Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a modern-military first-person shooter developed and published digitally by Valve (in conjunction with Hidden Path) for the PC and Mac (both via Steam), Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on August 21, 2012. The Steam version was later made free-to-play on December 6, 2018.
The fourth official iteration of Counter-Strike (and the second based on the Source engine), Global Offensive features new maps (including updated versions of the original maps), new weapons (including a molotov cocktail and a stun gun), new game modes (including an official variation of the popular Gun Game mod for Counter-Strike: Source), and a renewed focus on both eSports and ranked matchmaking. It also includes numerous minor gameplay enhancements, including weapon price rebalancing, enhanced bot interaction (such as allowing bots to take place of empty player slots and allowing dead players to take full control of alive bot teammates), and map-based player factions (removing the ability to select one manually).
The Steam version has received numerous updates since the game's release, adding new weapons, maps, mechanics, and UI enhancements while tweaking certain gameplay aspects (such as weapon efficiency). Some of the more prominent enhancements include the addition of cosmetic weapon finishes (with an inventory system similar to Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2), competitive skill groups, a profile leveling system, Steam Workshop support for maps, Linux support, a completely revamped interface, and the addition of an 18-player survival-shooter mode (called "Danger Zone"). This version also features special events (known as "Operations") which allows players to purchase an event "pass" to earn unique rewards on special servers (with special community map rotations). It later received a Chinese release (through Perfect World) on September 14, 2017 and also received a limited free version on August 29, 2018 (restricted to offline play and online spectating) prior to being free-to-play.
Prior to the game's release, Valve has released the game in both closed beta for key community players (from November 30, 2011 to August 14, 2012) and open beta for those who pre-ordered (from August 14, 2012 to the game's release date).
Game Modes and Maps
Along with some of the traditional Counter-Strike modes (bundled together in "Classic Mode"), the original game included two new casual modes: Demolition and Arms Race.
Along with a variety of community-hosted serves that host a wide variety of custom maps and game modes, the Steam version has numerous post-release updates, adding a variety of new game mode tweaks, maps, and a new game mode: Deathmatch.
Two of the standard game modes from previous Counter-Strike games (Bomb Defusal and Hostage Rescue) make a return in the "Classic" game mode, which comes in two forms: Classic Casual and Classic Competitive.
Unlike Classic Competitive, which plays more like the traditional Counter-Strike games, Classic Casual disables friendly fire, team collision, and purchasing requirements of both armor (everybody has one automatically) and defusal kits (all Counter-Terrorist players have them automatically), while increasing the cash reward after each kill (but decreasing the maximum cash cap from $16000 to $10000). The team with the most amount of rounds won (15 rounds total (8 wins) for Casual, 30 rounds total (16 wins) for Competitive), wins the match.
Classic Competitive is primarily used for ranked 5v5 matchmaking in the game. Shortly after release, the Steam version added Skill Groups which predicts how well the player will perform when playing against other players. Once a player wins ten ranked matches, they will be put into one of the following 18 Skill Groups:
- Silver (I, II, III, IV, Elite, Elite Master)
- Gold Nova (I, II, III, Master)
- Master Guardian (I, II, Elite, Distinguished)
- Legendary (Eagle, Eagle Master)
- Supreme Master First Class
- The Global Elite
Players can raise or lower their Skill Groups by performing better (or worse) than expected compared to other players in consecutive matches.
In Bomb Defusal, the Terrorist players must plant a C4 Explosive (randomly given to one Terrorist player) in one of the two designated "bomb sites" and prevent the Counter-Terrorist players from defusing it before it detonates. While players cannot move or attack while planting or defusing, they can prematurely stop and restart the process. It takes half a minute for armed explosives to detonate (the round time stops and the music and bomb sound effects change at key points prior to detonation) and ten seconds to defuse the explosive (which can be halved if the player is carrying a Defusal Kit).
