Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

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Counter Strike: The Economy Game
By tau
A list of tips and tricks to playing the economy game in Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

Abusing knowledge of your own and the other team's economic state can be key to winning, and often winning convincingly.
Many people focus upon aim and grenades when looking at CSGO, however, this neglects one key aspect of the game which differentiates it from other FPS games: the economy system.

Have you ever watched games where a T side on Nuke wins 9, 10 or more rounds, or seen extreme comebacks from seemingly impossible positions?

Well, much of that was made possible by taking control of the oppositions money situation, and understanding their own.
Basic Skills
There are a few things you'll need to be able to do:

  • Basic Addition - This doesn't mean you need to be able to do advanced maths, just work out how much money you'll have after round loss bonus.
  • Be Attentive - You need to pay attention to what the other team has been buying, when they eco and how much money they are getting per round.
  • Be a good team mate - You might have $5k, but if the team needs to eco, you eco.
Rules of Ecoing
Your team have decided that you all should eco. What does this mean, and what do you buy?

The tl;dr for this is: Don't slip below $2k. This should work as a general rule in most situations, and is an easy tip to give to your team in the middle of a game (mp_freezetime 15 is not an optimal setup for detailed lectures on the csgo economy!)

The longer version:

Step 1: Check your round loss bonus. There are two ways to do this:

1) check the last loss and add $500 (or if you won the last round, it is $1400)

2) If you are dead, hit q while looking at the scoreboad and see how many rounds in a row you have lost. It will be $1400 + $500 for every consecutive round loss (so for 2nd round loss, add $500, for fourth add $1500)

This caps at $3400.

If you want algebra: 1400+500(n-1)= round loss bonus where n is the number of rounds lost in a row.

Step 2: figure out how much money you need for the next round, taking into account AWPs and drops. Do not assume you will get any kill reward money or bomb plant money - treat that as a bonus.

Step 3: Subtract the money you'll get at the end of the round from this number. That is how much you need to have after you've bought.

Other things to consider include whether you're the only person who'll be able to drop an AWP or if you're going for 2 buys in a row (in that case you'll need to make sure you have enough for both buys).

Full buys are more important than ecos, so if you have to roll with a glock, take it.
When to Eco
Ecoing is a key part of Counter Strike, and before you do so you must consider the cost of giving up a round next to the success rate if you buy.

Numbers to remember:

$4100 - The cost of an M4 and Helmet
$5500 - The cost of a full CT buy with M4
$4750-$5350 - Glass Cannon AWP
$5400+ - AWP with kevlar
$3350 - AK + Kevlar
$3700 - AK + Helmet
$4700 - Full T buy with AK

When to eco:

  • Round loss bonus + current money > the minimum cost to buy

    The key time to eco is when at least 2 members of your team are below the point where they can get in a basic buy, and at least 4 members of your team will be able to do so after the round.

    Note that this applies to the 2nd round after a bomb plant

  • You need an AWP.

    If the other team are using AWPs and you can't counter with rifles/nades, or you have a particularly strong AWPer, it may be worth ecoing rather than continuing to run rifle setups.

  • You are in the $3400 round loss force buy cycle.

    Many teams end up getting beaten because they get the $3400 and force buy every round. Take the hit, eco once and run with all the nades and AWPs you want to.

When to buy
When to buy:

  • The obvious one: Everyone has money.

    Go for it (exception: see AWP rule above)

  • The pistol round

    The pistol should be worth 2-3 rounds. Don't eco on it! Get nades, kevlar, kits, pistols. Don't sit on $800

  • You won the last round. Buy up; it's time to force the other team to eco (or take advantage of an eco).

  • You will have to double eco.

    2nd round after pistol loss this is always the case UNLESS YOU GOT A BOMB PLANT.

    This is the idea behind the second round pistol armour.

    If you have a really expensive round win, spend all your money on the next and then lose, you could be in a situation where your money + the $3300 round loss bonus for the initial loss on the buy and the loss on the eco is less than the money you need.

    In this situation you may want to consider force buying that round and then ecoing if you lose; the round loss after the force and eco will give you $4300 as a minimum, which is enough to buy. It is normal for AWPers to miss out this buy so they can afford the more expensive weapon.

  • The other team have low money. This strategy is often seen from EnVyUs. If you know your opponents are low on money and feel confident that you have a good chance of winning the force buy, go for it. It is a big risk but it comes with high rewards
Common Mistakes
  • Not paying attention to team mates money.

    Before you buy, check how much money your team has. As a general rule, 2 FAMAS/Galil>1 M4/AK and 2 AK/M4>1 AWP.

    Your money is not your money, it is your team's money. Drop if people need it or eco if you can't get your whole team a decent buy.

  • Overspending on pistols on an eco:

    Your spending limit on an eco should be however much money you will have spare after the eco. This includes whether your team needs a drop or AWP.

