CSGO: How to AWP – Mastering the iconic rifle

The Basics

A lot of people only use the sniper called the AWP for its one shot kill ability. However if you can master the AWP you will then be one of the most players in your team.

Lets assume you have not played CSGO before, the basics of the AWP are:

  • Left Click – Shoots
  • Right Click – Scopes in, press again to zoom again, press again to zoom out


The AWP is bolt-action sniper rifle. This means that it has a very slow rate of fire. To be good with the rifle you need to know how long it takes to shoot another round. It also has a 10-round magazine, so you normally shouldn’t be reloading manually.

The AWP has insane bullet power to make up for the poor fire rate. The AWP can take out enemies easily by shooting them anywhere above the leg, regardless of armor.

*The term “Leg’d” refers to shooting another player and hitting their leg only, severely damaging an enemy without killing him.


The AWP is very expensive, so if you see one on the ground, pick it up for yourself or for a teammate. Also, you may want to play more defensively, as if you die you will be feeding the enemy an AWP and hurting your team’s economy.

How to Practice:

Offline with Bots:-
This strategy is “ok” for when first start playing the game. However it lacks the fundamentals when it comes to application within competitive play. It can help you improve your aim, It should become too easy and you will need to improve your practice.
This is a very good practice technique, as it allows you to practice against real people, in real time. It will put you to the test, as well as allowing you to slow it down and just practice hitting your shots. Deathmatch is the best way to practice CSGO, in nearly all aspects. I recommend first practicing hitting your shots, no flicking, for beginners. Then, when you start to hit most of your shots, you want to be faster. This is when you practice flicking. You may want to practice flicking slower in an aimmap, but once you have the basic concept you can practice flicking on real targets that jump and crouch and fight. Here you can learn exactly how you flick, how much to flick, crosshair positioning, and more. The main downside is that it doesn’t practice positioning or learning choke points and such, as there are random spawns.
Aim Maps:-
This is a good technique, but is really only useful to a certain degree. Maps like “Aim Course” allow you to practice flicking and try to practice your speed, while others like “AWP Double Doors Training” are designed for specific scenarios that you want to learn. You should learn these and then practice them in Deathmatch or competitive play.
Playing the Game:-
By just playing competitive, you practice everything. Just on a less specialized scale. The key is to not focus on wins, but rather on just improving your game for the next match. Playing MM is the only way to learn positioning, chokepoints, rotates, etc. It also allows for more defensive sniping, which can be very useful.

Advanced Tips & Tricks

In this section, I will be covering some Intermediate-Advanced tips and tricks on AWPing, many of which I learned from in-game through my dead teammates. You’d be surprised at how much you can learn from just playing the game, but here are some specific ideas you may want to know.

  • Quick-Switching after Shooting
    This is a very common trick in competitive. As the AWP re-zooms after firing, players will double-tap Q to reset the scope quickly, without wasting seconds right-clicking. This also avoids the scope sound, which can give away to your enemies that you are scoped in. The downside to this is that it has to play the switch animation, which lasts around 1-2 seconds. Generally, you want to quickswitch if you kill with the first shot and need to retreat, or if you miss and the enemy is very close, allowing you to judge whether or not to noscope or use your secondary. Pressing Q once after choosing your secondary is also a good tactic for peeking short-ranged engagements, as if you miss you can instantly switch to a pistol which is much better suited for close-range fights.
  • Flicking
    Everyone should know about this, it was even mentioned in the AWP basics section. This is a technique that requires lots of practice, and at first a lot of luck. Flicking is when you move your crosshair very fast and time your shot so that it hits, even if when you initially scoped your aim was off. I will go deeper into this skill in the “Practice” section of the guide, as this is an essential skill that should be practiced.
  • Sensitivity
    This is a game setting that affects not only the AWP, but the entire game. There are specific sections of guides written for the sole purpose of explaining DPI and sensitivity. I will not do that. I am just going to say that your sensitivity is highly dependant on you, and that it will affect your AWPing tremendously. My ground rules are:
    1. If you want to use have an easier time aiming, and be more accurate, you want to have a lower sensitivity.
    2. If you want to AWP a lot, use an even lower sensitivity, or change your “Scoped” sensitivity to be lower (console commands).
    3. Always keep your sensitivity as high as you can, as a higher sensitivity will allow greater mobility. However, you must keep rules 1 & 2 in mind.

