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Best CS2 Weapon Loadout Guide for CT-Side & T-Side

With the new CS version being on active duty for almost half of the year, some players still ask questions like “How to set weapon loadout in CS2?” Although the answers lie on the surface, some nuances should be explained, especially for newbies or just those who want to improve their kill stats.

The loadout in CS2 is a basic set of weapons that a player defines himself and then can choose from after launching the competitive matchmaking game. With plenty of guns being different for Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists, it can be challenging even for experienced players to pick the best loadout in Counter-Strike 2.

Still, let’s start with the basics of how to set loadout in CS2 and show where the loadout is in the game menu and how it can be changed. After launching the game, the loadout button will be one of the choices in the upper menu. Clicking on it, you can choose which side you want to equip:

You can simply choose the weapon from your inventory below and drag it to the responsive spot. Compared to CS:GO, there are only three tiers of weapons:

  1. Pistols;
  2. Mid-tier (SMGs, Machine guns, and Shotguns);
  3. Rifles (including sniper ones).

If you need help on what weapons to pick for the best CS2 loadout, the following sections will be dedicated just to it.

Best CS2 Loadout for Counter-Terrorists

The original idea of CT weapons in CS 1.6 looked like the set of guns that were used by the special forces in reality, like FAMAS and AUG rifles. Also, some basic guns had suppressors (USP, M4A1, and TMP). Conversely, even gaming haters can easily imagine a terrorist with an AK-47 as a cheap and effective weapon.

Another Counter-Strike feature that came from first game versions is that Terrorists should have a one-shot gun to have chances against CTs holding preferable angles. That is why Counter-Terrorists own M4A1-S and M4A4 as main rifles, while Ts are choosing the AK-47 to have more chances when creating the space. The same approach is applied for scoped rifles like AUG and SG 553, with the latter to deliver a single-bullet headshot at any distance.

Those are the main features that stand behind every CS2 loadout guide and help to understand the primary differences. Knowing this information, let's see what particular options you have as a CT.

Pistol loadout for a CT Side

Counter-Terrorists have eight pistols for five spots in the loadout:

  1. USP-S (Changeable default);
  2. P2000 (Changeable default);
  3. P250;
  4. CZ75-Auto;
  5. Desert Eagle;
  6. Dual Berettas;
  7. Five-Seven;
  8. R8 Revolver.

Of course, there are no bad weapons in the match, as every pistol can kill if used properly. Still, some have usage and effectiveness that are too narrow, so their presence in the best CS2 loadouts isn’t justified.

For instance, Dual Berettas have low armor and helmet penetration alongside low accuracy at long distances, so their usage is valid only in pistol rounds. The R8 Revolver is a very specific pistol that ruins two of the game’s cornerstones — reaction and fast shooting — as it has a slow reload time and doubtful accuracy. P250 isn’t also needed for CTs, as both USP-S or P2000 have pretty similar effectiveness for the pistol rounds, while it’s better to spend an extra $200 and buy a more powerful Five-Seven for eco rounds.

Best Pistols for CT loadout

Here are the guns that have the upper hand if choosing the best for CT pistol loadouts:

USP-S (Changeable Default)

CTs have a preference for picking the default pistol for their loadout, so you have to choose between USP-S and P2000. You should know that about 90% of professional and high-level players use USP-S because of its accuracy and a better ability to tap headshots. Sure, it’s OK to pick P2000, but you should plan to develop your aim and transition to USP-S sooner or later.

P2000 (Changeable Default)

As an alternative to USP-S, P2000 is a viable option for new players only. It has one extra bullet in the magazine, as well as more magazines, making it a good choice if you like to spam through smokes. However, it is louder and not so precise on long distances, which makes it undesirable for pro players.

Five-Seven

That is an absolute beast in the world of CS pistols because of the unique set of options it delivers to its owner, with only the firing speed being slightly low. Thus, Five-Seven is pretty cheap ($500), has 20 bullets in the magazine to allow smoke spamming, and is also a one-shot weapon at close distances. To some extent, it can replace Deagle/Revolver in terms of damage it delivers and CZ75/Dual Berettas if you pick a back option when playing with AWP.

Desert Eagle

A one-shot weapon is a nightmare for every opponent on all levels, and having the ability to return a $700 investment in just two bullets (ideally) should be used. Even if you hate the Deagle pistol, all the chances one of your teammates can ask for it on the eco or force-buy rounds. So, that is one of the basic pistols of every best loadout in CS2.

CZ75-Auto

CZ75-Auto is the ideal close-range pistol, having insane shooting speed and solid damage; that is why it is sometimes compared with rifles on short distances. However, only 24 bullets in total (12 in a magazine), a slow reload, and a $100 reward per kill transform it into a specific gun that requires a kill and grabbing the weapon. Also, it can be a good choice as a safe close-range option in combination with a sniper rifle.

