CS:GO’s Assault Rifle Dilemma: M4 vs. AUG, ft. Xyp9x, gob b, and smooya

CS:GO AUG M4 M4A4 M4A41-s

Before we get down into the detailed stats and differences between the two types of assault rifles, at Daily Esports we thought it would be great to get some insight from professional players. We got Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth from Astralis and Owen “smooya” Butterfield and Fatih “gob b” Dayik from BIG Clan to exclusively tell us what they thought about the AUG and SG 553.

[This is a continuation of a two-part series. Check out part one, “CS:GO’s Assault Rifle Dilemma: AK47 vs. SG 553.”]

First up, we caught up with the Astralis lurker, Xyp9x, following their hard-fought battle against Fnatic in the semi-final of IEM Chicago.

Daily Esports: There have been a few changes in the game with the AUG and the SG 553. They took a drastic drop in cost and many teams have been talking about maybe swapping the M4 for the AUG or maybe playing with the SG over the AK. Did you feel like it came into play or effect in this particular set or in this tournament? 

Xyp9x: I think there are many players using; I don’t think any player has used it in this match, so I don’t think there was anything to take away from this match. I know Karrigan is using [the AUG] a lot from FaZe, so if we face them tomorrow it’s going to be exciting [to see] how that’s gonna be playing out. To be honest, I haven’t really played it, I haven’t really tested it, but some of the other guys have and they say that it’s quite an amazing gun. Maybe after this tournament, when we have some time to prepare and test it out, then we’ll switch to it as well or at least try it.

[Next up, we got the two players from BIG Clan, smooya and gob b, to speak out on the matter respectively.]

DES: Recently, there have been some changes in the pricing on some key weapons in the game, we saw the AUG and SG drop significantly in price. Have you or your team discussed it,  or do you feel like there’s going to be a shift away from the AK or the M4?

smooya: There already has been with the M4. No one on our team uses the M4 anymore other than me, ’cause I don’t know — I just don’t really kill anyone anymore. But I tried the AUG and it seemed really good, and gob b uses it, nex uses it, and tabsen uses it. Everyone on the pro scene is already using it. It’s a good gun; it’s a really good gun. But the SG not so much — everyone keeps the AK. But the AUG over the M4 is definitely better.

gob b: For myself, I’ve directly tried to learn a lot about the weapons. The recoil, the movement speed, and all the other stuff, and try to figure out where are advantages [of them]. And I feel like the AUG has a lot of advantages over the M4. I feel like the combination of AUG and silenced M4 [M4A1-s] is a really good one. If you need the silenced M4 for certain duels and scenarios, maybe playing sneaky in the smokes so it can work. And for me, it’s really important always if there’s an update coming up that you don’t stay like, ‘Okay, it’s an update and I’ll keep playing what I can play best.’ So you need to learn and adapt, and that’s what I tried to do. And I think even other pros also recognized that the AUG is really strong. And I think we will see it more often. I think the sig [SG 553] is not that strong to be honest, because with the AUG you can do exactly what you want to do with the M4. With the sig you can’t do exactly what you can do with the AK because you can’t run as good in front or as first with the SG. You need to play differently. But that’s not that bad. You can take [the SG 553] when you want to play in certain areas or when you can’t run as the first sometimes; you can let your teammate run first [be the entry fragger]. Most weapons are really strong. I just feel like you need to figure out what’s the best for yourself.

One thing stands out from all of the players. All of them are much more excited about the AUG and are certain that it is more viable than the M4. Unfortunately, they were more neutral about the SG 553. As gob b suggested, it is not a good weapon for entry fraggers, probably due to it being much more cumbersome than the AK.

The M4 or the AUG?

Let us get down to the counter-terrorist assault rifles, the all-time favorite M4A4 (or M4A1-s if you feel sneaky) and the more sluggish but just-as-powerful scoped assault rifle, the AUG. Below you can see the basic description provided for each user in-game about each weapon.

From the very basic information that we are shown, the AUG still loses when it comes to damage, dealing five less damage than the M4. However, it makes up the difference with its high armor penetration — 180 compared to 140 of the M4 — meaning that against armored opponents it becomes a more viable option. But does it actually? At long ranges, perhaps. Yet both weapons still take five shots to the body to kill an armored enemy and four to kill an unarmoured opponent. At a medium and short range, the damage and armor penetration do not matter in this case. The AUG, does, however, have the possibility of landing a 1-shot kill headshot, but only from point-blank range. This simply does not occur in the case of the M4.

