The CS:GO money system explained

Why is the economic system so important in CS:GO?

What factors can affect the economy in CS:GO?

If you are sat there watching a CS:GO stream and have no idea what’s going on, or why one side has more guns than the other, then this guide will be useful in your understanding of the game. Continue reading to learn more about the CS:GO money system and what it means for your betting.

If you want to succeed when it comes to CS:GO betting, understanding how the money system works is essential. One key thing to remember before we start is the Terrorists (T) and Counter-Terrorists (CT) both have slightly different guns and utility they can buy. For example, the CT’s need to buy a defuse kit to defuse the bomb quicker, and obviously the T’s do not.

Simply put, there is an economic system in CS:GO where you gain money for kills and completing objectives, enabling your team to bring better weapons and utility to the battlefield to heighten your chances of success.

Each side starts the game with $800 for the ‘pistol round’. The total amount of money any one player can have at any point during a match is $16000. Obviously, when the game begins with so few funds, the options for each team are limited. The reason for it being called the pistol round is you can only afford a pistol.

The items a team can buy in the opening round are listed below with a brief outline of what they do, as well as their cost.

Item Cost ($) Info
P250 300 Pistol, more rang for headshots than a Glock-18
CZ75-Auto 500 Automatic pistol, only 24 bullets
Five-Seven 500 Powerful close range
Tec-9 500 Excellent running accuracy and high fire rate
Dual Berettas 500 Look like a cowboy, not very useful
Desert Eagle 750 Two bullets to the body kills and 1 bullet to the head
Flashbang 200 Blinds Opponent
Smoke Grenade 300 Distributes smoke to a small area for a period of time
HE Grenade 300 Explosive grenade
Molotov Cocktail (T) 400 Creates a fire on the ground over a certain area
Incendiary Grenade (CT) 600 Does the same as the Molotov, except can be thrown further
Kevlar Body 650 Protects you slightly from body shots

You can see there is a wide variety of things someone can spend their money on, and managing who has what in this round is important. Now, if you thought this was already confusing, things will get a little more difficult to understand but knowledge of the CS:GO money system is crucial if you want to make money from betting on the game.

Increasing economy

The most common way for a team to earn money is by killing opposing players, which gives them a kill reward. The kill reward differs slightly depending on which gun you are using. For example, $300 is the reward for a pistol kill, with an AWP being $100. Shotguns will give a larger reward of $900, and although that is a lot, they are incredibly situational, as the range is almost nonexistent. You need to be up close and personal to do any damage.

The AK-47 is a preferred weapon due to killing someone with 1 bullet to the head regardless of head armour or not.

One gun you will see often, which is again situational, are the SMG’s. The kill reward is $600, and they are often used early in the game to build up the economy, or when you know the other team is on eco or force buy. The highest kill reward in the game is the knife, which will give you a hefty $1500, but these are rare and incredibly hard to achieve.

As well as killing players as a way to earn money, you can also complete objectives individually and as a team. If your side wins a round they will receive $3250 per player, regardless of if you were T or CT. If the bomb is planted and defused, each CT player will receive $3500. The same applies the other way, with each T player receiving the same if the bomb is planted but successfully defended.

Sometimes a T player might decide to save his gun, enabling him to bring it into the next round. In this scenario, he will receive $0, his dead teammates will receive their losing bonus (which will be explained soon), and the CT’s will receive $3250 - all of the aforementioned amounts are excluding kill rewards.

The losing bonus is the games way of stopping one side from entirely snowballing the other, so the team that loses a round will be rewarded with money. The losing bonus increases +$500 for each round a team loses consecutively, up to a maximum of five. So, the totals are 1400, 1900, 2400, 2900 and 3400.

So, if one player had no kills in the pistol round, completed no objectives, lost the round, and spent all of the $800, his total money for the next round would be $1400. Obviously teams in this scenario cannot afford a lot. When you take into account a M4A1-s rifle will cost you $3100, you clearly have a long way to go before you can afford a weapon that will really help get you back in the game.

Because the opposing team’s money is not that great either as they have only won one round, a lot of teams in this situation will decide to force buy. A force buy is when you want to try and win the next round, but cannot afford a full buy, so spend whatever you have to get a buy together.

If the T side was unable to plant the bomb in the opening round, they will most likely have to force buy to try and win back a round before the CT side can build up a bank.

By this point, if the team loses the round again, they will have the second losing bonus, which is $1900, so their money, depending on what happened in the previous round will be around this much. Meanwhile, the opposing team will have won two rounds and have their kill bonuses from the kills they obtained as well as at least one objective, so their money will be high.

The losing team has to wait, and eco one round, to enable them to get a full buy out in the next. An eco-round is where you either buy nothing or only a very small amount. They will then be on a third loss bonus, so 1900 + 2400, a total of $4300. This is enough to get an M4 ($3100), Kevlar ($650), leaving $350 for a grenade. You can see just from this example how important managing the economy is in CS:GO.

What about the T side?

Things can get more complicated again when things are reversed. The equipment is the same as listed above, and the second round is largely the same, depending on whether or not the T side managed to plant the bomb. If the bomb was planted in the opening round, players receive a bonus $800.

So, if a team loses the opening round but plants the bomb, the money will roughly be $1400 + $800, so a total of $2200 if you got 0 kills.

At this point, a lot of teams will decide to eco the second round, as the bonus money from the bomb plant will help them buy in the third round. If a bomb plant was not successful, the team will roughly have just $1400. Even if they were to eco this round, their total would be $3300, which is not enough for an AK-47 ($2700) and Kevlar + a helmet ($1000). However, the bonus $800 would make this possible.

If the T side was unable to plant the bomb in the opening round, they will most likely have to force buy in the same manner as the CT would do. This is to try and win back a round before the CT side can build up a bank, and also because the side cannot buy in the third round anyway.

Other factors that can affect the economy

There are some other factors as well that you should pay attention to on the streams. If you see for example, a player with far fewer funds than his other teammates, there is a good chance he was killed after the time. What this means is, if you are on the T side and you die after the round timer has reached 0, you are given no money bonus into the next round.

Certain players if they have a very slim chance of winning a round will try to preserve their equipment into the next. If the CT side find the player and kill him after the time has expired, the economic damage can be massive. It is also worth noting that this only happens on the T side.

You can almost predict what buy will come next and this will help you make more informed betting decisions.

If the T side had been on a few rounds losing bonus, there is a chance the player will have close to $0, while the others have $3400. This heavily impacts the next round, with one player not being able to afford anything.

Another example would be eco rounds. Eco rounds are used very differently for both sides. T side eco rounds are used usually to improve your own economy, and CT ones are used predominantly to hurt the other teams, as well as improve yours. For example, a T side eco round usually has one main objective and one secondary. The main objective will be to get the bomb down. The bonus $800 will enable them to purchase fully in the next round.

The secondary objective is to try and kill as many CT’s as they can impact the economy moving forward. The cost for a CT is higher than that of a T, so hurting their economy can be useful later in the game.

CT’s will really want to get any guns they can from the T’s during this round. The AK-47 is a preferred weapon due to killing someone with 1 bullet to the head regardless of head armour or not. If a CT side can obtain 2 weapons and kill 3 T’s, that would be considered a really good eco.

Now you have a basic understanding of what the CS:GO economy is, you can open a stream and watch some CS:GO to test out your knowledge. Have a look at the side’s money and equipment, and see if you can decipher what they’ve or what they will do next. You should see in almost no time at all you can almost predict what buy will come next and this will help you make more informed betting decisions.