Counter Strike is one of the most popular tactical FPS series in history. This is evidenced by the numbers. It has been more than 10 years since the release of the latest game – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Still, at peak hours, more than a million players play the game at once. What makes it such a popular production? Learn about its long-standing history, the most important rules and the mechanism of weapon skins, on which you can earn a lot of money.
How Counter-Strike was born? The history of CS
It all started in 1999. At that time, a fan-made, free modification for the Valve’s game Half-Life was created. It was titled Half-Life: Counter-Strike. The work of two enthusiasts – Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess “Cliffe” Cliffe – immediately gained great popularity by its unique (for those times) gameplay.
At the time, the market was dominated by intense, arcade shooters in science-fiction climates (from the Doom or Quake series). Counter-Strike, on the other hand, was distinguished by its realistic graphics, asymmetrical maps with equally asymmetrical gameplay, in which two teams facing each other (terrorists and anti-terrorists) fight to maintain or destroy one of two strategic points.
Counter-Strike was also the first game with permadeath. This means that there is no immediate revival after the death of a character. It was necessary to wait until the next round to respawn. In an era of action-packed, symmetrical gameplay, this proved to be a breakthrough. Suddenly, every move became more important, and rushing towards enemies at breakneck speed proved to be an extremely ineffective tactic. This made the gameplay more attractive, and not only for players, but also for observers.
Valve quickly saw the massive potential of Counter-Strike and less than a year later the company bought the full rights to the brand. Since then, there have been several more versions of Counter-Strike (including the iconic CS 1.6) and 3 full-fledged successors: Condition Zero (2004), Source (2004) and Global Offensive (2012). Each installment sold millions of copies on PC (there's nothing to mention the console version), and today CS:GO is one of the most popular FPS e-sports games in the world.
What is the FPS game Counter-Strike all about and what modes does it have?
CSGO offers 5 basic gameplay modes: Deathmatch, Arms Race, Hostage’s Rescue, Competitive and the battle royale-inspired Danger Zone. Here's some brief information on each of them.
Deathmatch in CS:GO
It is the simplest mode in the game, in which each team member must kill as many opponents as possible. The team that gains the most points in a certain amount of time wins. It's great for warm-ups and learning how to handle weapons, as the player is instantly reborn after dying. In addition, he is also immortal for a few seconds after resurfacing.
Arms race – gun game in CS:GO style
This is by far the most casual, fun-packed mode in the game. Each player starts with the same weapon, and after 2 kills, there is an upgrade to the next one. The match ends when the first player eliminates his rival with a golden knife.
This is a great place to learn how to shoot, especially for newbies. This way you can quickly test all the equipment available in the game, learn the range and spread of different rifles, or how to position yourself to have an advantage over the enemy.
Danger Zone – free battle royale in CS:GO
This module was added in 2018 on the wave of popularity of titles such as Fortnite. Players choose where they want to respawn, and select a perk that gives them additional abilities or bonuses (e.g., exoboots provide a higher jump). Each of the available weapon types is acquired from crates scattered throughout the map. In this mode, 8 2-player teams fight each other, and the team that remains last on the battlefield wins.
Hostage rescue in Counter-Strike
This is the first mode focused on tactical gameplay. Counter-terrorists must recapture at least 1 of 2 hostages respawning randomly at several fixed points on the map. The terrorists' task is to obstruct the CT and not have the hostages transported to an evacuation point.
This is a mode with equipment purchasing. You get money for killing the opponent, winning and losing rounds and for rescuing a hostage. CTs win if they eliminate every player on the opposing team or if they rescue a hostage. Terrorists, on the other hand, are tasked with holding hostages until time runs out or killing all enemies.
This mode uses entirely different maps, prepared specifically for the new game rules.
Competitive mode in CS:GO
By far the most attractive mode in the game, which has determined the record popularity of this shooter. Over the course of up to 30 rounds, players battle each other in asymmetrical gameplay on one of a dozen iconic maps, such as Inferno, Nuke or de dust 2, among others. Each round is won by the team that:
plants a bomb or defuses it,
eliminates all rivals,
waits until time runs out (in which case the anti-terrorists win).