Terrorist players win by either detonating the explosive or eliminating the Counter-Terrorist players. Counter-Terrorist players win by either defusing an armed explosive, letting the round time expire, or eliminating the Terrorist players prior to them arming the explosive.
- Dust II (overhauled for the Steam version on October 18, 2017)
- Inferno (overhauled for the Steam version on October 13, 2016)
- Nuke (overhauled for the Steam version on February 17, 2016)
- Train (overhauled for the Steam version on December 10, 2014)
- Vertigo (added for the Steam version on October 1, 2012)
- Mirage (added for the Steam version on June 12, 2013)
- Cobble (added for the Steam version on December 18, 2013)
- Overpass (brand new, added for the Steam version on December 18, 2013)
- Canals (brand new, added for the Steam version on March 15, 2017)
In Hostage Rescue, the Counter-Terrorist players must rescue NPC hostages kept near the Terrorist spawn and escort them to a designated "rescue zone" located near their spawn. This mode received a significant overhaul for the Steam versions in the March 21, 2013 update:
- On the Steam version after March 21, 2013, Counter-Terrorist players must manually carry one of two tied-up hostages to the rescue zone. Those players must interact with them (by holding down the "Use" button for a certain amount of time) to untie their hands and pick them up over a player's shoulder. By default, it takes four seconds to untie and pick up a hostage from his starting location (which can be halved by purchasing or picking up a Rescue Kit). The player that holds the hostage can still use his weapons and equipment, but his movement speed is drastically reduced. If that player dies, the hostage will remain at that spot and can be picked up again (which takes half the time, regardless if the player has a Rescue Kit or not). When a hostage is first picked up, the round time extends by a minute (to compensate for the slow movement). Hostages cannot die from weapons and equipment, but harming them causes the offending player to suffer a cash penalty.
- On console versions (and the Steam version prior to March 21, 2013), Counter-Terrorist players must escort two of the four hostages (each of which follow the player who activated them) to the rescue zone. Each hostage starts out standing in one spot, and must be interacted (using the "Use" button) by a Counter-Terrorist player. Escorted hostages will blindly follow the player until that player interacts with them again (in which they "wait"), the player dies, or they die. Any player (on either team) who harms a hostage suffers a cash penalty, and any player who kills a hostage suffers a severe cash penalty (and the risk of being kicked from the current server).
Counter-Terrorist players win by either meeting their hostage rescue quota or eliminating the Terrorist players. Terrorist players win by either letting the round time expire or eliminating the Counter-Terrorist players.
- Assault (added for the Steam version on Feburary 7, 2013)
- Militia (added for the Steam version on March 21, 2013)
A fast-paced variation of the Bomb Defusal game mode, Demolition disables the ability to buy weapons and gear. Instead, the player's starting weapon is based on both their weapon difficulty and their amount of kills in the previous round. Both team collision and friendly fire are disabled (except in console and early Steam versions, where friendly fire is enabled). The team with the most amount of wins out of 20 rounds wins the match.
During each round, if a player gets one kill (with any weapon or equipment), then he/she gains a weapon difficulty level (up to the maximum level) for the next round. If a player gets more than one kill, then along with the weapon level gain, they get one grenade (HE Grenade for two kills overall, Flashbang for three kills, or Incendiary Grenade for four kills) for the next round.
- M4A4 (CT) / AK-47 (T)
- UMP-45 (CT) / PP-Bizon (T)
- Desert Eagle
- Five-SeveN (CT) / Tec-9 (T)
- P2000 (CT) / Glock-18 (T)
- SSG 08
- SCAR-20 (CT) / G3SG1 (T)
There are six new medium-sized maps developed for this game mode. Other than their size, the key difference from other Bomb Defusal maps is that these maps only have one "bomb site" located near the center of the map.
