Spraying is one of the most common tactics employed in the Counter-Strike series for attacking close targets.
The act of spraying is simply firing a gun continuously. Due to the recoil and weapon spread mechanics, an effective spray is much harder to perform in the Counter-Strike series compared to other first-person shooters.
Spraying can be useful at close or point-blank range that allows you to kill the enemy player quickly as the player doesn't need to worry too much about accuracy. However, this tactic decreases its effectiveness the greater the distance is between the assailant and the target. In the face of an experienced opponent, inappropriate use of spraying bullets can lead to a player's defeat.
It can be done with any weapon that can be fired full-auto. For semi-auto weapons like pistols, spraying may not be preferred. Submachine guns are best used this tactic while rifle-wielders may prefer to burst-fire due to the higher recoil.
Every weapon's accuracy will decrease after firing more than 3 bullets, and the recoil mechanics' will start to have a noticeable effect. The weapon's bullet spread will expand, creating a larger firing cone and making less bullets hit their mark. The recoil mechanics will cause the bullets to land above the crosshair, moving further up with each shot.
Spraying bullets at medium ranges can sometimes retains its desired effectiveness but the quality is not the same compared to close range, since the chances of missing a target are higher. Some weapons, like the MAC-10 and the TMP, are not effective at medium range but can be used against a clustered group of unaware enemies if multiple headshots are scored or weakening enemies which allows your team to finish off wounded enemies easily.
Rifles, on the other hand, it's recommended to crouch and spray bullets if possible. In some cases, such as the AK-47, you may need to aim around the torso or even the legs of enemies when recoil is very high. In Counter-Strike 1.6, spray control is more difficult as there are several spray patterns possible for each weapon. In Global Offensive, however, there is only one possible spray pattern for each weapon so spraying is easier at the longer ranges. Memorize the spray pattern for your weapon and counter it by moving the mouse the opposite way
Spraying at long range is extremely risky and is almost never recommended, since the chance is high that all your bullets will miss the target, this is very dangerous if the enemy is using burst-firing weapon, or is armed with sniper rifle. Instead. it is advised to fire in short bursts at long range. However, spraying can still be effectively used against a clustered group of unaware enemies.
When you need to reload after spraying so many bullets, be sure to retreat as enemies may focus on killing you or they can rush to your position.
When spraying bullets, it may be preferable to crouch-spray as this will reduce recoil and allow a player to spray with better performance and reducing the chance of getting hit to the head (especially with bots). This tactics is commonly used by many players in game. Depends on their skill, the crouch-spray tactics may still be outclassed by players who crouch-burst at medium range if they are skilled on scoring on headshots.
Being informed on each weapon's spray pattern may allow you to easily eliminate an enemy target at any range, by counteracting the recoil by moving the cross-hair in the opposite direction of where the bullets will go to.
This sub-machine gun is one of the well known weapons used for spraying bullets on targets. Although the P90 may not always be accurate, the large magazine size (50 rounds) and excellent rate of fire make up for this setback. Its very low recoil can allow the player to move swiftly and fire continuously at the targets with pretty good accuracy. But using this gun in maps with long corridors may sometimes be fatal if your targets use rifles, which surely have a higher degree of both range and accuracy.
The TMP is often used for spraying bullets and is not effective for burst-firing and it inflicts too little damage. It's high rate of fire is also a great addition but the recoil (in Source) can disorientate inexperienced users.
Although aiming at the head of enemies may seem appealing, it's not always recommended because of its inaccuracy. Instead, spray bullets at the stomach (to maximize accuracy) or at the chest/neck to increase the possibility of scoring a headshot while only slightly reducing your chances of missing at medium range.
At longer ranges, using the TMP should be avoided unless they are not aware of your presence (and if they are engaging other enemies). When spraying bullets, be sure aim for the legs only or burst-fire to maintain accuracy.
Like the TMP, the MAC-10 is often used for spraying bullets due to low accuracy. Firing in bursts is not always effective because of the low first shot accuracy. It has about the same characteristics like the TMP but increased damage and higher recoil. It also lacks a silencer.
Unless you want to fire one shot at a time, aiming at the head is negligible unless up close. Instead, aim for the chest or the legs to increase the chance of scoring a headshot.
Due to having higher recoil than the TMP, it should not be used for long ranges. Instead, fire one shot at a time.
Often times, it is best to stick with accuracy as it is almost impossible to estimate the high recoil of such a powerful gun. However, at close range and when dealing with several enemies, you may have to spray bullets.
The AK-47 is famous for its power per bullet but its high recoil is also infamous and requires experience. When spraying bullets, hold down your mouse and you should aim at the chest, stomach, or even the legs of your enemy to maximize the chance for all your bullets to hit several targets. Note that as the AK-47 gains more recoil, the lower you should aim to score a headshot. Strafing is also recommend when spraying bullets.
This is one of the few guns in Counter-Strike that sometimes demand the action in spraying bullets rather than maintaing high accuracy while countering at close range. In fact, when used with a silencer, this rifle at close ranges comes in pretty handy when it comes to spraying, plus increased damage in 1.6.
For spraying medium to long range, it should be used without a silencer due to the fall-off damage increase and it is less accurate. In CS:GO, the M4A1 without the silencer is less effective, as there is no change in damage dealt while increasing the recoil. The M4A1's spray pattern is shaped like a “T” when formed due to the uncontrolled recoil. To spray bullets with this rifle, the mouse should be pulled down towards the target’s chest so that it will kick up and will very likely land a headshot.