Every CS:GO Game Mode Explained

The different CS:GO game modes are the lifeblood of Valve’s long-running title. They have allowed the game to thrive for over a decade, with new modes added every few years to keep things fresh. We’re taking a look at the modes that have made CS:GO great over the years.

CS:GO game

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Bomb Defusal

Bomb Defusal is quintessential Counter-Strike. The default mode for competitive play, 5v5 Bomb Defusal has been a part of Counter-Strike’s DNA since CS 1.6. In Bomb Defusal, a team of terrorists must attack one of two sites to plant a bomb against a team of counter-terrorists. The first to eliminate the opposite team, or plant/defuse the bomb, wins. It’s a simple formula, one that has been at the heart of the game since its inception. Bomb Defusal is also the core mode in CS:GO esports, too, where legends are made on the server.

Hostage Rescue

An older CS:GO game mode, Hostage Rescue has also been a part of Counter-Strike since the beginning. In Hostage Rescue, the counter-terrorists must try and extract one of two hostages by carrying them on their backs. Terrorists must aim to run down the clock, or eliminate the counter-terrorists. Although it’s not as popular as it used to be, the mode is still home to some iconic Counter-Strike maps such as Italy and Office.


Wingman is a newer addition to CS:GO, but a welcome one. Many CS:GO games simply take too long for some players, but 2v2 Wingman brings an element of pace to CS:GO. In Wingman, it’s just you and your single teammate. The mode has its own smaller maps, specifically designed for 2v2 play, meaning that a high level of detail has gone into their design. The mode also has its own competitive skill group too, so there’s always something on the line in Wingman.


Deathmatch is a beginner’s dream. The hardest thing about CS:GO is the learning curve. You never know what to learn next at the beginning – do you adjust your CS:GO rates? Do you change your FOV? How do you learn to use utility? There are so many questions that new players have to go through, but Deathmatch can help circumvent a lot of them. Because you constantly respawn in Deathmatch, you don’t have to worry about long respawn times while you get to grips with the game’s mechanics. Of all the CS:GO game modes, Deathmatch is probably the most noob-friendly and serves as a great starting point.

Arms Race

Arms Race is a gun-progression mode, where you earn new weapons with every kill. Finally, you’ll work your way up to the golden knife. A kill with the golden knife wins the game. This mode isn’t very populated anymore, although it’s still useful for new players who want to learn to use every weapon.


Demolition is great for practice, even for the best CS:GO teams. In Demolition, 6v6 teams take turns attacking and defending one bomb site, allowing for strategic practicing. This CS:GO game mode also takes inspiration from Arms Race, as you’ll begin with a starting weapon that progresses as you get more kills. While the mode isn’t popular, it’s worth trying if you’re learning how to take or defend bomb sites.