AWP Rifle: A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering the Sharpshooter


AWP CS:GO Rifle – The Imposing Big Green

The AWP, often referred to as the "Big Green" due to its default green hue, stands as one of the most iconic weapons within the CS:GO universe. Its imposing presence is not just due to its visual appeal, but largely because of the sheer impact it can have on a game. Capable of delivering one-shot kills with a hit to the chest or head, it's a force to be reckoned with, especially in the hands of a skilled sniper. The weapon’s high damage potential comes at a cost though, making it one of the pricier options in the game. However, for many teams, having an AWP in play is worth the investment, as it can control significant portions of the map, dictate the pace of rounds, and instill fear in opponents.

Requiring both precision and patience, using the AWP effectively is an art form. Its bolt-action nature means that each shot counts; miss, and you might not get a second chance. While its accuracy is unparalleled when a player is stationary and scoped, it significantly diminishes when moving, adding an extra layer of complexity and strategy to its usage. Many an epic moment in professional CS:GO history has revolved around an AWPer pulling off improbable shots or clutches, highlighting the weapon's central role in the game's meta.

The beauty of the AWP is its versatility. While its primary function is as a long-range sharpshooter rifle, creative players have found ways to utilize it in a variety of situations. From aggressive peeks to holding down bombsites, the AWP can adapt to the player's style and the needs of the team. However, this adaptability comes with a learning curve, demanding both understanding and respect from those who wield it.

Key Features & Gameplay Elements

  • Versatility: The AWP is not just a sniper rifle; it's a statement. Whether you're holding angles, contesting bombsites, or making aggressive plays, the AWP can adapt to various gameplay styles and situations. Proper positioning can allow AWPers to control entire portions of the map, forcing the enemy to rethink their strategies.
  • Damage: The AWP is notorious for its high damage output. A single shot to the chest or head ensures an instant kill, making it a formidable weapon in the hands of a skilled player. This raw power, however, comes with its trade-offs in terms of price and mobility.
  • Recoil: Unlike many other guns in CS:GO, the AWP has a unique recoil pattern. While its first shot is precise, subsequent shots without adjusting for its bolt-action can be off the mark. This makes rapid consecutive shots challenging and emphasizes the importance of accuracy and positioning.
  • Accuracy: The AWP boasts a high accuracy when stationary and scoped in. However, moving while shooting or jumping can significantly reduce its precision. Mastery of its accuracy involves understanding when to shoot and when to reposition. Proper peeking techniques, coupled with understanding its accuracy limits, can make an AWPer a real threat to the opposition.

AWP Basic Information

  • Team: Both (Counter-Terrorists & Terrorists)
  • Price: $4,750
  • Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds
  • Ammo Type: .338 Lapua Magnum
  • Reserve Ammo: 30 rounds
  • Range: Long
  • Fire Rate: Slow (approximately 41 rounds per minute due to its bolt-action nature)
  • Fire Modes: Bolt-action
  • Recoil: High (significant recovery time between shots)
  • Kill Award: $100 (Competitive), $300 (Casual)
  • Reload Time: Approximately 3.7 seconds
  • Movement Speed: 200 units/second (slower when scoped)
  • Kill Reward: Varies based on mode, but typically $100 in Competitive mode

Damage Statistics

  • Base Damage: 115
  • Headshot: 460 (4x base damage)
  • Chest and Arm Shots: 115 (1x base damage)
  • Stomach: 143 (1.25x base damage)
  • Leg Shots: 85.5 (0.75x base damage and doesn't apply armor mitigation)
  • Armor Penetration: 97.5%
  • Penetration Power: 250
  • Range Modifier: 0.99
  • Recoil Control: Low (due to its bolt-action nature and high reset time between shots)


  • Role: The primary role of an AWPer (player wielding the AWP) is to serve as the team's main sniper, securing key sightlines, providing intel on enemy positions, and getting crucial picks that can turn the tide of a round. Often, the AWPer is positioned in areas with long sightlines, enabling them to control significant portions of the map.
  • Economy: The AWP is one of the pricier weapons in the game. Purchasing it requires careful economic consideration, as it can be a substantial investment for the team. Equally, losing an AWP can be detrimental due to its high cost. Teams will often make efforts to retrieve a dropped AWP to save for the next round.
  • Tactic: The AWP can be used both passively and aggressively. Passively, an AWPer might hold an angle, waiting for an enemy to peek into their crosshair. Aggressively, they might seek out engagements, peeking into common spots or repositioning frequently to catch the enemy off-guard. The AWP also serves as a strong deterrent, making enemies wary of pushing certain routes or positions.
  • Shooting Techniques: AWPers employ various shooting techniques based on the situation:
    • Quick Scope: Quickly scoping in and firing almost immediately.
    • Drag Scope: Scoping and dragging the crosshair onto the target before firing.
    • No-scope: Shooting without using the scope, usually done in close-quarter situations.
    • Double Zoom: Using the double zoom feature of the scope for extremely long-range shots.
    • Crouch Peek: Crouching and peeking simultaneously to make oneself a smaller target while scoping.
    • Jiggle Peek: A technique where the player quickly moves in and out of cover to bait shots or gather information.