    Your sensitivity will be the number you are most comfortable with, that falls under these three parameters.
  • Crouching and Walking
    This is a contreversial concept, as some have a habit of crouching or walking all the time thinking that it makes them more accurate. I don’t know if they are right or wrong, but here is my opinion: Crouching and Walking make you move slower. So, if you are peeking a corner, the enemy will see you for an extended period of time before you can see them. It doesn’t matter if you think you are a smaller target to hit, your enemy will have a good second or two to aim right at you without you seeing them. Also, crouching may make your noscopes more accurate, but when you are scoped in you are inaccurate while walking. You MUST stop in order to shoot. And, if you are stopped, there is no chance of missing if your crosshair is on them. The AWP has perfect accuracy. So, never peek while crouching or walking, just use them strategically to hide sound and do trick jumps.
  • Positioning: Defense/Offense
    You should always have a way out or a fallback point after you fire your shot. If you don’t, you will easily get picked very quickly, wasting your $4750. You should learn how to position yourself properly to help out your team the most. For example, on Mirage, if you want to AWP sniper’s nest, and you find heavy resistance or get smoked, you should rotate to jungle to help out at A, and go to market to help out at B. You can also apply positioning to professional players. For example, Fillflaren’s careful peek and retreat strategy was very smart, and quite defensive, however nevertheless useful. On the other hand, AWPers like JW and KennyS are extremely offensive, pushing short-range corners or peeking areas that normally riflers would peek, all for just one or two picks. Playing offensively is a gamble, as you could die instantly and lose the AWP. However, the chances of that are diminished by your skill, as if you can peek and flick reliably, you can surprise the enemy with a quick pick. Just please don’t do this if you don’t know what you’re doing, it is extremely frustrating when an idiot takes an AWP and runs in, dying with 0 kills.
  • Crosshair Positioning & Viewmodel
    I decided to group these together as they slightly affect each other, but mostly for rifles. With the AWP, you have no crosshair, so the standard “Keep your crosshair at head level, where enemies might be” may not apply here. Instead, your goal is to make your crosshair as close to an enemy as possible, so when you zoom in you can flick the shortest distance possible. This is for an offensive AWP. A defensive AWP should keep the crosshair at chest-level, where enemies will be, however you must position to account for your reaction time. For example, de_dust2’s double doors are a common spot for Terrorist AWPers, however they almost never get picks within the first 5 seconds of the game, instead only counting crossing enemies. That is because they have not accounted their reaction time, or they have and concluded that AWPing double doors is impossible for them. No. It is very possible, and if you practice on a custom map, you can learn exactly where to position your crosshair on the door to hit the enemy. You probably will leave them lit every time, but doing severe damage is better than just intel. If you pick them, you eliminate a potential clutcher, or a possible AWPer, so it is very desirable to learn how to AWP double doors.Your viewmodel actually doesn’t matter much at all, however it can obstruct your vision of possible enemies. You want your viewmodel to remind you instantly which gun you have equipped, by only seeing it through your peripheral vision. However, you want it as small as possible, to not obstruct targets. It is largely up to you, it doesn’t hurt or boost you much.Here’s a cool trick to determine whether or not you should use cl_righthand 1 or not: First determine your dominant eye. You can google how to do this, I won’t go into it here. Now, if your dominant eye is your left eye, you should keep cl_righthand 1. If your dominant eye is your right eye, you should use cl_righthand 0. The reason behind this is that you want your dominant eye to be able to see targets more clearly, while your non-dominant eye is for keeping track of what you have equipped. This may be very awkward or wierd, but with time you will get used to it, and it will improve your game. And, if you already have been using cl_righthand 1 for a while, and then switch to cl_righthand 0, you will be pretty much ambidextrous! I can use both easily, and I sometimes barely notice if it is left-handed or right-handed. Personally, I use left-handed now.

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