Why Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Negev update is a whole new way to play

We’re all used to Valve tinkering with the guns in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site], but its most recent update was more than just a tweak, it was an attempt to create a whole new play style. The developer beefed up the underused R8 revolver, but the more drastic changes were made to the Negev, the expensive, hefty, wild machine gun that players only previously used as a joke.

The first time you use the new-look Negev, or the ‘Newgev’, as the kids are calling it, it feels broken. You’ll move at a snail’s pace when carrying it, and the first 16 bullets of your magazine come out at random angles, making it impossible to control. Even the first bullet is wayward, so tap firing is completely out – your only hope is to squeeze the trigger and pray.

The gamechanger is what happens after that first burst. Your aim levels out and the gun becomes laser accurate at short or medium range, the spray grouping tightly just above your crossbar with no horizontal movement. As long as you’re standing still you can snap from target to target with pinpoint accuracy.

Recoil pattern

Example of snapping to target

The mechanic, in Valve’s words, is designed to “promote suppressive fire”, something not currently part of the CS: GO meta. And that’s for a good reason: standing in one spot burning through bullets just to lock down a choke point is far less efficient than chucking a smoke grenade or throwing a molotov, and takes you out of the rest of the fight.

I was surprised, therefore, that using the new Negev for its intended purpose actually pays dividends. Pick a busy corner, hold down the mouse, and pump out bullets at head height: you’ll be amazed how many enemies are willing to make mincemeat of their brains, especially if you bait them to round a corner by peeking out first. Play it right and you can rack up a decent number of kills without moving an inch. Naturally, this works a lot better if you’re a Counter Terrorist, with the impetus on the Terrorists to push through chokes onto bomb sites.

Suppressing Fire 1

Suppressing Fire

It may be effective, but it’s not exactly the most dynamic way to play, and you’ll have much more fun with this gun if you go aggressive. The best tactic is to start firing long before you round any corner so that when you peek out your aim will be true. Recoil resets as soon as you stop moving, so if your reactions are good enough you can push through a choke point, stop, and down a few enemies before they know what’s hit them.

Pushing through choke 1

Pushing through choke 2

You can also crouch and move with no penalty to accuracy. One of my favourite things to do with the gun is to slowly crouch walk around a corner, keeping my cursor fixed on the angle, ready and waiting to melt anyone who gets in the way. Hearing the new, quieter ‘putt-putt’ of the gun and seeing the trail of bullets gradually edge towards the spot where you know an enemy is cowering is a new guilty pleasure of mine. It puts me in mind of the way enemies in TF2 hide when they hear the heavy weapons guy spewing out bullets (and hearing a maniacal Russian voice screaming “I am bulletproof” would be an apt accompaniment).

Crouch walk corner

But the most fun I had with the new Negev is when I’ve been able to get the drop on a group of enemies, fully revved up, and rip into them, transferring the spray from head to head. The accuracy means that your spray will always beat theirs, and so in their panic you can calmly pick them off. There’s a particularly good spot for this on Nuke as a CT, seen in the triple kill in the gif below.

Triple kill

The ultimate aim for Valve is surely for a reworked Negev to offer a viable alternative to the AK, M4, and the AWP, the three dominant weapons. It’s currently only available in the Casual mode, presumably as a testing bed before it’s reintroduced to the competitive scene, but having used it for the past week I can confidently say that it won’t make the transition to the pros as it is now. Smarter players won’t walk headlong into a line of bullets, they’ll wait for you to drain your magazine before peeking. They won’t let you simply crouch walk around the corner and trap them, they’ll hear you revving up, flash you out and pop your head – in other words, the new Negev will be as good as useless.

For that reason, I can’t see it hanging around for long in its current state. Which means that now is the time to jump into a casual game, save up for one – it’s only $4000, much cheaper than before – and mow down some fools while you still have the chance.

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14 Comments

  1. skyturnedred says:

    If memory serves, this is how the support class in Battlefield 2142 worked. Your aim got more accurate the longer you fired.

    • Rymosrac says:

      Exactly right, a great mechanic. But that kept the high accuracy for a short period after you stopped firing, allowing you to maintain it with tap-firing, so you could hold an angle for a long time.

    • darkath says:

      I loved to play support in Battlefield 2142 for that reason.
      That game btw had some glorious fights for chokepoints, (especially on the gibraltar map). No game ever since provided me with such epic battles, except maybe red orchestra.

  2. VN1X says:

    Heh cheers for this. Always enjoy reading about CS:GO on the more ‘mainstream websites’ (sorry RPS).

    Would be quite something to see this being used in the competitive scene in the future.

  3. TimePointFive says:

    it was always a bit like this, but it became laser focused a bit up and to the right of center screen. I loved that damn gun back when I played. Just a few days ago I sold my StatTrack skin so I could buy some clothes in Battlegrounds.

  4. Jerkzilla says:

    It’s always a bit funny when mostly arcade shooters like CS:GO, CoD and whatnot, try to shoehorn weapons with very specific, non-rifleman real life uses into their gameplay, like the AWP or, in this case, the Negev. It almost never makes any sense regardless of what they do, because the context and related mechanics for them are entirely wrong.

    I don’t really get why they changed it though, you had much the same “supressing” functionality before as you have now, except your first shots out of it are useless. Overall, it’s worse off IMO, so if nobody used it before, that’s probably not getting any better. I don’t like new sound either, guess they changed it because of annoyed teammates.

  5. flashman says:

    I’ve been using the Negev basically like you’d use a molotov, but for a line instead of a circle: as terrorist on Office, shutting down Long Hall, or the whole axis from Elevators to Long Snipe. It’s a very effective delaying tactic.

    • SamPH says:

      Haven’t tried it out on Office yet, will have to give that a go. Works great on D2 doors leading to A bomb site as well, and banana on Inferno

  6. Premium User Badge

    johannsebastianbach says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, I enjoyed them as well as your clips. Dear editors: please more articles on CSGO.

    (I know you came to the same conclusion, but let me add to it:)
    I don’t think the new Negev will work. All your clips were made in casual game mode where just about nobody knows how to play properly. When the Negev returns to Competitive, no one will peak in your suppressive fire. I just don’t see a place for the “Newgev” in the current meta – 4000 $ is a lot asked for a gun with just a niche use. For 3100/2700 you’ll get a M4/AK which will be useful to you even if the situation changes. Let’s say you’re left in a 1v1: with the Negev it’s basically ggwp, whereas you can easily adapt to the situation with an assault rifle.
    I’m all in favor of finding uses for underused weapons but this one won’t work.
    And: I liked the old Negev :-( y u do dis volvo?

    • WHS says:

      But the point of suppressing fire isn’t to rack up kills, it’s to suppress. As an area-control tool, this could be tremendously helpful. Who is going to go through the end of banana into B if this thing is firing around the corner?

      It’s more expensive than an M4 or AK, but an AWP is even more expensive, and also a liability in a lot of 1v1 situations. People still buy them!

  7. Stevostin says:

    Your aim levels out and the gun becomes laser accurate at short or medium range, the spray grouping tightly just above your crossbar with no horizontal movement.
    Hyperion gun.

  8. Awasaky says:

    AK, M4 and AWP, with 2 pistols still effective alot more than another guns.
    Negev is still useless.

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