Switched yet? M4A1-S popularity plummets after nerf

By Kenneth Williams


Dec 14, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

CSGO weapon M4A1-S’ nerfs have now had time to settle, and the silenced rifle’s popularity has significantly dropped as a result.

Scope.gg has released new stats showing the drop in usage rate for the M4A1-S following the most recent round of nerfs. It found that the M4A1-S has fallen out of favor on several maps while the usage share of the M4A4 has nearly doubled. While the silenced option still reigns supreme among players, this immediate change could signal a meta shift towards the M4A4.

To find these stats, Scope.gg recorded information from more than 2 million CT buy rounds across all major maps, including those not currently on active duty. The numbers below refer to the rate at which CT players purchased the primary rifles when they were able to do so. CT players who purchased AWPs, AUGs, or other weapons are included in these rates.

M4A1-S popularity change after nerf

The stats average out to a total 8% decrease in M4A1-S popularity. The drop is especially noticeable on Ancient, Overpass, and Vertigo, which have all seen a 10% drop in use. Those three maps all have long-range sightlines where the damage falloff nerf is most noticeable. However, the lack of the M4A4 buffs still leaves the M4A1-S as the more popular CT rifle. 

M4A4 popularity surges after M4A1-S nerf

While the default CT rifle was purchased less than 10% of the time in the previous patch, the gun’s popularity has more than doubled after the M4A1-S nerfs.

The changes are most noticeable in Ancient, Vertigo, and Inferno, which matches up with the popularity adjustment for the M4A1-S. The A4’s better spray capabilities make it more suited for spamming through smokes and suppressing key sightlines, which are valuable traits for those maps.

M4A4 popularity change after M4A1-S nerf

Even after the changes, the M4A1-S still dominates matchmaking with much more frequent use across all maps. Valve is probably satisfied with the situation for now, but CSGO’s developer could introduce new changes in a future balance patch to even things out further. The guns were generally considered balanced before the Operation Riptide changes, but Valve seems set on differentiating the two CT rifles.