Video: Players offer thoughts on M4A1-S nerf

The silenced variant of the CT rifle has been the go-to choice for almost a year, but has the recent change to its magazine size done enough to curb its use?

After being the second rate rifle for a number of years, the M4A1-S received a considerable buff in September 2021. Its already bolstered 25-bullet magazine and cheaper cost were combined with a buff to its damage, and it quickly became evident that the silenced CT rifle would usurp the M4A4 as the weapon of choice for the defenders.

Duels began to shift more and more into the favor of the CT side as the change took hold in sweeping fashion, M4A4 usage rapidly dwindling until it was almost completely negligible and the balance of almost every map shifting significantly toward the defending side, thanks in part to the ability to the A1-S' ability to kill in four shots to the body at almost any range and spam smokes without tracers. In fact, the sheer power of the M4A1-S even saw some players begin to scavenge the rifle on the T side from downed defenders, and the topic of whether changes needed to be made to nerf it began to arise, with players like Alex "⁠ALEX⁠" McMeekin, Robin "⁠ropz⁠" Kool, and Nicolas "⁠Plopski⁠" Gonzalez Zamora sharing some of their thoughts with HLTV.org.

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Expert take: What to do with the M4A1-S? (ft. ropz, ALEX, Plopski)

After nearly ten months, Valve released a small update in an effort to rebalance the CT weapon choices, reducing the magazine count for the M4A1-S back to its old value of 20. However, the reduced cost and even more importantly, the four-shot kill range to the body remained, offering much more of a benefit compared to the unsilenced variant. While there was some initial testing of the M4A4's viability in the Roobet Cup and ESL Challenger Valencia, usage of the A1-S quickly returned to pre-nerf levels at IEM Cologne, with less than one percent of players using the M4A4 throughout the tournament.

To find out what players think of the nerf and whether the change was enough, we spoke to a number of pros at IEM Cologne, with Mareks "⁠YEKINDAR⁠" Gaļinskis, Andrei "⁠arT⁠" Piovezan, Håvard "⁠rain⁠" Nygaard, Kristian "⁠k0nfig⁠" Wienecke and more weighing in on how the change is affecting them in game. To find out what they said on the topic, check out the video above or head over to our YouTube channel, where you can also find highlights, interviews, Counter-Quiz, episodes of HLTV Confirmed and HLTV Peek, and much more.

