How to Practice Spraying in CSGO
Thu 25th Jun 2020 - 7:53pm
Learning how to spray effectively is more than just standing still and spraying against a wall. Actually, there are a few aspects of spraying in CS:GO that a lot of players, even high-tier ones, aren't aware of, which I'll show you in this article. On top of clearing up a few things, I'll also give you a helping hand in developing a training regimen to ensure that you're the god of the spray-downs and spray transfers.
Every player is aware that fully automatic weapons such as the AK and M4A4 and even the Negev have set spray patterns that the weapons will always follow, no matter what. It is a set pattern that doesn't change, not on spray-down one, nor on spray-down twenty. However, the weapons themselves do have different spray patterns, as you can see below, where I show you the pure spray pattern (more on that later) of the AK and M4A4 side-by-side.
As you can see, the spray patterns of the AK and the M4A4 are similar, but different, which means that you should be prepared to practice the spray of every automatic weapon that you want to use competitively, which ranges from the AK to the M4 and AUG up to the MP9 and company in order to reliably kill even close-range enemies when you're pushing up. Be sure to take a bit of time to think about what weapons you need to learn, so you won't waste time on the spray pattern of a weapon you won't use in your officials/pugs.
A very important aspect of sprays in CS:GO is spread. Spread is what you can also call inaccuracy, as it defines how wide the area a shot can land in is. Spread is applied to every single bullet you fire in CS:GO, including the 14th full-spray bullet of the AK, but also to an AWP bullet. Spread is defined by multiple factors, however, it is important to keep in mind that every bullet has the aforementioned original spread, where some weapons have more, and some have less. It is also important to take note of the fact that spread resets with enough time between shots, meaning that after a certain time of waiting, your next shot is as accurate as the first one. This is why the 2nd Deagle bullet is less accurate in rapid-fire than the first bullet.
Put shortly: The 30th bullet of an AK spray will have much more spread added than the first bullet since you aren't leaving time in between shoots to fully recover from the spread. Every weapon also has different recovery values, all of which you can find here. As you can see in that spreadsheet, bullet spread (called inaccuracy in the spreadsheet) is also defined by movement, ladders and jumping, meaning that standing still in crouch will give you the most accurate shot.
Spread showcased with cl_weapon_debug_show_accuracy 2; I used the M4A4 with ~10 metres distance
What does this mean for me?
Practising spray with spread turned on will give you false feedback; if you shoot a wall and try to compensate for the spray pattern, shots may land closer to the centre than what you're actually spraying and give you a false image of how good you can control your spray. This is why I urge everyone to turn off spread with the command "weapon_accuracy_nospread 1", always showing you the true results of your spray control. Keep in mind that some weapons, like the Negev, don't really follow the spray pattern since their spread is so strong when in full-spray.
Where and how do I practice spraying?
Leetify is a good tool to evaluate which weapon needs spray control to practise the most, as you can see that it shows you how accurate your sprays are with different weapons. On top of that, as always, you should start off with the driest practice possible, giving your brain the chance to fully develop the muscle memory needed to pull off spray-downs without thinking about it. A rough guide would look like this:
Start off on an empty server, maybe on a map like Recoil Master, which can help you develop your spray control skills. There you should study the spray pattern, realize that you need to invert the pattern you sprayed at a wall in order to fully control it. After knowing which way to go with your aim, start by trying to compensate for the pattern when standing still against a wall. After a while, you might start increasing the distance between you and the target.
Once you think you got it down well enough to start advancing, close your eyes and spray again, at least a few times, to see if you truly got the muscle memory down. If yes, then you may jump into a server against bots, start counterstrafing and spray-down said bots in between your movements and see how you do. Start practising spray transfers in this stage, too, to ensure that you'll be prepared for rough situations in-game. First with open eyes, then with closed ones after seeing the two targets you want to spray.
Afterwards, increase the realism by playing against moving bots followed by game modes against real players, like DM or Arena. Once you think you're effective at spraying with the weapon you're currently practising, jump into a match where you carefully watch your spray to evaluate if you're ready for officials/pugs.