How To Counter-Strafe in CS2

How To Counter-Strafe in CS2

If you ever wonder why your shots missed despite having your crosshair on the opponent, it’s most likely due to moving while shooting. A common error amongst newer players, which often cost losing aim duels.

Moving while shooting eliminates accuracy, and your bullets will fly out randomly not hitting the target. Since Counter-Strike is a heavy mechanical game, you must stop moving by releasing the key on your keyboard. Doing that will get your velocity to drop down, however, it takes a fraction of a second to do, which gives your opponent the chance to get a frag on you.

That’s when counter-strafing becomes the difference between a good and bad player.

What is Counter-strafing?

Counter-strafing in CS2 is a mechanic or technique of quickly tapping or releasing the movement key in the opposite direction to counteract your current movement. This is typically used to stop your momentum instantly and improve accuracy while shooting.

If you’re strafing to the right, you must release the “D” key and press the “A” key instantly to stop moving. This will allow for your shots and spray control to be minimally affected by movement and become more accurate.

In theory, Counter-strafing may seem straightforward, but in practice, mastering it becomes quite the  challenge and time-consuming. The key challenges lie in optimizing the length of the run and the subsequent stop.

It's crucial to execute short and rapid side-to-side strafes since weapon accuracy is compromised while in motion. Moreover, it’s important to keep on shooting after stopping. A brief press of the opposite key to stop your character ensures weapon stabilization, ultimately a precise next shot.

When to Counter-strafe?

There isn’t a precise timing or situation to strafe. In fact, you’ll find yourself counter-strafing most of the round as you clear angles, dry-peek enemies and even shoulder strafing for information.

One of the most common times to use it is when pre-aiming an angle. As a T side player, on any given map, you’ll find yourself peeking common spots for the CTs to be located in. For a perfect execution, you’d want to place your crosshair behind the wall at the exact position of the enemy. Once you’re ready to peek, you simply strafe and counter it once your crosshair is locked in. During this situation, be sure to not move your mouse and only use your keyboard to move.

Another way to do it is by strafing while crouching. It is performed in the same sequence as a regular counter-strafe, but with the addition of a crouch.

This method will make you a harder target to hit in addition to the surprise element. However, it might work against you as it slows down your movement and makes it harder to exit the aim duel if you mess something up.

Last but not least, shoulder strafing is one of the most effective ways of getting information without jeopardizing or getting killed.

Often used by the CTs, you’ll perform quick strafes and counters through a tight angle to spot any terrorists coming your way.

Example: Holding Top Car on Banana B site from CT. You’re more likely to hear utility if you’re playing passive, but that could be a fake. So, in order to not waste your smoke, you shoulder strafe to spot an enemy pushing towards the site and block their entrance.

How to practice Counter-strafing

After understanding the basics of Counter-strafing and how it works, you’d want to load a community map like Aim_Botz and try to get the feel of it then jump on a deathmatch to get the experience against real players in different scenarios.

While practicing, it's expected to shift your focus on the movement and key coordination. But, the more you stay consistent, the easier it gets until it becomes second nature.

Getting good at counter-strafing involves fast reflexes and building muscle memory. Train your muscles by practicing the technique over and over until it becomes almost instinctive. You can do this by repeating the process in the game’s training mode or by facing bots in offline matches. The idea is to teach your body to react automatically when you have to counter-strafe in an actual match.

The boxes/walls in Aim_Botz is a good starting point to practice your pre-aiming. The wall works as an obstacle to get to the enemy, so work your way around it as explained above.

Always remember, practice makes perfect. Therefore, take your time, set goals and stay consistent.