Update, September 13: Changes to two more pistols are coming in the next Counter-Strike: Global Offensive update.
Valve's CS:GO pistol changes are continuing, with pre-release changes for two more guns lined up for the update. In a blog post, there are tweaks scheduled for both the Glock and the P250.
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The changes to the Glock are intended to reward accurate players at short range, with an increase to base damage, but reduced damage over longer distances. Accuracy will improve while moving, and also while firing rapidly.
For the P250, almost the opposite is true, with incoming changes intended to improve the odds for long-distance engagements. As a result, both base damage and damage at longer distances will be increased, but armor piercing will be reduced. Accuracy while moving has been reduced.
The update will also drastically reduce 'unarmoured aimpunch' - the amount your character flinches when they're hit, which should make you more accurate overall. These changes are still in the beta depot so be aware they haven't gone live yet.
Update August 8, 2017: The pistol changes are now live.
In one of CS:GO's most impactful updates for a while, Valve have applied an update from the beta depot that makes wide-ranging changes to pistols.
The CS:GO blog announces that the changes are live as of yesterday evening. They aim to emphasise skill in the use of pistols and will focus on the Tec-9 in particular. Valve say this is a "beginning," so perhaps we can expect other pistols to get similar changes further down the line.
You can read our original story (below) for further details. The patch also fixes a jumping bug that had enabled some tournament players to peek over walls without exposing their head.
Original story August 3, 2017: Valve are making major changes to the way pistols work in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as part of a move “emphasizing skillful use of the weapons.” The changes will be starting with the Tec-9, and will presumably be rolled out across the rest of the armoury in coming patches.
In the latest beta depot, Valve lists the changes that will be made to the Tec-9 pistol, looking to “emphasize aiming while retaining the weapon’s high mobility.” The changes will involve slightly increasing accuracy when firing a single shot, but greatly reducing it when firing rapidly. After the updates hit, firing ten bullets as fast as you can from the Tec-9 will be nearly three times as inaccurate as before.
The Tec-9 will also be having its available ammunition reduced. Clip size is being reduced to 18 from 24, and total reserve ammunition will be reduced to 90 from 120.
These changes are unlikely to fix pistols altogether, as Reddit user SlothSquadron points out in their in-depth post. They suggest that most players are still likely to fire quickly to secure a kill (and avoid being killed themselves) and that even at high level play, aspects of this mentality will remain. They go on to suggest that Valve should be promoting a bunch of different pistol styles, rather than promoting one while punishing others.
Given that these changes are only in the beta depot, there’s still room for improvement, and the Tec-9 is only the first of many pistols to be updated in this way, so expect to see a lot of changes in the coming months.