Hostage Rescue mode, also known as "Hostage Scenario", is a game mode available in all games of the Counter-Strike series.
Hostage rescue mode is a game mode where the round winning conditions for the two teams are:
- Rescue at least half of the hostages and there are no remaining living or un-rescued hostages (Excluding Global Offensive)
- Rescue any of the hostages (Global Offensive only)
- Eliminate all Terrorists before the round timer runs out
- Run down the round timer without the Counter-Terrorists rescuing more than half of the hostages and there are no remaining living or un-rescued hostages (Excluding Global Offensive)
- Run down the round timer without the Counter-Terrorists rescuing any hostages (Global Offensive only)
- Eliminate all Counter-Terrorists
Generally, the hostages are placed near the Terrorist spawn. To rescue the hostages, the Counter-Terrorists must interact with them (by walking up to a hostage and pressing the use key) and lead them to the hostage rescue zone, usually located near the Counter-Terrorist spawn. The secondary objective, which also secures a victory for either team, is to eliminate all members of the opposing team. If the round time expires, the Terrorists win by default.
If all (at least half of) the surviving hostages have been rescued, the Counter-Terrorists will win by default, and each Counter-Terrorist is given a monetary reward. In Counter-Strike: Source however, it does not have to be a half of the initial count as long last hostage is left alive and rescued after other ones were killed. The game mode may effectively become a 'terrorist hunt' if all hostages are killed. Killing a hostage by either side usually incurs a large amount of stiff penalty in cash, and will sometimes garner a slaying, kick, or ban from the server.
When a Counter-Terrorist begins interacting with the hostages, they will be rewarded a small sum of cash. Upon successfully escorting a hostage to a rescue point, a much greater sum is awarded to the individual Counter-Terrorist.
In Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, there was another way for the Counter-Terrorists to win. In this situation, hostages are given the ability to escape on their own and reach the hostage rescue zone, if they do not sense the presence of a Terrorist and they do not encounter a Counter-Terrorist. If all the hostages are able to reach the rescue zone by themselves, the game will announce "Hostages have escaped" instead of announcing the usual statement "Hostages have been rescued".
In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive the gamemode was revamped on the March 21, 2013 update. Now only having two hostages instead of four, the Counter-Terrorists have to pick up the Hostages and carry them to the escape zone. Although only one needs to be rescued, it's possible to bring both hostages to the rescue zone. The round time is 2 minutes. While carrying a hostage the Counter-Terrorist is slowed significantly but an extra minute is added to the clock to compensate for this. Hostages are also invulnerable to all damage, although a cash penalty will still be incurred for both sides when shooting one.
Hostage rescue maps are prefixed with cs_.
The following maps are officially available in the listed games.
- 747 ( )
- Assault ( )
- Backalley ( )
- Estate ( )
- Siege ( )
The following maps were cut either prior to or after the release of the listed games.
- Arabstreets (cut post-release)
- Insertion (cut post-release in the October 9, 2018 patch)
- Thunder (cut post-release)
- Workout (cut post-release in the July 31, 2019 patch)
- Hostages ignore falling damage, thus Counter-Terrorists can have hostages follow them and fall down from significant heights without taking a single point of damage.
- Counter-Strike: Condition Zero hostages having significantly improved AI require more attention and care to.
- Terrorists should always be watching them as they can attempt to escape and assist the enemy.
- Counter-Terrorists can make use of all information given by a hostage, most notably enemy locations. Terrorists in the same way can use their reactions and speech as a mean of pinpointing their position and whether or not they are being rescued.
- Rescue kits in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are a must-purchase as they considerably reduce the amount of time required to carry a hostage, allowing for speedy extractions.
- Avoid using incendiary or explosive devices when around hostages as it can hurt them and result in severe cash penalties.
- Counter-Terrorists should always check the area where hostages are held to avoid being killed by surprise when attempting a rescue.
- Hostages in the Deleted Scenes being mission critical, one should be extremely cautious when around them.
- A hostage has roughly 50% less health compared to players. As such, a few shots or a single headshot will kill the hostage. Be sure to fire a weapon with care and avoid spraying bullets.
- As a CT, if there are more than two people (including you) still alive, use your teammates as enemy distractions at it gives you extra time to rescue the hostage.
- As a terrorist, if a hostage is being rescued, do not hesitate, walk, or stall. You will never know if they are going a different route. When a hostage is extracted, rush for the rescue zone so you can catch the hostage carrier red-handed. If there are multiple zones, watch both zones time to time and focus on hearing footsteps or any sounds an enemy can make.
- Unless absolutely necessarily. If going to rescuing the remaining hostage is near impossible (either due to being last CT alive and the area is infested with Terrorists or time is near out while half amount of hostages are rescued). It's possible to force Ccounter-Terrorists to win the round, by having rescued at-least half amount of hostage and than kill the other remaining hostages. While cash penalty can be severe, players who's already low on funds is not likely to concern about the penalty. This should be done only as last resort and sparingly. Depends on the server's settings; the player may get auto-kicked after killing too much hostages.
- In Counter-Strike: Source. It's possible to win the round by just rescuing 1 hostage. This require the other 3 hostages be killed before rescuing the last hostage.
| Cowboy Diplomacy|
Rescue 100 hostages.
| Dead Shepherd|
Kill an enemy player who is leading the hostages without injuring any hostages.
| Freed With Speed|
Rescue all hostages within 90 seconds.
| Good Shepherd|
Rescue all hostages in a single round.
| SAR Czar|
Rescue 500 hostages.
Behind the scenes
cs_prefix was used for Hostage Rescue maps because it is the first game mode implemented into Counter-Strike. After introducing the Bomb Defusal mode, developers had planned to rename prefix
cs_to other like
hr_, but did not go through with the process.
- Prior to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the only official Hostage rescue maps not to have four hostages are Estate, Compound, and 747.