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CS:GO Economy Guide (2023)

How to earn, save and spend money in Competitive Matchmaking!

Ever since the beginning of Counter-Strike, the idea of the developers was that CS should separate and differentiate itself from the other popular FPS game franchises of that era. Some of the features were revolutionary and influenced a lot of games in the decades to come – one example being the money system. The economy of Counter-Strike changed over the years quite a few times from CS to CS:GO era, and here’s what the current economy within Counter-Strike: Global Offensive looks like.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Guide for Economy in Competitive Matchmaking (2023)

You have certainly played Counter-Strike if you are reading this, and the basics are pretty much known. You start a match with $800 and you can’t have more than $16000, you buy stuff to help you win the round, you get money when you kill an opponent, you get money when you win a round, etc, etc… But how does it work, exactly? You ought to know how everything works to the dime so that you know when to buy and when to go eco.

Related: How to Most Efficiently Rank-up in CS:GO Competitive Matchmaking (2022)

First things first, you need to know all of the prices by heart. The easiest way to do this is to start up your own practice server, set up some settings, and then just browse the menu. You can even write the prices for the most important stuff down for the time being. You’ll need a console so if you do not have it enabled, check out How to Enable and Open Console in CS:GO.

Console commands that you should use to practice are:

  • mp_buytime 90
  • mp_buy_anywhere 1

This enables you to look at the buy menu for 90 seconds and to buy anywhere in the map.

Related: What is the Code for the C4 Bomb in CS:GO?

How to Earn Money in CS:GO in 2023

Kill rewards are usually $300 for most of the weapons, however through the history of CS:GO, some were adjusted for balancing purposes, so we have a $100 bonus for CZ75-Auto and AWP kills, a $600 kill reward for all SMGs except P90, and $900 kill reward for all shotguns. If you manage to get a kill with a knife, you get $1500.

This is especially important when you’re a T in the first round since most CTs stay with USP which doesn’t have a lot of bullets and opens a chance to hunt down a CT that’s running unarmed.

Related: CS:GO Smoke Practice Commands Guide: How to Practice Smokes in CS:GO

On the other hand, there are team bonuses that are allocated to members based on what happened during a round, before the next round begins.

  • Round victory amounts to $3250 for every team member
  • Planting a bomb amounts to $800 for every team member
  • Winning a round by bomb exploding OR, when you’re a CT, defusing the bomb, amounts to $250 for every team member.
  • Losing a round gives everyone in the losing team $1400. However, if you keep losing more rounds in a row, you’ll get more with each consecutive round: $1900, $2400, $2900, and finally, if you lose five rounds in a row, $3400, which is the cap for the loss bonus.
  • If you’re a T, who survives the round after the time expires (bomb not planted) you get $0. This is referred to as a “save”.
    “Saving” means that you are saving a good weapon, perhaps some armor, helmet, and who knows, maybe a grenade or two, because trying to be Rambo against all odds and win the round is unlikely and gives you significantly less money than you’re currently worth.
    Example: You have 10HP, and AWP, and are up against 3 CTs, and the bomb is not in a good spot, everyone is guarding it. If you lose, you gave them the AWP and lost everything else that was on you, and are stuck with (probably) $1400 for the next round.
    If you save the AWP, you get $0, but you have $4750 on you in just the AWP (let alone any other equipment piece). Just try to not get killed after the time expires because CTs might try to hunt you down to prevent a save. With that AWP, you may start building equipment for your team’s next round efforts, even if it means that you’ll have two SMGs, one AK, and one Galil next to you. It’s better than wasting one more round on “eco”. Things like this can make a difference.

Additional Economy Terminology in CS:GO You Need to Understand

Like in any game or any community, there is a lingo/jargon that you must adapt in order to communicate with your teammates more efficiently about what you are doing next round:

Related: All Dust 2 Callouts in CS:GO: Map Guide

  • Full Eco / Full Save: You are not to click buy for anything, not even a P250 for a better chance as you’ll need that money next round. The maximum that you should do is one Flashbang if you’re a T so that you can have a slightly better rush.
    You are willingly throwing a round this way, with the main aim of killing at least a few of your enemies, to hinder their economy a bit and force them to waste money again next round. If you manage to actually win a round like this by luck or skill, then good! It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it really brings up the spirit of your team and has the opposition rage at each other in text/voice chat. This is good early in the match where you can still make a comeback if you lose.
  • Eco / Save: Depending on how much money you have as a team, your current losing streak, etc, you may opt to buy *some* stuff to try and sneak in a round win, BUT calculate that you have a full buy next round if this round fails completely. Eco usually means that you will get a better pistol (whether it’s a P250, Desert Eagle, or a CZ) and utility (grenades). The goal is the same as above, to try and sneak in a round win, or at least to knock out some of the opposition. As CT, you will be buying Incindeary and Smoke grenades to deter Ts, and as T, you will buy flashbangs for entry, and smoke for securing the site (should you succeed in planting the bomb).
  • Quasi Buy: Also, depending on the situation, this is a gambit where about half of your team can muster an assault rifle with kevlar and helmet, so you just go with it, with low utility, no sidearms, and think that this will give you a fighting chance to actually win the round (and to pillage the assault rifles from your dead enemies). Remember, SMG kills are worth more. Quasi Buy is worth up to $4500 in the CT team, and up to $4000 in the T team, to keep it real.
  • Full Buy: All of you have enough money for AWP/Assault Rifle, Kevlar and Helmet, and at least 3 grenades, and if you are that filthy rich, a sidearm as well. Be mindful that you should leave some money for the next round if you get killed, regardless of the outcome of the current round.
  • Force Buy: This happens in two cases. Case one: This is the last round of the half, the last round of the match, or a match point against your team. Realistically speaking, what would you be saving money for if you would lose such a round? Go all out, buy a decoy if you are left with just $100, it can serve as a fake flash lol.
    Case two: You lost, let’s say, the pistol round, and you have faith that you can take the enemies by surprise next round with SMGs, so you bet “all-in”. This happens when you manage to plant a bomb and get those additional $800 per team member, despite losing in the end. One example would be where you lost the first round, but still killed 4 out of 5 enemies and had a plant, and you just KNOW that they won’t be able to go “Full Buy”. Realistically they can buy Kevlar, Helmet, and FAMAS with the money they will have and this is beatable with what you can hypothetically buy!

