There are four shotguns in CS:GO; the Nova,
Sawed-Off, MAG-7 and the XM1014. I might as well compare them all.
A big thank you to SlothSquadron who has given me valuable feedback and advice to ensure
that this video doesn’t have any glaring mistakes. Thank you!
There are three tiers of pricing, with the nova and sawed off both costing $1,200. The
MAG-7 covers the middle-ground at $1,800 and the XM1014 is $2,200. Essentially, shotguns
are competing with SMGs and lower-priced rifles. However- there’s one massive benefit that
shotguns have over the other choices, and that’s the kill award. You get a massive $900
per kill with the shotgun, compared with just $300 for rifles or $600 for most SMGs. Factor
in the shotgun’s low cost and you’ve got yourself a potentially lucrative income from choosing
these weapons. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I rarely
use shotguns. They require a different style of play to the other weapons in-game, but
they can be brutally effective at close-range and have been used in proper matches by high-level
players, Get_Right included. I don’t think that I’m in the best position
to advise you on HOW to use it. However, this video will simply analyse the pros and cons
of the different shotguns, which is something I can do. If you want to know how to use them
then look else-where or simply load up a deathmatch server.
Let’s look at some odd quirks that the shotguns have. The MAG-7 is the only one that isn’t
reloaded one shell at a time. This is a mixed blessing. Overall it’s faster to reload completely,
but you are unable to fire mid-way through the animation like you are with the other
shotguns. The MAG-7 has a smaller magazine size than the others as well so you may find
yourself facing difficult decisions regarding when to reload. Shotguns are very much a close-quarters
weapon and you must have a plan of retreat should the situation turn against you.
As for fire-rate, there’s one clear winner. The XM1014. You may be interested to know
that the nova is slightly slower than the MAG-7 and Sawed off shotgun. Fun fact: the
sawed-off shotgun is the only shotgun where you have to manually press fire for every
shot. With three of the shotguns, the delay between
shots is long enough to reset the recoil, resulting in a similar spread pattern every
time. However, the XM1014 is the odd one out, as it’s an auto-shotgun. Holding down fire
with this beast will make later shots fire above the crosshair. I COULD have kept this
feature in and made the gun look terrible in all of these comparisons, but instead I’m
going to add a fake delay between each shot with this gun to make the results more comparable.
I think it’s unfair that this gun should be punished for giving you more freedom over
the fire-rate and accuracy. With experience you’ll manage to get the best of both worlds
out of this gun. Simply keep in mind that you’ll have to compensate for the recoil if
you go full-auto with this gun in-game. Right, let’s get on with it. I fired 32 shots
with each gun at a wall 512 units away in four different stances, and this is how they
compare. Note that I walk closer to the wall to get this view, this isn’t the range at
which I was firing from. Standing still and firing, they all offer
the same level of spread apart from the sawed-off shotgun, which is more imprecise. The XM1014
was fired the same number of times, but it fires fewer pellets than the others so it
doesn’t look as… nghhh… ‘hole-some’. There are no major surprises with the crouching,
it shows about the same thing again. Moving is where things get interesting. Immediately
you can see that the MAG-7 has the tightest spread. What you might not notice is that
the sawed off shotgun does surprisingly well. It’s now about as accurate as the nova and
XM1014- a significant improvement in comparison to standing still.
Interestingly, when crab-walking, the sawed-off becomes the least precise weapon again. Hmm.
I might as well use this opportunity to say how few pellets the XM1014 fires. Beyond close
range it really is hit and miss. Literally. You’d be lucky to hit the broad side of a
barn. Movement speed also varies between weapons.
Here is a table of all the maximum speeds. The slowest is the sawed-off and the fastest
is the MAG-7. Using a shotgun will make you slower than SMG-wielding players, but about
the same as rifle-users. And how about damage? The XM1014 does the
least, at just 20 damage per pellet and 6 pellets. The nova does 26 with 9 pellets,
the MAG-7 does 28 with 9 and the sawed off 30 with 9, making it the most powerful…
on paper. But it’s not that simple. The nova and XM1014,
despite being the weakest up-close, do more damage at range than the mag-7 and sawed off,
which drop off very quickly at distance. Beyond 750 units the sawed off doesn’t even do any
damage! Against armoured opponents the nova is the
worst and the XM1014 the best, with the sawed off and mag7 coming just behind.
With that in mind, the nova is best used for an anti-eco after the pistol round, or any
other time when you know that the opponents will not be buying armour.
The sawed off is useless at range but is good for holding close-range positions against
armoured opponents. It is best suited to hostage rescue maps since only the terrorists can
buy it. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have any sort of penetration. I can’t even
shoot through one unit of wood against this opponent.
The mag-7 is like a better version of the nova. It’s more effective against opponents
with armour and is best purchased in rounds where you can’t quite afford the more expensive
weapons. The XM1014 won’t leave you helpless between
shots but its price premium makes it difficult to recommend over the FAMAS, Galil or P90.
As with the Mag-7, there may be certain situations and positions where it outperforms these other
weapons, it’s really down to personal preference. I would say that the shotgun to use depends
very much on what you’re going to do with it. Take some time to practice with them and
you’ll be rewarded with a cheap and occasionally very effective weapon that others don’t really
understand. Plus it’s a great way to upset opponents. And at the end of the day, that’s
what CS:GO’s about.