As a player of Counter-Strike since 2000, I’ve long been familiar with the structure of the game and the modes it offers. Until Global Offensive it was slim pickings as only Bomb Defusal, Hostage Rescue, and one Assassination map were available. However, Valve and Hidden Path intend to broaden our horizons by turning the CS we know into something more. Whilst Bomb Defusal and Hostage Rescue missions still exist, they’re now coupled with two new additions. With CS:GO right around the corner, I’m here to give you the knowledge so you can be In the Mode for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive; though take note, as server admins can tweak any settings they like. This article discusses the way these modes work by default.
Upon clicking ‘Find a Game’ when you first venture into GO, you’ll see that you have an option of four modes: Arsenal, Arms Race, Classic Casual and Classic Competitive. What you might wish to know right away is that if you’ve played any Counter-Strike in the past and you want virtually the same experience, go with Classic Competitive or Classic Casual. They share the same objectives depending on the map, with Terrorists trying to plant the bomb while Counter-Terrorists defend and defuse the bomb on some maps while others having the Terrorists defending hostages from the opposing Counter-Terrorist team who are trying to rescue them. Death results in you having to wait out until the round ends, so be sure to make every shot and every last dollar count. But what about the differences?
|CS:GO Game Modes|
Classic Casual is based on a best of 10 rounds ruleset with each player starting with a mere $400 on their first round. Team collision is off, meaning you can walk through your teammates for easier navigation which is especially useful if the server is maxed out at 15 versus 15. Classic Casual has a brand new weapon to Counter-Strike that is only available in this mode - the Zeus. This tazer costs $1000 and only has one shot - but with that one shot comes an instant kill if you’re in range. It’s a deadly risk versus reward weapon, and was originally in Competitive mode as well until players gave some negative feedback about it. Kills also yield a 50% cash reward versus a 100% cash reward, and friendly-fire is disabled. Finally, Kevlar body armour and Defuse Kits are provided to all players for free at the beginning of each round.
|CS:GO Classic Casual Game Mode|
Casual is definitely for the kind of player who wants to jump in and play a couple of rounds on one map, then swap to another without having to potentially stick around for the whole 30 rounds before a switch. It’s also the most accessible, as players don’t have to worry about their economy so much especially when crucial gear like Kevlar and Defuse Kits are provided at no extra cost. Most servers will no doubt be running Casual when the game goes lives, especially those administrators who are running custom maps. It’s a faster, more lightweight Counter-Strike.
Classic Competitive is geared towards those who want a, well, competitive experience. It’s locked at five on five play with the winner being determined by a best of 30 rounds ruleset. Once the match reaches 15 rounds, the teams will switch and all earned money will be reset. Each half begins with all players starting their first round with only $800 and each player has to buy everything they want unlike Casual which supplies players with gear for free. Think of this as the ‘real’ Counter-Strike as friendly-fire is always enabled as is team collision. In addition, Competitive is also the mode where you’re most likely expected to use voice communication and strategy. If that doesn’t sound like you’re thing, you may want to steer clear of this mode.
|CS:GO Classic Competitive Game Mode|
One important piece of knowledge to take note is that there is a ‘Browse Community Servers’ option on the main menu that will bring up a typical server browser showing a list of custom servers. The majority of these servers have custom player counts, maps and some are even modded to allow for unofficial modes like Deathmatch. If you’re not interested in the competitive side of the game, or just fancy a chilled shootout or two, be sure to try this option. Post launch, this server browser will certainly be a lot busier with all sorts of tweaks and custom content - keep investigating!
As for the two Arsenal modes, Arms Race and Demolition, they’re quite different. For starters, they use completely different maps (no Dust 2 here, folks) and rules. Arms Race is what you may know as Gun Game - each player starts with a submachine gun and is granted a new weapon for each kill. Once you’ve made your way through shotguns, assault rifles and more, you’ll be faced with the final challenge of claiming your last victim by using the golden knife. The first player to get a golden knife kill wins the game for their team; it should also be noted that getting a kill with the regular knife prior to the golden knife kill will set their prey back a level. There are currently only two maps for Arms Race, Shoots and Baggage, and all players spawn continuously without having to wait for the round to end like in the Classic modes. It’s incredibly hectic, and it can really get you pumped as you try and climb the scoreboard before everybody else. You may score a win for your team if you get that golden knife kill, but you’re the real winner.
|CS:GO Arms Race|
Demolition is similar to the Bomb Defusal maps found in Classic play, though the rounds here are always much fast due to the Demolition-specific maps. With environments that are much smaller in size, often centered around one specific area, Terrorists attempt to push in and plant a bomb whilst the Counter-Terrorists try to defend the area and defuse said bomb if necessary. Of course, you can just take out the enemy team before the Terrorists plant the bomb to score your team a win - this is classic Counter-Strike, but condensed. There are further changes, though, as Demolition also works as a sort of reverse Arms Race. In Demoltion, each player starts with either an AK or an M4 (the Terrorist and Counter-Terrorist staple assault rifles) and each kill they score knocks them down to a considerably worse weapon. Scoring more than one kill in a round earns you a grenade (the type depending on how many kills you earned, from HE grenades to Incendiaries). After five rounds, you’ll swap to the other team and it’ll start over again for a second half. With six maps available, Demolition offers an even faster ‘in-and-out’ mode to Counter-Strike. While I’m more of a Competitive man myself, this mode lets me dive in with a few friends and have a good laugh.
|CS:GO Demolition Game Mode|
So there you have it - a rundown of the modes available to you once Counter-Strike launches it’s Global Offensive on August 21st. Maybe not all the modes, actually, as the official Counter-Strike blog just recently announced that the popular Zombie mod found in previous iterations of CS will be making it into CS:GO on launch day. Despite the dedicated team working on it for GO, the zombies still run around with knives out instead of their bloody hands.
|CS:GO Zombie Mod|
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