best loadouts in CS2
Screenshot by Prima Games

Best CS2 Weapon Loadouts

Let's secretly hope that this feature will go away soon.

We’ve talked about things that are better in CS2 than in its predecessor, CS:GO. Unfortunately, now is the time to talk about something that’s a step back regarding game “quality of life” in the eyes of many Counter-Strike players. Yes, CS2 will have loadouts, meaning there is a limited amount of weapons you can purchase on your own during each CS2 match. Let’s explain the loadouts feature in CS2 and analyze which loadouts are most well-rounded for each situation.

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What is the CS2 Loadout? Why Can’t I Buy Some Guns in CS2?

During each of your matches, you have access to a maximum of 15 different weapons available in your shop, meaning that you will have to renounce a handful of weapons. You will see three categories when you click the “Loadout” button at the top of the main menu, next to the Play button.

Screenshot by Prima Games

Outside of this screenshot, on the left and right side of the screen, you can change the following stuff in your loadout:

  • Agent (Operator or player skin)
  • Gloves
  • Knife
  • Music Kit
  • Coin
  • Spray Paint

Back to the important part we are discussing right now – weapons. There are three categories:

  1. Pistols
    • one starting pistol (USP-S or P2000 for CT and Glock-18 for T)
    • four “other” pistols:
      • P250, Dual Berettas, CZ75-Auto, R8 Revolver, Desert Eagle for both sides,
      • Five-SeveN for CT,
      • Tec-9 for T.
  2. Mid-tier weapons: SMGs, Heavy Machine Guns and Shotguns
    • MP7, P90, Nova, XM1014, MP7, Negev, PP-Bizon, UMP-45, M249, MP5-SD for both sides,
    • MP9 and MAG-7 for CT,
    • MAC-10 and Sawed-Off for T.
  3. Rifles: Assault Rifles and Sniper Rifles
    • AWP and SSG 08 (Scout) for both sides,
    • FAMAS, M4A4, M4A1-S, AUG, and SCAR-20 for CT,
    • Galil AR, AK-47, SG 553, and G3SG1 for T.

So, all in all, you can have:

  • 4 out of 7 (6 for Ts) available pistols,
  • 5 out of 12 available “mid-tier” weapons,
  • 5 out of 7 (6 for Ts) available rifles.

A commendable feature is being able to carry both M4s in your loadout. It can prove useful when your teammate requires a weapon as you can provide either M4A1-S or M4A4 depending on their preference and skill level.

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Best CS2 Loadout for CT Side

CT Pistol Loadout

You can edit the weapon loadout by clicking on the CT or T character. Your default pistol is either P2000 or USP-S. I chose P2000 because:

  • it has one more bullet
  • it has more spare ammo
  • Ts who do not know how to play with it won’t pick it up from me

For the rest of the slots, we can debate all day and night, but the staples will be as follows:

  • P250 (excellent sidearm in all regards)
  • Dual Berettas (decent eco ammo dump weapon)
  • Desert Eagle OR R8 Revolver (powerhouse that packs quite a punch)
  • Five-SeveN OR CZ75-Auto (Five-SeveN if you want long-range encounters with decent power, and CZ75-Auto if you intend to rush a T and steal their weapon.

CT Mid-Tier Loadout

We’ll have many problems here since there is so much stuff to renounce. I advise you to use these three for sure:

  • MAG-7 OR Nova (you need a low-cost shotgun. Nova is better on long-range, and MAG-7 is a death sentence to anyone who gets close enough to you.)
  • MP9 (you need a low-cost SMG for eco rounds)
  • P90 (because it’s the P90)

The rest are your preference. I use XM1014 and Negev (Negev is great for suppressing fire once in a while in lower ranks), but I see a lot of MP5-SDs and MP7s going around, and they have their strengths. On the other hand, Bizon has a lot of ammo, but its damage could be better, and UMP-45 never found good use for me.

CT Rifle Loadout

Very, very tight space, especially when you know that two of your slots are already occupied with:

  • AWP (even if you do not play AWP, you will end up in a situation where you will buy it for the team)
  • M4A4 OR M4A1-S (primary assault rifle)

Three slots remain; they should depend on your preference and practice only if you ask me. Here is a short breakdown of what I am using and what I passed on:

  • FAMAS ($2050 is a great price tag, and I am having a blast with it in CS2)
  • Scout (I keep it as an eco buy to challenge enemies on long-range when they do not have AWP)
  • Scar-20 (I love playing auto-noob if we snowball out of control, especially on Nuke from Garage.)
  • AUG (I do not like it because of the price tag, and it is terrible outside of scope mode compared to other ARs.)

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Best CS2 Loadout for T Side

There are fewer problems on the T Side because fewer weapons contest the available slots.

T Pistol Loadout

Currently, the Glock-18 is the only default pistol in CS2. Four other slots are easy to decide for the most part:

  • P250 (excellent sidearm in all regards)
  • Desert Eagle OR Revolver R8 (when you need to pack a punch)
  • Tec-9 (brutally efficient sidearm in all aspects, but costs $500)

For the last slot, you need to choose between:

  • Dual Berettas (all-round option)
  • CZ75-Auto (suitable for rushing in to quickly pick off a CT and grab their weapon because drawing it and reloading it takes ages)

I lean more toward CZ75-Auto because it suits close range in 1v1 situations. I also have other pistols for long-range engagements.

T Mid-Tier Loadout

Same as with the CT side, I chose a cheap SMG, a cheap shotgun, and some cool stuff:

  • Mac-10 ($1050 is just a bargain; it gives A LOT for this amount of money)
  • Sawed-Off (I prefer its damage over the long-range viability of Nova)
  • Negev (covering/suppressing fire in eco rounds)
  • XM1014
  • P90

I dropped MP7 and MP5-SD because their prices are not justified, and more utility in my inventory with Mac-10 is a better purchase. PP-Bizon and UMP45 are guns that I never really liked, unfortunately.

T Rifle Loadout

Same as with CT loadout, you will have two staples you cannot run away from:

  • AWP
  • AK-47

The remaining slots (3) can be filled with four weapons. I picked:

  • SSG 08 (so that I can challenge enemies at long-range in eco rounds when they do not have an AWP)
  • Galil (some players ask for Galil drop, and it’s a decent rifle for its price in CS2)
  • G3SG1 (because “auto-noob” is always fun in late rounds)

I dropped SG553 because it only works well with the scope, and you will have a lot of close-range encounters in the current Premier mode map rotation. On the other hand, Galil has proven itself very worthy. The first five bullets are relatively easy to control, and you will stand a chance against most enemies.

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That’s all about the loadouts in CS2. Check out essential smokes that you should know on the new Inferno in CS2 if you plan on mastering this staple map.

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Nikola L
Nikola has been a Staff Writer at Prima Games since May 2022. He has been gaming since being able to hold an Amiga 500 joystick on his own, back in the early 90s (when gaming was really good!). Nikola has helped organize dozens of gaming events and tournaments and has been professionally attached to gaming since 2009.