“Jump into a match featuring unique twists on classic gameplay. At the end of the match, vote on the next War Game to play.”
War Games is a collection of game modes that consist of twists on classic gameplay, initially released for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in the May 23, 2017 update with Operation Hydra as one of the three Hydra Events, alongside Wingman and Weapons Expert.
The game modes featured during Operation Hydra included Stab Stab Zap, Flying Scoutsman, Trigger Discipline, Boom! Headshot!, Hunters-Gatherers, and Heavy Assault Suit. When the match ended, a vote for the next game mode would have begun.
The maps were rotated daily, with 3 different maps for each game mode in the rotation per week. For example, the game mode Boom! Headshot! takes place at Agency at the beginning of the week, changing to Inferno the next day, then to Black Gold.
Following the November 13, 2017 update, the Flying Scoutsman game mode was made a permanent addition to the game due to its popularity, and the game modes Arms Race and Demolition were moved into the War Games category, replacing their former "Arsenal" grouping.
Current War Games
Arms Race & Demolition
The two game modes previously grouped under "Arsenal" were based on the popular Gun Game mod for Counter Strike 1.6, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, and Counter-Strike: Source. The mod introduced a scenario where players started with the 9×19mm Sidearm and had to kill enemies to progress through weapons, the end goal being to kill an enemy with the knife to win the game for their team.
Generally, the weapon assortment for Gun Game started with a pistol, and progress through to include a shotgun, a submachine gun, an assault rifle, a sniper rifle, a machine gun, an HE Grenade, and finally the knife.
Eventually, Valve recognized the mod's popularity and playability, choosing to implement the mechanics into Global Offensive as the Arms Race and Demolition game modes. The new game modes retained the mod's basic gameplay but implemented tweaks to increase the game mode's balance.
Flying Scoutsman is a war game that is based on the casual game mode. Players are restricted to only the SSG 08 and the knife in this game mode. Gravity is reduced and midair acceleration is increased, allowing players to fly and strafe in the air easily. Accuracy penalties midair are completely removed, allowing players to move and shoot each other with SSG 08 midair with ease.
The primary objective of the game mode is for the players of one team to kill all players on the other, but if the map has a bombsite, rounds can alternatively be won by the Terrorists via planting and defending the bomb, and by the Counter-Terrorists via defusing a planted bomb.
Former War Games
Stab Stab Zap
Trigger Discipline is a war game that is based on the casual gamemode. Players lose health (the amount of health lost varies on the weapon) for every missed shot, until it is capped at 1 health.
Boom! Headshot! is a war game that is based on the deathmatch game mode. Only headshot and backstab damage is counted in this mode, shots that hit anywhere apart from the head are not counted. All players spawned with armor, but without a helmet.
Hunters-Gatherers is a war game based on the deathmatch gamemode. Kills in this mode drops Dog Tags. Players must collect the most amount of dog tags (either from their teammates or enemies) before the end of the match. Bonus weapons would drop an extra dog tag for every kill.
Heavy Assault Suit
Heavy Assault Suit is a war game that is based on the casual game mode. It includes the Heavy Assault Suit which is available in the buy menu for $6000, replacing the normal Kevlar + Helmet that is otherwise unavailable for purchase in casual. This war game was playable only on bomb defusal maps.
Cut War Games
The following war games were unavailable during the Hydra event, but was still referred in the game files.
- Team Deathmatch
- Killing enemies is worth team victory points
- Killing enemies with the DM bonus weapon awards additional victory points
- The team with the most victory points at the end of the time limit wins.
- Dealing damage heals you 100% of the damage dealt (max 200)
- Players take non-lethal damage over time while they are alive
- Bounty Hunter
- All players are enemies
- Killed enemies will drop dog tags that anyone can pick up
- Killing players awards less points.
- Collecting dog tags awards additional DM points.
Behind The Scenes
- "War Games" term is used to describe training operation or live or computer exercise to develop military strategies.
- The game mode is referred as "Skirmish" on Steam, before the June 6, 2017 update.
- Some have noted that the Hunters-Gatherers war game is incredibly similar to the Kill Confirmed mode in the first-person shooter series Call of Duty.
- The Flying Scoutsman is a play on the legend Flying Dutchman and the common nickname for SSG 08, Scout.
- The Flying Scoutsman seems to be inspired by the community game mode Scouts and Knives, which uses similar mechanics.
- Shortly after the release of the Arsenal game modes in Global Offensive, Counter-Strike Online also introduced Gun Deathmatch as a new game mode.
csgo/cfg/op08_stab_stab_zap.cfg, dev comment: // * Start with knife, taser, flashbang