Operations are a form of DLC introduced in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive consisting of community created content including community maps, a purchasable operation coin, & a lot of content from Valve like Co-Op Strike or Guardian missions. Operations since Operation Shattered Web also introduced exclusive weapon collections, stickers, graffiti, patches, & cases. Earlier operations were scheduled to last between 2-5 months with a one month break inbetween, though the past three operations have lasted around 20 weeks. Some operations have been extended to give players additional time to complete missions & claim rewards. Since operations contain community created content, a portion of the proceeds go directly to authors of content included within the operation. Regardless of new operations being released, new weapon cases & capsules can still be released during an operation. For example, the Dreams & Nightmares Case which was released during Operation Riptide.
Each operation features some of the most popular community created maps submitted to the Steam Workshop. Like all community created maps, operation maps can be played at any time in casual matchmaking outside of the operation by "Subscribing" to the map on the Steam Workshop. During the Operation however, they are fully supported on official Valve servers.
Playing Operation maps on official Valve servers originally required an operation pass to be purchased, or the player could join a friend playing on an Operation map on an official Valve server, but now all Operation maps can be played for free on official Valve servers. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the operation passes go towards the authors of the maps.
During Operation Bravo, Cobblestone and Overpass were also released and tested as part of the operation. Unlike other operation maps, these two additional maps were developed by Valve and introduced as official maps after the operation eventually being added to the active duty map group. The community created Cache also became an official map and added to the active duty maps group shortly after the end of Operation Phoenix. The revamped version of Train was first included in the Operation Vanguard map group before being added to game officially. Ancient was released and tested as part of Operation Broken Fang and was later added to the Active Duty Group, replacing Train.
- See also: Operation Coins
The operation coin is an 'Extraordinary Collectible' coin given to players who have purchased an operation pass. The coin can be found in 4 different variants though only 3 variants prior to Operation Hydra. The coin variants are bronze (as standard by purchasing the pass), silver, gold and all the way to diamond. Purchasing the operation pass will reward a player with a bronze operation coin and can be upgraded by completing operation specific goals during an operation. Starting with Operation Phoenix, the coin doubles as an "operational scorecard". When viewed in a player's inventory, the coin displays statistics tracked for the player during the operation's duration. This was lost with the release of Operation Shattered Web, where the coin only displayed the number of stars earned and completed missions. Support for this was was fully removed since Operation Broken Fang where the coin no longer displays any statistics in a player's inventory.
Starting with Operation Breakout, pass owners had the privilege of participating in missions. Missions are released in a timely schedule, with players starting out able to complete a limited number of missions, but will gain more missions to complete after a period of time, and the amount of missions the player can do accumulates over time. When the player activates a mission, they will automatically launch a find game for the required game mode for the mission.
The player is rewarded with some experience points when completing a mission, allowing the player to rank up so they become eligible for Operation drops. Prior to Operation Hydra, Operation drops occur on a normal Profile Rank rank up. In Operation Hydra, Operation drops occur when the player earns 2,000 Guardian XP or Event XP, which are XP bars that track the amount of XP gained from the Campaign Missions and Hydra Events.
Since Operation Shattered Web, the players earn a set amount of stars per mission in addition to XP. The stars were either accumulated in the battle pass track in Operation Shattered Web battle pass or spent in the operation shop since Operation Broken Fang. Operation Shattered Web also introduced the now solidified tradition of an extra tier to the operation coin, a diamond tier.
A mission's parameters are tracked during matches on official match-making servers, but will not be fulfilled if the player does not complete the match. A player can check the status of an active mission from the main menu or by hitting escape during a match. However, the mission status is not constantly updated during a match, and will only reflect mission status after the last completed match.
After an operation has concluded, all existing missions expire and are removed from the player's inventory.
Starting with Operation Vanguard, pass owners were introduced to campaigns, gaining access to two base campaigns after purchasing the pass. Campaigns effectively replaces the previous mission system, with each campaign consisting of lots of missions unlocked sequentially. Completing a mission moves the player along one of the mission's non-linear tracts. Some missions are Challenge Award missions, which awards the player with stars based on the mission's difficulty, used to upgrade the player's Operation Coin. Easy (green) reward missions will net the player a single star, medium (yellow) reward missions will net the player two stars, and the most difficult (orange-red) reward missions award the player three stars upon completion.
In Operation Hydra, the missions (all Guardian missions) no longer directly award stars. Instead, Guardian XP is tracked when playing the missions, tracking the amount of Mission XP earned during the Operation. The player gains a star and an Operation weapon drop with 2,000 Guardian XP (up to 7 Stars). All other stars are gained from Operation Hydra Events. Completing events also tracks the player's Event XP, and players receive a star and an Operation drop (alternating between a Weapon Case and a Weapon Skin) for every 2,000 Event XP (up to 18 Stars).
Campaigns list out each individual mission from the very start, allowing the player to see exactly what the mission objectives are and what the potential reward will be. Prior to Operation Hydra, the player is only allowed to complete missions when unlocked on a daily basis despite being able to see all of the missions. This time limit is removed in Operation Hydra, and all missions can be played without waiting.
