility. Giving a free kill to your opponents is half the round lost - play with your teammates, communicate, request utility when needed. CS:GO is a team game, remember that.

One easy way to practice this is with a friend in different map spots - position each other in opposite sides and understand how much of your body you’re needed to show before being able to hit the shot. Also, practice those spawn timings, to understand which spots are safer or riskier to peek.

As I always say, improving in CS:GO is all about investing the hours playing and researching on ways to improve, trying out different and new strategies, coming up with your own, etc. Hopefully this article served well in one of those hours you spend researching. If you have any questions or would like to address some direct feedback to me regarding this or other article, feel free to hit me up on Twitter. Thanks for reading.

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