Aiming your crosshair at a target and clicking the fire button is one thing, but do you know how to compensate for the recoil? Join Skinwallet on the exciting trip through spray patterns CS GO pros need to know!
Some background on CSGO Spray Patterns
If you think about shooter games in general, there are two main ways the mechanics of shooting are implemented. The bullets can be rendered as projectiles that travel from one point to the other in a span of time, and – since the technology went forward – be influenced by some outside factors, like atmospheric conditions or other impact forces. The cornerstone FPS games have also developed and popularised another, simpler method. The hitscan calculates where the shot lands without the movement and impact of a projectile, and this mechanism is used in all Counter-Strike games.
To avoid turning the advanced play into a point-and-click adventure (yes, I stole this joke from iNoToRiOuS and I ain’t even ashamed), there are some variables to the calculation so it doesn’t always perfectly land on the spot pointed by the crosshair. Factors that influence this from the side of game mobility are the shot distance and the player movement (the bigger both are, the less accurate the shot). To differentiate the gunplay even more across the terrific CS:GO arsenal, each gun has its own variable, so that an AK spray pattern will be different from an M4A4 one.
Not to be confused with graffiti, which was once called spray decals, spray patterns represent the offset of accuracy on consecutive shots of a gun. Mastering those is crucial to higher efficiency and achieving any level of competitiveness.
4 Steps Of Learning CSGO Recoil
The process required to increase your aim in CS:GO seems to be complicated. There are so many guns with various accuracy, shooting speed, running speed, and so on. Hopefully, mastering the aim itself doesn’t have to be a tedious task. It boils down to four steps you need to follow.
- Memorize the spray patterns – knowing how the shots spread lets you predict the movement you need to do better.
- Memorize the recoil compensation movement – learn how to translate the spray pattern into a countermovement your crosshair needs to follow and learn how to perform it.
- Practice control on your own – depending on the conditions and your personal preference, choose a safe environment to really internalise the movements you need to execute to make your shots more effective.
- Introduce new skills to your online play – once you’re confident with recoil compensation, get out of your comfort zone, try your skill against other players in unexpected situations and scenarios of multiplayer matches.
If you want a more tweaked environment than regular matchmaking, there are dedicated aim maps that will help you train yourself in using the spray patterns CSGO weapons require. There are even some that will display the pattern itself while you shoot a surface, so you can adapt to it in real time. You can also find barebone maps with no ornaments and invite a friend or a whole team for a pure-skill shootout. We published a complete piece of writing on freely available aim training, so head there if you want to find some useful aim maps.
List of CS GO Recoil Patterns And Their Items
Below you will find descriptions of spray patterns for CS:GO guns. Those guns that do not have an autofire mode are consciously omitted, with few fun exceptions. Each pattern is also enclosed here with any tradeable items related to it, like stickers or graffiti. Most Holo stickers are just black-and-gold conversions of the regular patterns, so we won’t describe them in detail.
The list starts with rifles and pistols, goes on to SMGs, auto-snipers, and then to heavy weaponry.
AK47 Spray Pattern
The first bullet is a perfect shot, the next two or three are pretty close, then they flurry up and to the left, swing right, and come back left.
AK Recoil Compensation
Your first bullet is your best chance, so try one-tapping. For 3-4 shot bursts, pull down. If you need to go auto, pull down, then around the 10th bullet swing the crosshair right for the next five bullets and then move hard right.
Recoil AK-47 Graffiti
The side swing of the latter part of the burst has been turned into a beak of a chicken. Chickens seem to be Counter-Strike’s totem animals.
Hello AK-47 Sticker
Blue doodle on a red employee card. Looks messy, but just the right amount of messy.
M4A4 Spray Pattern
This spray pattern is very similar to the AK’s pattern, but with a less circling movement at the end. THe bullets don’t come back down and rather still move up.
M4A4 Recoil Compensation
Pulling the crosshair down for the first 10 bullets should do the trick. Next 10 bullets need to be pulled to the left, and the rest of the clip requires you to pull to the right. M4A4 won’t one-shot anyone in armor, so your best bet is to learn short bursts between 4 and 8 bullets.
Recoil M4A4 Grafitti
The doggie’s face is pretty cool, and the devil horns are a nice touch. The shape wasn’t much to make from, but with a lot of doodling around it works quite well.
Hello M4A4 Sticker
A blue dog is maybe too strong of an allusion to police forces, but it works!
M4A1S Spray Pattern
The silenced M4 has a similar pattern to the A4, but less curvy at the end. The bullets just turn to one side in the latter part of the spray.
