Practicing Spray Pattern & Recoil Control

Recoil and spray control guide

Training your spray pattern/recoil control may sound very nerdy. Nonetheless spray/recoil control is a big part of improving and becoming better in Counter-Strike. Why is it so important, to learn the most basic spray pattern? It is, because every weapon got recoil and it is different for each weapon in CS:GO. Mastering control of your recoil means that you can spray down a full group of enemies rushing in, while you are trying to hold B site on Inferno alone. In those situations it is not good enough to just have perfect aim and headshot the first opponent, you need to hold that mouse button down and spray the whole group down to get that Ace!

So training the spray control is one of those things that will help you improve enormously, if you don’t already know how to.

Recoil mechanics

When you fire a gun in CS there are two essential factors that affect where your bullets end up – recoil and inaccuracy. Recoil is when you fire your gun and the bullets travels in a upwards pattern and from side to side. With the right training you could learn to compensate for this by knowing the spray patterns. While a spray pattern is always the same, inaccuracy is what makes the bullet not land in the same place every time, putting a random element on sprays.

Example of AK-47 spray pattern:


If you want to read more about recoil mechanics I can recommend twobirds article on the subject.

Practicing your spray control

While you can find spray patterns online, we recommend that you set up a local server and start training and practicing for yourself. I can recommend our guide on how to make a good all around practice config, but it is not necessary as we will show some useful console commands below. Start a local server without bots and use the commands below to get started.

Console commands

  • sv_cheats 1
  • sv_infinite_ammo 2
  • sv_showimpacts 1

Optional commands

  • view_recoil_tracking 1
  • weapon_recoil_view_punch_extra 0
  • weapon_accuracy_nospread 1

Explanation: sv_cheats 1 turns cheats on for the server – it enables you to use the above commands. Sv_infinite_ammo 2 gives you infinite ammo, but you will still need to reload. Sv_showimpacts 1, bullet holes are shown as blue and red boxes, so it is easier to see where you hit, especially from distance. view_recoil_tracking 1 will allow your crosshair to exactly follow where your bullets are going, instead of remaining static. This will allow you to use your mouse in a pattern that you can visually alter to keep your crosshair steady, while learning muscle memory for the movement required to control spray. Weapon_recoil_view_punch_extra 0 removes the “air punch” that distorts the screen a little every time you fire your gun. It can be difficult to exactly explain what these commands does, so we made a short video demonstrating it.

How to compensate

When you shoot, the bullets will end up above your crosshair depending on the spray pattern – this is because of recoil. What you want to do is compensate for the recoil, by moving your mouse in the opposite direction of the spray pattern. For most guns this means, that you can start by moving your mouse down a little bit. Just by doing this, you have already improved your spray control a lot. I would say that if you play on lower ranks, you would not have to know the exact spray pattern. Knowing how much you need to move your mouse down for the first 10-15 bullets to land in the same spot, should really be enough. If your aim is to compete on a higher level, then learning the exact spray pattern and controlling it well, might be something you should learn. Remember each weapon has a different spray pattern and inaccuracy, so you would want to practice with the weapons you use the most – for most people this includes the AK-47, M4A1 and maybe some of the pistols. Also, how much you need to compensate depends on the distance from your target – even pros can’t hold mouse 1 down and spray down everyone from a far distance. Instead they use tap shooting, where you shoot 1 or 2 bullets at a time which improves the accuracy on distance.

Example of AK-47 compensation curve:


Check out all spray patterns and compensation curves.

Friberg from NiP and n0thing from Cloud9, has made some very interesting videos about recoil training, that I recommend you to watch.

Friberg – How to spray

n0thing – recoil control