How to control your recoil

“Only Noobs Spray”

Spraying is generally frowned upon, in fact if people see you do it, they’ll immediately call you a Noob. In most cases this is generally true because more often than not, it is much better to burst fire 2-3 bullets, than to “spray and pray“. Spraying builds up a lot of recoil which causes weapons to shoot in fairly unpredictable directions.

That been said, there are times when it is actually a better idea to spray. This usually occurs when you have multiple targets attacking you at close-medium range, making the burst fire method too slow to react in time.

Is it possible to control spray fire?

The answer is YES! Many Counter-Strike players do not realize that it IS possible to control spray-fire, to a extent that is.

Spray patterns?

Few people know that each weapon in Counter-Strike has several “spray patterns”; A formation of bullets formed while standing still and spraying through an entire clip of ammo.

A few points about these “spray patterns” are:

  • Patterns are only predictable while not moving, once you move they become to random too predict.
  • While crouching, the patterns seem to crunch together, forming a tighter, more accurate pattern.
  • Each weapon has approximately 3-4 different spray patterns.
  • By just looking at your gun model, and the way your screen corrects, it is “sometimes” possible to predict which “spray pattern” your gun recoil is projecting.

Controlling your Spray-Fire

There are two ways to spray.

  1. Go with the recoil (uncontrolled spray)
    • This method is fairly straight-forward. It requires identifying what spray pattern your gun is producing through recoil and aligning your cross-hair where the bullets will fly. For instance, the image below shows 4 different examples of uncontrolled recoil, and some of the spray patterns produced by the m4a1 carbine. If a “T” pattern if being formed, it would make sense to pull the mouse down towards your target’s chest. Since the recoil is forming a “T” formation, it will kick up and will very likely land you a head-shot.
  2. counter-strike spray pattern

  1. Resist the recoil (controlled spray)
    • This method requires a lot of skill to master. As above, it helps if you can identify the spray pattern of your recoil. From there you must correct your cross-hair to offset your recoil into the smallest, tightest pattern possible. The image below shows 4 different examples of controlled recoil, and the spray patterns produced by the m4a1 carbine.
  2. counter-strike spray pattern

General Spraying Tips

  • While mid-spray, if you’re missing your target try ducking while focusing on your opponent’s head.
  • If you examine your cross-hair while mid spray, it is possible to get an accurate burst fire off if you let your recoil cool-down for a moment or so (assuming you are standing still).

Practice makes perfect

These methods are much too complicated to explain in words alone, so I suggest you start a server and try spraying at a wall to learn ways to identify and control your recoil. The longer you practice, the better you will become. Remember spray-firing should be used only when you are under attack from multiple targets, otherwise burst firing should be the preferred method.

In later articles, i will go over every weapon’s spray pattern and effective techniques for utilizing them. For now make sure you read my secret about how to improve your aim immediately.