Should CSGO have an option to pick between M4A4 and M4A1-S mid-game?

Fariha Bhatti • July 31, 2021 3:25 pm

Amid Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s cryptic posts and hints regarding the grenade drop feature, Helvijs “broky” Saukants has worked in his own request of having an option to pick between M4A1-S and M4A4 mid-match. 

CSGO has been dropping subtle hints about changes coming to grenade storage. While mousesports’ Broky doesn’t mind dropping utility for his teammates, there’s something else he wants Valve to adjust. The pro player recently tweeted that he’d like an option to pick between the two Counter-Terrorist side rifles during a live match. 

The buy wheel of CSGO doesn’t allow CTs to pick between two primary rifles with more or less similar specifications and Broky’s tweet has triggered a debate whether Valve should finally allow it. While some players plainly reject the idea, many believe that the developer should have added the feature a long time ago. 

Should players be able to pick between M4A1-S and M4A4? 

Buying a suitable rifle according to the position you’re playing is undoubtedly a bright idea but it may shake up the game for the worse.

Modifying the buy wheel wouldn’t be entirely fair to T-side, which doesn’t have the luxury of picking a silent Carbine like M4A1-S. While the CT-side juggle between weapons to suit close or long-range duels, Ts will have to stick with the loud Kalashnikov, which is tactically unfair.

Additionally, reading the enemy strat, movement, and positioning is instrumental to winning a higher-ranked game. As a T-side player, it would negatively impact the intel-gathering process when you’re left guessing mid-game about CTs positioning based on the weapon they carry. 

Apart from the feature’s impact on T-side, the game’s economy would ruin the tactical experience. There’s a disparity of $300 between M4A4 and M4A1-S, enough money to buy a flashbang if they pick the latter. This bank difference will allow CTs an edge by carrying utility when they shouldn’t, all the while having an equally powerful weapon. When CTs have $3,100 to use, they’d have an advantage in the form of extra ammo, as M4A4 has five more bullets in a single magazine. 

While many would argue that not having an extended wheel limits you to drop your teammate the weapon of their choice, it also puts CTs at a great advantage of cashing their eco rounds. For example, if a player has $2900 to spare after a full-buy of M4A4, they can donate a powerful weapon like M4A1-S to their teammate, which is just as viable as Ak-47. This currently nullifies the concept of eco-rounds since players can only drop a FAMAS or an SMG in a budget of $2900. 

While it does make sense for CTs to make their pick, the current game tactics don’t allow this luxury as it would royally rock the meta.

A few economic adjustments might be required to advance the buy wheel while ensuring meta-stability. It’s highly likely Valve wanted to entirely remove M4A1-S after introducing the new rifle but kept it for the sake of the older player base. To keep the game meta solid, the developer is likely pushing the players to stick to one weapon, hence refusing to add an extended wheel.  

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