Shotguns Guide

There are many different weapons to choose from in Counter Strike 2, but the shotguns category features guns that have unparalleled stopping power, capable of mowing down entire teams of enemies caught unaware. Though not often purchased in competitive play, many gamers who like to fight at close quarters have a soft spot for CS2 shotguns.

Mastering CS 2 shotguns can be a bit of a daunting task, however, and if you don’t know how to play with them effectively, you’ll probably be more of a detriment to your team. That’s why to help you, we have prepared this simple guide. Here’s everything you need to know about shotgun weapons in Counter Strike 2!

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What Are The CS2 Shotguns?

Before we dive into our guide, it’s important to first get an overview of what weapons there are to choose from. Counter Strike 2 features four distinct shotgun weapons, each with a different playstyle. These are the following


The XM1014 is widely considered by many players to be the best CS2 shotgun in the game. It’s the most expensive weapon in the category, but for the $2000 price tag you receive one of the most powerful close-range weapons in the game. Most importantly, XM1014 is the only automatic shotgun in the game. With high damage and ammo capacity, this pump action shotgun can be used to effectively spray the room with shotgun pellets. If you manage to catch your enemies unaware, you can easily take them out with two shots to the body, even against armored targets. Despite its high fire rate and relatively low reload time for a shotgun, the weapon still struggles at medium range, and a shot that would be an instant kill up close will barely scrape anyone at a distance.

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Also, check out our top list of the best XM1014 skins in the game!


Unique to the Counter Terrorists and costing $1300, the MAG-7 is one of the most powerful weapons in the game, but also one with the highest risk factors. MAG-7 not only has the highest kill reward among CS2 shotguns, it’s also the only weapon in the game that can kill fully armored opponents with a single shot to the body. Unlike other shotguns, if all the pellets hit your target, it instantly kills them, regardless of their armor of health. While the weapon might have insane damage and armor penetration, it’s also practically useless at long-range combat and has a long reload time, during which you’re just a sitting target.


At just $1050 Nova is the cheapest shotgun available in the game. Because of this, some players choose to purchase this weapon instead of more expensive machine guns in the early rounds of the match. It’s also the most accurate shotgun in the game, with a lower spread that still makes it somewhat effective at long range. However, if you don’t plan on killing your enemies with one shot to the head, you’ll probably find this weapon lacking. While it might have an impressive kill reward, its low damage makes it significantly weaker than other weapons in this category.

Be sure to check out our top list of the best Nova skins in the game!


This terrorist shotgun costs only a little bit more than the Nova, and at $1100 is one of the cheaper shotguns in the game. It deals high damage, even to armored opponents, and can be fired when reloading, meaning that you won’t be caught unaware by your enemies. Sadly, it also has one of the largest bullet sprays, and the pellets fired from Sawed-Off easily scatter at longer ranges. Its limited range is generally the reason why you won’t see to much of this gun in-game.

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How To Play With Shotguns Effectively?

Shotgun weapons in CS2 generally have a bad reputation, and many gamers even get annoyed when they see their teammates have purchased shotgun during the round, instead of a more useful assault rifle. Despite these issues, Shotgun weapons can be extremely effective, provided you know how to use them. Here’s what to keep in mind when playing with CS2 shotguns:

Know Your Map

While you should always suit your loadout to the map and current game state, we should still mention that not all CS2 maps can be played effectively with a shotgun. While shotgun weapons can be powerful at maps with many closed spaces, like The Office, other maps with larger, more open areas effectively render your shotgun worthless. Maps such as Nuke or Ancient, where you have to fight at medium distances or further are simply not a good fit for any shotgun weapon.

Learn How To Aim For The Head

One mistake that many new gamers commit is not learning how to use shotguns accurately. Many of them love shotguns because they can still do a lot of damage even if you don’t aim when firing, but learning how to master the shotgun recoil will greatly improve your performance. Most shotguns fire a wide spray of pellets, and knowing how to control them can help you kill enemies instantly, and make it that much easier to clean entire rooms with your weapon. Check out our guide on how to control CS2 spray patterns as well.

Know When To Switch To A Pistol

This might seem like a surprising point in a Shotgun guide, but it’s true. Although shotguns in CS2 are some of the best weapons at short range, they can sadly be useless at longer distances. This issue can be offset by carrying a powerful pistol, such as the Desert Eagle, in every round. You should always try to bring an accurate pistol with you if you plan on using a shotgun in the match.

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In Conclusion

As you can see, using shotguns in CS2 is something that takes a bit of practice and skill. Still, If you know how to use them effectively, shotguns can be a real force to be reckoned with.

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