CS2 Loadout System Explained

CS2 is a first-person shooter. Because of that, you can expect almost all of the gameplay for CS2 to involve guns and weapons. Weapons in CS2 are part of its extensive loadout system, where players can customize the set of weapons available to them in a match. To help you understand that, here is a complete CS2 loadout system guide.

Check Our CS2 Guides

Our Counter-Strike 2 guides provide detailed tips to improve your gameplay. Ready to enhance your CS2 skills?

CS2 Loadout

The CS2 loadout consists of several weapon types, including pistols, rifles, SMGs, LMGs, scoped rifles, shotguns, and sniper rifles. However, to keep things simple for the CS2 loadout, Valve categorized them into four types. These categories include Starting Pistols, Other Pistols, Mid-Tier, and Rifles. Since the “Starting Pistols” and “Other Pistols” combine as one category, the loadout narrows to three types.

Each category of weapons in CS2 has a specific number of slots within the loadout. You only have one available for Starting Pistols, four for Other Pistols, five for Mid-Tier, and another five for Rifles. However, the game offers multiple weapons, more than 5, for each category. For example, the Counter-Terrorists have access to seven different Rifles.

Certain weapons are exclusively for either the T side or the CT side. For example, only the Terrorists have access to the AK-47. On the other hand, the Counter-Terrorists have access to the AUG rifle, which isn’t available for the Terrorists. However, anyone can use these weapons if they pick them up from the ground in a match.

The best part about the CS2 loadout system is that players can mix and match different combinations of weapons from the ones available. In other words, since the Counter-Terrorists have access to seven different rifles but only have five Rifle slots in their loadout, players can choose which five of the seven they want to add to their loadout.

Starting Pistols

First up, we have the Starting Pistols. These are the pistols that all players receive as the default free weapon at the start of each round. You don’t have to spend cash to purchase them. You must have a decent amount of practice with these since they are part of the pistol rounds, the outcomes of which give a significant advantage to the winning team in several rounds after it. Here is a list of all the Starting Pistols available in CS2:


  • Glock-18 ($200)


  • USP-S ($200)
  • P2000 ($200)

Other Pistols

Up next, we have the Other Pistols. If you don’t prefer the standard Starting Pistols, you can always get another one from one of the Other Pistols. These pistols have several advantages over the Starting Pistols, like more damage and accuracy. Remember, the higher the damage output, the harder it might be to use/control that Pistol. The one you purchase will depend on your loadout for the round. Here is a list of Other Pistols in CS2:

Both Sides:

  • P250 ($300)
  • Dual Berettas ($300)
  • CZ75-Auto ($500)
  • R8 Revolver ($600)
  • Desert Eagle ($700)


  • Tec-9 ($500)


  • Five-SeveN ($500)


We have the Mid-Tier weapons for the third category. Basically, all weapons that aren’t Pistols or Rifles are considered Mid-Tier weapons. Because of that, this is the largest category of weapons in CS2. It includes shotguns, SMGs, and LMGs. Fortunately, several Mid-Tier guns are usually ignored for competitive matches, like the LMGs, making it easy to decide which ones to add to the loadout. Here is a list of all the Mid-Tier weapons in CS2:

Both Sides:

  • Nova (Shotgun) ($1050)
  • XM1014 (Shotgun) ($2000)
  • UMP-45 (SMG) ($1200)
  • PP-Bizon (SMG) ($1400)
  • MP5-SD (SMG) ($1500)
  • MP7 (SMG) ($1500)
  • P90 (SMG) ($2350)
  • Negev (LMG) ($1700)
  • M249 (LMG) ($5200)


  • MAG-7 (Shotgun) ($1300)
  • MP9 (SMG) ($1250)


  • Sawed-Off (Shotgun) ($1100)
  • MAC-10 (SMG) ($1050)


Finally, we have the Rifle category. This category includes regular assault rifles like the AK-47, scoped assault rifles like the AUG, and sniper rifles like the AWP. Rifles are the most expensive weapons in the game. For that reason, they are also the most powerful and accurate weapons in the game. While learning weapon control, this is the weapon category that you should focus on. Here is a list of all the Rifles in CS2:

