The Game Awards might be taking place later tonight, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait several hours for all the big news. In fact, Valve decided to drop some just a bit ago regarding its popular shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
As of today, the highly competitive game is now available to everyone as a free-to-play offering. This isn’t one of those “kinda free,” or trial things; we’re talking the full game.
For players looking to hop into the game — or existing players who wonder how this change will affect them — its important to note that “Prime Status” still exists and will be a factor in how players are matched. Prime Status is available to players one of two ways: by reaching Rank 21 and adding an eligible phone number to your Steam account, or by purchasing it. Members with Prime Status will always be matched with each other.
Prime Status members will also be eligible for certain perks, such as the exclusive Danger Zone Souvenier MP5-SD|Lab Rats. Anyone who owned CS:GO before the change will automatically be upgraded to Prime Status automatically.
Accompanying the F2P announcement is the introduction of the Danger Zone, CS:GO’s take on the battle royale genre, where up to 18 players are dropped on a map and must fight to survive. The mode allows players to play in squads of two or three as well as solo, and each player is equipped with a tablet that allows them to track things on the map.