CS:GO – Mastering the Utilities
Now that you have the fundamental skills locked down, you should be good to go right? Well, not quite yet. You see, in CS:GO, it can get very competitive to a point where just one tiny advantage can turn the outcome of the whole game around. So your job is to capitalize on those little advantages as much as you can. But how do you generate an advantage? You can do so through the use of utilities – one of the most underrated aspects of CS:GO for new players. There are five main utilities in CS:GO includes:
- The Flashbang: This grenade costs $200 and when thrown will cause everyone within its line of sight to be blinded with a white flashing screen and a stretching noise rendering the affected player vision and hearing useless for a couple seconds. This is extremely powerful as you can throw a flash by yourself and actively try to avoid looking at it or having a teammate throwing a flash behind your back. This will minimize the effect of the flash on yourself while making the opponent go fully blind. A successful flash can render a whole team of the enemy useless in a couple seconds which is enough for you to go for a couple of easy kills. So, the flashbang is very strong but what should I do when the enemy throws a flashbang at me? There are two most common ways to deal with this, one is to quickly turn away from it. This requires a fast reaction time and practice as you must turn away the moment you see something suspicious appear in front of your screen. The fastest and safest way is to look down your feet. The second one is when you fail to react fast enough and you have been blinded, quickly find a cover, and hide to buy time for the blind effect to come off. This requires a good map knowledge so that even when you are fully blind, you would still be able to find a cover spot. This may sound very difficult but after playing so many games you will start to get a sense of when the enemy will be flashing, and you will be fully prepared when the flash comes. This is called game sense which will develop through your experience of playing the game. Overall, flashbang is an absolute must have in as most rounds as possible due to it being cheap and effective. It is generally recommended to have one flash for each person.
- The Smoke Grenade: This grenade costs $300 and when thrown will cover an area with smoke blocking the vision within its radius. Smokes are extremely useful on both attacking and defending sides. On the attacking side, smokes can be used to block vision from a safe camping corner forcing the defender to go out in the open to see. Smoke can also be used as a way to block off choke points so you can get into the site and plant the bomb quickly. On the defending side, smokes can be used to block off the entrance to the sites delaying a potential attack. You can also use it to block off vision when you are trapped and allow yourself to get out safer. It can also be used to cover yourself or your teammate when defusing. The most common advice when dealing with smokes is to avoid running through smoke if you know there should be a player on the other side watching. You will generally be at the disadvantage since you will have no knowledge of where they can be, and your vision is blocked by the smoke. What you can do instead is to play around the smoke by utilizing a flash to bind whoever is watching the smoke and quickly run through it into a cover spot while they are blinded or turning away. This will require flashing skill, map knowledge and movement skill. Again, you will learn how to do these by simply playing a lot of games and develop your game sense overtime. Eventually when your game sense is good enough, you will be able to pull off these crazy, flashy smoke tricks to catch the opponent off guard! Overall, the smoke is the essential on rounds that your team is not saving. It is recommended to have at least 3 smokes in a team to attack a site or one smoke for each person when defending a site.
- The HE Grenade: This grenade costs $300 and will simply explode at the point of contact dealing damage in a small area and it will also slow down everyone who has been hit for a couple seconds. Be careful though as your grenade can also hit and kill yourself or your teammates (trust me, it happens). The most obvious use case of this grenade is to throw them at the enemy and hopefully snipe a kill. Generally, you want to throw them from a safe spot and when you hear some noise that might indicate they are there. A good timed HE grenade can decimate an attack push entirely by itself. You can also use these grenades to check hiding corners but be aware as one grenade might not be able to kill a player and that could cost your team the whole round. So, it is a good strategy to stack multiple HE grenades with your teammates to guarantee the kill. This grenade is less required than smoke and flash due to its cost and small AOE. It works great when you use some weapons that cannot one shot such as the scout then a HE grenade can be used to finish things off.
- The Fire Grenade: This grenade is the most expensive at $400 and when thrown will spread fire in an area dealing damage over time upon contact. Anyone standing inside the fire for its entire duration will guarantee to be dead. The fire is the most effective way to clear out corners as if someone is hiding there, they will have to jump out if they do not want to get BBQ’d. Fire grenades can also be an effective way to stop/delay an attack push on to a site. It can also be used to force the opponent from defusing the bomb as they will get burned to death before finishing the defuse. A great counter to the Fire Grenade is a Smoke Grenade as it will extinguish the fire when thrown into. Always keep this in mind and when you see a fire, do not panic, just pull out your smoke and clear it off. This will of course give out your position to the enemy but at least you still have some fighting chance left. This grenade is not as mandatory as smoke or flash, but it is always recommended to have at least one when your team is not saving.
- The Decoy Grenade: This grenade is the cheapest one at $50 and when thrown, it will create fake gun shooting noise and fake position on the enemy radar at the landing spot. I guess you can use it to trick the enemy into thinking you are there but lets be honest here, no one at higher level will be that dumb to fall for a decoy. So, what is its use case then? Well surprisingly not much as this is considered a troll grenade that is usually bought when your team has a surge in money rather than an essential grenade like the four above. Still there are some potential use cases of this grenade that can generate some advantage for you. Throwing it and then rushing out to attack might catch the enemy off guard as they thought it is just a decoy. It could also mess up their radar if they are not as good as reading the radar. Another use case is using it to fake a flash. The decoy has a very similar shape to a flashbang. You can use it against experienced players to make them look away for a sec thinking it is a flashbang. That one sec they looked away is probably enough for you to get the kill on them. Warning though, do not try to force this as most players might not have the reaction time to turn away and you could be caught with no gun on hand. However, it is extremely satisfying to pull this off as you were able to outplay the opponent! Overall, unless you are surplus on money, I would rather invest in a better gun or more essential utilities than a decoy grenade.
You can practice throwing these different grenades by searching up tutorials and grenades practice community maps. Once you have mastered the art of using these different grenades, it will not only make the game easier for you but also for your teammates. Good luck and keep on practicing!