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A headshot is a direct shot to the head that will deal more damage (approximately deals 4 times as much) than a hit to any other hitbox , usually resulting in an instant kill or at least massive damage to the target.


Headshots can be performed by all weapons except grenades and knives (in Counter-Strike: Source and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive).

Most firearms (all firearms in Global Offensive) are capable in killing enemies without helmets instantly with a headshot. With a helmet on however, the number of weapons capable of delivering one-hit headshot kills is significantly reduced. However, most weapons unable to one-hit headshot kill are still capable of dealing high amounts of damage with a headshot.

Players surviving a headshot will be greatly disorientated by the impact and will have to recover for at least 5 seconds.

Due to the small size of the player's head hitbox, performing headshots is highly difficult.


  • When aiming, hold the crouch button to shoot more accurately.
  • When using automatic weapons, shoot 1 (2 if your weapon has a very high fire rate) bullet(s) each time. This will prevent the decline of accuracy from high recoil, but it's risky should your first shot miss.
  • Sniper rifles and other scoped weapons might aid you when aiming.
  • Find good sniping spots, particularly ones that oversee many areas, but also provide protection from enemy fire.
  • Aim at the point that your target must go through, fire when your target's head pops out.
  • It is worthy to note that all player models are exactly the same height. Thus, be sure to memorize positions in certain maps where your enemies' heads will be (for example, the corridors of Nuke where the stripes on the walls are roughly the height of a player's shoulders) and practice your aiming skills.
  • Remember that even the Helmet cannot protect users from certain types of weapons, such as sniper rifles, the AK-47, close range shotguns, and the Desert Eagle. Use this advantage to score a headshot.
    • However, when wielding the M3 shotgun in Counter-Strike: Source, it may be wise to aim for the stomach/torso since the damage is powerful enough to kill a target instantly when all pellets hit a target. Usually, the pellet spread is low enough to kill an enemy assailant up to 7 meters instantly.
    • For the AWP, any shot that hits the body (excluding the legs) will kill a target instantly, unless he is behind a prop.
    • In Global Offensive, the damage for most weapons have been increased. As a result, certain weapons can be used to instantly kill fully armored enemy targets, unlike in previous games.


  • Purchase a Kevlar vest and a helmet, since it will protect a user from headshots considerably. Although it is expensive and the enemies may wield sniper rifles, the AK-47, close range shotguns, and the Desert Eagle, this is the easiest way to defend against headshots.
  • When confronting enemies, especially snipers, try to move around in a random pattern to avoid headshots or run away.
  • Throw smoke grenades to hide your presence. Or, you can throw flashbangs if you need to run.
  • Never crouch at short range, as normal shots to the torso may become a headshot. It also makes it harder to score a headshot on enemies while increasing your own chances of dying from a shot to the head.
    • However, it is possible to engage assailants and then crouch, especially when confronting a sniper who was attempting to aim for the head.
  • Avoid open warfare locations where you can be targeted from many directions, since too much focusing on a single enemy (or a single direction) might risk you being killed by a headshot.
  • Jumping can disorient enemies but decreases your chance in quickly running away and greatly reduces your accuracy.
  • The Tactical Shield is an excellent item to use to prevent lethal shots to the head.
  • Never approach an enemy head-on that is standing on higher platform, as there is a chance that you will be easily killed with a headshot.
  • Never spray more than 3 bullets from any gun from long range. Most players will simply kill you with a headshot by shooting a single or few bullets.


Counter-Strike: SourceEdit


Battle Sight Zero css Battle Sight Zero
Kill 250 enemy players with headshots.
Safety First css Safety First
Survive a shot to the head because you had the good sense to wear a helmet.


Head Shred Redemption css Head Shred Redemption
Kill 5 enemy players with headshots in a single round.

Counter-Strike: Global OfensiveEdit

Combat SkillsEdit

Battle Sight Zero csgo Battle Sight Zero
Kill 250 enemy players with headshots.
Head Shred Redemption csgo Head Shred Redemption
Kill 5 enemy players with headshots in a single round.



  • Headshots have their own unique icon next to the weapon used in the kill feed.
    • Before Counter-Strike 1.6, only the headshot icon appears if a player is killed by a headshot while the weapon does not appear next to it.
  • Servers running custom sounds may signify a headshot with the "HEADSHOT" Unreal Tournament sound, or the famous "BOOM! HEADSHOT!" quote from "FPSDoug."
  • In servers with many players, obtaining too many headshots can get you accused of hacking. Although if you are not cheating, VAC will ignore you anyway.
  • In some rare cases, if you are killed by worldspawn or by jumping off of a ledge (such as Vertigo), the Console may read:{Player} is killed by worldspawn or trigger_hurt with headshot. Also, inputting the bot_kill command in the console will kill all bots and may also make it read: {Bot Name} killed self with a headshot from "Database Weapon Name".
  • In GoldSrc versions of Counter-Strike, if a player is killed with a headshot without a helmet at higher places (such as the security room in Assault), heavy blood sprites will appear.
  • The Counter-Strike headshot icon displayed a head that appears to be a ninja mask (or the head of a Phoenix Connexion member) with a knife that is piercing through the head. However, the icon in Counter-Strike: Source appears to be a Phoenix Connexion head with a bullet penetrating into the side of the head.
  • Even if the "Friendly Fire" option is disabled in GoldSrc games, the sparks will still appear when a player fires a bullet at his teammate with a helmet. In Source games, if a player shoots at his teammate who is not wearing a helmet, the impact will still disorientate the victim.
    • Furthermore in GoldSrc games, bots will still say some quotes that are related to friendly fire even when it is disabled.
  • Despite being unable to deal headshots, a grenade that does a lot of damage to the head will still create the "plink" headshot sound.

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