AWP Pros and Cons


  • Instant Kill Potential: One of the most significant advantages of the AWP is its capability to instantly eliminate an enemy with a single shot to the chest or head. This makes it one of the most lethal weapons in the game. With this potential, an AWPer can easily turn the tide of a round, making it crucial for teams to either have a skilled AWPer or devise strategies to counter enemy AWPers.
  • Range Dominance: The AWP is tailor-made for long-range engagements. Its scope offers a clear view of distant targets, allowing players to control vast portions of the map. This can force opponents to be cautious when moving around, giving the AWPer's team a strategic advantage by restricting enemy movement and gathering information.
  • Economic Impact on Opponents: Successfully eliminating opponents with the AWP can have a substantial economic impact on the enemy team. Due to its high kill reward in Casual mode and the inherent cost of buying rifles and gear, consistently taking out enemies with the AWP can strain their finances, forcing them into less optimal buys or even eco rounds.
  • Fear Factor: The mere presence of an AWP can instill fear and alter the tactics of the opposing team. The weapon's reputation can cause opponents to play more cautiously, potentially disrupting their game plan. This psychological impact can be leveraged by skilled AWPers to control the pace and strategy of the game.


  • High Cost: The AWP is one of the most expensive weapons in CS:GO. Buying it represents a significant investment, and losing it can be a substantial setback for the team's economy. Additionally, if the player wielding the AWP is taken out early in a round without any impact, it can lead to a challenging round for the rest of the team.
  • Mobility: Players move slower when wielding the AWP, especially when scoped in. This reduced mobility can make AWPers more vulnerable to rushes or flanks. Quick reactions and positioning become paramount, but even then, an AWPer caught off-guard can be easily overwhelmed.
  • Recoil and Fire Rate: Due to its bolt-action nature, the AWP has a slow fire rate. Missed shots can be punishing, leaving the player vulnerable during the time it takes to chamber the next round. This emphasizes the importance of accuracy but can be a significant drawback in close-quarters engagements or when facing multiple opponents.
  • Versatility Limitations: While the AWP is dominant at long range, it can be challenging to use in close combat scenarios. Skilled players can sometimes land no-scope shots or utilize their secondary weapon, but overall, the AWP is less versatile than rifles like the AK-47 or M4A4, which can be effective at various ranges.

AWP Additional Features

  • Sound: The AWP has a unique and loud firing sound. Every time you shoot, nearby enemies will likely identify your position. This sound can be both a blessing and a curse. It can intimidate opponents but also gives away your location, which can make repositioning after a shot crucial.
  • Scope Blur: While moving with the AWP scoped in, there's a noticeable blur, indicating that your shot won't be 100% accurate until fully stopped. This blur is a good indicator for new AWPers to understand when their shot will be precise.
  • Kill Reward in Competitive: In Competitive mode, the kill reward for AWPing is reduced compared to other guns. Players receive only $100 for an AWP kill in Competitive, as opposed to $300 for most rifles. This reduced reward means AWPers need to be even more impactful with their picks to justify the high cost of the weapon.
  • Tagging: When hit by an AWP (and not killed), players experience significant "tagging." This means their movement speed is dramatically reduced for a short period. This can be particularly useful for teammates to finish off enemies who are trying to escape after being tagged.
  • Switching to Sidearm: Given the AWP's slow rate of fire, it's often quicker to switch to a sidearm (like a pistol) rather than waiting for the AWP to be ready to shoot again, especially in close-quarter situations where speed is crucial.
  • Distinct Skins: Some AWP skins have special animations or features. For instance, the AWP | Dragon Lore has a unique inspect animation, making it even more coveted in the community.
  • Scope Visibility: While the AWP's scope provides the shooter with a zoomed-in view, it's worth noting that enemies can see the green lens of the scope when it's aimed in their direction. This visibility can sometimes give away an AWPer's position, especially in certain angles or tight corners.

AWP Application & Usage

The AWP, often referred to as the "big green gun" or "cannon," is a specialized weapon that serves a distinct role in the tactical ecosystem of CS:GO. Its use is predicated on controlling long sightlines and eliminating enemies with a single shot, making it exceptionally potent in the hands of a precise marksman. The weapon should be used when a team aims to control specific areas of the map, prevent enemy advances, or gain early-round advantages by picking off key opponents. It's especially effective in maps with long corridors or open spaces, such as Dust II or Mirage.

Employing the AWP can exert psychological pressure on the opposing team, forcing them to adapt their strategies, play more cautiously, or invest in utilities like smokes and flashes to counter the AWPer. However, due to its high cost, teams must be strategic about when to invest in the AWP, balancing its potential impact against the risk of economic setback should the AWPer be neutralized early in a round. Ideally, it should be used when the player wielding it has demonstrated proficiency with the weapon, and the team can support and complement its use with appropriate strategies and positioning.


The AWP is not just renowned for its gameplay impact but also for its vibrant array of skins that have become iconic within the CS:GO community. These skins range from the minimalistic to the extravagant, each adding a distinct personality to the weapon. Many players take pride in showcasing their AWP skins, making them a significant part of the CS:GO culture.

Find a multitude of AWP skins at, plus explore the wide variety of CS:GO cases to find your perfect skin.

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