After each completed round, both teams receive money to spend on equipment. If a player survived, he keeps all the equipment. If he died, he has to equip himself in the store (available only before the round starts) or count on one of his colleagues to buy him something. Additional finances are earned for kills and planted or defused explosives. Resource management is an additional, essential tactical element in this mode.
In the middle of the match there is a change of sides. Whichever team defeats the enemies first in 16 rounds wins the entire clash. It's also possible to reach a 15:15 tie. There's also an optional overtime on ESL servers and during tournaments.
CS:GO stands for e-sports. What are the most popular tournaments in this game?
CS:GO is a tactical-based team game, which makes it great for all kinds of tournaments. And there have really been quite a few of these over the past decade. Valve's production has come a long way from local tournaments in Internet cafés to such big events as the IEM finals in Katowice, which at its peak was watched by more than 1.1 million viewers at the same time.
Counter-Strike's major e-sports tournaments include:
Intel Extreme Masters,
ESL Pro Tour,
BLAST tv Major.
In addition, CS leagues are going on all the time. Among the most popular leagues are:
ESL Pro League,
PLE (Polish Esport League),
and many other minor leagues with global and local reach.
All this makes Counter Strike: Global Offensive one of the most popular e-sports games in the world. With the number of viewers watching tournaments, it is second only to games such as League of Legends and Fortnite.
Is Counter Strike: Global Offensive free in 2023?
Counter-Strike has been available for free since 2018, the update that introduced the Danger Zone mode. Until 2021, paid and free versions were almost the same. Currently, however, free players have a “non-prime” status, which means they can't earn account experience points, drop precious items or play in ranked mode.
How to play CS:GO for free in 2023?
All you have to do is find the game's tab in the Steam store, and then download the game files to your computer. All modes in the free Counter Strike version will be immediately available.
Hardware requirements for Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Valve's production is more than a decade old, and the Source engine on which it was created – more than two. This makes Counter Strike playable even on the weakest hardware. In addition, the game is quite well optimized.
Minimum system requirements of CS:GO
Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6600 or AMD Phenom™ X3 8750;
Memory: 2 GB RAM;
Graphics card: with min. 256 MB of memory, compatible with DirectX 9, supporting Pixel Shader 3.0 (so in practice, any available in markets);
Disk space: 15 GB of available disk space.
Recommended hardware requirements for Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Processor: Intel Pentium Dual Core E5700 3 GHz or AMD Phenom 8750 Triple-Core;
Memory: 4 GB RAM;
Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GT 630 or AMD Radeon HD 6670;
Disk space: 15 GB of available disk space.
CS:GO is a shooter in which it is important to react almost instantly to the situation on the battlefield. In practice, it is possible to play even on a toaster. However, to facilitate the game and ensure a better chance of victory, it is worth having a computer that will generate a minimum of 60 stable frames per second. And the more, the better.
What are skins in Counter Strike: GO? How to get them and earn on them?
Skins in Counter Strike appeared shortly after the release of the last game of the series. However, they do not work like in Call of Duty or Battlefield. Here, each skin is a unique virtual item that has its unique code, price, and appearance depending on the level of wear. They can also be easily exchanged.
Weapons skins are acquired randomly after the end of a match, although the most valuable items fall only from special cases. They are opened with keys, for which you have to pay extra. The most expensive skins in CS:GO can already cost up to hundreds of thousands bucks!
For more information about skins in Counter Strike, take a look at this article.
All about betting in CS:GO – bookmaking, roulette, case openings
To make things as simple as possible – the Steam market is not the only place where you can sell, buy and get Counter Strike skins. They are valuable enough items to be bet on at all sorts of gambling sites.
As it turns out, these are some of the most profitable places where you can get pretty rich and have fun at the same time. If you want to read more about betting on CS:GO, take a look at this article.
Also check out the dreamcodes.gg website. Here you will find promo codes for the most popular CS:GO roulette, case opening sites and betting on tournament matches in this game. They will give you extra bonuses and resources to start, so you can feel that thrill of winning a really valuable skin for free.