- Shorttrain (short version of Train)
- St. Marc
- Shortdust (added in the Steam version on November 11, 2014, short version of Dust)
The game's official variation of Gun Game, Arms Race is a team deathmatch mode where individual players compete to win the match by being the first player to score a kill with a Gold Knife. Players must earn their Gold Knives by killing enemy players and progressing through their weapon list. Both team collision and friendly fire are disabled (except in console and early Steam versions, where friendly fire is enabled). Players have infinite ammo, no special equipment (such as grenades), and instantly respawn (in a random location) after their killcam, in which they are invulnerable for a few seconds (or until they fire their weapon). Each match has only one round.
Each player starts at the first weapon level and upgrade levels by killing players. Players can also lose levels by getting killed with a knife or by suicide.
There are two new small maps developed for this game mode, each just containing the designated spawn zones for each team.
- Monastery (added for the Steam version on October 1, 2012)
- Lake (added for the Steam version on November 11, 2014)
- Safehouse (added for the Steam version on November 11, 2014)
- St. Marc (added for the Steam version on November 11, 2014)
On November 11, 2014, the Steam version received an overhaul in the weapon progression list. Instead of specific weapons, each level is now a randomly-chosen weapon in a specific category. Players increase their weapon level by either getting two kills with the weapon provided, getting one kill with the knife, or getting one kill against the enemy leader (who becomes visible to everybody once they fire).
- SMG (x3)
- Assault Rifle (x4)
- Shotgun (x2)
- Sniper Rifle (x2)
- Machine Gun
- Pistol (x4)
- Gold Knife
In the console and early Steam versions, every kill increases the player's weapon level. There is a total of 26 levels, each with a specific weapon:
- Sawed Off
- Galil AR
- SG 553
- Dual Berettas
- Gold Knife
Added for the Steam version on January 23, 2013, Deathmatch is a standard team deathmatch mode where individual players compete to win the match by having the highest score (by killing players and gaining bonus points) after ten minutes. Both team collision and friendly fire are disabled. Players have infinite ammo and instantly respawn (in a random location) after their killcam, in which they are invulnerable for six seconds (or until they fire their weapon) and have a limited buy period (in which they can purchase any of their team's weapons for free). Players can choose whether they respawn with a random weapon or respawn with their previously-used weapon. Each match has only one round.
Players gain 2 points per kill, adjusted with 10-20 bonus points for a kill with a specific weapon:
- 10 points - All machine guns and sniper rifles (except the SSG 08).
- 11 points - All assault rifles, the SSG 08, the XM1014, and the P90.
- 12 points - All pistols, all shotguns (except the XM1014), all SMGs (except the P90), and the Zeus x27.
- 20 points - Knife
Players also gain 6 points for assisting with a teammate's kill. Chickens are scattered around the level, and eliminating them give 1 point each. At certain intervals of the match, a random weapon is highlighted in the HUD for 30 seconds, and killing enemies with it grant 5-10 bonus points (which vary depending on the weapon).
This game mode is compatible with all official maps included with the game.
Added for the Steam version on December 6, 2018, Danger Zone is a survival-shooter mode where up to 18 players form up into teams of 2-3 (or up to 16 players solo) and drop into a large map with a contracting safe zone. Players have only one life and must scavenge the environment for weapons, items, and money.
All players in this mode have a tablet computer that can be accessed at any time indicating their position, the current "danger zone", and the general position of all players on the map (indicated by highlighting hexagonal tiles). This can also be used to buy a limited choice of weapons, items, and tablet upgrades (all of which are delivered by drone).
This mode features new exclusive items, such as melee weapons (including hand axes and crowbars) and healing syringes (which every player starts with). The map is also scattered with special objectives (which grant money) and different types of crates and usable items (including automated sentry guns).