And now moving onto the things that are not given directly: firstly, the reload time. The M4 has a relatively quick reload time of 3.1 seconds, while the AUG specs a more hefty time of 3.8 seconds. That may not seem like much, but in the brink of combat, it may be the difference maker between staying alive or dying. Especially when taking into account that the two guns have the same magazine size (30 bullets).

Yet another instance where the AUG comes out as inferior is movement speed. The M4 retains 225 out of the 250 full movement speed when held. In contrast, the AUG retains only 220 out of 250. It is yet again a subtle difference that may or may not be the difference maker in set situations. Additionally, when scoped the player moves with a staggeringly low 150 movement speed. Much like with the AWP, scoping and moving is highly discouraged, especially considering the fact that peripheral vision is impaired while aiming down the scope.

Below are the spray patterns of the M4A4, M4A1-S, and the AUG (unscoped). I have decided to include the M4A1-S spray as the weapon does differ compared to the M4A4 in this particular case. Apart from the spray, the M4A4 has a higher rate of fire of 666. The M4A1-S has a 600 RPM (rounds per minute) firing rate. However, disregarding the RPM, the two rifles don’t differ when it comes down to statistics. To add to this, the AUG shares the same RPM rate as the M4A4 of 666.

Note that the distances are the exact same as with the AK and SG spray comparisons:

Short (left) and medium (right) range sprays of the M4A1-S.

Short (left) and medium (right) range sprays of the M4A4.

Short (left) and medium (right) range sprays of the AUG.

From the get-go, the close range spray pattern shows a very similar pattern for the three guns. However, if we look closer at the first two to three shots of the AUG, they nearly hit the same spot. This shows that, at a very close range, the first three shots will go right where you want them to. This is attributed to the AUG having the most accurate first shot in the game, which is even more accurate than the AWP. The SG 553 sits at second place, just in the shadow of the AUG.

At a more medium range, the patterns start to drift apart. The M4s have a pretty straightforward downward pattern for the first six to nine shots; however, then it becomes more irregular, especially for the M4A4. With the AUG, much like with the M4s, the first couple of shots are very manageable, but the later phase of the spray becomes more chaotic. Nevertheless, the spray of the AUG sits somewhere between the relatively easy spray of the M4A1-S and the more difficult M4A4 spray.

One last thing to consider is the scoped spray. The AUG’s accuracy is much increased when scoped (similarly to the SG 553).

Scoped short and medium range sprays of the AUG.

As you can see, both short- and medium-range sprays are very controllable while scoped. This provides the AUG with a massive advantage on the counter-terrorist side. Holding angles and bombsites at medium ranges should be the go-to strategy for players handling the AUG. The relatively easy scoped spray pattern should be good enough for average players to hold off those pesky terrorists from entering the site, especially with the range advantage that the scope provides.

Is the AUG worth the $50 more?

Again, that depends. What kind of counter-terrorist player are you? Do you typically just hold angles passively? Or do you prefer to be a more mobile player that is the first on rotation? It all comes down to play style, but here is a summary of the pros of each assault rifle.

M4A4 and M4A1-S pros:

  • Higher movement speed
  • Much faster reload time
  • More condensed spray pattern of the M4A1-s

AUG pros:

  • A scope for longer-range battle potential
  • The most accurate first shot in the game
  • Slightly easier spray pattern (compared to the M4A4)
  • One-shot headshot kill potential at point-blank range

From what the pros have told us and from the information above, it is hard to argue against the AUG. Sure, it makes you run slower and the reload time is a hard pill to swallow, but generally, it just seems to be superior on the counter-terrorist side. However, re-learning the spray pattern and getting used to the gun itself may be a long process for many.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. As always, remember to follow us at Daily Esports for more news on other esports and more guides such as these.

I like to give out free AK-47 headshots in CS: GO, spend some quality time in the kitchen marinating a tender chicken breast and approximately 3 times a week I lift some relatively heavy metal stuff at the gym. Oh, and I also like to write about e-sports and everything related to gaming. Who knew one could have such contrasting interests?