Valve finally nerfs the M4A1-S, should you go back to M4A4?

Fariha Bhatti • June 16, 2022 9:09 am

Valve has announced long-overdue nerfs for the OP M4A1-S after a meta-shaking stint. 

CSGO has had various meta shifts, but the Operation Riptide update changed the game’s trajectory. Professional and casual players have dropped their M4A4 in favor of the M4A1-S. The budget change boosted the CT economy, resulting in significant imbalances in how each map plays out. 

The new nerfs in CSGO’s June patch notes should bring M4A4 back into the game for good and will bring better balance between the CT and T sides. 

Why did Valve nerf M4A1-S? 

M4A1-S nerfs
M4A1-S | Imminent Danger

The silenced M4A1-S had crept back into the highest levels of competitive play, completely sidelining the M4A4. Earlier this week, NAVI’s pro player Valerii “b1t” Vakhovskyi vented his frustrations with the gun and called for Valve to nerf it. 

The developer has responded in the new patch notes that deliver much-needed nerfs for M4A1-S. The CT-sided rifle’s magazine will take a hit going back to just 20 bullets. As a modest trade-off, the reserve ammunition will be increased from 75 to 80. This will force the M4A1-S spray spammers to reload more frequently during rounds. 

The M4A4 can hold as many as 30 shots in its magazine, which is significantly more than that of the M4A1-S, which only has a capacity of 20 rounds per magazine post-nerfs. The previously added buffs remain unchanged, so M4A1-S is still mechanically viable. However, the bullet reduction will surely make it more suited for specific playstyles. 

Before the nerf, all of CSGO had shifted to M4A1-S for its low price and versatility whether they were a sprayer or a tapper. The rifle is theoretically meant to be for long-range taps, but the buffs made it a go-to weapon for any situation. The new changes will put it back where it used to be. 

Is M4A1-S bad after the nerfs?

The M4A1-S is still a good CT rifle, but isn’t definitively better than the M4A4 anymore.

Those who empty large magazines while spraying should return to the M4A4, which holds 30 bullets. With this update, both weapons will have their own place and use in CSGO. If you have a decent aim, the decreased bullet count of the M4A1-S shouldn’t change much for you. The silencer, buffed damage, and no tracers still make it a viable pick compared to the M4A4. 

Many players have already started switching back to the M4A4. It will be interesting to see how these changes impact the meta that has made all CSGO maps CT-sided to some extent. 

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