Why do Counter-Strike players switch weapons so frequently?

When I watch pros play, I see them constantly switching from main weapon to knife in almost every situation (i.e running, walking, entry, etc.).

In match-making, ESEA, etc. players will also do this. I have seen people die because they were in the middle of the ‘switching’ animation and thus unable to shoot. Had they not switched to their knife and back, they would most-likely have lived.

What sort of advantages do switching so frequently have?

I guess my thought process is:

  • While running: If one were to switch from their knife->gun->knife, and (even for a brief period), it slows their speed – ultimately getting them slower to their destination. Sure, maybe a really small difference but there are many scenarios where every tick/frame counts.
  • During gun-fights: Switching to from gun->knife->gun in the middle of fire-fights is really dangerous and players are defenseless for a short period of time, switching should generally be avoided as much as possible in these scenarios as well.

Some scenarios that I understand are when players have their gun out to be cautious but switch to their knife to gain speed for a short distance, then switching back – but it’s a bit confusing as to why players of all skill-levels will constantly switch their weapons in almost every scenario.


As an avid CS:GO player I can attest that besides gaining movement speed, there are very few situations when player benefits from random switching to knife/nade/pistol. Most importantly, you limit your reaction time in a game where fractions of second determine the winner.

To understand the human nature of this behavior consider a typical round in CS:GO match:

  1. Freezetime. Players spend 10-15 seconds during freezetime, of which they typically spend 2-4 seconds buying weapons. The rest of the freezetime players have almost nothing to do, they cannot run/walk and only allowed movements are jump/duck throwing weapons and… switching weapons.

  2. Getting in position. Prior to any action, players have to reach their positions. This process requires pressing “w” anywhere between 5s (dust2) and 30s (nuke). Running the same route each round is not the most enjoyable part of the round, so switching weapons is an easy way to add some action without slowing down the pace, as ducking or unsuccessful jumping would do. To be fair, switching between knife and primary weapon gives you a certain speed gain compared to running with primary weapon, but why simply not run with a knife instead?

  3. Holding an angle. Whether you are a CT awaiting “Rush B” or a T who just planted a bomb you will have to wait before any action takes place. This process requires holding an angle patiently and focused without much movement freedom. Switching weapons may be attractive option of self-entertainment during these tense moments.

    In most cases, you can attribute such behavior to either boredom or emotional stress. Pressing buttons may help mentally during tight situations, like a fidget cube. The process can also be visually pleasing, especially if player owns skins he/she likes.

You can see many streamers and professional players who do that, especially younger ones. You rarely see this behavior from seasoned players in top orgs (compare 2015 s1mple in Filpsid3 with 2018 s1mple in Na’Vi).

Source : Link , Question Author : Jett , Answer Author : Community

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