Best CS2 Loadouts

CS2 has added a brand new feature to the world’s most popular tactical shooter: loadouts. In this article, we’re taking a look at the best CS2 loadouts based on price, weapon stats, and the place of weapons in the current meta.

As usual, we’ll continually update this article based on the latest stats and facts so that this will always be your go-to spot when you’re looking for the best CS2 loadout.

This article was updated on Friday, October 27th 2023 in order to reflect changes in the (pro) CS2 meta.

Best CS2 Loadout – CT Side


PistolsMid-TierRifles
USP-S or P2000MP9M4A1-S
Dual BerettasP90M4A4
P250UMP-45AWP
Five-seveNXM1014Scout
Desert EagleNovaAUG or Famas

Best CS2 Loadout – T Side


PistolsMid-TierRifles
Glock-19Mac-10AK-47
Dual BerettasUMP-45Galil AR
P250XM1014SG 553
Tec-9P90SSG 08 (“Scout”)
Desert EagleNovaAWP

What is a CS2 loadout?


In a nutshell, a loadout is the ‘menu’ of weapons you can choose from in your competitive matches, and it consists of 15 weapons that are divided into three tiers. Players select 5 different weapons from each tier to take into their competitive matches: 4 pistols (the starting pistol also permanently occupies one slot), 5 Mid-Tier weapons (SMGs and shotguns) and 5 rifles (snipers, assault rifles, and heavy rifles).

This of course means that choices will have to be made. There are a lot more than 15 weapons in the game, so players will need to consider which weapons they want to take into their next competitive game and which ones they want to leave at home.

Best CS2 Pistol Loadouts


CT Side Pistol Loadout: USP-S/P2000, P250, Five-seveN, Dual Berretas, Desert Eagle

The first choice to make is whether to go for the P2000 or the USP-S. Despite the fact that the USP-S is by far the most popular pistol in pro play, we believe that the P2000 is a criminally underrated pistol. It has more bullets and it’s slightly better at running and gunning than the USP-S, so if you’re more of a spammer and less of a ‘one shot, one kill’ type of player, you could definitely consider the P2000.

On the other hand, the USP-S does have that silencer, making it more difficult for enemy players to pick you out if you’re shooting from an unexpected angle, and this factor alone can easily net you some extra kills over the course of a couple of matches. Both pistols are pretty equal, so this choice really comes down to your personal playing style.

The affordable P250 is an obvious choice to add to your loadout if you ask us. It’s a reliable upgrade for when you want to improve on the firepower of the starting pistol without spending a ton of extra money, so it’s a great option for those rounds where you’re basically saving but you want a bit of extra sting. It’s also a potent sidearm for AWPers due to its low cost and higher damage potential when compared to the starter pistols.

CS2 P2000 Fire Elemental

The Five-seveN is another weapon we’d always add to the loadout. It’s been going through a bit of a renaissance in pro play and it’s a good weapon to steal a frag (and a gun) if you’re posted at an off angle during an eco round.

Something that we’ve also seen become part of the meta is the first round Dual Berettas buy. If you’re being rushed by an entire team of Ts then it’s always good to have a hose of lead at the ready, and the dualies provide more than enough bullets to give your enemies a good rinsing.

Finally, there’s the Desert Eagle. This iconic Counter-Strike pistol can be devastating in the right hands: when you hit heads, you only need five bullets to take out an entire enemy team. While this rarely happens in any kind of serious competitive match, the devastating potential of the Deagle should never be underestimated, and it’s a mainstay in any Counter-Strike player’s arsenal.

T Side Pistol Loadout: Glock-18, Tec-9, P250, Dual Berretas, Desert Eagle

If you’re playing on the T side, you only have one starting pistol: the trusty old Glock. This is arguably the weakest pistol in the game, but of course there is no other option than to add it to your loadout since it’s the only starting pistol on T side.

As mentioned, the P250 is a great AWP/Scout sidearm and a very cheap upgrade on your starting pistol, which is why we’d always recommend having it in your loadout.

The Tec-9 is an incredible pistol for those times where the plan is ‘rush B don’t stop’. Its great moving accuracy and high bullet spam potential means that you’ll be a highly mobile target with a high bullet output, so having the Tec-9 in your T side loadout is a must if you’re asking us.

Despite the Desert Eagle potentially being a bit weaker on the T side than on the CT side due to its relatively low fire rate and the fact that you have to sit perfectly still to get it to accurately fire, its potential still cannot be ignored. One headshot and you’ve made a great opening for a push onto a site, so it’s a good pistol to have in your back pocket and loadout.

We’d also recommend adding the Dual Berettas to your loadout, if only due to the fact that the other available pistols are extremely underwhelming. On the T side, you will probably never use the Dualies, but it’s a slot that needs to be filled up regardless.

Best CS2 Mid-Tier Loadouts


CT Side Mid-Tier Loadout: MP9, UMP-45, XM1014, Nova, P90

The Mid-Tier has a ton of guns in there, so in theory this will present players with the hardest choices, but if you look at how many weapons are actually viable right now, it becomes a bit easier to choose.

The MP9 is one of the best SMGs in the game right now, and one of our go-to weapons on a force round or after winning a pistol round, so naturally we had to include it here. It’s an extremely potent gun that can even net you kills against fully kitted out opponents, as long as you’re not too far away when you start blasting.

CS2 MP9 Starlight Protector

The UMP-45 is a good SMG option for mid-long range battles, so if you ask us it’s a good compliment to the MP9 in a loadout.

