M4A1-S – imba? Balance change overview


On September 22, Valve released one of the biggest updates in years, featuring Operation Riptide. The update brought new agents, stickers, skin collections, and a case. On Dust 2, it’s now impossible to watch the doors at mid from the T spawn. The specs of some devices were changed too. Valve have significantly buffed M4A1-S, nerfed Desert Eagle, and decreased Dual Berettas’ price. These are the novelties we’ll talk about in greater detail. The CS.MONEY Blog is here to cover how weapon nerfs and buffs will affect the game balance.

Is M4A1-S the new meta?

The main change in terms of guns is a significant buff of the M4A1-S. Players, including professionals, previously favored the “loud” M4A4, the one without a silencer. After this massive update from Valve, however, the popularity of the silencer skyrocketed.

Valve raised the maximum damage the M4A1-S deals when hitting the body from 33 to 38. From now on, four bullets will be enough to take out an enemy with one hundred percent health and Kevlar. For comparison, you’d need five accurate hits to make a frag with the M4A4. Neither the distance to the target nor the part of the body which the bullet hit are of importance. The damage to the head remained unchanged: it’s still at 92.

The community is rapidly switching to the M4A1-S. Notably, Gambit captain Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov said all teams were using this gun during praccs.

The M4A4 beats the M4A1-S only in two parameters: rate of fire and magazine capacity. Still, with the silencer, it’s easier to control the spray, rendering the disadvantages of the silenced counterpart not so critical after all. Plus, the M4A1-S costs $2900, whereas the M4A4 is $200 more expensive. This means you can buy an extra flashbang which can be crucial.

The M4A1-S is probably still waiting for its fixes — at the very least, the prices of the two M4s could become the same. But it’s unlikely that Valve will lower the gun’s damage. The company wanted to restore this M4 to its former glory. And they’ve succeeded. In matchmaking, fewer and fewer players are using the no-silencer version. At the recent BLAST Premier: Fall Groups 2021, some pros were already playing with the silencer, even though it was the old patch that was valid at the event.

Desert Eagle no longer a killing machine?

For a long time, the pro community had been asking Valve to fix the Desert Eagle. Back in March, Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen suggested decreasing the gun’s damage or rate of fire.

The $700 device was capable of taking out an armored opponent with two accurate shots to the body. At close ranges, the Deagle was no less effective than assault rifles.  

Now, the situation has slightly changed. The maximum damage was lowered by as much as ten units: from 63 to 53. Team Spirit rifler Victor “sdy” Orudzhev is delighted about the fix.

However, it’s still possible to make a frag with two shots to the body. You must hit twice in the stomach or once in the stomach plus once in the chest.  

Of course, the power of the pistol’s previous version will be missed in certain situations. Nevertheless, there are currently no worthy alternatives to the Deagle. Until Valve buffs the R8 Revolver, the Desert Eagle will remain one of the most popular weapons in the game. At BLAST Premier: Fall Groups 2021, the Deagle is the fourth most popular gun. The situation is unlikely to change dramatically.

Dual Berettas now a worthy alternative to P250?

The Dual Berettas were previously overshadowed by the M4A1-S and Desert Eagle. Now, the former received a change that seems insignificant at first glance: the two pistols now cost $300 against the previous price of $400. The rest of the features remained intact.

So what does the Berettas’ reduced price ensue? It seems that they’ll be able to compete with the P250. The damage and rate of fire are the same. The main disadvantage of the Dual Berettas is a long reload time of 3.8 seconds. However, this is more than offset by the 30 ammo rounds in the magazine.

The Dual Berettas were used by some players even before. With the price now decreased, their popularity will only rise. And that’s great. The more devices you can effectively use, the more diverse the game gets visually, for both the audience and the players. 

Valve have seriously updated the game just a month before the Major. Teams have little time to adapt to the innovations, including upgraded gun specs and the ability to drop grenades. The CS.MONEY Blog will keep an eye on emerging trends on the professional scene and cover them here in detail.




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