Since Operation Bloodhound, Campaigns now often contain storylines within them, unlocked as the player progresses through the missions.
Prior to Operation Bloodhound, missions were gained by players based on the number of campaigns active during the operation, with the player receiving rewards after each complete mission. The campaigns were limited to linear tracts based on difficulty. Challenge Award missions were at the end of the difficulty tract, rewarding the player with stars towards the operation coin. Completing missions also do not award experience points, and instead award a random weapon skin drop or an operation weapon case.
The player can unlock additional missions by purchasing the extra campaigns for the operation (specifically Maghreb and Eurasia Theater). Since missions are based on a timed schedule, players who purchase the pass at a later time will already have a backlog of missions available to complete.
Prior to Operation Vanguard
Before campaigns were introduced, pass owners received missions as a drop during normal gameplay. Missions were dropped for an operation pass holder during play. A player had a maximum of only 2 missions available at one time. Unlike weapon drops, missions were unique to each player and could not be traded or sold on the market. However, if a player could not or did not want to complete one of the missions, the player had the option to delete one of the missions after becoming eligible for an additional mission drop. Once a mission was deleted, it will be removed from the player's inventory permanently.
There was a maximum of 5 mission drops available to a player staggering throughout a week's time. On rare occasions, a player can earn up to 6 missions within a week's time. This generally occurs if a player has not played frequently within the past causing the mission drops to drop closer together, or if the drop reset point for the individual player is reached during a game session.
Operation Shattered Web and Beyond
Since Operation Shattered Web, campaigns have effectively been removed. These operations still contain Co-op Strike missions and Guardian missions but these are compiled in a weekly card which displays an assortment of missions. The missions can earn the player a number of stars, though up to 6 or 10 per week depending on the week.
Added in Operation Breakout and only available to select operations is the operation journal. The journal is visible only to the player it belongs to and records the player's progress during the operation. The journal can be accessed by clicking on the journal icon on the main menu under the player's name, or by right clicking on the operation coin in the player's inventory in-game.
After an operation has completed, the operation journal icon will no longer be in the player menu and the operation journal will contain a "completed" stamp on the journal's player ID page.
Having the journal will display an extra scorecard at the bottom of the match-end scoreboard in a Competitive game, recording the player's past performance on the map during the Operation. The Operation Journal is only available to Operation Breakout, Bloodhound, Vanguard, Wildfire and Hydra.
|Player ID||The player ID page includes the players rank, serial number (steam ID), operation status, pay grade, mission completions, and operation start and end dates.|
|Operation and Active Duty Scorecards||The scorecard pages acts a highlight page for the player's competitive play during the operation on operation and active duty pages.|
|Friends Competitive Leaderboards||The leaderboard pages compare the player's competitive statistics against the other players on the player's friends list. By default the pages will show the leaderboards for matches won, but the player can also choose hours played, kills, headshot percentage, MVPs, and missions completed (only on the operations page).|
|Operation Maps||The operations maps page gives the player information about each map including title, author, and a brief overview.|
|Operation Riptide||September 21, 2021 -
February 21, 2022
|Operation Broken Fang||December 3, 2020 -
May 3, 2021
|Operation Shattered Web||November 18, 2019 -
March 31, 2020
|Operation Hydra||May 23, 2017 -
November 13, 2017
|Operation Wildfire||February 17, 2016 -
July 15, 2016
|Operation Bloodhound||May 26, 2015 - October 1, 2015||
|Operation Vanguard||November 11, 2014 - March 31, 2015||
** Reintroduced as part of the December 10, 2014 update
|Operation Breakout||July 1, 2014 - October 2, 2014||
|Operation Phoenix||February 20, 2014 -||
|Operation Bravo||September 19, 2013 -||
† Added as part of the Winter Offensive Update
|Operation Payback||April 25, 2013 -
August 31, 2013
- The serial number on the operation journal's player ID page contains the player's steam ID.
- Although an operation may be scheduled to end on certain date, the journal's player ID page only shows the ending year under the expiration date until the operation is over.
- Much like StatTrak™ weapons, Equipment Proficiency missions will not count bot kills towards completion of the mission.
- The original competitive-based Threat Neutralized missions required the player to win the match. After the July 10, 2014, new competitive-based Threat Neutralized missions were introduced requiring the player to win 16 rounds instead.
- With the introduction of Operation Vanguard and the inclusion of mission difficulty levels, Threat Neutralized missions were replaced with Engagement missions, in which the player must win eight (medium) or 16 (hard) matches, and End Game missions, in which the player must win two competitive games on a particular map.
- The game files refer to missions as quests and operations as seasons.
- The photo included in the mission icon is the Dust II Overview.
- The operation title images generally feature content from the operation.
- An operation pass can be bought in Steam even after an operation has expired.
- After buying the pass from the Steam Market after the operation has concluded, the buyer will receive a bronze coin even though it cannot be upgraded.