Exploring CS:GO's weirdest bugs

The trouble with vents, and other war stories

Over the last few months Valve have released a steady stream of updates for CS:GO, replacing the audio for every gun and tweaking many other aspects of the game. Behind the scenes they’ve also been hard at work fixing some of CS:GO’s longstanding bugs and peculiarities. By tying the camera to the player model, hitboxes have been improved significantly, leaving no more excuses for those missed headshots—at least until the next issue is found. Also gone are bizarre aerial exploits in which a player could land precise midair shots by counter-strafing or weapon swapping, as shown below.

These changes have been long-awaited, and it’s great to see a renewed interest from Valve in fine-tuning the game. However, CS:GO is no stranger to bugs, and plenty have haunted it for a long time. Collected below are some of the strangest ones that you can still find in the game today. 

Ethereal ‘nades

The inclusion of bouncing projectiles in hitscan shooters is always going to cause trouble, but grenades still provide more than their fair share. Clip a teammate when throwing any grenade, and you’ll find it no longer collides with doors. Used on Cache’s A-bombsite, defenders can be caught by an unexpected flashbang.

Line up the angle just right and the grenade will skim your teammate without slowing, allowing you to set up useful smokes and Molotovs from a position of relative safety.

Highlighted as far back as 2013, Valve don’t seem in any rush to release a fix. Fortunately doors are far from common in competitive maps, reducing this bug’s impact.

Invisible Molotovs

There’s no questioning how dangerous molotovs can be, with even the best falling victim from time to time. Despite the large visual warning, It’s easy enough to step accidentally into the hotzone during a firefight. A risk which becomes all the more deadly when the fire itself is invisible.

If a Molotov or incendiary detonates just as it hits a player’s feet, they will appear to smother the flames, spawning no fire around them. This won’t stop the damage or audio, however. Moving will cause the flames to reappear, and few will stick around when a Molotov comes their way, making this bug unlikely to offer much of an advantage.

Run boosting

Like bunnyhopping, run boosts offer players an alternative method of movement with which to catch opponents off guard. While Valve has done much to curb use of the former, run boosting remains an effective strategy. By standing one player on top of another and running in tandem, the boost-ee is flung forward at high speed when jumping. Most often put to use in reaching unconventional spots on the map, it can also be used to take a waiting AWPer by surprise.

Requiring two players to work in synchronisation, run boosting necessitates a high degree of risk in it’s setup, making it a situational option at best. Popular with pros and fans alike, however, it’s unlikely to disappear anytime soon. Watch Virtus.Pro put this to use against G2 here.

Venting frustration

Valve’s approach to updating maps is far from consistent. Levels are chosen here and there for revamps. It’s great to see older maps receive a bit of polish, but it can also lead to some unusual differences worth knowing. For an AWPer, it’s crucial to land that single-shot kill, an advantage removed when firing through any object. Shoot through a vent on Cache, Nuke or Mirage, and you’ll find your damage drop below 90, even when aiming through the gaps. Repeat the exercise on Cobblestone however, and you can shoot through without breaking the vent itself.

Vents have proven an interesting testbed in CS:GO, behaving differently on each map, and even made open and closable in Nuke’s revamp (a change since revoked). An AWP failing to kill in one hit can be a matter of life and death for the shooter, making it well worth learning each map’s individual quirks.

Smoke bomb

Counter-Strike’s terrorists have tried as hard as possible to make their bomb noticeable, attaching a huge blinking light to the front. This might make it easy to find should you leave it lying around, but can also lead to some unintended downsides. Try to sneak through a smoke grenade while carrying the bomb, and you may find yourself an easy target. Those with a careful eye can also take advantage of this to spot when a dropped bomb is picked up inside smoke.

Visibility of the bomb through smoke grenades is wildly inconsistent, but seems dependent on the bomb's position relative to the grenade. To reduce the chances of showing up, try to make sure you stick to the centre of the smoke or the far side of your opponent. When trying to recover the bomb, make sure the smoke overshoots the bomb’s position slightly.

Assorted oddities: stairs, swaps and sound

Beyond vents, GO’s maps exhibit some further irregularities in design, including smaller but noticeable differences in the way stairs behave. While some act as smooth ramps, others cause the player’s viewpoint to bump up and down as you traverse them. Youtuber 3kliksphilip does a fantastic job of explaining the differences here.

If you’ve ever had trouble picking up a gun at a crucial time, you’re not alone. GO contains a 'press E to swap weapon' feature which proves unreliable at best. Should the gun lie anywhere near a grenade, the bomb or even another weapon, you may be unable to retrieve it, a problem which even causes the pros some consternation. Given the option, swap by dropping your original gun instead.

Far from a bug but still an issue, CS:GO’s surround sound leaves a lot to the imagination. While Horizontal audio is acceptable, verticality is all but indistinguishable, made most dangerously evident on Nuke’s overlapping bombsites. A remedy would likely require an overhaul of the map, and that's unlikely to happen any time soon. CS:GO may have a long life ahead of it, but it’s likely that many of these bugs will be along for the ride.

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