‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’ Is Now Free To Play

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

This morning Valve announced that their multiplayer first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is now free to play, and has also hopped on the battle royale hype train.

In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, one team of players typically tries to prevent another from planting a bomb, or attempts to free their hostages. Known for its emphasis on tactics and teamwork, as well as its selection of guns modelled after real weaponry, the game has a large and loyal base of players. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive averages around 350,000 players per month and is a steady esports mainstay, despite having been released six years ago in 2012.

Those who already owned the game prior to it being made free will get a Loyalty Badge for their profile. They will also have their accounts upgraded to Prime Status. Usually $19.50, the upgrade matches players with other Prime Status holders in-game, and allows them to receive exclusive in-game items to decorate their submachine guns with pretty swirls of colour.

Making the game free appears to have already had an impact on player numbers. As of writing, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has the most concurrent players of any game on Steam.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has also released a battle royale mode, becoming the latest to join the merrily kicking conga line of video games following behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite.

Called Danger Zone, the mode is smaller than other battle royales, with only 16 players per round, or up to 18 if you’re playing in a group of two or three. Players have in-game tablets to help them stay in the safe area and track their opponents, as well as access to the same guns as in the game’s other modes. Each round reportedly takes around 10 minutes.

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With so few people, such short rounds, and a relatively small map, Danger Zone seems more like a free-for-all deathmatch with a battle royale flavour than a straight up Fortnite competitor. But at the very least it’s offering something a bit more tactical and fast-paced than we can typically expect from 100-player rounds. Also it’s free, so it literally costs nothing to try it out.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is available for download for free on Steam now.