Related: What Every New CS:GO Player Needs to Know About the Unwritten Competitive Matchmaking Rules

How to Behave When You Got All This Money On Your Hands

Let’s emphasize once again that CS:GO is a team game. Sure, you can be a pro-tier player who can carry the team to victory with 30 kills per match, but in the end, a team is as good as the weakest link(s). This is why it’s always important to work things out as a team. The scoreboard is there for a reason, it shows how much money everyone on the team has.

Related: CS:GO Radar Settings Guide: Best Radar Settings in CS:GO

There is enough time between the end of one round and the beginning of the next to quickly communicate what is to be done next round, based on the round score between the two teams, and the amount of money you have. You can also see who’s carrying what primary weapon. Of course, most of the utility is not shareable, everyone needs to buy their kevlar and helmet, but rifles and pistols can be passed around, which is a feature that you should be using. Sharing is caring!

Also, we know that it’s near impossible to track how much money the enemies have, but you can have a general idea based on how often they get killed, and sometimes it is possible to predict when they will go eco or at best, force buy. There is no winning formula for this, only long-term experience. When you play hundreds of matches and go through every possible scenario based on the scoreboard flow, you will start recognizing patterns based on what your teams were doing in tough economical situations. And of course, if you see them losing round after round, you know how much money they’ll get after each loss and you can gauge if they’ll be able to buy based on the previous round that they’ve lost. One simple example is that if they force buy on the second round and lose, there are high chances that they’ll go eco in the next because they would be earning just a mere $1900 with the 2nd loss in a row. Add that to the $2400 they’ll get after losing the 3rd in a row and you have $4300, enough for Kevlar, Helmet, AK-47, and a few grenades.

Related: All CS:GO Ranks in Order: CS:GO Ranking System Explained

Some general tips:

  • If you lost the pistol round, there are usually three ways to proceed, depending on how much money you got (based on how many kills, the status of the bomb, etc.).
    • 1.You can go “eco” or “full eco” for 1 or 2 rounds (if you gained nothing from the round and just got wiped out)
    • 2. You can go “eco” or “full eco” for just 1 round (if you have a plant in the first round but didn’t “dent” the opponent’s resources enough to warrant a force buy on the 2nd round)
    • 3. You can force buy immediately (if you killed 3-4 enemies and have a plant done because you have gained money from the plant, 3-4 kills, and there are enough resources to attempt a force buy)
  • If you’ve won a round, try to find a weapon on the ground that you can upgrade into, for example, ditch an M4 in favor of AWP or AK-47 every time you can (or any lower-tier weapon). If you can’t use AWP well, someone else will volunteer to do it for you, and maybe even buy you something to trade you.
  • If you see that you are full-geared at the end of a round and have enough money to buy something (SMG or a Rifle) for your teammate who’s low on money but would be able to purchase utility on their own, offer a “drop” through voice chat, to stop them from buying something random. It’s bad when someone makes a random purchase and then there’s an extra weapon on the spawn for no reason. The same goes for you, when you are low on cash and die every round for example, whether your team wins the round or not, you’ll certainly have someone who is capable of sparing a primary weapon for you.
  • As mentioned above, if you are overwhelmed and see that you cannot win a round for any reason and you feel that the saved weapon will make an impact next round, and the round result is not in your team’s favor and you would need that win next round, hide somewhere with your weapon and run the clock. What you have on you is worth more than the “reward” if you die in most cases.
  • For CT only: If you need the $350 for a grenade or just don’t have $350 at all, buy a Kevlar and an Assault Rifle. Why?
    Because if you take a headshot from a close-medium range from an AK-47 (or even worse, AWP), you’ll die regardless of the presence of a ballistic helmet on your head. So, that investment is more or less redundant if you know that the entire enemy team is brandishing AKs and AWPs (yes, we can nitpick that in a firefight, someone can switch to a pistol and obliterate you, but that doesn’t happen that often).

Related: Best CS:GO Startup Commands/Launch Options Setup (2022)

We hope that this guide will help you get a better understanding of CS:GO economy if you’re a newcomer and that it will improve your money-management skills in CS:GO. We welcome you to browse our other guides for CS:GO (and other cool games) here on Prima Games.

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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.