When it comes to shotguns we have two options. The Nova is the cheapest option and seems somewhat buffed in CS2, especially when it comes to the range at which you can land lethal shots (which is why we added it) but it has a low fire rate and a relatively low damage output unless you can land all pellets. The XM1014 has a high fire rate and a ton of damage output, but it’s a bit more expensive to purchase. Shotguns are really powerful right now in CS2 though, so we recommend taking these two options for some versatility.

The final weapon in this loadout was a bit of a tough choice. Aside from the Negev, none of the other options aside from the P90 really drew us in, but we’ve chosen the latter due to the fact that it’s very easy to use. If you’re on one of those ‘screw it, we’ll rush them‘ rounds then it can be a massive surprise to the enemy team to see a highly mobile Spray90 wielder coming around the corner, but if you’re a player who is more into strategically holding certain chokepoints with an endless stream of bullets then the Negev is also a good option.

T Side Mid-Tier Loadout: MAC-10, UMP-45, XM1014, Nova, P90

On the T side, you have to have the MAC-10. This run-and-gun SMG is great for rounds where you know your enemy won’t have a full buy and even if they do, it can definitely catch enemies off guard due to how mobile the weapon makes you.

The UMP-45 is also a weapon we’d add to our CS2 T side loadout just due to the fact that it’s a cheap mid range weapon.

Shotguns generally aren’t used on the T side too much (they’re much better as a defensive weapon due to the fact that people have to come to you) but the XM1014 can be an interesting niche weapon in certain situations, and the Nova is a good choice for taking out that one CT player who is always pushing a certain section of the map by himself. It’s also relatively good on at range, which gives you a little more of a fighting chance if you somehow do end up in a midrange fight.

The P90 is the final weapon that we’d add to our mid tier loadout. It’s rather expensive, but with CS2’s current ‘peek meta’ this is a potent weapon to use if you want to rush a certain site.

Best CS2 Rifle Loadout


CT Side Rifle Loadout: M4A4, M4A1-S, AWP, Scout, AUG/FAMAS

While the fact that you can switch between both main rifles (the M4A4 and the M4A1-S) is probably big news for the pro scene, we don’t think it’ll mean a huge difference for the average player, at least not at first. The majority of low-mid ranked players have had a preference for a certain rifle for years regardless of the meta, and while most will probably try out the other gun for a round or two, we have a feeling that a ton of gamers will just switch back to their main and leave it at that.

Still, if you’re a competitive player who is interested in the competitive side of the game, having both rifles in rotation provides a tremendous advantage. It allows you to go for the M4A4 (which has more bullets and thus more multikill potential) if you’re anchoring a site while you can still pick up the M4A1-S if you’re playing somewhere with more wide open sightlines and more opportunities for a smoke spray kill once people have smoked off those sightlines. Even if you exclusively use only one rifle (the M4A1-S seems preferred right now in the pro scene due to the game’s economy) it’s always good to have the other M4 available in case you need to drop one for a teammate.

Counter-Strike 2 AWP Atheris

In addition to the two main CT rifles, we would also add both snipers. Even if you don’t play AWP/Scout yourself it’s always good to have these rifles in rotation so that you can drop them for a teammate who does play with them, and the Scout can be a very reliable weapon in anti-eco rounds. It can also be the final puzzle piece when you’re trying to cobble together a half-buy with your teammates, so for those reasons we would leave it in.

The FAMAS is also a gun that we would recommend you to bring along. It’s definitely not a must have and you can swap it out for the AUG, but that one is extremely situational and rather expensive, though pros have been trying it out a bit more in recent matches. The FAMAS is a good choice for when you’re tight on money and you don’t want to sacrifice too much firepower and the AUG is a good ‘cherry on top’ type of weapon for when you’ve got plenty of money. Deciding between these two will come down to your personal playing style and which economic situations you most often find yourself in.

Autosnipers are extremely situational and cost massive amounts of money, so we didn’t see them as an option for either side.

Best T Side Rifle Loadout: AK-47, AWP, Scout, Galil AR, SG 553

The AK needs no introduction. It’s the game’s most iconic rifle and it’s almost impossible to imagine a Counter-Strike game without the AK in a prominent position in the meta, so you should definitely add this to your CS2 loadout. Its one shot potential combined with the high damage output makes this a fantastic rifle, and if you’re not an AWPer you’ll probably always be buying this one on buy rounds.

We’ve also included the AWP and the Scout in our loadout, for the same reasons as we’ve outlined above. You might not use them yourself, but you should always be able to drop these rifles for your teammate who does use them.

The Galil AR is the T’s counterpart to the FAMAS, but the Galil outperforms its sibling in almost all aspects. It’s a rifle that’s easy to control and has very decent damage output levels, so if you’re half-buying or you’ve won the first round and are looking for something a bit more powerful than an SMG, this should be your choice.

The SG 553 used to be an extremely overpowered rifle, and while those days are well and truly behind us it’s still a lot more useful than the other options so we’ve included it as the fifth option in our loadout.

Conclusion


It’s a known fact that CS players like sticking to their favorites when it comes to weapons. As such, this loadout change won’t be as limiting as it might initially sound, as most players only use a handful of guns throughout any given match. This could of course change over time. Valve might be looking to add new guns, or be more active with weapon balancing, which would make choosing a loadout a lot more difficult in the future.

For now, though, it’s pretty straightforward. Aside from a couple of choices that will come down to personal taste, the loadout choice will be pretty straightforward for most players. We will keep this article updated to line up with the latest patches and game changes, so do check back from time to time!

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L H

go add the negev for the ump

L H

p90 and ump??

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