With the new weapon loadout system in CS2, players have the option to use both the M4A4 and M4A1-S during a game. So what's everyone using?

What are we seeing?

  • The M4A1-S is the more preferred M4 at every skill rating
  • The M4A1-S is favored the most at the pro level
  • No correlation between higher M4A1-S usage and skill rating
  • The M4A1-S has become more popular in CS2 compared to CS:GO

Why is there an increased shift to the M4A1-S in CS2?

Although the characteristics of both guns haven't changed moving from CS:GO to CS2, other gameplay elements have.

MR12 magnifies the price difference.

The MR15 to MR12 change is likely the biggest reason for the increase. Now that each round matters more, using the cheaper M4A1-S is easier on the economy. Over the course of a half, the extra cash could mean more buy-rounds or additional grenades.

Gaps can be created by shooting through the smoke

A smaller secondary reason is the ability to shoot out gaps in the smoke, which wasn't possible in CS:GO. Since the M4A1-S doesn't have tracers, players can use this mechanic more safely than with the M4A4.

Other considerations

  • Map - Depending on the map, the usage split might be different. The layout of the map could dictate which M4 is more effective.
  • Players who only use 1 M4 - If we separate players who use only one M4 or the other, we may arrive at a different conclusion on the usage split.
  • Effectiveness - It's possible that the kill-death ratio using the M4A4 is higher than the M4A1-S. Comparing this may tell us which gun is actually more effective.

We haven't explored these angles yet, but digging into these points may help paint a clearer picture around the M4A1-S/M4A4 split.

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