  • Not considering grenades

    A flashbang or a smoke on a full buy may be worth much more than a p250 on an eco. Remember this when spending on ecos.

  • Buying that decoy

    So tempting, isn't it, to spend that final $50 on a decoy. You'll remember that decoy when you are $50 off that AWP or helmet you need. Treat every dollar carefully, and consider whether you really need to spend it.

  • Not buying that nade

    If this is a buy round, you're invested. Don't spend unnecessarily (i.e. 5 scar-20s), but don't be overcautious either. Buy pertinant nades and a backup pistol for your awp, better safe than sorry.

  • Sitting on $16k.

    Okay, this isn't that common because hitting $16k is rare, but if you hit the money cap you are wasting money. Try to spread money out over the team because you can't drop kevlar or grenades (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME).

  • Force buying too much.

    This is what playing the economy game hopes to accomplish. It is far easier to beat 15 weak buys than a few key good ones, and the few key good ones can get your economy settled.

  • Double ecoing

    With the pistols as they are, unless you are an awper this is never necessary. If you force buy on the first round, you'll get $4300 + kill rewards + money you have spare, meaning that you can try and win that round, and also still have a decent buy.

  • Losing follow up rounds

    This is not necessarily something that you can avoid, but it is very costly. Due to the reset of round loss bonus when you win a round, losing a round before you get an economy going will force an eco out of you and you want to avoid that as much as possible

  • Saving on T side

    If your team are ecoing the next round and you have less money than you need to be able to buy after the eco, you shouldn't save on T side because this sets your economy out of sync with your team's and is the effective equivalent of buying on an eco round.

  • Excessive saving on CT side

    This is linked to the aforementioned 'Force buying too much'. If you save on CT, your team are often forced to buy too much with too little equipment. Na'Vi vs NiP, DH Summer 2014 on Inferno is a good example of this.
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Gordon Rams Me Jul 8, 2016 @ 1:55pm 
this was so useful for me as an igl
tau  [author] Feb 13, 2016 @ 11:30am 
That said, I did make this before the SMG buff and tec9 nerf when pistols were more powerful and SMGs were objectively worse than a tec9. At that point, you needed rifles to properly counter the pistols. With the armour penetration buff/tec9 nerf, the second round SMG returned to being normal.
tau  [author] Feb 13, 2016 @ 11:26am 
The case for a surprise buy depends on how effective your team is with SMGs. I am assuming you mean second round t side after a bomb plant, seen as that is the only time it is possible for the whole team (2 kills*5 people is more than the 5 you have to kill). The first thing to note is that not everyone on your team can net enough kills for a buy, so a loss would mean sacrificing an AK buy in the third round. This is the key problem. The expected number of round wins off eco then AK is more than the expected number off a force and then either eco or buy.
tau  [author] Feb 13, 2016 @ 11:26am 
Pros buy UMPs, on the whole, when they think they will be against an eco. It is true that vs unarmoured opponents an SMG is very effective, however it will always lose to an equally skilled rifle because they have awful armour penetration. They are situational and mainly for anti eco.

Shotguns are useful versus buys and ecos, but only if you can control the fights you are taking to ensure they take place at close range. In banana, for instance, you can use a mag-7 very effectively but good luck holding any long angles effectively.

The reason rifles are mostly used is that they are either the best, or one of the best guns for pretty much any situtation.
Umbreon Feb 12, 2016 @ 6:56pm 
Once again, player studies pro players and drafts strategy based on pro strat. Even if you're at current LEM level NOBODY IS PLAYING LIKE A PRO! Not to mention that pros force all the time: they buy ump's and junk that this guide totally negelcts! You realize there are more guns than assault rifles and awps right? How about mentioning the $900 bucks a shotgun kill gets you, or the $600 bucks an smg kill gets you? How about learning to use a cheaper gun to get the edge on your opponents WHO WON'T EXPECT YOUR SURPRISE BUY?!?!
Same garbage people lose by in this game, but guess what: if you're eco'ing after that pistol round loss, it's automatically building their economy and costing you 1-2 rounds you had a chance at with a cheaper buy (UMP+armor+helmet=$2200, same for nova and less for mp9/mac10) and if you get just 1 or 2 kills you've paid most of your ticket with that smg. Learn some versatility.
Kaimana Feb 5, 2016 @ 5:41pm 
One of the best articles and guides I have ever read. Thanks!
1nc0g Feb 4, 2016 @ 7:00am 
ty became global veri nice
TronX33 Oct 5, 2015 @ 11:08pm 
I... am still confused.
The Buddha Feb 27, 2015 @ 5:30pm 
Great guide! Some really cool stuff, I wish that the whole community would read this, because I always wind up in matches were my teammates have no clue what they are doing economy wise.
NoobishTheKitten Feb 27, 2015 @ 8:50am 
I didnt read the Guide! :D