Valve have updated the shotguns in CS:GO because
they were rubbish before and nobody liked them.
For now this update won’t be seen in competitive gameplay, but you can try the changes out
in an offline server with the console command: weapon_accuracy_shotgun_spread_patterns 1
Whereas the spread of the pellets used to be random, it’s now a set pattern… although
bullets will still deviate off this a little bit, and more so if you’re moving or spraying.
This is what the default patterns look like, from a distance of 256 units. Remember these
well, since Valve believe that if you can master them then you can pull some equilibrium-style
stuff where you choose a shotgun based on the shape of the room you’re going to clear
out or something. Whether that’ll be the case or not, this is certainly a welcome improvement
to the most random of the weapon classes. The Sawed-Off is the largest of the 4 patterns,
with 3 shots landing around the crosshair in a small triangular shape and the rest found
further out. I’d say it’s best to aim directly at your target with this weapon and
to get as close as possible before firing. So no change there! This weapon still has
a pathetic range of 650 units, beyond which the bullets disappear from this realm and
into Half Life 3, never to be seen again. The remaining 3 shotguns have similar sized
patterns, but their pellet distributions are very different.
The nova creates a sort of X-pattern with most of the pellets landing below and to the
left of your crosshair. So I guess if you’re up close then you should aim slightly to the
right to get a kind of round pattern with 7 pellets landing on them, and if they’re
far away then aim straight at their abdomen and hope you land some of the 5 pellets that
go up the middle of the spray. All but one of the Mag7’s pellets create
a square with the crosshair in the bottom left corner- this is a good example of how
learning these new patterns will help maximise the damage done. The last pellet misses by
miles- a sick consolation prize for players unfamiliar with the new blast pattern, perhaps.
And lastly, the XM1014 is fairly spread out but 5 of its 6 pellets make up a square that
extends out to the left of the crosshair. I personally like the 2 pellets that land
just above your crosshair, which alone make up 1/3 of the damage this shotgun can deal.
The XM1014 has just 6 pellets per shot, the least of all the shotguns, while the nova
has 9 and the rest have 8. Not all pellets are created equally, either- the XM1014 deals
the least pellets and they inflict by far the least damage each. As well as that, all
shotguns sport different values for armour penetration and fall-off, which I suggest
you consult Slothsquadron’s and Blackretina’s weapon spreadsheet if you’d like to know
more. Like I said earlier, I’ve only been covering
the default patterns, but if you fire several in quick succession, or are jumping through
the air or whatever then these patterns will quickly disappear into a random mess of pellets
again. So be warned. Practice against a wall to learn how long it takes to reset.
All in all, this is a welcome update that should render the shotguns slightly less useless,
though whether this is enough to make them relevant remains to be seen.