k0nfig thinks the nerf to the A1-S wasn't enough and wants the price raised to $3100
Denmark Kristian 'k0nfig' Wienecke
Kristian 'k0nfig' Wienecke
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
1562
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.69
Norway Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
1627
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.69
Estonia Robin 'ropz' Kool
Robin 'ropz' Kool
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
1149
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.61
United Kingdom Alex 'ALEX' McMeekin
Alex 'ALEX' McMeekin
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
1162
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.71
Brazil Andrei 'arT' Piovezan
Andrei 'arT' Piovezan
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
1008
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.71
Sweden Nicolas 'Plopski' Gonzalez Zamora
Nicolas 'Plopski' Gonzalez Zamora
Age:
20
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
1027
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.66
Latvia Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis
Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1104
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.70
#4
 | 
Canada Comeagain
Damn
2022-07-27 14:10
#5
 | 
Russia perfectonic
Nah
2022-07-27 14:10
Common L
2022-07-27 14:10
Who cares
2022-07-27 14:11
Nice thank you HLTV
2022-07-27 14:11
M4A1-S = skill spray M4A4 = noob spray
2022-07-27 14:13
21 replies
#12
ayy | 
United States Virgin Islands zj2
lelletankki = noob bait zj2 = god bait
2022-07-27 14:17
6 replies
0/8 for both
2022-07-27 14:46
good baiters are unknown
2022-07-27 14:55
4 replies
#32
ayy | 
United States Virgin Islands zj2
but ltn is known
2022-07-27 15:10
3 replies
#70
 | 
Lithuania Zen3ix
HE is not a baiter, HE is my rolemodel and should be respected as the man whose sacrifice has shaped this website, forsaken by god and devil alike. Out of ALL the HLTV mens)) he was the one who saw what this place could really become and DID something about it!
2022-07-27 20:32
hmm but i don't know him, which means he was decent at least
2022-07-29 20:33
1 reply
"Sometimes we know ourselves the least"
2022-07-29 20:34
Even my 5 yo cousin could spray A1-S. There's no skill required
2022-07-27 14:52
11 replies
Against one guy i guess,if 3 are coming to you the M4A4 has a more forgiving spray,if you do 1 mistake with the 1s consider yourself dead But it's way more rewarding when you do the spray right,making it more skilled
2022-07-27 16:32
10 replies
Nothing to do with the spray, only the number of bullets. You can still easily kill 3 with the a1s, however. Unless you are playing vs braindead people you won't be able to simply win a 1v3 gunfight no matter the spray.
2022-07-27 16:40
9 replies
wdym nothing to do with spray? lesser number of bullets means your spray control needs to be much better to get a multi-kill maybe play the game before commenting
2022-07-27 19:43
8 replies
#66
 | 
Brazil Whillpull
you can't mess a1s spray, it's a laser beam
2022-07-27 19:56
3 replies
record a clip of you getting a 3k in 1 mag with A1s and share it here willing to bet you won't get it perfectly even in aimbotz
2022-07-27 19:58
2 replies
#68
 | 
Brazil Whillpull
i won't because my keyboard has a reload key
2022-07-27 19:59
1 reply
k bro
2022-07-28 18:47
No you don't? Like, just disengage and reload? Are you dumb to be facing multiple enemies at once? In the rare occasion where you will actually have the opportunity to spray 3 guys, quite easy to do. First 8 bullests straight down, and last 7 is just a pull to the left. If you think you're going to get multiple spraydowns with the m4a4 just because of bullets, the one who needs to play the game is you.
2022-07-28 00:22
3 replies
have you tried playing as a site anchor? when the hit comes, at the max you get 1 flash support from teammates before you have to engage multiple enemies, there's rarely a 'fall back' opportunity available. if you don't agree then why are almost all of the anchor pros switching to the A4 if the A1s is so easy?
2022-07-28 04:28
2 replies
In these situations you just die. Unless you're playing vs braindead playeres, you won't win by facing 3 guys anyway. And if you have the opportunity you just survive long enough for your teammates to rotate. But you are changing the subject, yeah anchors may benefit from more bullets, but this is not the topic in question, like "spray down 3 guys" you are more likely to survive by isolating 1v1's instead of holding mouse 1. Again, more to do with the bullets and less of the spray. Don't tell me you can have a worse spray on the m4a4 and kill 3 guys shooting you, lmao.
2022-07-28 05:07
1 reply
the original comment said that A1s spray is harder than A4 and he meant it in the sense that accuracy required to get multi kills is more for A1s since the bullets are less. yes he phrased it stupidly but this point still stands
2022-07-28 06:36
Cope
2022-07-27 15:38
worst take i've ever seen
2022-07-27 16:02
Clickbait article by dailymail
2022-07-27 14:15
#11
 | 
Poland bot_taz
how about we just can buy any m4 at any time how hard is it to make additional space for a weapon on a buy menu?
2022-07-27 14:15
10 replies
#14
 | 
Canada MiLkBaGzz
+1 f7/cz tec9/cz a1/a4 mp5/mp7 all dumb asf
2022-07-27 14:19
5 replies
+1
2022-07-27 14:43
+1
2022-07-27 17:17
man forgot the most important one, R8/deagle
2022-07-27 19:44
2 replies
+1000000000000
2022-07-28 05:53
#103
 | 
Canada MiLkBaGzz
