How Counter-Strike's Bullets Actually Work

Illustration for article titled How Counter-Strike's Bullets Actually Work

Counter-Strike is a game that’s defined by tiny details. So let’s talk bullets.

You fire your gun, they make people ever-so-slightly more Swiss cheese-like in appearance, and that’s pretty much that. Headshots good, non-headshots less good. You’ve played video games before. You know this stuff.


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive plays by those basic rules, but when it comes to particulars, it’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a taco. Fortunately, 3kliksphilip has made videos that dig deep into the nitty gritty of CSGO’s mechanics. For example, can you block bullets? It might sound like a silly question, but characters raise their hands and block their faces when flash grenades go off. If, on the way to an enemy’s head, a bullet pierces a hand, how does the damage break down?

Answer: it’s still a headshot, through and through. If a bullet goes through multiple parts of an enemy, it inflicts the highest amount of damage in that chain of parts—and only that amount. No stacking. However, if you shoot the hand on its own—even when it’s in front of the face (you need to be aiming away from the face, in this case)—it’ll do less damage, since you only hit a hand.

The particulars of these particulars, however, are inconsistent. 3kliksphilip couldn’t get a headshot when he tried to fire up through the body, but he could get a groin shot when firing down through it. So no headshots if a bullet hits the body first. Another interesting (and relevant) detail: lower body shots do more damage than upper body shots in CSGO, presumably in order to encourage precise headshots rather than sloppy ones.

Oh, but as it turns out, you can block bullets in CSGO—jut not with your hands. If someone’s bullet hits a grenade that you’ve thrown, it’ll do less damage when it penetrates your fleshy man-carapace. Observe:

Is this stuff strategically viable? Probably not on the regular, no. But if you manage to survive a seemingly fatal barrage or bite the big one when you’re nearly certain you only sucked down half a bullet sandwich, now you have a possible explanation as to why. Or, if you’re insane and have the reflexes of a snake-slaughtering mongoose, I guess you could try to become CSGO’s equivalent of Neo. It wouldn’t help you survive many encounters, but hey, to each their own.

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Pedro Silva

The game with the worst mechanic i ever played undoubtely was 007 agent under fire. When we shot we see the bullets going very slow to the enemies but with a machine gun not all bullets appear and one day while shooting quick bursts i saw the enemies and the wall being hit before the bullet getting there. And then i couldnt ever unsee it to this day.

By the way i remember playing cs (1.5 i think) one day and i was with that big machine gun and then just for fun i started shooting and screaming like rambo to one direction and started losing money. Later i knew that gun could go through 3 or 4 “layers” and i was shooting at the hostages inside the building behind 2 sets of walls. What the glorious fuck.