The AWP is the deadliest gun in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but one weird game option can cripple the weapon’s effectiveness.
“Delay sniper rifle un-scope after shot” is a toggled option in the items section of CSGO’s setting. When activated, the AWP will not immediately un-scope after taking a shot. Instead, the scope will remain active for about half a second. The setting also affects the SSG-08 scout sniper, though the semi-automatic snipers are left unaffected.
This option seems completely irrelevant at first glance. AWPers usually want to reposition after taking a shot regardless of whether it hit or missed. Under normal circumstances, the game automatically un-scopes at the first possible moment.
However, a secret mechanic prevents the delayed un-scope option from being completely useless. The AWP took a significant nerf in 2015 thanks to legendary French AWPer Kenny “kennyS” Schrub. kennyS’ unique aggressive style took advantage of the scoped AWP’s standard movement speed. Valve responded by reducing the movement speed of a scoped player by 50%, down to 100 from 200 standard velocity.
With the delayed un-scope option enabled, players can temporarily move at the normal 200 velocity while scoped. AWPers can confirm their shot while relocating at the normal walk speed, potentially granting an information advantage. The delay also allows an AWPer to glimpse trade attempts across long sightlines like mid on Dust_2 or Mirage.
Why do AWPers switch to the knife after shooting?
While occasionally useful, there are a few reasons this option hasn’t become the standard. AWPers must be constantly aware of their blind spots. Scoping in removes AWPers’ peripheral vision, making it more difficult to cover their position. Manually un-scoping with delayed un-scope is an option, but it appears to be glitched. After switching to the knife, the game will snap back to a scope view for a few frames before going back to normal.
In the early days of Counter-Strike, it was popularly believed that switching to the knife after shooting would speed up the AWP’s chambering animation. This is technically true. Any weapon swap immediately ends the bolt action animation, but switching back to the AWP requires another equally-long animation. Whether you switch weapons or not, the AWP’s fire rate cannot exceed 41 shots per minute.
Nowadays, professional CSGO AWPers switch to the knife for movement speed. Melee-wielding players can move at 250 velocity, the fastest possible movement speed outside of specific conditions. The 25% movement speed boost can help them reposition or escape returning fire.