Ik its a joke, but I actually agree. I would use the r8 if I didnt have to remove the deagle. $700 on a eco round for free kills is too nice. But on a gun round the r8 can be useful/fun to use. Spray 20bullets from your a1, switch to r8, rightclick guy in chest. EZ B hold
2022-07-28 07:11
#46
 | 
Brazil banha
this
2022-07-27 16:39
I know right ?? It would makes the game so much more interesting. Players could change weapon depending on the situation (ex: spots where silenced barrel would show, spots where spamming with 30 bullets is much better, spots where long distances favor A1...) and it would open more strategies, especially in eco's with f7/tec9/cz. Maybe we could even see one R9 or two for fun ! Anyway, won't happen since Valve doesn't care about the game
2022-07-27 16:39
1 reply
A downside of both m4s being in the buy menu would be the game becoming even more CT sided.
2022-07-28 02:32
+1
2022-07-27 17:17
#13
 | 
Canada MiLkBaGzz
just make a4 2900 add tracers to a1 but keep the damage buff and ammo count 80% will switch to a4 20% will stay on a1 balance returned
2022-07-27 14:18
12 replies
80/20 = balance returned. Average C9 enjoyer
2022-07-27 14:21
2 replies
#17
 | 
Canada MiLkBaGzz
Yeah because it was ever 50-50 cant return to what its never been
2022-07-27 14:33
1 reply
#24
 | 
Chad dooddi
but thats not balance
2022-07-27 14:52
80:20 = Balance, f*** 50:50 Meth instead of math
2022-07-27 14:23
4 replies
#18
 | 
Canada MiLkBaGzz
average britbonger not knowing how to read english. returned to the old balance. which was like 80:20
2022-07-27 14:33
3 replies
no. its as it was before (old), but it was NOT balanced? learn semantics
2022-07-27 14:39
Imagine teaching english to basically english inventors KEKW
2022-07-27 17:18
1 reply
#57
 | 
Canada MiLkBaGzz
Yeah because theres no one in england with shit english or that failed in school. lul
2022-07-27 18:03
#35
 | 
Sweden Cveta
The main problem isn’t that people are using the m1s instead of the m4 but that ct is overpowered af so raising m1s to 3100 would be better.
2022-07-27 15:39
Tracers with silencer? Then might aswell delete it from game completely. Oh and remove scope from awp
2022-07-27 18:48
1 reply
might aswell remove barrels
2022-07-27 19:39
No, you will be buffing ct even more. 2900 loss bonus and they can drop already. Move it back to 3000-3100, where it belongs.
2022-07-28 00:24
no. its as it was before (old), but it was NOT balanced? learn semantics
2022-07-27 14:38
just make the bodyshot damage to 36 from 38 and make A4 same price as A1-S
2022-07-27 14:42
no. its as it was before (old), but it was NOT balanced? learn semantics
2022-07-27 14:52
People will play it until they make it worthless like less damage while hitting or fucking up the spray because either 20 or 10 bullets the silencer is still a better weapon
2022-07-27 14:56
#29
 | 
Estonia Kizma
make damage buff only apply if you're not using the silencer
2022-07-27 14:58
5 replies
+1 Either that or both M4:s priced at 3100, or both even
2022-07-27 15:01
3 replies
both and just make them 2900 I reckon, the cheaper $200 makes a big difference, but actually cool idea
2022-07-27 16:32
2 replies
A huge difference to make the game even more ct sided, good job.
2022-07-28 00:24
1 reply
the game should be ct sided and it’s a literal nerf of the a1s, good job bozo
2022-07-28 04:20
+1 interesting
2022-07-28 02:42
Shoudeve left everything as it was before clowns
2022-07-27 15:14
I really think that they should've changed the price first. Hopefully they will switch prices and we will see if people want to buy more expensive, but better weapon, I think not. If this doesn't work, Valve should lower reserve ammo to 40.
2022-07-27 16:00
2 replies
After the CT side establishes a good economy, we often see the T side getting stomped round after round with a few rounds in between. Price changes will do nothing to fix this. Your second suggestion of 40 in reserve is interesting. 80 in reserve makes it OP for smoke spams.
2022-07-28 02:55
1 reply
Yeah, so they probably will make both m4's equally priced and maybe lower ammo in reserve (but probably only to 60) . Imo 40 would be perfect
2022-07-28 21:51
if they nerf it more then itll be back to m4a4 meta, i guarantee it
2022-07-27 16:15
Nerf the fing ability to run and spray
2022-07-27 16:25
7 replies
this isnt even an issue, why would they nerf it
2022-07-27 16:30
6 replies
It is an issue its totally skilless when you see T’s taking m4 instead of aks you know smt is wrong
2022-07-27 18:00
5 replies
only bad/average players take the m1 over ak but the point was that you literally cant run and spray with the m1, so your original comment makes no sense
2022-07-27 18:31
4 replies
Yeah spinx is your average to bad player
2022-07-27 20:22
#71
 | 
United States charybids
There are pros who take the A1-S over the AK
2022-07-27 20:51
2 replies
on CT side? maybe someone would use it just to spam smokes, but no one is taking the m1 on the T side lmao
2022-07-27 20:54
BlameF notorious for that. Always drops the ak.
2022-07-28 00:25
k0nfig based take
2022-07-27 16:28
true balance would be returning to 1.6 and CSS balance: everyone using the silencer
2022-07-27 16:30
#45
 | 
Portugal dracø
just let the player decide which one to buy in any given round .. lazy fucks just don't want to change the menu layout by adding an extra slot.. m4 would be better in some positions, 1s would be better in others, both would be used.. problem solved
2022-07-27 16:38
1 reply
