CS:GO Free Accounts No Longer Have Access To Ranked Matches

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor June 4, 2021
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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has become a little less free-to-play. The game has had a paid access tier, called Prime, since going free-to-play, and Valve has just added some restrictions to non-Prime accounts that limits their progression.

Non-Prime accounts can still play all game modes, play on community servers, and play workshop maps. However, they will no longer receive XP, Ranks, drops, or Skill Groups, and they won't have a path to Prime access. Non-Prime players will play in "unranked" Competitive, Wingman, and Danger Zone matches. Prime players can also join such matches, with no effect on their Skill Group; otherwise, Prime players will only be matched against other Prime players.

A Prime upgrade costs $14.99, and if you purchase before June 17, your current Skill Group and XP progress will carry over. You can find a FAQ detailing the rest of the changes on the CS:GO support page.

Why the change? Valve states that it's not about money, but rather "bad actors" who have tended "to hurt the experience of both new and existing players." That's not too different from restrictions we've seen on other free accounts in MMOs that are meant to prevent spamming gold-buying site links in chat or other misbehavior that can occur with such accounts. And if you're playing CS:GO competitively, it probably makes sense that you should be willing to shell out a few bucks for the priviledge.

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About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (4)

Brekner Catalin 3 months ago
"A Prime upgrade costs $14.99, and if you purchase before June 17, your current Skill Group and XP progress will carry over."
This one is idiotic, they should give at least one month notice, probably more.

Cloak 3 months ago
So does this cover people that had already paid to buy CS:GO before it went F2P?

View 1 reply

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