M4A1-S Recoil Compensation
The movement is pretty simple, pull down the first ten shots and then swing slightly right and turn sharp left. Keeping in mind the lower clip capacity of M4A1-S, it’s better to go for short taps and bursts, this way keeping your compensation efforts to just pulling down.
Recoil M4A1-S Graffiti
Here we have the similar dog shape as before, but this time he’s ordering silence putting a finger to his maw. Now the duality of both M4 graffiti designs seems clear. The A4 is LOUD, hence the devil horns. A1-S is silent.
Hello M4A1-S Sticker
The red colors seem to suit the dog head, plus I really like how it is put on the askew employee plate, very dynamic!
AUG Spray Pattern
Similarly to the rifles mentioned before, the bullets first go up, then sway to the side in the latter half of the clip capacity. With the scope on, the pattern is pretty much the same in shape, but is scaled down almost by a half.
AUG Recoil Compensation
Without the scope, the offset is pretty big, so you better keep it to slower bursts, otherwise it’s very difficult to feel the swing after the first 10-12 bullets. Aim for the head with single shots, scope or no scope.
Recoil AUG Graffiti
The face drawn around the recoil route has one eye closed, alluding to the way you look through the weapon’s scope.
Hello AUG Sticker
There’s something off about the setting of the sticker. The one-eye-opened design is nice, but it’s very unclear here.
Galil AR Spray Pattern
The first nine bullets climb up and slightly right in a familiar fashion. The tenth bullet onwards, it goes sharply to the right, then makes a U-turn to go back left, and then again a U-turn to go back right for the last ten bullets.
Galil AR Recoil Compensation
It’s generally advisable not to shoot beyond a 10-bullet series because of this heavy swinging in the later spray pattern. Aim below the head and fire strong bursts while pulling lower.
Recoil Galil AR Graffiti
The swinging pattern is here turned into a face signed ‘MC Galil’.
Hello Galil AR Sticker
The MC’s face has been painted a little wider here, with red accents on a pink employee badge. Not great, not terrible.
SG 553 Spray Pattern
The first few shots are going strong to the right and up, then they circle in place for the next ten shots and dash right for the rest of the clip
SG 553 Recoil Compensation
Pull the crosshair down and slightly to the left. At the end of the clip, the swing might be difficult to pull off, so limit yourself to singular shots or max 10-bullet sprays.
Recoil SG 553 Graffiti
The slope of the recoil path has been turned into a weary face that sticks its tongue out.
Hello SG 553 Sticker
The tongue-showing face has been put in green on a green plate, giving it an appropriately sickly look.
Famas Spray Pattern
Another tricky one from a less meta gun… starting to see a depency here. Raising up for the first fifteen bullets, it first skews to the right slightly, makes a smooth curve left, then turns right sharply, stays for a couple of bullets in the same place and spreads wide left again for the rest of the clip. Whew! Less chaotic than the M249, but still a drag.
Famas Recoil Compensation
For the long-distance shots, keep it to two-or-three bullet series. Up close, drag the crosshair down and try to feel that side swing for a couple of more shots.
Recoil Famas Graffiti
Famas spray pattern has been turned to some kind of a friendly pet – a dog or a hare – that is waving at someone to the left.
Hello Famas Sticker
The dark green accents on a light green vertical plate expose the animal nicely. Probably the most welcome out of all of those!
Tec-9 Spray Pattern
After four shots, Tec-9’s spray moves to the left, then turns sharp to the right and continues that way, with a heavy swirl on the last couple bullets
Tec-9 Recoil Compensation
If you get close enough to your opponent, you can open full auto fire starting from the head and drag the cursor down and to the left and sway a little. If you don’t have the benefit of distance, try to come closer and use max 4 bullet bursts while doing so.
CZ75-Auto Spray Pattern
The first five bullets are pretty accurate, after that they swing very hard right and up.
CZ75-Auto Recoil Compensation
For a burst up to 5 bullets, just aim straight. If you need to empty the whole clip at once, make a hard sway down and to the left halfway through the magazine. CZ shoots very rapidly, so you need to practice the timing right.
The CZ spray pattern is made into a side of a deranged chicken-ish creature’s face.
Hello CZ75-Auto Sticker
The motif from the graffiti is spray-painted onto a horizontal yellow employee card.
Desert Eagle Spray Pattern
While firing repeatedly, each consecutive shot strays further away in a pretty random direction. The first two are pretty close, the third one jumps up and right, then comes back down, then launches up again.
Desert Eagle Recoil Compensation
Go for single shots with possibly long breaks in between. If the first bullet doesn’t do it, your next chances are slim. If the opponent is very close to you, you can keep on shooting and make a “z” motion with the crosshair, this should bring the bullets closer together.
Dual Berettas Spray Pattern
The shots are arcing up and to the right, swirling in place for the last several bullets.