the game would become even more CT sided though
2022-07-28 03:00
Eternal loop about buff this nerf that, valve shoud just buff other weapons to change the meta, cs has been the same for decades and there's nothing new about it, same shit.
2022-07-27 16:41
2 replies
Which guns do you want buffed? I think only 1 needs buff, the m249. A price of 2.5k - 3k could be nice, currently at 5.2k its a waste.
2022-07-28 03:17
1 reply
m249 at 3500 buff sg fix revolver accuracy buff famas or decrease price fix beretta accuracy
2022-07-28 18:31
#50
 | 
Turkey conqueror.
i think we'll go back to 4 hits and 94 damage. a1s 4 bullet enough for kill. for a4 not enough 4 bullet. if nerf a1 s we'll back 4 hit 94 dmg like a4
2022-07-27 16:46
1 reply
Yeah ı hate a4 for this
2022-07-27 22:11
Just remove it from the game easy ..A4 with switchable silencer on is enought
2022-07-27 16:54
1 reply
#108
 | 
Portugal zony10
+1 old good times, the problem is the money envolved in skins
2022-07-29 00:43
#56
 | 
Latvia laiziolas
Price need to be the same Bullets need to be 30 both
2022-07-27 18:03
2 replies
#58
 | 
United States x2dtu
Why would anyone use a4 then?
2022-07-27 18:16
that would make a4 useless.
2022-07-27 19:45
#60
 | 
Finland RPGWiZaRD
Price adjustment had been way better than bullet change. 3100-3150 A1-S and 2900 A4, then we'd definitely see both in use. Also comes with the positive side effects guns next to them becomes automatically more viable as well (AUG and Famas and such), so even better balance all-round. By putting more M4 into play T vs CT also will be slightly more balanced as the silent smoke spam 1A-S without traces were often a bit too powerful and boring for spectators to watch. Ideally M4 would be kept for more close encounter positions like A ramp / shadow on Mirage and Overpass monster are typical examples were ideally M4 should be made the preferable weapon while 1A-S should be useful on more defensive longrange positions, Nuke outdoor, Mirage ticket booth etc.
2022-07-27 18:46
1 reply
smoke spam is not boring to watch it takes game sense in my opinion which just shows the skill level
2022-07-27 21:09
#72
 | 
United States charybids
The solution is simple, raise the price of the A1-S to $3100, revert the mag size change back to 25 bullets and undo the damage buff.
2022-07-27 20:52
5 replies
just no. why it help ct economy so much if a1 is changed to $3100 a4 needs to be $2900 more for the silencer and damage
2022-07-27 21:07
4 replies
Time for people to actually have trouble in CT economy instead of making the extremely ct sided game even more ct sided.
2022-07-28 00:26
3 replies
#86
 | 
United States charybids
This, the maps were a lot more even (although still CT sided) before the nerf They "fixed" a problem that didn't exist
2022-07-28 00:38
before if you lost the first buy round on ct side after losing the pistol was just so bad ct equipment is so expensive I think this how the game should be played honestly
2022-07-28 01:14
1 reply
I don't think blowout for CTs is how the game is supposed to be played. The economy has the exact purpose of balancing the half. Lost the first gun round? Win the second, even if you start 5-0 there are still 10 more rounds to be played. Plus, you can always save.
2022-07-28 05:10
They always have to break the game for noobs to frags , when you will reward skill with your change insteed of luck / randomness/ and overpowered weapons for guys with no skill to frag
2022-07-27 21:14
#77
 | 
Iran FlerCS
Yesssss
2022-07-27 22:08
They should revert the m4a1-s update. Lower the price of m4a4 2900 and and increase the a1-s to 3400 or 3500
2022-07-27 23:55
It’s fine as it is. a1 is the best nonscoped rifle long range which means it usually wins out against ak’s inaccuracy, e.g. long pit to A site. a4 should be favoured by anchors CT side and frankly requires more skill as you need the double dink. maybe at most a $100 increase if it must happen.
2022-07-28 00:06
2 replies
#87
 | 
United States charybids
"Fine as it is" while we are in one of the most CT sided metas ever
2022-07-28 00:38
You think its normal for you to simply swing on an AK from long range with an m4, its not. Like, T's already have to spend a ton of util of only to get map control, and they can't even rely on weapon superiority? CTs should always be afraid to take head on duels with Aks, the awp exists if you want to win 1v1s. Plus, the m4a4 isn't even that much more innacurate than the a1s, main thing is recoil(which you shouldn't be spraying long range anyway) and the damage fall off, but its still 5 shots regardless, or two shots if one is a dink.
2022-07-28 05:15
Should be able to pick which ever gun you want in-game.... Come on. You can just disconnect, change loadout and reconnect, but why should it be so complex? I can agree that you cant change skins mid-match tho.
2022-07-28 01:09
Make them both $3000 (Why not meet in the middle?). And then have the option to choose from the two each round.
2022-07-28 04:03
1 reply
I would agree, there here has to be price change to make them both cost the same
2022-07-28 22:42
who really gives a shit what the pros think about the weapon balance of CS? the game should not be balanced for everyone based on what pros feel. their skill level is leagues above your regular Joe playing Faceit. I don't think it's in VOLVo's best interest to cater to pros and not their paying cash-cow casuals.
2022-07-29 02:30
just vice versa prices of m4, thats could be enough
2022-07-29 03:57
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