Only one map is available since the launch of the mode:
Weapons and Equipment
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive includes over 29 lethal guns to choose from, split up into four categories: Pistols, Submachine Guns, Rifles (both Assault Rifles and Sniper Rifles), and Heavy Weapons (both Shotguns and Machine Guns). The game also has six types of grenades (and a single-use taser), each varying in utility. Players can equip only one primary weapon (Submachine Guns, Rifles, and Heavy Weapons) and one secondary weapon (Pistols) at a time. They may also carry up to three grenades at a time (each of which must be unique) and one taser at a time. (In the later Steam version on Classic Competitive mode, this was changed to four grenades, two of which could be flashbangs)
In Classic game modes, most of the weapons and equipment must be bought throughout the match using the in-game currency (gained by completing rounds, winning rounds, performing objectives, and getting kills).
All pistols (other than the CZ75-Auto) have a +50% kill cash bonus in Classic Casual mode. The CZ75-Auto has a -66% kill cash penalty (-50% in Classic Casual mode).
- Glock-18, P2000, USP-S
- Tec-9, Five-SeveN, CZ75-Auto
- Dual Berettas
- Desert Eagle, R8 Revolver
- Glock-18 - $200 (T Only). Starting weapon for T in Classic modes. Previously known as the "9x19mm Sidearm". Secondary fire toggles burst-fire mode, which fires three rounds (in quick succession) at a time. Purchasable for $300 by both teams in console and early Steam versions.
- P2000 - $200 (CT Only). Starting weapon for CT in Classic modes (if equipped). New to the series. $300 in console and early Steam versions.
- USP-S - $200 (CT Only). Added in the August 13, 2013 update (Steam version only). Starting weapon for CT in Classic modes (if equipped). Previously known as the "KM .45 Tactical". Unlike the P2000, it carries a detachable suppressor at the cost of limited ammunition (half the magazine amount).
- P250 - $300. New to the series, succeeding the ".228 Compact". $500 in console and early Steam versions.
- Tec-9 - $500 (T Only). New to the series. $400 in console and early Steam versions.
- Five-SeveN - $500 (CT Only). Previously known as the "ES Five-Seven". $650 and purchasable by both teams in console and early Steam versions.
- CZ75-Auto - $500. Added in the February 12, 2014 update (Steam version only) and new to the series. Unlike the Tec-9 and Five-SeveN, the CZ75-Auto is fully-automatic at the cost of a very low amount of magazines.
- Dual Berettas - $400. Previously known as the ".40 Dual Elites" (and previously only purchasable by T players). $700 in console and early Steam versions.
- Desert Eagle - $700. Previously known as the "Night Hawk .50c".
- R8 Revolver - $600. Added in the December 11, 2015 update (Steam version only) and new to the series. Sacrifices ammo count and firing speed for more powerful shots. Secondary fire "fans the hammer", sacrificing accuracy for faster firing.
All submachine guns (other than the P90) have a +100% kill cash bonus (+200% in Classic Casual mode). The P90 has a +50% kill cash bonus in Classic Casual mode.
- MAC-10, MP9
- MP7, MP5-SD
- MAC-10 - $1050 (T Only). Previously known as the "Ingram Mac-10". $1200 in console and early Steam versions.
- UMP-45 - $1200. Previously known as the "KM UMP45". $1500 in console and early Steam versions.
- PP-Bizon - $1400. New to the series.
- MP7 - $1500. New to the series. $1700 in console and early Steam versions.
- MP5-SD - $1500. Added in the August 15, 2018 update (Steam version only). Previously known as the "KM Sub-Machine Gun". Unlike the MP7, it sacrifices some damage for a suppressor.
- P90 - $2350. Previously known as the "ES C90".
All rifles (other than the AWP) have a +50% kill cash bonus in Classic Casual mode. The AWP has a -66% kill cash penalty (-50% in Classic Casual mode).
- Galil AR, FAMAS
- AK-47, M4A4, M4A1-S
- SG 553, AUG
- SSG 08
- G3SG1, SCAR-20
- Galil AR - $2000 (T Only). Assault rifle. New to the series, succeeding the "IDF Defender".
