After multiple teases, the new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive operation has finally arrived.
Operation Riptide is now live, and while it launched in the middle of an extended Steam outage, CSGO fans were excited to have something new to sink their teeth into.
The event looks, feels, and functions very similarly to 2020’s Operation Broken Fang, but has much more to offer. Operation Riptide doesn’t contain anything related to an official surf mode despite leaks and teases from Valve.
The centerpiece of Operation Riptide is its battle pass, known as the Operation Pass. As with Operation Broken Fang, players can complete missions to earn stars that serve as a currency for rewards. These rewards include every manner of cosmetic in CSGO such as stickers, patches, weapon skins, agents, and more. Alongside this are new game modes, a notable balance change, and even a major map change.
While Operation Broken Fang made retakes into an official game mode, Operation Riptide is introducing new versions of established official game modes including deathmatch and ranked matches.
Players now have the option to queue for both short and long competitive matches. Long matches are the same as a regular ranked game of CSGO, but short matches are played to just 16 rounds instead of the usual 30 and can potentially be won in just nine rounds. According to Valve, they usually run about 25 minutes in length instead of approaching an hour as do many regular matches.
There are also now three different versions of deathmatch. The standard CSGO deathmatch remains available, but it’s joined by Team Deathmatch and Free For All Deathmatch.
Team Deathmatch works similarly to Classic Deathmatch, but entire teams win rather than a few top-scoring individuals. Free For All Deathmatch is exactly what it sounds like, with everyone capable of killing everyone else in the match in the ultimate bloodbath.
Odds are that each of these individual game modes will wind up being utilized in Operation Riptide, so prepare to be familiarized with all of them.
It isn’t just new skins and content that are here for Operation Riptide. A significant gameplay patch arrived that brings changes to Demolition mode, Arms Race, Dust 2, and multiple weapons.
Starting with the weapons, the M4A1-S was buffed while the Desert Eagle was nerfed with increased bodyshot damage and decreased bodyshot damage, respectively. This makes for a big nerf to the deagle. Though their damage wasn’t changed, the Dual Berettas were given a lower price tag that could make them more viable in pistol rounds.
In a possible meta-shifting change, grenades are now droppable. Though there weren’t changes made to the number of grenades that can be held by any one player, this will likely shake up the game at both the casual and professional levels. The meta may shift in favor of a designated grenadier player who handles every smoke for an entire execute, and tactics like retakes may wind up looking very different moving forward.
A long-desired change has finally arrived in Dust 2. Ts no longer have a sightline all the way through mid that allows them to get kills and easy wallbangs on CT players rushing towards B. This comes after complaints from pro players, as well as years of grumbling from casual players.
Finally, Arms Race and Demolition were both “[tuned] up to be a bit more fast-paced.”
The full list of changes for Operation Riptide can be found on the official CSGO blog.