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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Series) Review
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Posted: 14 months ago, last updated 7 months ago.

Author: @JonahMonaghan, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (commonly abbreviated as CS:GO) is a competitive first-person shooting game. You play either a counter-terrorist or terrorist. The objective changes based on the game-mode you play but generally, game modes are terrorists versus counter-terrorists with a few exceptions.

In the main mode, it is the terrorist's goal to plant a bomb within a certain amount of time, while the counter-terrorists aim to stop the terrorists from planting the bomb or defuse the bomb after its planted. Alternatively, the terrorists may be guarding hostages while the counter-terrorists try to free the hostages. The format of the game changes depending on which map is being played.

CS:GO provides both casual and competitive experiences, however, the competitive game mode is the main appeal to most players. Here, you need to choose and manage resources carefully as funds for weapons and utilities such as flashbangs or smoke grenades are limited.

The game's shooting mechanism has an emphasis on realism and offers no assistance. This means that each gun shoots differently, in terms of reload, range, recoil and damage so you need to learn how each works if you want to succeed.

The game also provides a small scale battle-royale mode for up to 18 players. This mode still uses the same shooting mechanisms as other game modes giving it a large difficulty curve with a focus on precision shooting.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 12/08/2012

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

Genres: Action, Shooting and Strategy

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Valve Software (@ValveSoftware)


Duration: It takes between 1 minute and 3 minutes to play a round of this game. In competitive games, rounds can range from a few seconds to up to 2 minutes and 35 seconds. Each game is played best of 30 rounds meaning the first to 16 rounds wins and a tie at 15-15. Since players are penalised for leaving games early it is advised to be prepared to play for up to an hour and a half before starting a match. This time estimate includes warmup, half-time, and preparation time.
Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 10 players online. Competitive games are up to 10 players. Casual game modes can have up to 20 players and custom servers can have up to 255 players at any given time (however this is very uncommon).


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

XBox Store Xbox 360 Free
PlayStation Store PS3 Free
Steam Store PC Free
Steam Store Mac Free
This game is free to play. Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. Some of these purchases (known as 'loot boxes') are for a chance of getting rare/higher-value items although common/lower-value items are more frequent. These in-game purchases also offer a regular subscription fee (known as a 'battle/season pass') to unlock access to reward items and other aspects of the game.  

You don’t need a platform subscription to play this game online. CS:GO offers a Prime Upgrade to let players into priority servers with better speeds and more trusted players. CS:GO also provides loot-boxes that can be obtained for free however they require real-world money to be opened. The items provided in these loot-boxes are cosmetic only.

For example, Operation Broken Fang content adds a new competitive mode, a detailed personal statistics display, all-new agents, weapon collections, stickers, and more, available exclusively to Operation pass holders. Additionally, the update introduces the fast-paced Retakes Mode which is available for all players.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 18+ for violence. Realistic looking violence towards vulnerable characters; it is possible to shoot restrained hostages.
User-Generated Content: This game includes content created by other players, such as maps, outfits and items, that are not reflected in the game rating.
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Account Rating

You don’t need a platform subscription to play this game online.


Some of CS:GO's accessibility settings are only available from the game console. This makes enabling some settings difficult, although it does offer a high level of customisation once settings are enabled.

Depending on your situation some settings may be more convenient to enable through Steam rather than through the in-game console. To make things easier some community content creators have made maps you can play that will do these processes for you. For example, there are maps that let you change UI colours by shooting the desired colour.
Our Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Accessibility Report documents 27 accessibility features:

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Games Like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games for you. These offer a similar way to play to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or are games with a similar theme or topic. These are good alternative games to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 18 or ESRB MATURE 17+ games.

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Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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