M4A1-S vs M4A4: Which One’s Better in CS: GO Post Riptide’s Balance Update?

M4A1-S vs. M4A4 Featured
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In combat between two of the best teams in Mirage from the online era of CS: GO – Gambit Esports and Heroic – team leader cadiaN delivered a shocking 1V4 clutch with only a P250 in hand. Within a fraction of a second, the player found himself a knife and his classic AWP. 


Three kills later, what we know is Heroic had won the ESL Pro League tournament. It’s one of the many excerpts of eSports where you can feel the excitement, sense the crowd ready to go wild, and cut the tension with possibly the most impactful melee weapon – a knife.

Counter-Strike has always been a game of high stakes. Your enemy is bucked up with armor, gazing through the bombsite to snipe the life out of your counter-terrorist, and you on the mid are looking for way-outs to sneak inside and swarm the bombsite. 

Also, Read: 15+ Best Smoke Spots for Dust 2 in CS:GO

In such a desperate situation, even the most straightforward decisions like choosing between M4A4 and M4A1-S assault rifles can either shift the tides in favor of your enemy or grant you the winning glory. You need to identify the underlying intricacies of your weapons in hand to formulate effective strategies.  

Below are a few details that can help you make the right decision: 

CSGO M4A1-S vs M4A4

The New and Improved M4A1-S – Is It Any Better Than M4A4? 

As Valve announced the release of Operation Riptide three months ago, it rolled out a multitude of changes in terms of gameplay, map tweaks, and of course, the M4A1-S Damage Buff. What started as the least preferred pick in the game came out ripped in the recent update. 

With more body damage, the unpopular sibling is presently more valuable than the M4A4. It can kill the majority of the targets with just four body hits, provided the increased body damage pairs very well with the existing features like its accuracy and suppressed fire. 

We’re yet to conclude about which one you should be using now. Let’s compare both the guns on specific parameters that matter in the game: 

CS:GO M4A1-S vs M4A4

1. Damage 

Before the recent update, both weapons had identical damage at point-blank, making them a highly preferred option against unarmoured enemies. Both of the guns feature 70% armor penetration stats, which is although nowhere as good as SG 553, can still go on par with FAMAS. 

2. Rate of Fire  

The M4A4 beast spits fire at an astonishing 666 RPM, the fastest assault rifle group in CS: GO. The M4A1-S, however, is a bit slower with its fire rate capped at only 600 RPM, making it one of the slowest, if not the least effective assault rifle in closed combat. 


3. Accuracy, Recoil, and Precision 

While you’re mastering your favorite weapons, spray patterns are an essential concept to grasp. In context with the two M4s, the A4 has a larger spray pattern than A1-S. This makes M4A1-S convenient to spray and spreads less, making aiming easier.

However, for a seasoned counter-terrorist, the higher spread of M4A4 can be advantageous as it offers decent damage with a fast rate of fire. Also, when unsuppressed, M4A1-S has a larger and more random spray pattern, which is somewhat similar to that of AK-47. 

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4. Ammo Reserve 

Although M4A1-S has improved considerably from the damage perspective, it still houses only 20 bullets in the magazine with 40 in reserve, which is relatively shallow in our opinion. Three constant sprays, and you’ll be left helpless resorting to your knife or a pistol. 

On the other hand, M4A4 can hold 30 bullets in a magazine and keep 90 in reserve, just like other rifles like AK-47 and AUG, which is not a lot. That being said, the low rate of fire of M4A1-S may help you conserve what little ammo you have in your arsenal. 


5. Noise 

When equipped with a suppressor, M4A1-S is hands-down a dead silent gun compared to any other rifle in the game. The competitor, instead, is significantly louder, making it useless to gain swift kills based on your playstyle. Even the tracers don’t show up when firing with M4A1-S. 

The Takeaway 

Following the launch of Operation Riptide, the tweaks made in M4A1-S are certainly tilting the popularity scales in this silent killer’s favor. It’s simply too good, powerful, and does not have many shortcomings compared to its counterparts. 

Additionally, the lack of bullet tracers suppressed sound, more manageable recoil. Obviously, the damage advantages are a few of the many reasons you should modify your inventory and make M4A1-S your default CT rifle in the game. 

Also, Read: 10+ Best Grenade Spots for Dust 2 in CSGO

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