- FAMAS - $2250 (CT Only). Assault rifle. Previously known as the "Clarion 5.56".
- AK-47 - $2700 (T Only). Assault rifle. Previously known as the "CV-47".
- M4A4 - $3100 (CT Only). Assault rifle. New to the series.
- M4A1-S - $3100 (CT Only). Added in the August 13, 2013 update (Steam version only). Previously known as the "Maverick M4A1 Carbine". Unlike the M4A4, it carries a detachable suppressor at the cost of limited ammunition (10 less rounds per magazine and one less spare magazine).
- AUG - $3300 (CT Only). Assault rifle. Previously known as the "Bullpup". $3500 in console and early Steam versions.
- SSG 08 - $1700. Bolt-action sniper rifle. New to the series, succeeding the "Schmidt Scout". $2000 in console and early Steam versions.
- AWP - $4750. Bolt-action sniper rifle. Previously known as the "Magnum Sniper Rifle". On console and early Steam versions, the kill cash penalty was -83% (-75% in Casual).
- G3SG1 - $5000 (T Only). Semi-automatic sniper rifle. Previously known as the "D3/AU-1".
- SCAR-20 - $5000 (CT Only). Semi-automatic sniper rifle. New to the series, succeeding the "Krieg 550 Commando".
All shotguns have a +200% kill cash bonus (+350% in Classic Casual mode). All machine-guns have a +50% kill cash bonus in Classic Casual mode.
- Sawed-Off, MAG-7
- Nova - $1200. Pump-action shotgun. New to the series, succeeding the "Leone 12 Gauge Super". $1500 in console and early Steam versions.
- Sawed-Off - $1200 (T Only). Pump-action shotgun. New to the series. $1500 in console and early Steam versions.
- MAG-7 - $1800 (CT Only). Pump-action shotgun. New to the series. $2000 in console and early Steam versions.
- XM1014 - $2000. Semi-automatic shotgun. Previously known as the "Leone YG1265 Auto Shotgun". $2500 in console and early Steam versions.
- M249 - $5200. Machine gun.
- Negev - $1700. Machine gun. New to the series. $5700 in console and early Steam versions (and later updated into more of a suppressive role).
- Decoy Grenade - $50. New to the series. Emits the sound of gunfire as a diversion.
- Flashbang - $200. Emits an ear-deafening noise and a blinding flash, temporarily neutralizing nearby players.
- High Explosive Grenade - $300. Standard damage-dealing explosive grenade.
- Smoke Grenade - $300. Quickly provides a large, thick cloud of smoke, which players can not see through. The smoke also extinguishes flames created by Molotovs and Incendiary Grenades.
- Molotov - $400 (T Only). New to the series. Covers a large area (around the point of impact) in damaging flames for a short time. Unlike Incendiary Grenades, these "grenades" explode on contact and can explode prematurely if thrown too far or too high. $850 in console and early Steam versions.
- Incendiary Grenade - $600 (CT Only). New to the series. Covers a large area (around the point of impact) in damaging flames for a short time.
- Kevlar Vest - $650. Body protection against projectiles and explosives. Given to players automatically, except in Classic Competitive. Cannot be dropped.
- Kevlar + Helmet - $1000. Body and head protection against projectiles and explosives. Given to players automatically, except in Classic Competitive. Cannot be dropped.
- Defuse Kit - $400 (CT Only). Halves the amount of time required for the user to disarm C4 explosives. Only available in the Bomb Defusal and Demolition modes. Must be purchased in Classic Competitive mode. Given to all Counter-Terrorist players automatically at the beginning of the round in both Classic Casual and Demolition modes. Can only be dropped (for other CT players) automatically upon death.
- Rescue Kit - $400 (CT Only). New to the series and added in the March 21, 2013 update (Steam version only). Halves the amount of time required for the user to pick up a hostage. Only available in the Hostage Rescue mode. Can only be dropped (for other CT players) automatically upon death.
