CS:GO has officially gone free-to-play. Valve’s immensely popular competitive first-person shooter also gets a battle royale mode in its latest update. The CS:GO free-to-play version brings the six-year-old game into the purview of millions more steam users.
Valve originally launched a free to play CS:GO in September, but that version of the game only let players fight AI bots. This new CS:GO free-to-play launch is legit, granting players access to all of the game for some hard drive space and a Steam account. Free to play uses will be able to play all game modes, use online matchmaking, and can receive a “limited set” of item drops. Free-to-play users will only get matched into free to play servers. A “Prime” upgrade is available for $15, which will match players against other “Prime” players and gain access to Prime-exclusive rewards.
CS:GO Danger Zone is the game’s new battle royale mode. The 16-player (Solos) or 18-player (Duos and Trios) mode is set on the map Blackout. Players claim a landing zone, and then explore the map looking for cash and completing small quests. Cash is used to purchase more powerful weapons, delivered by drones. A unique twist in Danger Zone is the personal tablet, which lets players see enemy positions and the route of drones. More info about CS:GO Danger Zone can be found on the game’s official site.
Current CS:GO Prime Status players won’t be affected by the change, and anybody who already owns the game will be upgraded to CS:GO Prime. Free-to-play CS:GO players can earn Prime status by reaching rank 21 and adding a phone number to their Steam account, or can purchase the Prime status.
CS:GO has been immensely successful for Valve, not least of all because of the lucrative weapon skins marketplace and loot boxes. Its loot boxes were banned in Netherlands and Belgium earlier this year as they cracked down on the exploitative microtransactions tactics. The game currently has nearly 300,000 concurrent players, and the CS:GO free to play update will only make it more popular.