Our pick of the very best assault rifles in the game.
Our Best Assault Rifles guide contains a list of all the best Rifles in the game, detailing how much damage they deal, how much they cost and what makes them so strong.
CS:GO may feature some of the most iconic assault rifles of all time, but with such a strong set of choices to consider it can sometimes prove difficult to settle on one in any given round.
With some rifles being better built for newer players and others complementing the skill of seasoned veterans, it’s important to know which selection will work best for you, personally.
In this guide we’ll outline what assault rifles you should pick and how to use them effectively.
This article contains additional reporting by Emma Matthews.
Best For Newcomers
- HEADSHOT DMG (UNARMOURED): 112
- HEADSHOT DMG (ARMOURED): 100
- PRICE: $3150
The AUG (Armee Universal Gewehr, roughly translated as “universal army rifle”) is one of the weapons that new players gravitate towards thanks to the attached scope. CS:GO differs from a lot of popular first person shooters because it lacks ADS (aiming down sights).
In games like Call of Duty or Rainbow Six: Siege, it’s only natural to aim down sights for a closer view of your prey and to increase your accuracy. This is also the case in CS:GO, however, there are only two assault rifles in the game with this feature – the AUG and the SG 553.
Contrary to a lot of people’s beliefs about the AUG, it’s actually a very good weapon. Statistically it’s already better than both M4s, as you can headshot an enemy with a single bullet, even if they’ve bought the Kevlar Vest and Helmet. Utilising the scope, players are able to play from ranges that they may not feel comfortable doing so using the alternative assault rifles.
In the past, the AUG was a less popular choice at a pro-level play thanks to its high price tag. However, the price of the AUG has recently been reduced from $3300 to $3150 making it just $50 more expensive than the M4A4 and the M4A1-S. With the price reduction having been announced just a few days ago, we’ve yet to see the true impact of this alteration, although its safe to say that this makes the AUG far more viable.
At $3300, the $200 discrepancy was greatly missed as it stopped players from being able to purchase utility items such as grenades and defusal kits. When you play on the Counter Terrorist [CT] side, everything by default is already slightly more expensive, so this made it difficult for players to want to pick an AUG. The new changes, however, may see CTs favouring this weapon over the other assault rifles.
Before getting too excited about this weapon, it’s important to remember that the AUG has higher recoil, a longer reload time and less base damage compared to both M4s. $50 extra for a scope is still a great deal but if you’re already familiar with either of the M4s, you’ll want to put in a significant amount of practice to get used to the differences between these weapons and the AUG.
- HEADSHOT DMG (UNARMOURED): 120
- HEADSHOT DMG (ARMOURED): 120
- PRICE: $2750
Similarly to the AUG, the SG 553 has also seen a significant price reduction, now resting at just $2750, down from $3000. At its original price, this was a serious commitment to an assault rifle, often favoured by new players who don’t feel quite as confident playing without a scope. However, its new price will likely make it a more popular pick, potentially posing it as a rival favourite to the AK-47.
Exclusive to the Terrorist [T] side, replacing the CT AUG, the SG 553 is equipped with a telescopic sight to give players a powerful assault rifle that can confirm ranged kills with relative ease. This weapon is unique in a number of ways that make it a deadly pick for any T. Combining the highest first-shot accuracy of any rifle in the game with fatal headshots and 100% armour penetration, the SG 553 is a reliable means of taking out enemies with tasty one-taps.
Its short reload time in comparison to other weapons in its category render it a perfect weapon for the T-side, as you’ll likely be heading to a bombsite in between frags and will want to minimise the amount of time reloading while on the lookout for the enemy team.
It’s fair to say that, in the right hands, the SG 553 is a force to be reckoned with. Now that it costs just $50 more than an AK-47, there’s no doubt its popularity will soar. Commiting to an SG 553 in the past may have meant sacrificing a grenade purchase, and losing the weapon often proved detrimental to the team’s economy. These issues have now been diminished, making it a less risky pick.
While this all sounds very positive, if you’re throwing down $2750 on a scoped weapon, you should know which situations to tackle head-on and which to avoid. Unscoped, the SG 553 has the highest recoil in CS:GO, making it a poor choice in situations where you’ll find yourself in close quarters with the other team. It also has a slow movement speed, meaning that turning with this rifle will feel significantly slower than it will with others.
The SG 553 will produce the best results when used scoped, and when the player is able to send out as few shots as possible. If spraying is required, try not to send out any more than 10-12 shots, as this part of the spray pattern is quite easy to control.