- C4 Explosive - (T Only). Arm it at the designated control points (and prevent CT players from defusing it) to win the round. Can be dropped manually (or automatically via death) for other T players. Only available in Bomb Defusal maps (including the Demolition variant). Given to one random Terrorist player automatically at the beginning of the round.
- Knife - Close-range weapon given to all players. Primary attack gives a quick slash while secondary attack gives it a slower, more powerful stab. A golden variant is given to players who reach the last weapon level of Arms Race, in which a kill with it results in the wielder winning the game. Cannot be dropped. Gives a +650% cash bonus per kill in Classic Competitive (and a +1400% cash bonus per kill in Classic Casual).
- Zeus x27 - $200. New to the series. Close-range one-use taser that automatically kills upon impact. $1000 in console and early Steam versions (and was only available in Casual Classic mode at that time).
Starting with the August 13, 2013 update, the Steam version of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive introduced additional weapon variations (with special cosmetic finishes) for each of the game's default weapons. They can be earned through either random weapon drops (at the end of matches) or by opening specific "cases" (that are also randomly dropped at the end of matches) with purchasable "keys".
Throughout the game's lifecycle, Valve has introduced a variety of weapon skins made both in-house and through the community (through the Steam Workshop). Community events, known as "Operations", include rarer weapons and cases that can only be dropped if the player purchases a special "pass". They have also introduced name tags (allowing players to "name" their weapons for other players to see), counters that track kills (known as StatTrak, automatically applied to certain weapons from cases), and applicable "stickers" (allowing players to further decorate their weapon with community decals). They have also introduced special models for the knife, found (usually with cosmetic finishes) very rarely in cases.
Similar to Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2, players have a loadout and a personal inventory to store additional weapon skins (which are treated as their own separate weapons when equipping them to their loadout), cases, keys, "music kits" (introduced later as unique music replacement items), and other cosmetic items (such as a token to display on the player list). Weapon skins, cases, keys, and music kits are trade-able through Steam and can be sold to other players via the Steam Community Market.
Each weapon has their own unique color-coded rarity (to distinguish them from other weapons). From least rare to most rare:
- Stock (Gray)
- Consumer Grade (Light Blue)
- Industrial Grade (Blue)
- Mil-Spec (Dark Blue)
- Restricted (Purple)
- Classified (Pink)
- Covert (Red)
- "Star" Covert (Red, only applies to knives and gloves)
- Contraband (Gold)
Stock weapons are only found on non-skinned weapons and are not dropped or unlocked. Consumer Grade weapons can only be found in random weapon drops, while Classified, Covert, and "Star" Covert weapons can only be found in weapon cases.
Weapons in the "Contraband" rarity apply to community weapon skins that were found to plagarize other sources. Once these weapons were changed to this rarity, they were heavily modified by Valve (to remove plagarism) and completely removed from both the item drop system and the case it originated in (making them extremely rare over time). Only one weapon (the "M4A4 | Howl") and one sticker ("Howling Dawn") have this rarity.
In addition to rarity, most weapon skins have their own unique build quality, which wears out the skin for a "used" look. There are several factors within a build quality, so two identical skins of the same quality can still look different in terms of how worn the skin is. From least worn to most worn:
- Factory New
- Minimal Wear
The most common quality found in weapon drops is Field-Tested. Weapon skins unlocked in cases are only either Factory New or Minimal Wear.
- OS: Windows 7, Vista, or XP.
- Processor: Intel Core™ 2 Duo E6600 or AMD Phenom X3 8750 processor or better.
- Memory: 1GB XP or 2GB Vista.
- HDD: 7.6GB
- Video Card: DX9 compatibile card with 256MB RAM. Pixel Shader 3.0.
- OS: MacOS X 10.6.6 or higher.
- Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better).
- Memory: 2GB
- HDD: 7.6GB
- Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 2400 or better / NVidia 8600M or better.