Dual Berettas Recoil Compensation
This one is a little tricky to time, but has a simple shape. Start aiming at the chest and pull to the right and downwards slowly with each shot, which gives you a greater chance for a recoil-induced headshot. You can spiral it back a little at the end of the clip, but several good hits should be enough before that.
Mac-10 Spray Pattern
The CSGO spray-and-pray SMG leans left slowly, but halfway through the clip it stops climbing and instead launches the shots strongly to the right.
Mac-10 Recoil Compensation
Bursts of several shots should be pulled to the right. If you’re going for a full auto, pull to the right and then swing hard left after the 15th bullet.
Recoil Mac-10 Graffiti
The sharp turn of the pattern is interpreted as mouth there, building a frowny face up from there and including the gun’s name right above.
Hello Mac-10 Sticker
The vertical employee plate alignment makes the graffiti fit nicely into the white field. The violet hue will go nicely with some of the more industrial Mac-10 skins.
MP9 Spray Pattern
It has a very similar pattern to the Mac-10, except around the 20th bullet from the clip the bullets move back in the direction of the central axis.
MP9 Recoil Compensation
Pull the scope down and to the right, then swing back left for the last 10 shots. Even if you need to slim down the distance, you can shoot while doing so, because MP9 is pretty accurate while moving.
Recoil MP9 Grafitti
The pattern is used as a big nose and the circles of the letter “p” and the number “9” are used as eyes. Pretty goofy!
Hello MP9 Sticker
Maybe not too clear in its presentation, but the goofiness is still there.
MP7 Spray Pattern
The first couple of bullets go on pretty tight. After that, it becomes more and more difficult to land them properly. First, they go up and right, then swing to both sides for the rest of the magazine.
MP7 Recoil Compensation
That’s a tricky one. First, pull it down and to the left. Then, around the 10th bullet swing to the right, and after the next 10 bullets swing back hard to the right. When shooting someone up close, go for a head – right arm – left arm – right hip route.
Recoil MP7 Graffiti
You wanna shoot with THAT attitude? The back-and-forth of the pattern serves as the mouth of an angry face.
Hello MP7 Sticker
The upset of the pattern’s face is underlined with an angry red color.
UMP 45 Spray Pattern
THe UMP has a bit more simple pattern than other SMGs, but still an elusive one. The first couple bullets hit straight and little up, but then they go slightly to the right and start arcing heavily to the left.
UMP-45 Recoil Compensation
Drag it down to the left, then swing back to the right. Take some time to learn the specific curve of that movement. It’s best shot in three or four bullet bursts in mid range. In close range, simply pull the full auto down from head to the right thigh.
Recoil UMP 45 Graffiti
Who likes elephants? I like elephants! The curve of the recoil route is drawn into an elephant’s trunk.
Hello UMP 45 Sticker
A slightly askew employee plate exposes the elephant design nicely.
PP-Bizon Spray Pattern
The CS:GO staple addition SMG has a very uncanny bullet spray. The first couple bullets move around, then they move up quickly but not far, swinging to the right and to the left. After ten shots the velocity of the offset stabilizes and starts moving from side to side.
PP-Bizon Recoil Compensation
Given the shooting speed and the clip capacity, it’s no wonder that the bullet spray will require some work around it. Start with a prefire, make a sharp C shape for the first 10-12 bullets and then keep rocking left and right, not adjusting the height of the scope.
Recoil PP-Bizon Grafitti
The sharp curve of the pattern is used as one of the Bizon’s horns. The design is probably one of the best in the series, but given it comes from a less popular gun, there’s no hype around it.
Hello PP-Bizon Sticker
The hand-drawn bizon is put on a goldish vertical employee sticker with the horn sticking out of the frame.
P90 Spray Pattern
The bullets start going up after the first shot, and the first half of the clip goes haywire. After that, the shots stabilize vertically and move from side to side interchangeably.
P90 Recoil Compensation
For short bursts, pull aggressively down. For a full clip fire, pull down and start swinging, starting from left, then softly to the right, then softly to the left, and for the final few bullets strongly to the right.
Recoil P90 Graffiti
Personally, I find it a little bit silly, because the eyes on the pattern next to the gun’s name make it look like it says… something else. It also says “angry”, but doesn’t look so.
Hello P90 Sticker
The brown color makes it even worse. Is high brow humor a thing in CS:GO?
G3SG1 Spray Pattern
This auto-sniper has a very tight and predictable pattern, with bullets going just so slightly up, to the sides and down..
G3SG1 Recoil Compensation
When shooting consecutive shots, try to draw a small, tight number ‘3’ with your crosshair. This should be enough to land all the shots. When someone jumps out on you in close range, you can pretty much shoot without scoping.