More popular CS:GO guides:
- HEADSHOT DMG (UNARMOURED): 143
- HEADSHOT DMG (ARMOURED): 111
- PRICE: $2700
Arguably the most popular assault rifle in CS:GO, you’ll often even see CTs dropping their M4s to pick up this weapon at the end of a round. Scoring impressive marks in damage output, ranged accuracy and the fact that its $400 cheaper than its CT counterpart, the AK is a suitable assault rifle for any round – assuming that you can afford to purchase it.
With its ability to deal lethal headshots on both armoured and unarmoured targets, the AK is the perfect weapon for achieving snappy entry frags, as well as cleaning up quickly in clutches.
Similarly to every other weapon in CS:GO, the AK also has a few negative aspects that bring balance to the game’s varied arsenal. It’s heavy upwards recoil may punish inexperienced players who have not yet learnt its spray pattern, as its accuracy becomes increasingly worse with each subsequent shot. Being as popular as it is, this is likely one of the first spray patterns you’ll be encouraged to learn.
The AK-47’s price is so low, considering the quality of the weapon. At only $2700, the money you save versus purchasing something like the SG 553 allows you to pick up a variety of grenades that can be vital to winning rounds.
Purchasing a smoke grenade might not seem like a big deal, but that can be the difference between stopping an AWPer in their tracks, or having your main rifler die within the first twenty seconds of a round.
- HEADSHOT DMG (UNARMOURED): 131
- HEADSHOT DMG (ARMOURED): 92
- PRICE: $3100
Frequently picked over the M4A1-S, the M4A4 has a few perks that make it preferable to the other CT option.
We all know how difficult it can be trying to hit a one-tap headshot with any weapon and, thankfully, with the M4A4 you’ll be encouraged to fire in short bursts instead. Seeing as the M4A4 can’t quite manage a lethal headshot on an armoured target, it’s worth taking advantage of its surprisingly high accuracy at range, and firing a few shots after you initial one. In close proximity, spraying with the M4A4 is also viable.
Although the M4A1-S is often regarded as the more accurate assault rifle of the two, the M4A4 has a higher rate of fire, which makes up for it being slightly less accurate. It’s ammo reserve is also far meatier, packing an additional thirty bullets compared to the M4A1-S. This means that you can afford to send out more shots in quick succession when engaged in fire-fights as well as feel more comfortable when prefiring or wallbanging.
When attacking an enemy, always try to aim for the head, but bear in mind that a headshot can be quickly followed up by a bodyshot to seal an elimination with this weapon.
At $3100, the M4A4 is considerably more attractive than the AUG in terms of price, and a clear choice over the FAMAS in terms of damage output and overall accuracy. Currently the favoured choice for pro players over the silenced variant, the M4A4 brings a good balance between accurate shots, along with the safety net of having a slightly larger magazine and ammo reserve.
- HEADSHOT DMG (UNARMOURED): 132
- HEADSHOT DMG (ARMOURED): 92
- PRICE: $3100
There isn’t an assault rifle in the game that feels as accurate as the M4A1-S. Equipped with a silencer, this weapon will make you feel like a ghost as your shots do not appear on the radar.
With the increased accuracy, purchasing the M4A1-S allows you to play at further distances without having to worry about your shots missing the target. In addition to this, the damage drop-off at a distance is slightly better on the M4A1-S, meaning you can deal more damage to the enemy depending on how far away you are from them.
The M4A1-S’ accuracy benefits players who prefer to manually burst-fire rather than those who are used to spraying down their enemies. If you are forced into spraying with the M4A1-S, the spray pattern is more compact than the M4A4 making it easier to hit the target.
It’s important to never remove the silencer on this weapon as it becomes significantly worse as a result. Without the silencer, the M4A4-S’ bullet spread, increases recoil and your shots will give away your position. The only advantage you could possibly have when removing the silencer is to make your weapon shorter, though this is rarely something most players will ever need to consider.
When it comes to drawbacks, the biggest one has to be the reduced magazine size and ammo reserve. Sporting only twenty bullets in each clip (for a total of eighty bullets), the M4A1-S is unable to perform the same level of spraying as every other assault rifle in this guide. With just over half the bullets of the M4A4, players are forced into difficult decisions when it comes to shooting through materials.
If you waste an entire clip on attempting a cheeky wallbang, you are stuck with only forty bullets for the duration of the round. The lack of ammo forces you into making tough decisions before every shot.