As the name implies, the buy zone is generally located at the Counter-Terrorist spawn point and the Terrorist spawn point. Both zones cannot interchange the zones in both spawns (like CT players go to T spawn buy zone to purchase weapons), meaning players belonging to one faction must buy their gear in their spawning area.
This zone as said, is the zone where players purchase their equipment, weapons, ammunition and items can be bought in the zone. Players can access the buy menu only from inside the buy zone. After the round start buy freeze time is over, players have a few more moments to use the buy menu inside the buy zone before the buy menu forcefully shuts off and can no longer be opened for the remainder of the round. Buying another weapon when the weapon slot is already filled will cause the old weapon to be dropped at the player's feet.
All official maps contain two buy zones, though some unofficial maps have 3 or more (1 at each spawn, and more other neutral zones). In the cut Escape scenario, only the Counter-Terrorists had a buy zone. Maps for some game modes, such as Arsenal and Co-op Strike, lack buy zones entirely.
In normal gameplay, money is essential when purchasing weapons and equipment in a buy zone (excluding Deathmatch in which weapons can be bought free of cost and regardless of where players are at). The player can return to the buy zone before the buy time expired to purchase additional weapons or equipment. However, some grenades cannot be re-bought even if used before the buy time has expired. In the deathmatch game mode, the "buyzone" is limited to the player's initial position and will expire if the player moves. Additionally during deathmatch, the player has unlimited money and unlimited ammo, but cannot buy equipment and will not drop any weapons on death or when purchasing additional weapons.
- Counter-Terrorists cannot use Terrorist buy zones and vice versa.
- Even though the VIP spawns at the CT starting position, he cannot buy weapons or equipment at either the CT or Terrorist buy zone.
- Players cannot purchase exclusive weapons and equipment of the opposite team.
- Players cannot purchase items after the buy time has run out.
- The default time is 90 seconds. In competitive mode of CS:GO, it is 20 seconds.
- It can be changed in the server settings or in the console.
- In some custom maps, there are neutral buy zones that can be used by both teams. Usually, they can be found in the middle of a map. Despite the function, team exclusive weapons still cannot be bought by the opposing team.
- In Counter-Strike: 1.6 and Condition Zero, additional ammunition had to be purchased. In Source, this was removed and instead, all weapons already have full ammo in reserve. In Global Offensive, before an update, spent ammo, in some game scenarios, can be replenished when the player is inside his respective buy zone as long as the timer has not run out. After this update, it is no longer available.
- If the player loads a map via console commands (provided that he did not join nor created a server beforehand), and enters the buy zone, he will get full money. The game will also continue to provide him money as long the money cap of $16000 is not reached. This is because in the early training maps, the player will be provided money as soon as he enters the buy zone, since the training map loads in the same way in Half-Life.
- Operation Bloodhound implies all items purchased from the buy zone are actually Booth's wares, including the stock weapons.