Play CSGO free: F2P version of Counter-Strike released on Steam


CSGO is now free to play in an announcement that coincided with the release of CSGO Danger Zone.

Speculation has existed for a while now that Valve’s flagship first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will become a free-to-play (F2P) game, and publishers Valve seems to have taken the first steps toward making that a reality.


Following the outstanding success of F2P games such as Fortnite and PUBG, Valve seems to have decided that a free version of its flagship first-person-shooter is the way to go.

The move is the latest in a line presumably designed to make the game more competitive in Asia, and particularly China, where a F2P rip-off of CSGO called Crossfire has dominated for many years. CSGO has already had an official launch in that part of the world, through the ever-present Perfect World group, but many consider it will never dominate Asia until it is F2P.

Huge impact in Asian esports

This is partly due to the way that PC Bangs/PC café’s dominate the market in some nations, but recently games such as Overwatch have had a huge impact in that part of the world without being F2P. On the other hand, Dota 2 in China is a massive market for the company that will only continue to increase, especially with the next International due to take place in Shanghai in a break from established tradition.


The move to make CSGO F2P will also allow a lot of Western potential customers to try before they buy, of course, even if the game is famously not developed as a PVE (player versus environment) experience, at a time when there has been concern about the long-term health of the scene. Some concerns that it would increase the number of hackers have been raised, but the other side to that argument is Valve’s continued development of their VAC (anti-cheat) system, and the newly introduced trust factor put in place.

This might be the start of a new era for the greatest FPS ever made, and a new era for competitive CSGO as a result. This year has already seen a number of new, young talents emerge, who honed their skills purely in CSGO, rather than transfer them from Source or 1.6, and that appears to be the future of the game as more of the old guard fade away. With that in mind, making CSGO free to try makes massive sense, both for the fans, and the esports scene.

Tim MastersTim joined Luckbox as an editor in 2018, having previously spent time at GosuGamers, EsportsHeaven and other sites. He currently is not at his desk.