Many new CS:GO players tend to focus on mastering weapons rather than supporting items. While understanding weapons and the best possible times to purchase them is certainly important, developing an appreciation for when and where to use grenades can have a huge impact on a round, potentially leading your team to victory.
When managing your economy, you’ll need to understand when to pair a grenade with an SMG - over just buying an assault rifle - or when to rely on grenades and pistols only. This guide will cover every grenade in CS:GO, outlining the situations where they are most useful, and explaining how you can make the most of them.
Before jumping into a Competitive game, you’ll want to reassign the hotkeys for each of your grenades, to make them easier to reach when you’re playing. You can currently cycle between the grenades by pressing ‘4’, until you reach the correct one, however this is unnecessarily time-consuming and dangerous.
Try to minimise the time that you don’t have a weapon in-hand by reassigning the Flashbang, Smoke and High Explosive Grenades (at least) to keys you can easily reach. Remember that you can also save money by searching for unused grenades if you’re still alive at the end of a round. Simply run over unused grenades to equip them for use in the subsequent round.
- PRICE: $200
- USE: Disorientate enemies
- DEFAULT HOTKEY (USE): 7
One of the worst feelings in CS:GO is being flashed without ever seeing the Flashbang, so that by the time your vision has come back, you live just long enough to spot the person who's about to kill you - fantastic.
Once a Flashbang has been thrown it has a set time before it detonates, blinding and deafening all players who managed to catch a clear sight of it. Bear in mind that the Flashbang affects both the player who threw it and your teammates. Unlike the other grenades, each player can hold two Flashbangs at one time.
The lasting effects of the Flashbang depend on how close you were to it when it detonated. Being right next to the Flashbang can cause blinding effects for almost five whole seconds (including total blindness for almost two seconds). If you are far away, however, then the blinding effects will last less than a second.
Flashbangs are crucial to both attacking and defending bombsites, as their impact forces players to react to it. Whether it’s turning away for a split second to avoid being blinded, or moving away from an area entirely, Flashbangs are key to taking down the enemy team.
At the most basic level, it’s easy to understand when and where you should throw Flashbangs based off the position of the enemy team. If you are on T-side and you need to break through to a bombsite, throwing a Flashbang into the site before rushing in is a good way to protect yourself from any incoming bullets.
- PRICE: $300
- USE: Temporarily obscure an area from view, extinguish fire from Molotov/Incendiary Grenade
- DEFAULT HOTKEY (USE): 8
Smoke Grenades are one of the more popular grenades used in CS:GO, due to how much of an impact they have in each round.
Strategically-placed smokes on CT-side can deter Ts from wanting to push onto a bombsite, forcing them to rotate to another part of the map. Alternatively, utilising T-side smokes can isolate a bombsite, lessening the number of angles Ts will need to clear as they enter a site, thus making it a lot easier to take over.
There are a number of smokes that can be learned on each map, so try to master a few for each bombsite and Mid on each side before hopping into a Competitive match. Smoke Grenades are most useful when two or three are used together, so encourage your team to use them with you for the best results.
Upon landing, Smoke Grenades last eighteen seconds, creating an opaque grey wall that can be used to block off entrances and portions of a bombsite. While players can still walk through the smoke, this is not usually recommended as the player’s weapons will be visible, poking through the smoke, before they’re able to see what’s on the other side of it.
As a result, this makes you more vulnerable to getting picked off by the enemy team before you have a chance to spot them.
To learn more about the best smokes and how to achieve them, check out our Best Training Maps guide.
Here's a popular video guide for getting more out of CS:GO's Smoke Grenades. If it helps you, do support the creator by giving the video a thumbs-up:
High Explosive Grenade
- PRICE: $300
- USE: Damage enemies
- DEFAULT HOTKEY (USE): 6
The High Explosive Grenade (HE Grenade), once thrown, creates a small explosion, damaging nearby enemies.
Similarly to the Flashbang, the HE Grenade’s impact varies depending on your distance to the explosion. Players that find themselves close to the explosion will take more damage, whereas being further away will lead to players taking less damage.
In CS:GO, a sole HE Grenade cannot instantly kill a player, regardless of how close they are to the explosion. The maximum amount of damage an HE Grenade can deal against an unarmoured opponent is ninety-eight, although this number drops to forty-eight against armoured opponents.
