- "High risk and high reward, the infamous AWP is recognizable by its signature report and one-shot, one-kill policy."
- ―Official description
The AWP (Arctic Warfare Police), or Magnum Sniper Rifle, as it was previously known, is a sniper rifle featured in the Counter-Strike series. The .338 Lapua chambered version of the AWM is also called the AWSM (Arctic Warfare Super Magnum), referencing the large caliber.
The AWP is a powerful bolt-action sniper rifle available to both teams. It is infamously renowned for being able to instantly kill a player with one hit on any part of the body except the legs. For this reason, the AWP is one of the most popular and widely used weapons in Counter-Strike. It is also the most powerful weapon in the Counter-Strike series.
Damage chart for the AWP in all Counter-Strike games.
|Chest & Arm||115||112|
|Abdomen & Pelvis||143||140|
The AWP is a fairly heavy weapon. While wielded, the player's movement speed is reduced from the default 250 units per second to 210 units per second (200 in CS:GO), meaning the user will suffer heavy speed reduction. While zoomed in, the movement speed is 150 units per second. The AWP is one of the many guns able to shoot underwater.
- Very high damage (1-2 hit kills).
- Instantly kills a player when any body part, other than the leg, is shot.
- Good penetration through intervening targets and material.
- Very accurate at long range while zoomed in (100% accuracy).
- In Counter-Strike and Condition Zero, after firing a scoped shot, the AWP retains the same accuracy as scoped if you fire without using the scope before the gun automatically zooms in.
- Groups of enemies cannot be taken out easily; shooting from an angle which can be difficult for enemies to fire on can make this easier.
- It has a slower rate of fire than the Scout.
- Very loud and distinct firing sound.
- Has no instant kill when the leg is scored.
- Extremely inaccurate while moving or unscoped. Unless you are in point blank range with your enemy, you will have a better chance of hitting your foe without using scope.
- The high penetration means it can easily kill your target and harm a hostage/cause friendly fire at the same time.
- Tied with the G3SG/1 and the SG 550 for the lowest movement speed of 210 units when wielded in Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Source.
- Expensive for both the weapon and ammo, especially in earlier games.
- Lowest kill reward in Global Offensive ($100 per kill in competitive mode, $50 in casual instead of $300)
- Fairly low magazine capacity and reserve ammunition compared to most other weapons
- Unlike other sniper rifles, you should aim for the chest whenever possible, instead of the head. The chest presents a much larger target and an AWP shot would instantly kill, provided it didn't hit the leg of an enemy.
- In certain maps (especially Aztec), professional players can perform wall-bangs (hit the enemy through a wall, box, or any other obstacle) that can deal up to 60 damage or even score a headshot. This tactic requires perfect accuracy, prediction, and a bit of luck. However, other weapons can also wall-bang such as the M249, Desert Eagle, and the AK-47.
- Steady fire is strongly recommended as moving while firing will cause you to miss your target.
- If you miss your shots a lot, try firing in front of your target, where they would be in half (1/2) a second. This can compensate for slow reaction times or lag.
- When facing an enemy sniper, use cover in case your first shot does not hit the intended target. Nevertheless, try not to miss.
- Make sure you don't miss a shot or the target will have a fighting chance if he can close some distance on you.
- Try not to shoot at your opponent's leg, since he may survive the hit. If this happens, switch to your pistol and take him out quickly.
- A Desert Eagle is a good backup pistol for AWP users, most notably when you encounter an enemy at close range. One headshot will finish your opponent regardless of his condition.
- In CS:GO, Tec-9 and Five-seveN are also good close range backup for AWP users.
- In Assassination maps, the Terrorists' semi-auto sniper rifle cannot be purchased. This is the best replacement if you need to snipe, since the bullet from AWP can kill the VIP in 1~2 hits. The AWP will kill in one headshot, even if the VIP has full health and (200) armor.
- In maps like Office, the AWP can penetrate glasses or thin cover which most other weapons cannot; use it to your advantage.
- Try to camp at the spot that you cannot be easily flanked, or have a teammate to watch your back.
- Try to not fire the AWP without using the scope because it's very inaccurate, unless you are in point blank range with your enemy. You can still score a one-shot kill if it works.
- Even if an enemy is at point blank range, however, this tactic is not recommended as the bullet may not always kill a fully healed target instantly. This can leave an AWP user vulnerable to counter-attack. Instead, use a sidearm to kill an enemy player.
- Prior to CS:GO, one tactic that is commonly utilized is to jump/leap from a corner, crouch or stop moving, zoom in, and then fire the AWP at a target.
- Be careful when dueling with opponents armed with the AWP. Try to flank him if his attention is already turned toward you. If not, don't miss or this could spell your doom.
- Listen for AWP shots. The firing sound is extremely loud and distinctive. If you notice the firing sounds of an AWP, avoid spots that you will be potentially sniped.
- Alternatively, have some teammates with you. It's better if your teammate is armed with something to counter the AWP as users will have trouble killing multiple foes quickly as long as you don't bunch up.
- It is not recommended to face an AWP user head-on unless you have a long range weapon of your own.
- Try to attack the AWP user with multiple team members, but don't form a straight line; the AWP can pierce through and kill them.
- Don't try to wait for the shooter armed with the AWP, he's counting on your predicted position and power of the bullet. Instead, don't stop moving and shoot to intercept the sniper (shoot through materials as well)!
- If an AWP shot misses you or you survived from the shot, you have a 1.5 seconds window (before the sniper can fire another shot) to either retreat or to attack the sniper. Use this time wisely for the sniper might not miss his next shot.
- Counter with an AWP of your own. A Colt M4A1, AK-47, and other rifles can also be used to headshot the user, though this is rather risky.
- Pick an AWP user off with a semi-automatic sniper rifle. A good time to do this is when you just heard the AWP shot, since the sniper will not be able to retaliate.
- The AWP is useless compared to other automatic/semi-auto weapons at close range. It takes skills to be effective with quick-scope shooting and/or firing without the scope.
- Because the AWP is ineffective at close ranges, one should, if possible, rush at the sniper and engage in close-quarters.
- When against experienced AWP users at close range, it is best to move at a 360 degree circle rather than standing still, as a sniper may hit you without using the scope or he may switch to his sidearm.
- If the AWP user is alone, flash and rush, or take another route to his camping site to deal with him at close range. If he is among other enemy players, throw a smoke grenade to increase your chances of survival.
- Contrary to common logic, it is possible to wield the AWP in enclosed areas, such as Office. Snipers can guard the opposite end of a long and narrow hallway, hide behind a prop (if possible), and eliminate rushing, lone players. To avoid this, use a smoke grenade, Incendiary grenade or Molotov. This will (usually) cause AWP users to leave the area quickly. Flashbangs may not always be recommended because if they're not blinded, they may anticipate your arrival afterwards.
- If short on money, it's possible to counter an AWP user with the Scout. A well implemented ambush and a swift headshot are the key factors to success.
- High damage per shot (the AWP can score an instant kill when a shot hits any part of the body other than the leg)
- At long range, the AWP is more accurate than the Scout (the AWP has 100% accuracy when standing still or when crouching while the Scout has only 100% accuracy when fired at a crouched position)
- Both weapons are bolt-action sniper rifles
- Same magazine capacity
- Both weapons are equipped with a scope
- Lower rate of fire (41 rpm vs 48 rpm)
- Very inaccurate without using the scope
- Expensive ($4750 vs $2750)
- Heavier (210 unit per seconds vs 260 unit per seconds)
- Slower reload time (2.5 or 3.5 seconds vs 2.3 or 3 seconds)
- Low ammo in reserve (30 rounds vs 90 rounds)
- More ammo cost ($125 vs $80)
- Shots fired are louder than the Scout
Controversy and HistoryEdit
Due to its overwhelming power and accuracy, the AWP has attracted much criticism since its introduction. Many players view the AWP as an overpowered and unfair weapon, requiring little skill and practice to use. Many public servers ban the use of the AWP due to its unbalanced nature. However, the general opinion of the AWP is that there is still some tactical and useful merit to using it. Therefore, it is accepted by the majority of the community.
The AWP is no longer as powerful as it once was. The AWP was most powerful in all versions prior to Counter-Strike 1.1, where one shot to any part of the body was an instant kill. Later updates reduced its effectiveness: Counter-Strike 1.1 made the leg shot non-lethal and Counter-Strike 1.5 made it so that the AWP and pistols took longer to switch to, as well as making the AWP extremely inaccurate without using the scope, crippling the AWP's effectiveness in close-quarters; Counter-Strike 1.6 drastically increased the time to scope in, which was criticized as making it nearly worthless. Players quickly got used to the newly nerfed AWP. The latest update to Counter-Strike reduced the scope time. A brand new flaw is the "Quick switch" glitch. Many players use it to reduce the time between each shots by switching to another weapon during the bolt animation. Doing this would allow players to maintain a moderate rate of fire. This glitch was patched for the Source version of the game, as of October 2011. Also, when holding down the firing button, the AWP's accuracy is same as when fired without scope instead of having full accuracy.