Scar-20 Spray Pattern
Same as with G3SG1, the bullets don’t spread around that much, but they seem to be more focused in the middle of the clip capacity, and the last two shots are less predictable.
Scar-20 Recoil Compensation
Just aim and pull it down. Short bursts of three or four shots should get you a frag.
M249 Spray Pattern
This is literally pure mess. The shots launch upwards to the right, then to the left, then stop in velocity for a time and rock to the sides, then launch back down and right for some time, then come back to the upper offset.
M249 Recoil Compensation
It’s hard to imagine how you can even hit anything with that pattern. First, pull it down hard, first to the left, then to the right, then start circling in place and hope that something below the 50th bullet hits. Never shoot while running, and crouch if possible.
Negev Spray Pattern
Here the initial offset is smaller than in the case of M249, as the bullets just go up for the first twenty shots, but then they start circling more strongly between sides.
Negev Recoil Compensation
Pull it down, keep holding it down and try to compensate for the horizontal offset of the bullets. The pattern is too chaotic to memorize completely, plus you will rarely shoot the whole 150 bullets at once unless you’re just shooting for the cover.
XM1014 Spray Pattern
The central points of each shot form a shape of a question mark. Remember that it shoots not one bullet, but several pellets.
XM1014 Recoil Compensation
Pull down slightly to the left and then slightly to the right. In mid-range, try aiming at the body instead of the head, so that more pellets can hit the target.
Recoil XM1014 Graffiti
It’s probably the simplest spray pattern CSGO has in stock, so it’s hard to elaborate on, but the designer just added eyes and mouth. Not much.
Hello XM1014 Sticker
The design looks even more pathetic written in pink and black on a pink card. Maybe a goofy touch for a synthwave or outrun skin, but other than that… Meh.
CSGO Recoil Patterns Trivia
The rest of the pistols not mentioned above have a pretty straightforward spray pattern. They don’t rock to the sides, just rise constantly up or go up and down interchangeably, so it just takes some getting used to when it comes to the rhythm of each one. The Glock 18 is the only recognizable exception to this because the bullets turn slightly to the right and sway by millimeters to the sides on the last couple of shots of the clip. Still, the difference is small enough to not learn a separate, miniscule pattern for this.
The fact that AWP is just a single-shot beauty and has no real recoil to deal with has been perfectly mirrored in its dedicated graffiti and sticker. Its ‘recoil’ pattern is just a dot, a single shot mark, and it’s placed into the forehead of a skull. The Hello AWP Sticker with the pattern looks even more menacing!
Recoil UMP-45 Violent Violet and Brick Red seem to be one of the rarest sticker variants for this specific design, currently making them the most expensive non-holo stickers from that collection. It’s interesting to see if the scarcity itself will make it keep its price.
CSGO Spray Pattern Training Tips
Truth be told, recoil compensation is precision training, and it’s difficult to work on your precision if your mouse setup is not right for you. Before you start banging on the desk with anger, do yourself a favor and calibrate your mouse settings. By no means you need an expensive mouse for playing, but if your current one is hurting your hand, you also need to consider buying something more comfortable. Afterward, getting the right sensitivity and other factors might be your key issue with making progress.
Once you get into the details of spray patterns, remember that timing is key. CS:GO gameplay is very technical, and getting the rhythm and time of everything is sometimes the deciding factor in your success. The progression of a spray pattern depends on the gun’s shooting speed. Also, even if you learn a pattern while standing, learn how to use it amidst the rushed movement of the game. Knowing when to stop and when to go will be a total breakthrough in your efficiency.
Last but not least, stay positive and stay patient! You will notice that stress and impatience will influence the proper execution of mouse movements. So, whenever your aim decreases, take a deep breath, relax your muscles and try again. Every pro had missed a lot of shots in their career!
In this lengthy piece, we’ve explained what is a CSGO spray pattern, where did it come from, and how it affects the gameplay. We’ve later shown a list of spray patterns that you need to learn to improve your aiming. Recoil compensation is one of the intricacies of CS:GO that makes its gunplay unique and satisfying. It might be difficult to grasp at times, but practice does make perfect, so if you want to be more than just a casual gamer, take your time and, step by step, become the true recoil master!
We hope that this article will help you develop as a competitive player, or at least let you have more fun from your game. If you wish to snipe a good deal at some of those goodies like Hello AWP or Hello M4A4 sticker, head on to Skinwallet Market and get a deal of a lifetime! You can also like our Facebook fan page for some quick updates and dank memes, follow us on Twitter for total newsflash and giveaway information, or subscribe to our Youtube channel where our community manager discusses everything from the CSGO Major rules to the way certain gloves match certain knife skins!