You can use the HE Grenade in several ways thanks to its versatility. Grouping up with several teammates to throw your HE Grenades at incoming enemies is a great way to pick off the opposition rushing in packs. Saving your HE Grenade for 1v1 scenarios can also be handy, as it can be a way of catching your unsuspecting enemy off guard.
For the most part, it’s very difficult to use the HE Grenade incorrectly as your goal is to hit anyone on the enemy team. Providing you throw the grenade in the vicinity of the other team, and not at your own team, you should be fine!
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- PRICE: $400
- USE: Damage enemies, block access to an area
- DEFAULT HOTKEY (USE): 0
Incendiary grenades are available for both the T-side (Molotov) and CT-side (Incendiary grenade) however, its far more likely that you’ll see the T-side variant, thanks to its discounted price tag. At $400, the Molotov Cocktail is an expensive utility, yet when you consider how much damage this single item can do to other players, it's not surprising that it costs so much.
Molotovs can be used both offensively and defensively as they can be bounced off of various surfaces when entering a bombsite, to clear angles that are tucked away out of view. After the bomb has been planted, Molotovs can also be used in place of smokes to block entry points to the bombsite.
In desperate cases where the T-side are concerned that the CTs may get a chance to defuse, such as in a 1v1 (or more) scenario, Ts may also throw a Molotov on the bomb in an attempt to stop them from defusing the bomb in time.
Before throwing a Molotov, you’ll need to have a good idea of where you want it to land, which means you’ll need a decent understanding of how grenade trajectories work in CS:GO. Throwing a Molotov straight forward onto the floor will ensure that it shatters on impact, causing the flames to spread around that area. As we mentioned earlier, Molotovs can also be bounced off walls to travel further before shattering.
Molotov flames last seven seconds, with each individual flame outputting eight damage per second, stacking up to a consistent forty damage per second when a player is standing in the middle of the flames.
In CS:GO, fire also has 100% armour penetration, meaning that if you find yourself surrounded, you’ll need to move quickly to avoid being eliminated. While Molotovs are undeniably powerful, they can be prematurely extinguished using a Smoke Grenade, which will dissipate the flames upon impact.
Here's another useful video, this time for making more strategic use of the Molotovs you stock up on:
- PRICE: $600
- USE: Damage enemies, block access to an area
- DEFAULT HOTKEY (USE): 0
Similarly to Molotovs, Incendiary Grenades are an excellent way of blocking off an area to stop the enemy team pushing through it.
However, on CT-side these grenades cost an additional $200, making them the most expensive grenade in the game, costing a grand total of $600.
Much like their T counterpart, Incendiary Grenades deal exactly the same amount of damage and last exactly the same amount of time. They can also be bounced off walls to reach common camping spots. As you’d expect, the fire emitted from these devices can also be quickly extinguished by a well-placed Smoke Grenade.
One could also argue that CTs have an advantage over Ts with regards to using Incendiary Grenades, as having multiple players placing consecutive Incendiary Grenades on the Bombsites can run down the clock to prevent the Ts from planting the bomb.
For this reason, it's far rarer to see CTs purchasing Incendiary Grenades due to their high price tag. If your team are buying Incendiary Grenades, its most likely a one-off strategy that has been carefully planned in advance. Considering that you can buy a Smoke and HE Grenade for the same price, this is usually a better option for most players.
- PRICE: $50
- USE: Mimics player gunfire to distract/trick enemies
- DEFAULT HOTKEY (USE): 9
Coming in at a measly $50 - one quarter of the cost of the second cheapest grenade available - the Decoy Grenade’s sole purpose is to distract the enemy team.
Once thrown, the Decoy Grenade will emit the sound of the user’s most powerful weapon for fifteen seconds. Once the fifteen second period is over, the grenade will explode causing up to five damage to anyone who happens to be standing near it.
Once you have the Decoy Grenade, one of the best ways to use it is to fool your opponent into thinking you are throwing a Flash Grenade. While this might not sound like a great move on paper, the reason this trick works is because the Flash Grenade and the Flashbang are both physically the same shape.
Another situation where the Decoy Grenade can be helpful is when your team has a smoke grenade down to block a path. Throwing a Decoy into the smoke can make the enemy team believe you are pushing into the area.
You can get more tips for using the Decoy Grenade by watching the video we've embedded right here: