Flashbangs do no damage, but one good throw can win a round. This is the cheapest grenade in CS:GO, but also the most difficult to master. CS.MONEY Blog explains how flashes work, teaches how to use them correctly, and instructs about not blinding yourself or your teammates. Shall we?
Before moving to Flashbangs 101, we’ve got an important announcement: constant bright flashes and loud explosion sounds from a flashbang pop can damage your health. And since we can’t do anything about sudden white screens, at least you can try cutting off its noise, using loudness equalisation in Windows Settings or by installing an audio compressor. Take a few minutes to do this and protect your ears.
What’s A Flashbang?
Flashbang, or a stun grenade, is available to both sides in the game. One player can carry up to two flashes, each costing $200. When exploded, this grenade blinds and deafens nearby players. Note! Unlike Molotov flames or HE explosions, flashes do not have any effectiveness reduction against allies. A stun grenade blinds everyone equally.
Learning how to throw flashbangs in CS:GO is easy: it works like any other grenade, but you need to calculate accordingly. A normal attack (LMB) is a strong throw, and an alternate fire (RMB) is a weak throw. When thrown, your flash flies for approximately two seconds before it explodes. The explosion is followed by a flash of light and a loud sound, leaving a black mark on the surface below.
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How Do Flashbangs Work?
CS:GO stun grenade effectiveness depends on two things: distance and view angle from your sight to a place of explosion. It’s pretty easy with distances: the further a flash explodes, the weaker the effects. You can hear the stun grenade explosion sound from far away, more than a hundred meters or 4000 units. However, its characteristic ringing is heard only if you were less than 1000 units away or approximately 25 meters from the grenade at the time of the explosion.
Now, let’s talk blinding. It has two stages: complete and partial. During full blindness, you have a completely white screen; during partial blindness, you can see through a, let’s say, white filter. Full blindness, albeit short-term, is applied only if you were looking directly at a flashbang when it exploded AND at a distance of 1300 units or 33 meters close to it. It’s not that much, roughly equal to top mid boxes to turn to short on Mirage. Partial blinding can be applied from a distance exceeding 50 meters. However, it will last only a fraction of a second. But if you’re around 40 meters from the explosion, it will last half a second.
In addition to distance, view angle is also critical. If a flash explodes right in front of your face, you’ll get the max timing possible. If it explodes behind you, on the contrary, it will barely illuminate the screen. In CS:GO, there are four blindness grades:
- Below 53 degrees is the worst case scenario: lasting for around two seconds.
- 53 to 72 degrees, last half a second, but hits hard.
- 72 to 101 degrees, still effective, although short.
- 101 to 180 degrees is the weakest form of stun, barely noticeable.
As you can see, these blindness grades vary considerably. If applied perfectly, the first means almost two seconds of white screen, the second is only half a second, and the third and fourth are less than a tenth of a second. See the exact values in the table below.
Considering all the tough info mentioned above, let’s calculate how to perform a flashbang throw perfectly. TL;DR, it should explode as close as possible to the victim’s sight and at a distance of about ten meters or less. In this case, your enemy will be incapacitated, blind and deaf for about four seconds.
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Still, there’s a tiny problem: even the slowest opponent will have time to turn away if you just throw a flashbang. In addition, each bounce of a surface makes a characteristic sound. The best option is to throw a flash so that it flies all the time before the explosion is out of the opponent’s sight and, simultaneously, does not hit walls and other surfaces. Such flashes are called instant flashes and are an extremely effective tool in a player’s arsenal. Try to learn at least a few instants for every map you play.
The only and best option on how to protect yourself from flashbangs is simply not to look at it. Just look away if you see a stun grenade flying towards your POV or hear a wall ricochet sound. There is no need to make a 180-degree turn; angling sideways is enough: it will significantly reduce flashbang’s effects. Note that you don’t necessarily need to turn; you can simply aim your sight down to the ground—it works the same.
Let’s sum things up. Flashbangs blind and deafen enemies completely or partially for up to five seconds. Within CS:GO, it’s a huge timing. But despite such an effect, flashes are very cheap, and therefore you should buy them every round possible.
By the way, if you need to learn how sounds work in CS:GO, we’ve already solved this one: just jump via this link to learn what you can hear and can’t.
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