You probably know this situation: you are playing solo queue, you have no money to buy yourself a good weapon, but your comrades pressed the auto buy button without thinking twice. Now you have to play the round with your pistol, and have only enough money to get some utility, or armor. You are pretty much useless for your team, and hope dearly to be able to pick up a gun from a player.
Getting to know the economy of CS:GO can dramatically improve your gaming experience and that of your team. This knowledge doesn’t just help you to decide what to buy and when, but makes it also predictable what your enemies might have in store for you. Economy is a difficult topic that requires much experience but once you have mastered this skill you will be better at the game because you can spend your money more efficiently.
So when do you buy? And what? If you are short on money, what items can you skip, and what should you definitely purchase? This guide will introduce you to the basics and advanced mechanics of CS:GOs economy.
Just like a competitive game, we start this guide with the pistol round. At the beginning of the match, you have $800 at your disposal. This doesn’t mean buying a Kevlar Vest and a Decoy that you throw against your friend’s head.
On lower ranks, many CTs buy the Five-Seven, and attempt to kill as much as possible with it. Some invest their money in Kevlars for more sustainability. Most players are not aware of the fact that CT is well-prepared for the Pistol Round already, as they have a gun that kill with one headshot!
Grenades are much more useful for the first round. Especially in soloQ, Leroy-Jenkins rushes are very common. For this purpose, utility is just what you need. Smoke Grenades (Smokes) followed by Flashbangs (Flashes) or High Explosive Grenades (HE) slow down every rush and can give you a decisive advantage.
As Terrorist, things look a little bit different. Most of them spend their money on Tec-9s to get rid of the Glock-18. Sure, the gun has much ammo and you can fire at a high right. However, from a long and middle range it doesn’t do too much against CTs wearing Kevlar. From a long distance, the Glock-18 is clearly the worse weapon in comparison to the USP-S and the P2000, except your aim is far superior.
After buying a Tec-9, you have still money for a Smoke which makes your bombsite entry much easier. Flashes are also a viable option that makes rushes much more powerful.
This rule applies to both teams: no Desert Eagle! It costs $700 and on lower tiers, players are simply too bad to unleash its full potential. If you want more fire power early, go for the P250 instead.
If you lost the first round, there are three option to consider. These are Full Eco, Eco, and Force Buy.
Full Eco means that you really don’t buy anything. You have only your knife and pistol. You don’t buy weapons, Kevlar or Nades. Literally nothing. However, there is an exception to the rule: as a CT, one or two players can buy a Defuse Kit for $400.
A Full Eco round is a round to throw away in order to increase your chances in the one thereafter. You are not expected to win this round, and every kill is a small success for your team. If you win this round – against all odds – you have created a very nice starting situation for the following round.
Eco means that you buy very little this round. A pistol for not more than $500, no Kevlar and little utility. CTs should buy two Defuse Kits, one for A, one for B. Of course, you can save your stuff also in an Eco round, particularly if you are CT. Even more so if you have picked up a gun. You should definitely play more defensively, also when you are on T.
Often, you can take out rushing enemies that are too eager to finish the round. Then, you can utilize their SMGs which increases your chances to win the round.
Force Buy means that you spend all your money, although it’s not too much. Often, people buy Kevlar, an SMG, and some utility. After that, you usually have $150 or $0 left over. A Force Buy is very expensive but of the three options it is the most winnable.
As the Force Buy weapon of choice is usually an SMG, you get more money for the kills as well. SMG kills grant you $600 (except the P90), a normal kill only $300. We recommend buying a Mac-10/MP9 or UMP-45, a HE, and a Flash. Depending on the situation, one or two players should get a Smoke. As a result, you will spend between $2250 and $2400 this round.
If you have won the very first round, you play the next round differently.
In the Anti-Eco, you want to acquire a Kevlar+Helmet, UMP-45, sometimes a better pistol, and utility. CTs like to buy shotguns at times to get even more money. It is important to play defensive as CT since Ts are just waiting for an overly-confident officer to run into their trap. Ts have a much easier time, after winning the first round. You can be defensive, or you can rush, which is even more effective most of the time as your enemies have worse equipment than you.
Now, after discussing the first round, we will have a look at the rest of the game. The most common economic actions you will encounter (apart from the ones already introduced) are the Full Buy and the Half Buy.
The Full Buy is the standard buy in Counter-Strike. You either buy the M4A4/M4A1-S or the AK-47 depending on your team, a P250/Five-Seven/Tec-9, or Deagle, two Flashes (or one Molotow), a Smoke, a HE, a Kevlar+Helmet, and a Defuse Kit if you are CT. Usually, one player gets a AWP to snipe one enemy at a time a go for an entry kill.
Accordingly, the Full buy costs between $5850 and $6200 CT and between $5000 and $5600 for T.
The Half Buy is pretty similar to the standard buy. The difference is that you don’t buy a new pistol and save some dollars instead of purchasing Nades. If you are CT, only two or three people buy a Defuse Kit. CTs can also save the money for Helmets if they play against Fullbuy Ts since their AK-47 kills with one headshot even if your head is protected. Terrorists should get Helmets in any case, as CT weapons don’t kill with one headshot.
A Half Buy is often executed when some players in the team have enough money for a Full Buy and you have to catch up. Also, when your teammates have saved two weapons from the previous round, a Half Buy can be worth the investment.
In summary, a CT spends between $3750 and $4950 in a Half Buy round, while the T has only to spend between $3700 and $4500.
Another aspect that saves you $650 is refraining from buying new Kevlars. In Counter-Strike, armor reduces equally much damage at all times, even if there are only a few points left. Accordingly, you don’t have to buy new Kevlar each round. We recommend, however, to purchase a new one as soon as you are below 50-40%. Below this value, you might lose your protection, once it drops to 0%. Being without armor is never a good idea.
Kill and action reward list – How much money for what?
|Losing 1 round*||$1400|
|Losing 2 rounds*||$1900|
|Losing 3 rounds*||$2400|
|Losing 4 rounds*||$2900|
|Losing 5+ rounds*||$3400|
|Out of time (CT)||$3250|
|Out of time (T)||$0|
* T can get $800 more each round, if the bomb has been planted.