How to Improve Your Counterstrafing in CSGO
Mon 4th May 2020 - 6:40pm
A lot of people have an OK feeling of how to counterstrafe in CS:GO. However, a lot of times people miss the beginning of their spray or their tap attempts even at higher levels like LEM and Supreme because they aren't properly counterstrafing when shooting, causing them to be inaccurate when firing. One thing first - every gun has intrinsic inaccuracy, so at longer ranges, you might still miss your shot even when properly counterstrafing. So, your long-range AK duels may not be the best indicator of your counterstrafing skill.
In this article, I'll show you how you find out if you're accurately counterstrafing, tell you a bit more about counterstrafing and how to use it, as well as giving you a few options on how to improve your counterstrafing skills. Let's dive right in!
What Is Counterstrafing?
Since walking in any direction in CS:GO increases the inaccuracy of the weapons, you want to stand still when you're firing your shots. To stop faster than you would simply by letting go of the movement key, you can press the movement key for the opposite direction and let go quickly to stop dead in our tracks, giving you a timing advantage over a differently moving target.
Advanced players try to never stand still except for the 1 to 2 shots they firing when counterstrafing, which is why they keep the button pressed that cancelled out the original movement direction and the moving into the opposite direction until they do the same by pressing the original key again, constantly ADAD-ing when tapping or bursting at the enemy, being a very hard target to hit.
How to Find Out If You're Properly Counterstrafing
Actually finding out if your counterstrafing is good or not is not really easy if you're not actively adjusting the surroundings to allow you to do that. It's hard to tell when you're on a deathmatch server and getting shot at from all sides, so create an empty practice server, activate sv_cheats 1, and type in the command sv_showimpacts 1. This will create two markers at the wall you're shooting at, a red one that shows where your shot goes on the client side (unimportant) and the blue one indicates where the shot goes on the server (important). CS:GO creates these two shots with different targets in accordance with the RNG you accumulate via the spread of the weapon and added inaccuracy through movement, for example, to make it harder to cheat. Using this command, though, we can see where the RNG takes the client and server side bullet impacts into two different directions, showing us that we're inaccurate.
To find out if you're properly counterstrafing, try to shoot at the apex of your counterstrafes and shoot a wall at medium distance. The further apart the red and blue markers are, the less accurate your shot was and the worse your counterstrafing is. Look at the example below, where to the left you see an accurate shot and to the right, you see a less accurate shot.
If you want to know how you fare against the average of people at FaceIt level 10, for example, you can head over to the tool leetify.com that shows you how accurate your counterstrafing is in games.
Ways to Improve
Firstly, I'd like to show you ways you can make inaccuracy, including movement inaccuracy, visible when playing, either only when you're practicing counterstrafing or even in games. For that, all you need to do is change your crosshair in the crosshair tab in the CS:GO menu. There are five options for your crosshair type: Default, Default Static, Classic, Classic Dynamic and Classic Static, and three of those, which are the Default, Classic and Classic Dynamic crosshair, will show you the inaccuracy of the gun by moving certain parts of the crosshair outwards when you're inaccurate and moving them slowly back into position once you've shot your shot. With the Classic crosshair, it'll look like the example below.
As you can see, with these crosshairs you'll have a constant visual indicator on if you should've shot yet or not, giving you constant feedback on how good you're counterstrafing. If you're new to counterstrafing, I'd advise you to spend a good chunk of your time practicing your counterstrafing on a map such as Aim_botz, perfecting your skills over time. If you're really having trouble hitting the timing, choose a slower weapon such as the SG553, making it easier to see when you're at the apex of your counterstrafes.
Now it's time to slowly up the stakes: Practice counterstrafing against slowly moving targets in Aim_botz, then faster ones and then jump into Deathmatch or Arena servers in order to perfect your counterstrafing over time. Don't be scared to return to dry practice, as all skills decay over time and dry practice is perfect for preventing this!
By adding a visual indicator for you to give yourself feedback, it will be much easier to get used to the feel of counterstrafing and to get used to doing it. A lot of people find the crosshairs moving distracting, but if it isn't for you, there is no reason to not to play with it, at least for a while, and have it constantly show you when to shoot. It's actually a huge advantage that I don't see too many people take advantage of!