AWP based mapsEdit
The AWP is so popular, there are some fan-made custom maps made exclusively for AWP users. These add-on maps are often massive, with many or little cover, and both teams spawn far away from each other and the only gun of choice is the AWP, a pistol, and the knife. Due to the power of this sniper rifle, it's often kill or be killed and the round can finish very quickly. These add-on maps are not official but it's good for practicing with the AWP. Map names usually begin with awp_ and are available for all versions of Counter-Strike.
| Magnum Sniper Rifle Expert|
Kill 1,000 enemy players with the Magnum Sniper Rifle.
| Snipe Hunter|
Kill 100 zoomed-in enemy snipers.
| Eye to Eye|
Kill a zoomed-in enemy sniper with a sniper rifle of your own.
| Hip Shot|
Kill an enemy with an un-zoomed sniper rifle.
| Happy Camper|
Get two kills standing in the same spot with a zoomed sniper rifle.
- The AWP is one of the most used weapons in the Counter-Strike series.
- The game file name for this weapon is awp.
- In the older games, the .338 Lapua Maganum used by the AWSM is the most expensive ammunition in-game, $125 per magazine.
- The AWP can penetrate multiple targets, making it one of the few weapons that can earn the Ammo Conservation achievement.
- A numerous amount of servers ban this weapon or restrict it (sometimes all other sniper rifles except the Scout) to a specific amount per team, due to it being extremely powerful and how easy it is to kill another player with it.
- This weapon is considered a "high risk, high reward" weapon because it is powerful but very slow, in terms of rate of fire and reload speed.
- In real-life, the AWP does not use .338 Lapua Magnum. Instead, it has 7.62 NATO. Meanwhile, the AWSM uses .338 Laupa Magnum.
- The AWP is only weapon in the Counter-Strike that has the ability to kill a teammate instantly by shooting into their head.
- In Counter-Strike 1.6 and Condition Zero, the third person model of the AWP is unusually short, almost being of equal length as an AK-47. This visual error has been fixed in Counter-Strike: Source.
- The VIP is the only player who can survive a single body shot from the AWP because his armor is 200. However, a headshot can still kill the VIP instantly without the need for a second shot.
- The AWP is not available for the Counter-Terrorists to purchase in Assassination maps. They can however, get one from fallen Terrorists.
- In Deleted Scenes, if the AWP is used by an enemy NPC, the A.I. will not inflict maximum damage. Instead, they will activate a laser sight if they attempt to shoot the player and they can gib targets if killed by the NPC. However, if used by players, they won't gib anything but will kill anything instantly.
- The Accuracy International AWSM in the German version of Left 4 Dead 2 is a direct port of the Counter-Strike: Source version, which uses a 20 round magazine instead of 10.
- The first-person view model is much smaller than earlier AWPs.
- Moreover, the AWP user in third person can be seen operating the bolt after each shot while the older games just "drop" out empty shell from the rifle.
- Although the bolt is in the left side of the AWP, the player model features the user cocking the rifle on the right.
- The design of the stock of AWP is slightly different from the older games.
- The HUD icon of AWP is different from the older games.
- In Global Offensive, the firing sound for the AWP is reused from the Accuracy International AWSM in the German version of Left 4 Dead 2.
- Strangely, the scope of this weapon in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is probably the smallest scope of all sniper rifles of this game. It also features an olive color unlike the black scopes featured elsewhere in the series.
- Like its real-life counterpart, the AWP in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive supposed to have all-black finish as shown in the Launch Trailer. However, this was later changed in the development of Global Offensive.
- The barrel of the AWP in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has the words "ACUMEN MULTINATIONAL ENGLAND AKA OAKRIDGE TN" engraved on it.
- The AWPer Hand is a promotional item for CS:GO in Team Fortress 2 (another Valve game) that uses the same model as the CS:GO AWP. Players who pre-ordered Global Offensive will receive a Genuine quality version of it. Its description refers to the amount of servers the AWP is banned from.
- Main article: Magnum Sniper Rifle/Gallery
- Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum at Wikipedia
- Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum at Internet Movie Firearms Database for its appearances in various media.