Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, often called CS:GO, is a popular and award-winning multiplayer first-person shooter, and a follow-up to the popular “Counter Strike” and “Counter Strike: Source” video games published by Valve. In the game, players make up two teams, Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists, with a variety of objectives including bomb planting/disposal and rescuing hostages (a Capture The Flag-like game mode). There are six game modes in total, with Competitive being the most “serious” mode and Casual being a less-serious version, both of which pit teams of five against one another. The other game modes are Arms Race, Deathmatch, Demolition, and the offline-only tutorial-like mode called Weapons Course.
In a match, players use a variety of firearms, grenades, knives and so on to fight the other team, either in the pursuit of objectives or to thwart the other team from pursuing their own objectives. In some modes, players upgrade their guns by success in the game, and in others, they “buy” guns using points attained at the beginning of the match or over the course of the match. CS:GO improved on the original by adding new maps, modes, and new weapons, as well as enhanced effects like fire damage and many “under the hood” improvements to netcode, optimization, user experience, and the like. Players can also customize their character and weapons by purchasing cs go skins. The game uses Valve’s VAC anti-cheat system, and also has a “Prime” mode where users must register with a phone number, designed for serious competitive players who feel harmed by hackers and other unfair players.
The game is very popular with competitive gamers, with tournaments for cash prizes being common and even some professional teams having corporate sponsorship and endorsement deals. CS:GO is one of the most popular games in the “e-sports” genre. The CS:GO community has introduced a number of fan-made mods, which add new maps, gameplay modes, weapons, skins, or “just for fun” content like obstacle courses. The game also uses the Steam Marketplace, in which users can buy, sell, and trade decorative skins for the in-game weapons, as a means of expression, collecting, and for fun. These skins can also “drop” through in-game play, allowing players to join the market or even make small profit selling in the market without having to buy into the economy with real cash. There is even a gambling scene for competitive CS:GO play, with third-party websites using these skins as a currency for betting on the results of professional teams in serious competitive play. All in all, CS:GO supports a vibrant and healthy gaming community through its solid gameplay and community-side content.