Counter-Strike: GO gets 18-player battle royale mode

One of Valve’s most popular games is hopping aboard the train. The publisher updated Counter-Strike: Global Offensive today to add the last player standing Danger Zone. Counter-Strike is now also free-to-play, just like the biggest game in this space, Fortnite.

Both Danger Zone and going free-to-play are major changes for Counter-Strike, which has held its place as one of the top competitive shooters for years. This could help keep Counter-Strike’s vibrant as more esports dollars go to battle royale games. This move also should get even more people to download the Steam client, which exposes more active customers to the dominant Steam store for PC games.

Danger Zone

Counter-Strike’s battle royale mode brings in all of of the guns and mechanics from the core multiplayer. It puts those weapons into open world maps that support a total of 18 players for duo and trio modes and 16 players in solo. That is much smaller than the 100 player matches you get in Fortnite, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Call of Duty’s BOBO.

Due to the smaller map sizes and a smaller number of players, each match lasts around 10 minutes. Throughout that time, however, you will have an opportunity to find gear to help you in your effort to outlive your opponents. That includes helmets, explosives, and protective vests.

Going free

While a battle royale mode is huge, Counter-Strike going free-to-play is just as important. Anyone can now download and start playing the game free of charge. If you own the game already, however, you will get the new “Prime” status. This will earn you some in-game items like a skin for the MP5-SD.

Free players, meanwhile, can always pay to upgrade to Prime status later. Alternatively, Valve is also promising a route to play your way to Prime status.

Can it compete?

Counter-Strike has some of the best shooting in any game, which is one of the reasons it is so timeless. So it will be interesting to see if that can carry it or if the tiny match sizes hold it back.

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