Oneway smokes! How does they work and how to fix them


Last year I started a series of videos called “one-way smokes are RL” and I really thought that this topic would die quickly. Big amount of patches at the time, the fact that the topic was being super highlighted by community and Valve led only to one thing, smoke fix. We didn’t have to wait long to see Valve work out a fix for one-way smokes that finally put an end to it. Or at least they thought they did. After the patch I created a game with bots and, well… All of sudden I realised that most one-way smokes were working correctly but I was not too hyped up about it. I kept in my mind that they located the problem. I naively thought to myself: “When a bug is found and needs a fix, Valve keeps working until it is patched.” After many months, one-way smokes were still easy to use and even easier to find if you knew how and where to look. I’ve seen many Reddit discussions like this one:


Where opinions are really balanced when it comes to high ranked players. Of course, 90% of lower-ranked players will be annoyed with someone killing them through the smoke. In their eyes, there is an endless amount of one-way smokes and no way to protect yourself from them. I can understand that frustration and the feeling of being cheated by game mechanics. On the other hand, on higher ranks, if you try to perform a standard one-way smoke peek you will be pre-fired from few players and most of the time you will end up dead with no frags. Simply because there is a limited amount of one-way smokes and most high ranked players know all of them. There are many players who think that using one-way smokes in the correct way on high ranks requires skill. To avoid getting pre-fired and killed actually requires some skill and game sense.


How to use oneway smokes

Back in the day when oneway smokes were not as known as they are now, using them was super easy: throw it, get in your spot and take their heads off without breaking a sweat. Nowadays many CS:GO players are aware of common places where oneway smokes can be spotted. They know as well where to pre-fire and what to expect. Over time techniques of using oneway smokes evolved into something more skill based. Just because we know that oneway smokes will frequently be pre-fired, we can use that to our advantage. Simply throw the smoke and do not get in position – simple enough, right? This way we can get lots of benefits in the long run.

For instance: de_dust 2 CT side. You are covering a catwalk and your teammates from long just got killed. The middle is smoked off and on long they spotted 3 guys. It’s the worst case scenario, isn’t it? Of course you can pull it off with a oneway smoke! By throwing standard A ramp oneway smoke and stay on goose or A side (if you don’t know which smoke is it click here). Thanks to the smoke you are getting cover from long and enemies on long will push slower. Pre-fire shots at smoke will give you rough information about the number of enemies, their weapon types and how far they are at the moment. Not even adding that you can still safely cover your catwalk and get extra time for the middle and B side player to rotate. That was only one example of using the smoke, but there are many other ways to use them. Some oneway smokes can force the enemy to reposition, so he is moving to a more comfortable spot, or one with a better view. Sadly (for him), he is doing what you want him to do and will reposition on your pre-aimed sniper or to the spot which we will be a double naded in a few seconds. After a few rounds of you dancing around smokes they will get tired of it and you can surprise them by actually using oneway smokes properly.

After all, this game is about outsmarting the enemy, pre-aiming or pre-firing, not about who is the superior aimer or who flick shot better. I’m not saying that aim will not grant you any progress or that it’s not important in this game, because it is, but only to some degree. Later on, both teams will have a spot-on aim and it will become the norm. You won’t be able to rely on it as an advantage anymore because everyone will have it. That’s where oneway smokes or pop flashes come in – the things which will give you a real advantage over your enemy.


How Valve can fix oneway smokes

The solution is super easy. We all know that there are 3 ways of exploiting oneway smokes.

1st type and most common one is utilising edges of the smoke for your advantage. I’m more than sure that you have experienced it in-game when you are getting peeked through smoke and you did not see anything yet you still get killed. Yes, this is how smokes work in CS:GO – the closer to the smoke you are the more you can see through it, especially on the edges.

2nd type is when you are throwing a smoke on top of something which will give you a see-through gap under the smoke so you can spot enemy legs. That kind of oneway is all about you playing well with your smokes and I don’t think it should be removed from the game so we will ignore it.

3rd type is the most annoying one. When a smoke is placed under a box or any other object of certain height. You can simply get on top of it and, while standing in the middle of the smoke, you can see everything around you without being seen. Your vision is kind of steamy, but you are totally invisible.

If we ignore the 2nd type of oneway smokes simply because this one does not include any kind of game mechanic abuse. We are left with 2 types of oneway smokes, and their effectivity is dependent on smoke height. Increasing the vertical length of the area covered with smoke will move the edges of it and block most smokes which we know at the moment. If that were followed up with changing smoke size vertically and horizontally to random (not by much, but enough to make size unreliable), it would prevent players from finding new ways to abuse the edges.