Mid-Tier loadout for CT-Side

The Mid-Tier loadout is the most versatile, having 11 weapons for 5 places:

  1. MP9;
  2. MP7;
  3. P90;
  4. MP5-SD;
  5. UMP-45;
  6. PP-Bizon;
  7. Nova;
  8. MAG7;
  9. XM1014;
  10. Negev;
  11. M249.

At the same time, not all the guns require serious attention, and having 5 slots here is too much. For instance, the M249 is too expensive ($5,200), while the MAG7 and Nova are too slow for close-range battles and require an ideal aim. MP5-SD, PP-Bizon, and UMP-45 all have good shooting speed, but their damage, penetration abilities, and accuracy are awful. Although the remaining five guns can be regarded as the best CS2 weapon setup for CTs Mid-Tier, only a few of them deserve special attention.

Best Mid-Tier Weapons for a CT Side Loadout

MP9

The cheapest SMG on the CT side is a must-have for the defensive team, especially with its pretty good accuracy both while running and standing. Two bullets in the head will finish every enemy, and MP9 is able to deliver them on the long-range, although it requires some training.

XM1014

If choosing the Shotgun for close-distance fights, XM1014 holds an advantage over its rivals because of shooting speed. Yes, it’s almost twice as a pricey weapon, but it opens many more opportunities to its owner.

Negev

Actually, it's not the most needed weapon in your loadout, since machine guns decrease the movement speed and have awful first-bullet accuracy. However, since you have plenty of free spots in the Mid-Tier, having the holding gun with pretty good spraying accuracy and 150 bullets in the magazine is a must. The new smokes and their interaction with tracing bullets allow you to hold a position from a pretty safe spot until 150 bullets end — sounds like a $1,700 alternative for the Incendiary in some cases.

Rifle Loadout for a CT Side

Counter-terrorists can pick five options for their Rifle loadout from the following list:

  1. FAMAS;
  2. M4A1-S;
  3. M4A4;
  4. AUG;
  5. SSG 08;
  6. AWP;
  7. SCAR-20.

Since all the guns have their strong sides and can be used for effective or cheap defending purposes, it is hard to pick absolute outsiders for the best CS2 weapon loadout. Still, players rarely use SCAR-20 and prefer AWP, while most of the players also give an advantage for M4A1-S compared to the $200 more expensive M4A4. Some gamers can also ignore AUG or Scout (SSG 08) but give the place for both M4s.

Best Rifles for a Counter-Terrorist Loadout

FAMAS

It’s hard to ignore the rifle when you choose your best weapon loadout for Competitive in CS2 that has pretty good accuracy and damage and costs only $2,050. A cheaper alternative to the M4s looks much more balanced than the XM1014 or P90 for a similar price, and even if you don’t like it, most of your teammates will be happy if you drop it to them.

M4A1-S

It is always a matter of discussion which M4 is better, but the recent meta is closer to the variant with the silencer. Thus, it has only 20 bullets in the magazine, which can be a drawback when the opposing team is rushing you, but that happens too rarely in the game. Instead, M4A1-S has better accuracy on the long-distance and heavier damage, while an extra $200 can be spent on the flashbang.

AWP

Are there any CS players who don’t love a one-shot gun that isn’t even required to aim strictly at the opponent's head? Maybe yes, but there is definitely a sniper in your team, and dropping him the most powerful rifle in the game can win plenty of rounds — CS2 remains the team game, after all. This makes it a no-brainer when choosing the best CS2 weapon loadouts.

Table of the Best Weapon loadouts for Counter-Terrorists

Here is what one of the best CS2 weapon loadouts for competitive games on the CT side can look like:

Pistol

Mid-Tier

Rifle

USP-S

MP9

FAMAS

Five-Seven

XM1014

M4A1-S

Desert Eagle

Negev

AWP

CZ75-Auto

MP7

AUG

P250

P90

SSG 08

Best Loadout for Terrorists in CS2

One of the most common features of Terrorist weapons in the game is that most of the guns are cheaper than their counterparts for CTs. Thus, the AK-47 costs $2,700, which is 200 and 400 bucks more profitable than the M4s. The Galil costs only $1,800, making it closer to the SMGs, at least in terms of the prices. So, there are some differences on how you should be choosing the best loadout in CS2 for the Terrorist side.

Pistol Loadout for T Side

The full list of weapons for the T-Side pistols tier is presented below:

  1. Glock-18 (Unchangeable Default);
  2. P250;
  3. Tec-9;
  4. Dual Berettas;
  5. CZ75-Auto;
  6. Desert Eagle;
  7. R8 Revolver.

Although Terrorists have the weakest pistol in the game as the default, Valve made it still viable in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and it remains relatively good in CS2. Dual Berettas, for example, are even more useless (but still not as much as the R8 Revolver) for Terrorists, as this gun is effective only against opponents without a helmet and at close range. CZ75-Auto can be a good option to choose with the sniper rifle, but Ts have a great alternative, described below.

