CSGO Terrorists—The Essential Guide to the T-Side

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Counter-Strike is perhaps the only game where the word Terrorist isn’t immediately associated with the bad guys you’re trying to beat… at least half the time. While other games have changed their side names to more neutral ones like Attackers and Defenders, Valve stuck to their guns (pun intended) and kept the rather controversial naming scheme for Terrorists in CSGO.

In this article, we’ll go over all the T-related tales, trivia and tactics to train you in terrorizing troubled CTs. 

The Terrorists CSGO Story

Counter-Strike was originally created in a time when shooters weren’t really set in modern times. The 90s were full of games set during World War II and in otherworldly sci-fi, but realistic shooters were a dime a dozen. At the time, the only real titles dealing with modern warfare were the incredibly complex Rainbow Six and SWAT series. That’s why Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess Cliffe decided to create a Half-Life mod that would enable players to fight in a Terrorist vs Counter-Terrorist showdown using modern weapons and utility. Counter-Strike has changed a lot since then, but a few things remained constant, among them, the fact that you will eventually end up playing as the bad guys… duh.

While CSGO originally was set to feature a whopping 16 Terrorist factions, the amount of CSGO terrorists models was quickly cut to 7, with only 5 appearing in the 7 maps in the tournament pool. Thus, in most competitive games (unless you’re queuing Office, you madman!), you’re likely to meet the Middle Eastern Elite Crew, the Balkans, Phoenix Connexion, the Separatists and the Professionals. 

While at first, none of these groups had much substance behind them, with time, Operations have revealed more and more about the fictional world the terrorists in CSGO inhabit. Unfortunately, most of the lore seems to be written by an AI trained on the worst Tom Clancy novels, so we won’t really be going in-depth with that particular topic. Instead, let’s focus on the important part—how to play on your T-sides.

Terrorist Tactics

For the purpose of this section, we’re going to pretend that hostage maps don’t exist in CSGO and focus on T-Side tactics for the defusal mode. In general, there are two types of CS:GO players—those who relish the challenge of being the first player to peek, let’s call them Rushing Ryans, and those who’d rather be the ones who are peeked, let’s call them Lurking Lukes. Usually, the former love the T-side, while the latter absolutely despise it… Knowing who’s who in your team will be crucial to setting up your tactics.

Unlike the CT-side where most of the rounds are reactive, playing as a terrorist requires you to be proactive. In general, this is achieved in two ways, either by executing a set play right off the bat or by playing a default and crafting your gameplan based on that.

So, what is a default in CSGO? You’ve probably heard the term if you’ve ever watched a pro tournament. Very much like how the Counter-Terrorist side has set positions for each site on the map, high-level T-sides will spread out around the map, with each player responsible for one part of the map. In general, it’s best to assign the more aggressive players to parts of the map where a lot of key duels occur while leaving the more passive ones in less contested areas. For example, on Mirage, you’ll want to position your best peekers on mid and A, while the more passive, lurk-type players should control the less contested B site.

Once you’re set up in your default, your job is to control the map and get the opening kill. Using utility such as flashbangs, smokes and molotovs to take bigger chunks of the map will ensure that there are fewer places to check once you decide to go for it while winning the first duel will give you a surefire indicator of where to go.

Use the information gained from obtaining map control to decide on your next move. Collect all the information from your team and use the remaining utility to burst into the site of your choosing in a coordinated attack.

Remember, playing T-Side isn’t about avoiding deaths, it’s about making sure that every kill is traded back. If you’re in a 5v5 and your initial aggression didn’t yield any kills, walk out in pairs to ensure that that pesky awper can’t take more than one of you.

Luckily, while attacking is harder, controlling the economy is much easier on the T-Side. You rarely have to save, planting the bomb yields you extra cash and 80% of the time, hunting for the remaining counter-terrorists is advised, given that you want to pressure them financially.

Since your weapons are cheaper, your goal is to leverage that against the more expensive CT weapons. Even if you can’t win a round, killing as many opponents as possible may benefit you in the next one.

When it comes to set plays, use them when you feel like your defaults aren’t yielding results. Use a few set smokes and flashes to take a site in one swift, surprising rush and at the very least get a bomb plant and a few kills.

Finally, once you get the plant, remember, your job isn’t to get kills before you’re certain the bomb’s going to explode. Your role quickly changes from attacker to defender as you have to camp out and wait for the CTs to come into the site and start defusing. Remember to always plant for a position where your teammate can see the bomb and easily fall back to make defusing even harder on the CTs.

Remember Rushing Ryan and Lurking Luke? In afterplant scenarios, you always want Luke, rather than Ryan hanging around. Lurkers have the incredible ability to catch their enemies napping with great timings, or by coming from unexpected positions. They’re also pretty damn good at clutching.

While many people will have you believe that being a T is all about rushing B, don’t buy into the memes and use your team’s skillset in a smart way to start beating down on tough CT sides.

CSGO Terrorist Weapons

It’s quite fitting that the terrorist weapons are cheaper, both on a thematic and game balancing level. Economy is the name of the game in Counter-Strike and the T economy is much easier to handle. While disadvantaged on the pistol round with the Glock, nearly all the alternative terrorist weapons are more powerful than their CT counterparts. Let’s focus on the most important ones, the rifles.

The AK-47 and SG 553 are the only two rifles that can one-shot headshot helmeted opponents at range. Given that they are considerably cheaper than the CT-sided M4 and AUG, they are a great tool for anyone looking to push the defending side to the limit. Even the budget rifle in the Galil is far more powerful than the CT’s alternative in the form of the FAMAS.

Other differences include the Tec-9 replacing the Five-Seven, the MAC-10 replacing the MP7, the Sawed-Off replacing the Nova and the G3SG1 replacing the SCAR20. For the most part, these are simply cheaper alternatives with similar damage-dealing potential, except for the Auto-Sniper which is virtually identical to its CT counterpart.

One final, minute detail that makes a big difference is the pricing of the Molotov vs the Incendiary Grenade. At $200 cheaper, the bottle-and-cloth combo causes more damage than the more branded CT alternative. This might seem like a small variation, but it does make a difference both on a round-by-round basis and to the economy at large.

Stylish Terror

With Operation Shattered web adding CSGO terrorists skin content to the game, we can finally choose the look we’re going to sport while dealing headshots with our AKs. The CSGO new terrorist models on display range from a tiny bit more colorful to truly ridiculous. To learn more about these skins, check out our previous article on the topic. If you want in on the fun, you can buy them off the Steam Community Market or through Skinwallet Market agent skin catalogue.

The Skins can be used in any game mode within CSGO, however, if you want to take your newly learned tips into a tournament organized outside the Valve competitive mode, tournament organizers may ban the skins if they feel that they give an unfair advantage on certain maps.

Rush B!

In many ways, the fact that we still call the attacking side in CSGO terrorists is a sign of a bygone era. While for some, the theme might be a turn-off, perhaps it’s part of the charm that makes CSGO the cultural phenomenon that it is. We hope that you use our tips to know when to Rush B and when to go for picks on long. Now go plant that bomb!