How to get the most out of firebombs and HE grenades in CS:GO

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How to throw grenades

Using the primary fire will result in a long range throw, secondary fire a short distance throw and holding both gives you something in between. It's also possible to achieve throws between the normal three by releasing the buttons in different orders and with different timings. Play around with it until you have a feel for your options.

Header image courtesy of Faith&Fear on Steam.

In order to be successful in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive you need to be able to take control over the map and deal damage. High explosive grenades (HE) and the two firebombs (incendiary grenade and Molotovs) serve both purposes. A well timed HE can slow your enemy’s movement enough for you to pick up an easy kill. They can also be used in combination with either a Molotov or another HE to do even more damage and potentially kill an opponent without ever putting yourself at risk.

The difference between a good grenade user and a really good one is how well you coordinate with your teammates. Therefore it’s important to know how, why and when to use grenades if you want to improve your game. 

Updates to incendiary grenades and Molotovs

In recent (and not so recent) updates Valve have gradually tuned the two firebombs to the point where they’re almost the same. That said, they differ in price. The Molotov costs the terrorists $400 whereas the incendiary grenade costs the counter-terrorists $600. Another difference is that when you hold down either primary fire, secondary fire or both with the Molotov it makes noise that the other team can hear if they’re close enough. Moral of the story: you might catch a bullet to your head if you run around ready to throw your Molotov if you opponent hears that it’s safe to come around the corner. They do however both deal the same amount of damage and don’t damage armor anymore. 

 NIP’s creative firebomb round

Richard ‘xizt’ Landström, Jacob ‘pyth’ Mourujärvi and Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT’ Alesund predicted that the former Luminosity (now SK-Gaming) players would push B-long once again, so they decided to do something creative with their incendiary grenades. They flashed, smoked, lined the grenades up and threw them at the same time.

Unfortunately for them the flashbang kept the Luminosity players from pushing further. Imagine what could have happened without that flashbang. At the same time they kind of had to use the flashbang in case their opponents decided to rush. But you get the point: if you find the right spots and the right timing you can do some really cool things with firebombs in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Spend some time on empty servers and experiment with approaches. Not only is it fun when you actually come across a useful place to lock down with firebombs, you’ll also figure out what doesn’t work. 

 Combining Molotovs and HE grenades

Here’s another example of a NiP play, this time against the French team G2 eSports:

It’s always risky to move out in the open when you throw a grenade. Unless it’s at the beginning of a round or you’ve received information telling you that it’s safe, you should avoid doing so. Most of the time it’s better to bounce grenades off walls from a safe spot.

Apart from the fact that Richard ‘xizt’ Landström died, then, this was a really good play. First the Molotov comes in and covers the chokepoint at double doors, forcing the G2 players to move in one of two directions. After that HE grenade explodes: you can see how it slows the terrorists down so that they take even more damage from the fire. Firebomb damage increases over time, so if you can make your enemy stay in it for a longer duration they’re going to take massive damage. As you can see, Cédric ‘RpK’ Guipoy and Edouard ‘SmithZz’ Dubourdeaux are left with 13 and 21 hp respectively. 

 Grenades and vision

You can use both firebombs and HE grenades to briefly hide. If you stand really close to a molotov in a tight space you can see your enemy without a problem. Here’s how it looks:

Note how it’s almost impossible to see your opponent from the other side. This is something you can and should use to your advantage if your opponent tries to fry you. Punish them for every mistake they make. That’s how you win games in CS:GO.

The thick smoke from the HE grenade provides a perfect screen for you to run behind to cross various parts of maps. This example from double doors at Dust2 is probably the most common example: 

This allows you to save your precious smoke grenades—they can come in handy later in the round. 

Bonus clip

Here, Robin ‘flusha’ Rönnquist from fnatic shows us how to use the HE grenade creatively and in the process he picks up an ace against Team Dignitas. 

First he hides behind the smoke and tries to spot enemy players on the A site. After a while he throws a grenade towards them. If a HE grenade explodes close enough you can’t hear anything for a brief moment. Flusha uses that fact to drop down to CT spawn without the Danish players hearing him land. From then on he uses his incredible gamesense and nerve to take them down one by one. 

Find all of our other Counter-Strike: Global Offensive guides here:

Inferno Counter-Terrorist guide
Inferno Terrorist guide
Cache Counter-Terrorist guide
Cache Terrorist guide
Overpass Counter-Terrorist guide
Overpass Terrorist guide
Cobblestone Counter-Terrorist guide
Cobblestone Terrorist guide
Train Counter-Terrorist guide
Train Terrorist guide
Mirage Counter-Terrorist guide
Mirage Terrorist guide
Dust2 Counter-Terrorist guide
Dust2 Terrorist guide
Support role guide
Entry fragger role guide
Lurker role guide
AWPer role guide
Team leader guide
SMGs guide
Sniper rifles guide
Assault rifles guide
Pistols guide
Worst weapons guide