The AWP is one of the most iconic weapons in first-person shooters. AWP stands for Arctic Warfare Police, made by Accuracy International. Variations of the Arctic Warfare, including the L118A1 (British military), the Prickskyttegevär 90 (Swedish military), and the SR-98 (Australian army and various law enforcement agencies).
In Counter-Strike, the AWP was originally known as the Magnum Sniper Rifle in both 1.6 and Source. In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the weapon is called the AWP, although the actual AWP is black instead of the green it is in Counter-Strike.
The AWP in-game costs $4750, has a 10 round magazine, and 30 rounds in reserve. A player holding the AWP will move at 200 units/second, and if scoped they will move at 100 units/second. A kill with the AWP will yield $100 (which is 33% of the standard kill reward).
An AWP is the only weapon in Counter-Strike capable of killing with a single shot to the body of an armored opponent. The AWP is an extremely powerful weapon, and despite its downsides, has defined a very important role in organized Counter-Strike since the game first came out in 1999.
AWP is a one-shot kill anywhere above the legs.
Has one of the highest penetration values in the game.
Exceptional at longer ranges due to having a lower base inaccuracy value than the main rifles.
This makes longer range fights against an AWP almost untradable unless the opponent also has an AWP
The one-shot kill nature of the weapon gives a lower-health player the capacity to win a fight against a full-health player (shoutouts to steel and bogdan).
Many AWP positions will require 2 players to commit to a fight (to secure a trade), leading to possibly out of position players who can easily be traded by your team.
The AWP costs $4750, which is $50 more than a full buy on T-side ($4700 for vest+helm, AK47, smoke, 2 flashes, HE grenade), and $750 less than a full buy on CT-side ($5500 for vest+helm, M4, defuser, smoke, 2 flashes, HE grenade).
The AWP is more of a defensive weapon, since it does does not necessarily reward aggressive peeking due to the lowered movement speed while scoped in.
The weapon is bolt-action, requiring the weapon to be cocked every time it is fired, leaving the user vulnerable for about 2 seconds.
Due to the AWP’s lacking capabilities in very close ranges, players will need to be proficient with pistols, and will want to carry an upgraded sidearm.
I would recommend a Five-SeveN, or Tec-9 due to their rapid-fire capabilities and larger magazine size, but a P250 is also a decent choice.
The longer barrel of the AWP can poke out around corners, leading to a player’s position being revealed if their positioning is careless.
Many common AWP positions at this point are known to players and are typically easy to smoke out.
If a player saves the 2 rounds after the pistol round, they can usually purchase an AWP and kevlar but not much else.
An organized team can help make up for some of the economic deficiencies, however. If the team plants a bomb, then all members will receive +$800 apart from the usual round loss bonus (if they still lose the round). Kills will give $300 and the player who plants the bomb also receives another $300 for doing so.
While any player can use an AWP, things like movement and positioning are extremely important to being successful with it. Players who are more experienced with the game typically have no problems with this, but newer or lower-ranked players typically require more practice and study to know what to do and when.
More experienced players are more able to take advantage of changing timings, taking off-angles, and generally just understanding the flow of the game playing a certain role.