• Counter-Strike is Now Free-to-Play, Adds Battle Royale Mode

    Valve just rolled out one of the biggest updates for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It may not be the largest in terms of file size, but in terms of scope? Yeah, it's pretty big for a game like Counter-Strike. "What could it possibly be," you wonder?

    It's battle royale.

    Of course it's battle royale. This mode has been rumored for a while and now it's finally here. The new mode is called "Danger Zone" and along with this new mode comes some additional surprising news.

    Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is now a free-to-play game. In addition, everyone that owned the game before today's move to being a F2P title have been granted Prime Status from Valve. Given that Prime Status was being used as a tool to play in an environment relatively free from cheaters and smurfs, your gameplay experiences over the next few weeks may suck until VAC does its thing.

    The next time existing owners of CS:GO login to play they will have their game files automatically updated via Steam to include the new Danger Zone mode. In addition, these players will be automatically upgraded to Prime Status (both free of charge).

    Meanwhile, all Prime Status players are now eligible for the new Prime-exclusive Danger Zone Souvenir MP5-SD | Lab Rats.

    Those new to CS:GO will have the option to play or pay their way to Prime Status ($14.99 US).

    The bad news about all of this? Now that everyone has been given the Prime Status bump, cheaters are liable to have a field day with those that previously paid for a (relatively) cheat free gameplay environment. You'll probably have to wait a little while to have VAC weed out the born again cheaters from the free Prime Status pool.

    Anyway, now that I put the fear of getting your ass kicked by cheating jerkoffs into your head, let's talk about Danger Zone. This new mode is battle royale with a twist.

    First up, you have the option of playing in solo, duos, or trios. The total player count in each game is 16-players for solos and up to 18-players for those playing in duos and trios. Due to the smaller player counts, Valve says that each round of Danger Zone lasts approximately 10 minutes.

    Drop into Blacksite
    Enter a match with up to 18 players. Find what you can, order what you need, prepare for the unexpected.

    Fight or Flight
    Check your tablet for intel, choose to engage or live to fight another day.

    No Time to Waste
    Test your skills, make the most of your equipment, and make every moment count.

    Each game includes special missions to complete in order to "out-earn your rivals." Some contracts task you with taking out a high-value target. Others task you with robbing a safe. Still others are hostage rescue missions.

    The arsenal at your disposal includes the classic weapons found in Counter-Strike. In addition, you can find breaching charges, plant-anywhere C4, throwable melee weapons, and more. There are also health boosts like the Medi-Shot. Speaking of health, players now have 120 health to make engagements a bit more survivable.

    And naturally, there is a special Danger Zone Case that includes 17 community created weapon finishes and the Horizon knives as rare special items.

    The release of Danger Zone and the move to free-to-play comes bundled with a new update to CS:GO. I pretty much already went over most of the changes, but here is the changelog anyway.

    Changelog for CS:GO for December 6, 2018
    CSGO – Danger Zone
    • Introducing Danger Zone, a fast-paced battle royale game mode built on CS:GO’s tactical gameplay. For more details, visit:
    • Danger Zone can be played solo, or in squads of two or three players.

    • CS:GO is now free to play. For more details, visit the F2P FAQ.
    • All players who played CS:GO before the Danger Zone update will receive a commemorative Loyalty Badge they can display on their profile.
    • All current CS:GO Players have been upgraded to Prime Status
    — Prime Status continues to match you with other Prime Status players
    — Additionally, your Prime Status will give you access to the new Souvenir MP5-SD | Lab Rats (available by earning XP while playing Danger Zone matches) and the new Danger Zone case.

    Danger Zone Case
    • Introducing the Danger Zone Case, featuring 17 community-designed weapon finishes, and the Horizon Knives as rare special items.
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