Both Sides:

  • SSG 08 ($1700)
  • AWP ($4750)


  • Galil AR ($1800)
  • AK-47 ($2700)
  • SG 553 ($3000)
  • G3 SG1 ($5000)


  • FAMAS ($2050)
  • M4A1-S ($2900)
  • M4A4 ($3100)
  • AUG ($3300)
  • SCAR-20 ($5000)

Equipment and Grenades

Besides weapons, your CS2 loadout also includes equipment and grenades. Equipment includes several essential items that help support a player’s gameplay. On the other hand, each team also has access to different grenade types that help players strategize a path toward their objective on the Map.

One of the essential types of grenade that each team must have in their in-game loadout is the smoke grenade. At the higher ranks and rating tiers, taking control of an area is almost impossible without at least two well-placed smoke grenades. Here is a list of all the equipment and grenades that you can have in your CS2 loadout:


Kevlar Vest (Armor) ($650)

Kevlar + Helmet ($1000)

Zeus x 27 ($200)

Defuse Kit (Only for CT Side) ($400)


Flashbang ($200)

Smoke Grenade ($300)

High Explosive Grenade ($300)

Incendiary Grenade (Only for CT Side) ($600)

Molotov (Only for T Side) ($400)

Decoy Grenade ($50)

Adding Weapons in My CS2 Loadout

As mentioned, one of the best things about the CS2 loadout system is that you have many customizability options. Whichever gun you like, from the Pistols, Mid-Tier weapons, or Rifles, can be added to their respective slots. Thanks to this customizability, there are multiple weapon combinations within the CS2 community, where each player has customized their loadout based on their preferences and play style.

Another benefit of this loadout system is that players can finally have both the M4s (M4A4 and the M4A1-S) in the loadout for the CT side. Fortunately, adding weapons to your loadout is also very easy. To start doing that, launch the game and go to your loadout by clicking the “LOADOUT” option from the top mid-section of the home screen. After that, select the loadout for the Counter-Terrorists or Terrorists side.

Once you are at the loadout for the correct side (CT or T), click on the filter option in the lower left section of the screen and set it to the type of weapon you want to add to your loadout. After setting the filter, you’ll see all the weapons available in your inventory for the particular type you selected. You’ll also see all available skins.

Finally, click and hold the left mouse button on the weapon you want to add to your loadout, drag it onto the slot you want to add it into, and then release the mouse button to drop the gun into that slot. The weapon already in the section will get replaced by the new one you just added. You can always add it back to your loadout in the same slot or another one.

CS2 Buy Menu Explained

A buy phase begins at the start of each round for competitive and premier matches. During this phase, please press the buy key, which is the “B” key by default, to open their buy menu and then purchase weapons and equipment based on their strategy and the points they have accumulated through their performance in previous matches.

The buy menu has five rows and columns, regardless of whether you are on the T or CT side. The first row is for the equipment, the second for Pistols, the third for Mid-Tier, the fourth for Rifles, and the fifth for Grenades. The amount of cash you have available to use for buying guns is in the top left section of the buy menu, with the remaining time for the buy phase in the top-mid section of the menu.

Buying Weapons from the Buy Menu in CS2

To purchase a weapon from the buy menu, left-click on it, and it will get added to your in-game loadout. Remember, you can only purchase one item from all the Pistol options available, one gun from all the Mid-Tier and Rifles available. While there are two separate sections for Mid-Tier and Rifles, you can’t have one from both in your in-game loadout.

Buying Weapons in CS2 Using Number Keys

Another faster way to purchase weapons from the buy menu is using the numpad keys toward the right end of your keyboard or the number keys toward the top. Players can memorize the keys they must press to get a particular loadout and quickly tap them at the start of each round. To buy guns through this method, you must first find what number corresponds to the item you want.

To find what keys you have to press, look at the number of the row and column that the weapon is in. The first number you have to press is the number of the row, and the second is the one for the column. Let’s say you have the AWP in the fourth row and the fifth column in the buy menu. To purchase the AWP, you have to press the “4” key (for the 4th row) and then the “5” key (for the 5th column).

