Weapons in CS have some characteristics that can be described in numbers, and some that cannot. The examples for the latter are sound and recoil pattern. The examples for the former are price, number of bullets in a magazine and other, less obvious ones, like damage output. Let?s run some numbers on damage output to determine which submachine guns are worth buying.
These numbers come from the CSGO Weapon Spreadsheet. I copied the spreadsheet and added columns which you will see in this article.
Each weapon has a specific damage per shot. All SMGs, except one, have damage ranging from 26 to 29. The exception is UMP-45, which has 35. That makes the UMP the best SMG, at least in terms of damage dealt, right?
Well, maybe. There is some nuance here. First, each weapon has another characteristic, fire rate, that is the number of bullets shot per minute. For SMGs these go from 667 to 857, and the UMP happens to have the lowest fire rate. MP9 and P90 have the highest.
Damage per second
To better measure the damage dealt, let?s compute damage per second (DPS), which is damage per shot times fire rate, divided by 60. DPS falls in range of 338 to 389. This means that to kill an unarmoured opponent with 100 HP, you need to spray him for less than a third of a second, at least from up close.
UMP-45 has the highest DPS, but the difference with the other guns is less dramatic than it would seem from damage per shot. The second best, MAC-10, has DPS = 387, just two less than UMP. The worst are Bizon and MP5.
Now, let?s think about armor. If your enemy has any idea what he?s doing, he will buy armor first, so it makes sense to check the damage against armor. Each weapon again has a characteristic called armor penetration (AP). For SMGs, it goes from 57% to 69%, and it tells us how much damage remains after hitting the armor.
Damage against armor
Let?s compute damage per second against armor, DPS * AP. It goes from 194 (Bizon) to 256 (P90). UMP-45 is second best with 254, so it still looks very good. MAC-10, MP7 and MP9 each have very similar values, from 222 to 227.
There is one final twist to this before looking at prices, and it is damage at distance. Again, each weapon has a number for damage falloff at distance. We?ll be looking at the distance of 500 units (inches), which is about 12.5 meters. Here?s how a player at 500 units looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cm0C-X8lHrs&t=269
The damage falloff (DF) at 500 units is 13% to 25% for SMGs. The best here is MP9, the worst ? UMP.
Damage against armor @ distance
Let?s take this into account and compare damage per second against armor at distance. It goes from 155 to 220, Bizon being the worst, P90 the best. UMP-45 has 190, which is slightly less than MP7 (193) and MP9 (194).
Conclusion? UMP offers high damage output up close, but as the distance increases, other SMGs become better choices.
Now it?s time to look at prices, to check which weapon offers the best value for money. To do this, we divide damage per second against armor (up close and at the distance, separately) by the price in thousands of dollars.
For up close, the numbers go from 109 (ouch!) to 212. The least price-effective SMG is of course P90, because while it?s good, it is not nearly good enough to justify $2350 price. UMP-45 has 211, and the best value comes from MAC-10. MAC is the cheapest SMG at $1050 and offers good damage output, which makes it a very good cost-effective weapon for spraying up close. UMP is about the same deal, with slightly better damage and slightly higher price ($1250) at the same time.
Value @ distance
Value figures at distance are appropriately lower and go from 94 (P90) to 169 (MAC-10). Since MAC-10 has lower damage falloff than UMP-45 (20% vs 25%), it becomes even better deal at distance. UMP is second with 158 and the third one is MP9 with 155. This means that at distances bigger than 500 units MP9, with its lowest damage falloff of 13%, becomes a better deal than UMP. The rest is far behind, with MP7 in the lead with 128.
MP7 is a curious case. In terms of damage output, it?s about the same as MP9, but because of the higher price ($1500 vs $1250), it doesn?t seem worth buying. It has an advantage over MP9, though, in that it is available for both T and CT.
Of course, there is more to it than damage output. Let?s consider accuracy, recoil pattern and availability for T/CT.
For accuracy, there are numbers. Long story short, MPs are the most accurate, MP9 being the best among them, and all the others are similar to each other and much worse than MPs. MAC-10 is generally the worst, although again, not much worse than UMP or P90.
Firing inaccuracy, standing
If you?re looking for a cheap CT rifle replacement, this reinforces the preference for MP9.
Recoil pattern is perhaps the worst thing about the UMP. It is diagonal and all curvy. However, towards the end it just stays in one place! MAC-10 goes diagonally in a straight line at the beginning. MP9 goes straight up for about 8 shots, then from side to side.
UMP-45 is available for both sides. This is a huge plus, because if you choose it, you only need to learn to use one SMG, although with a funky pattern.
MAC-10 and MP9 are in the same slot, one for Ts, the other for CTs. MAC might make sense if you want to save more, or if you like the recoil pattern. Otherwise, UMP is better.
For CTs, MP9 is a fantastic choice, especially at distance, because of its accuracy and low damage falloff. However, it won?t be available when you play as a terrorist, so you need to learn to use something else.
Here?s a recent video of WarOwl with MP9 in a deathmatch.
I just don?t like UMP. I like MAC-10, but only for short distances. I have played all three MPs. MP5 feels too weak in terms of damage dealt, otherwise would be good. I now prefer MP7 to MP9. It feels more stable and easier to control, especially with longer bursts, even though the spray pattern is initially diagonal.
A few words about each SMG
To conclude, here are my opinions about each SMG, from the cheapest to the most expensive.
MAC-10 ? good for spraying up close, cheapUMP-45 ? very good for spraying up close, available for both sides, the SMG of choice for prosBizon ? not good and not cheap. In other words, complete and utter crapMP9 ? maybe the best overall, but only for CTs. Also popular among prosMP7 ? about the same as MP9, but more expensiveMP5 ? just like MP7, but with worse damage per shot: 27, instead of 29P90 ? good for close distances, but TWICE the price of UMP. It doesn?t make any sense to buy it
The Bizon and P90, with their large magazines, are known as noob weapons. The difference between them is that P90, although outrageously priced, is actually quite good at closer distances. In a deathmatch, where money doesn?t come into play, it?s a viable weapon. In a normal game, you can and should buy a proper rifle for the price.
The Bizon, on the other hand, has low damage per shot, mediocre fire rate (these two combine for low raw damage output), low armor penetration and high damage falloff. The Bizon is basically a joke with a large mag.