How to Improve Your Spray Control in CS:GO - A Guide with GeT_RiGhT
Tue 16th Jun 2020 - 8:39pm
Spraying - one of the most important aspects of Counter-Strike shooting mechanics. Not only that, but it’s one of the key elements that makes CS so unique and so different from anything else. Although other games also have recoil mechanics, most of them are easy to control or random, which adds a fair bit of RNG potential to it.
Spraying in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has no luck attached to it - every weapon has its own spray pattern, which makes it possible for the player to learn and master them. One of the best examples of spray mastering is none other than Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund, one of the Swedish legends and considered by many the best player of all time. He now resides on the Dignitas CS:GO team. I’ve had the help of GeT_RiGhT during the writing process of this article, gathering important feedback on how he sees the current spraying meta, how he practices it, and even when other styles of shooting are better suited other than spraying.
Nowadays, there are many resources that can help a new player improve their skills, including workshop maps that replicate exactly how the bullets behave when fired out of a weapon. In the past, players didn’t have that - and GeT_RiGhT told me that.
“I've been playing CS for so many years that I don't have specific maps or routines that I do to handle my spray control. It's just basically in my hands because of how long I've been doing it. I don't really think about it that much or take my time to do it even more. It's just there, I just believe in my abilities.”
But it’s not the past anymore! You can use the different resources available to you to improve your spray control, or even just go to an empty server, shoot against the wall from different distances and just try to make your bullet holes be as close together as possible. Persistence is the key.
You can find an amazing workshop map for spray pattern control training here.
In case you’re wondering, GeT_RiGhT does not use these kinds of maps since he does not - “To be honest, I don’t know any maps to train sprays. I have never really thought about it before.” - I guess all those years in 1.6 add up to a lot of experience!
Mouse sensitivity - high or low?
“To be honest, it doesn't really matter. You can move a little bit more with higher sensitivity compared to a lower one, but you'll get easier sprays with the latter. It's all in your head in the end, you have to master it and believe in you. It takes time.”
GeT_RiGhT makes a good point when saying that it’s all about preference. You have several examples of professional players using high or low sensitivity, and even ones using mouse acceleration. Just try different values and see what works best for you.
But there are pros and cons to each one. You’ll be able to control your spray easily with lower values, but you’ll be more limited to what you can actually do with your mouse. Let’s say you usually like to entry-frag - maybe you’ll be better off with a slightly higher sensitivity value since it would allow you to cover more spots faster. It’s all a matter of personal preference, really.
Longer distances - what to do?
As I’ve previously said in this article, shooting at longer distances can be harder of spraying. Many players will tell that tapping of bursting is better - and it really is. It’s easier to control where the bullets go, you just have to learn the reset times of each weapon.
Nevertheless, GeT_RiGhT, being known as one of the best sprayers in the world, has a somewhat curious opinion on that, despite agreeing with the previous sentence.
“It's all situational and about your mentality. I know, for example, that I spray more than other players do, I've been doing it for so many years. Just looking at it I know for sure that tapping and bursting are better in some situations, but if you have a strong spraying skill, you should use it as much as you can. For me, personally, sprays over tapping and bursting.”
Adapt to each situation - CS:GO is a game of adaptation where no round is the same as any other one. Knowing when to do the right decisions is the difference between winning or losing a round. Even the way you decide to shoot on long-range scenarios is an important decision, and although there are better ways than others for certain scenarios, in the end, you should go for the one that you are more comfortable with.
Do different crosshairs help?
Another common question when learning sprays is if the crosshair can actually help you - and in reality, it can be one of your best friends. I would recommend using a dynamic crosshair when learning, especially if you still don’t really know the weapon’s recoil reset times. Dynamic crosshairs help because you are able to easily see when your bullets are not accurate as they should be due to the recoil and movement. You can also use the different parts of the crosshair to better understand how to move your mouse to control the recoil.
Some people also like dot crosshairs - although I personally wouldn’t recommend to a new player. Crosshair control is something that comes with time and just has GeT_RiGhT said previously, eventually it will become part of you and you won’t even think about it.
When questioned if he thinks that certain types of crosshair help with recoil control learning, GeT_RiGhT answered the following:
“I believe that if you use a dynamic crosshair style you can learn and master the recoil more easily. In the end, it's all preference. I've been using a big crosshair for a long time and many people actually complain about it, but it's just what I'm used to after playing for so many years, for me it would be weird to use a smaller one, although I've been doing it from time to time. I can see the benefit of having a smaller one, especially on tapping and bursting, but it comes back to your own preference. I just like bigger crosshairs.”
Essentially, and once again, it goes down to preference. Don’t choose to use a professional player’s settings just because they’re amazing players. Those are the settings that work for them, and it does not necessarily mean that it will work for you. Take the time to choose your settings, experiment with different ones, and make the game yours.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article! You can reach out to me for feedback or suggestions through my Twitter.