Refunding Weapons in CS2

One of the great things about the CS2 loadout system is the “Refund” feature. Imagine you have played a couple of rounds after starting solo competitive matchmaking and have decent cash for the next one. You forget to pay attention to the team’s economy and purchase an AWP as soon as the buy phase for the next round starts. However, as you buy the AWP, your teammates call for an Eco.

Accidentally buying the wrong weapon is a common issue players face while playing CS2 matches. To avoid facing the consequences of that, since it can also happen by miss-clicking, players can use the “Refund” feature, which allows them to get a full refund for the weapon they purchased. In the example mentioned above, you can simply refund the AWP.

Refunding a weapon in CS2 is very easy. Start by opening the buy menu and finding the grayed-out section for the gun you bought. You’ll see a U-turn-style arrow pointing towards the left, positioned in the lower-left corner of that grayed-out section. Click on it, and the weapon will get refunded. For step-by-step instructions, check out our guide on how to sell back weapons in CS2.

The Dos & Don’ts of Refunding Weapons in CS2

The refund system in CS2 has a few rules players must follow to be able to refund a weapon. Valve added these rules to prevent exploitation of the refund system. In other words, don’t expect to buy an AWP, get a kill, and then sell it for cash you can spend in the next round. Here is everything you must keep in mind to refund a weapon:

  • A weapon that has been shot with even once is not refundable, so don’t shoot after getting the wrong one.
  • You can’t sell back a gun once it gets dropped on the ground. Be careful, and don’t accidentally press the “G” key.
  • You can only access the buy menu or “Refund” feature within a shot interval at the start of the round, called the buy phase.
  • You can move in or out of the buy zone without affecting the refund requirements. Just don’t waste time.
  • You can’t refund a weapon you bought in the previous round. It applies even if you didn’t shoot one bullet with the gun.
  • You can’t sell a gun you picked up from the ground even if a teammate dropped it during the buy phase.
  • You can’t sell back weapons even if you catch them mid-air from your teammates. All rules mentioned above are for weapons leaving your hands.

Learn CS2 The Right Way

Free resources are helpful, but they often leave gaps in your learning. Connecting the dots on your own can lead to mistakes and wasted time. Our expert coaches offer personalized guidance and exclusive strategies that you won't find in free materials. Check out our premium coaching sessions and improve faster.


It’s common for players to get overwhelmed when they see the loadout system in CS2 for the first time. However, once you get into what the elements that make up the loadout system represent, you find that it’s not that difficult to understand. If you are having trouble with a particular part of the CS2 loadout system, we probably have a separate section dedicated to that for you in the guide above.


What is the purpose of the CS2 loadout system?

The CS2 loadout system allows players to customize the weapons and equipment they carry into each round, enabling them to adapt to various in-game situations and team strategies.

Can I change my loadout during a match?

No, you cannot change your loadout once a match has started. Your loadout is fixed at the beginning of each round during the buy phase. However, you can pick up weapons from the ground during a match.

How do I buy weapons and equipment in CS2?

To purchase weapons and equipment, press the “B” key by default during the buy phase at the start of each round to open the buy menu. From there, you can select the items you want to buy.

What are the restrictions on buying weapons in CS2?

There are restrictions on how many weapons you can purchase from each category. You can only buy one Pistol, one Mid-Tier weapon, and one Rifle. Make your choices wisely to maximize your impact on the game.

How does the weapon refund system work in CS2, and when can I use it?

The weapon refund system allows you to return a mistakenly purchased weapon during the buy phase. To use it, open the buy menu, find the weapon you want to refund, and click on the U-turn-style arrow in the lower-left corner of the weapon’s grayed-out section. Remember that certain rules and limitations apply, including not being able to refund weapons that have been fired or dropped on the ground.


Enter Our Free CS2 Skins Giveaway Today

Exclusive Skins
Monthly Draws
Easy Entry
Join the Giveaway
Read More
February 13, 2024
0 587
February 9, 2024
0 545
February 5, 2024
0 527

About Us

CS2 Pulse is a website where gamers can find top-tier coaching and training resources to improve their skills.
CS2 Coaching