Counter-Strike GO goes free-to-play with a new battle royale mode

One of the oldest and most iconic online competitive shooters now has a battle royale mode, but it's not a Fortnite clone

If you had to pick a single multiplayer fad to define online gaming in 2018, it would have to be battle royale. The survival gameplay mode has been gaining steam for a couple of years, but hit peak exposure this year after it made Fortnite a legitimate phenomenon.

That's probably why similar game modes made their way into games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and an upcoming update to Battlefield V. Now another classic game is jumping into the arena: Counter-Strike.

Specifically, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Valve unexpected updated the game today, introducing a new game mode called "Danger Zone," a smaller variation on the battle royale formula that pits 16 to 18 players against each other.


That makes it a much more condensed version of the survival battle you see in games like Fortnite, but the basics are the same: players enter the arena with no resources, and need to scour the map for weapons, armor and money that can be used to purchase upgrades.

It's an enticing new mode, but is it worth Counter-Strike GO's $15 price tag? Valve didn't seem to think so -- because alongside the new game mode, they converted CS:GO to a free-to-play game, too. Players who already purchased the game will receive "Prime" status, which automatically pairs them with other Prime players and enables them to earn special upgrades.