In the heat of a heavy firefight it's hard not to clamp down on your mouse button and only hope for the best. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's somewhat punishing carry about the mechanics of firearm precision means that many attempts to spray and pray end up with bullets everywhere except their intended resting place.

Counter-intuitively, the perfect way to ensure your shots land when you're under fire is to remain still and pop rounds off one by one. But frankly, who has time for it? When you absolutely, positively need to find every one of your bullets from your gun while simultaneously ducking for cover, then you are going to have to understand how to keep that recoil under control. After all, it is how the experts do it.

To pull out anything near as coordinated as this Krimz clip below, keeping Fnatic living in ESL Cologne this summer, you have got to know how CS:GO guns do the job. Learning about recoil is a tiny double-edged sword, since there are equally important theory and practical components to it, but thinking too much will finally begin to cause problems.

On the academic side of things, each automatic gun in the game has its own spray pattern, that is that the "shape" of the recoil once you shoot without having to reset. This shape can be seen if you fire bullets at a wall, maintaining your crosshair in the identical location. When you fire in more bursts, your shots start hitting higher up the wall because your digital rifle kicks back into your palms and rears up.

The trick to recoil, though, is that this pattern is the same every single time you go full auto Rambo with each weapon. Meaning by memorising the routine for firearms you use most often -- that'll be the AK-47 and M4A1 -- it is possible to draw the "shape" in reverse with your crosshair and observe every shot land home on your initial target. That's where the functional play comes in.

Muscle memory is much more than only nearly all ability at play in CS:GO. Twitch reflexes and strategy do their part, but the bases that knowledge like spray patterns put must be built on by literally days of more or practice. As soon as you understand what you are supposed to do, doing it is all that's left. And what's worse, thinking about what you are supposed to do can completely throw off you while doing it.

A clever solution for this Catch-22 is uLLeticaL's Recoil Master map. Accessible on the Steam workshop, this can be a shooting range fully equipped to help you learn any patterns you feel up to the challenge of. The map utilizes lively "ghosthairs" painted on a goal wall to demonstrate where you will need to reposition your aim to continue hitting that sweet spot in head height.

The good thing is that not each gun is enormously different from one another. The SG-553 has a pretty similar pattern to the AK, as an instance, and for the most part yanking your crosshair down will probably do a lot for your first 10 or so bullets in a clip. You may play around with various guns and modify the ghosthairs to just show the next leading shot once you've got a sense of them.

After that, it is a case of moving onto moving targets and maintaining the flow. Never think about the flow. This kills the flow. You are able to use a moving crosshair inside Recoil Master, which means you still get some ghosthair prompts, but if you've got the subtle image of the mouse down it would be better to move onto more actual situations.



Before dashing out into DM and spraying your way to success, you will find far more training maps that will provide you a much more constructive environment to clinic in. Another uLLeticaL creation, Aim Botz, gives you a shooting range full of bots and environmental obstacles that prevent any blessed strays from burning away in the body while you're aiming in a head peeking over a crate.

If it comes down to it, there's no rapid replacement for muscle memory, and we have not yet evolved as a species to the point that we're able to put in that as readily as a training map. Until then, it's a couple of hours of training and warm up before leaping into your competitive matches, but even Krimz started someplace.

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