Best Pistols for T loadout

P250

Unlike CTs, P250 is a must-have option for Terrorists, and for a few reasons. Firstly, it costs only $300 and can be a good option even for pistol rounds, as it delivers a one-bullet headshot if the opponent is without a helmet. Secondly, its helmet penetration is great, so only two precise bullets on eco can also deliver the goods and return investments with just one kill.

Tec-9

Tec-9 is another pistol that must be in every Ts’ loadout as it has great power (one shot for opponents without a helmet), armor penetration, and 18 bullets in the magazine. It is also a perfect option for $2,000 force-buys and fast tactics as it has a low firing inaccuracy on the go, especially at close distances.

Desert Eagle

The Deagle is a proven CS classic, described in detail in the respective CT section.

Mid-Tier loadout for T-Side

Just as CTs, Terrorists have 11 options for choosing in the Mid-Tier loadout:

  1. MAC-10;
  2. MP7;
  3. P90;
  4. MP5-SD;
  5. UMP-45;
  6. PP-Bizon;
  7. Nova;
  8. Sawed-Off;
  9. XM1014;
  10. Negev;
  11. M249.

With almost the same set of pretty useless and doubtful guns to choose from, Ts have two different weapons — MAC-10 instead of CTs’ MP9 and Sawed-Off instead of MAG7. Again guns like MP5-SD, UMP-45, PP-Bizon, Nova, and M249 aren’t obligatory options, if not simply worst picks. The usage of Negev has much less potential for Ts compared with CTs, while shotguns aren’t also the best weapons to execute bombsites and check both close and further positions.

Best Mid-Tier Weapons for a T-Side Loadout

MAC-10

With only a $350 higher price than the Desert Eagle, Ts can rush almost any position with the SMG with good accuracy, even for distant shooting. It makes MAC-10 one of the best options for low-buys or $2,000 force-buys, while a $600 reward per kill can be easily returned if your teammates know a few good flashes for fast play.

MP7

Many can confuse MP7 and MAC-10 because of their visual similarity, but the regarded one is an upgraded version of the run-and-shoot gun. Thus, MP7 has even better accuracy and armor penetration, making it more deadly for opponents. However, a $1,500 cost sometimes forces one to think about purchasing a Galil, which is only 300 bucks more expensive but a much more powerful weapon.

P90

The perfect weapon for inexperienced players who love to spray a lot is P90. It has a pretty predictable spray pattern, while 50 bullets in a magazine can make a difference between kill and injury. With pretty good damage and accuracy, the P90 is a costly gun with a price tag of $2,350, and many players simply prefer a cheaper Galil or are ready to have armor without a helmet but own an AK. Still, some players like it more than Galil or FAMAS, and it has definite advantages on the lower levels or during rushes.

Rifle Loadout for a T Side

Choosing rifles for Ts is the easiest part of creating a CS2 loadout tutorial, as you have to exclude only a single gun from the list below:

  1. Galil AR;
  2. AK-47;
  3. SG 553;
  4. SSG 08;
  5. AWP;
  6. G3SG1.

Since the Auto-sniper rifle is a pretty doubtful choice (on the CT side as well), it makes even less sense to equip it for Ts. Especially after Valve added the wall obscuring T Spawn's vision to the Mid Doors on the Dust 2 map, which looked like the only logical purpose for G3SG1. The rest of the rifles can be used more or less often, depending on your preferences.

Best Rifle Loadout for Terrorists

Galil AR

A lot of Pro players compare Galil AR with M4s as it has pretty much the same damage power and affordable accuracy to be actively used on the T side. With the $900 positive difference compared to the AK-47, a lot of players choose Galil and a wider set of grenades if money is limited.

AK-47

An absolute leader in terms of weapon usage frequency in Counter-Strike is the AK-47, and it has remained unchangeable since the 1.6 game version. Of course, the main feature is a one-shot power, even for opponents with helmets, while the price and overall damage are also great. A true legend in all meanings.

AWP

Deagle and AWP are a combo that has the same purposes on both sides, so look at the CT-side description for this sniper rifle.

Table of the Best Weapon Loadouts for Terrorists in CS2

The best Counter-Strike weapon loadouts for Terrorist can differ in some positions, but the top 3 weapons in each section are a must for every gamer:

Pistol

Mid-Tier

Rifle

Glock-18 (Unchangeable)

MAC-10

Galil AR

P250

MP7

AK-47

Tec-9

P90

AWP

Desert Eagle

XM1014

SSG 08

CZ75-Auto

Sawed-Off

SG 553

*****

Before choosing your optimal loadout, it’s better to test all the available weapons in the deathmatch or in the newly added Arms Race mode. Thus, some can open new positive sides for every weapon in different situations and change their initial choice. In this regard, the basic rule is to pick the most suitable options for you, but also remember that CS2 is a team game, and sometimes you have to drop suitable guns for your teammates.

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