CS:GO went free to play over two years ago and is still going strong. We see new players entering CS:GO all the time, and it’s as important as ever that anyone in the world can pick up and play the game for free.
Along with all the gameplay that we made available for free, new players had access to drops, Ranks, Skill Groups, and a free path to Prime matchmaking. Unfortunately, over time, those benefits have become an incentive for bad actors to hurt the experience of both new and existing players. So today we’re revising the offering for new players.
New players can still play every game mode, play on community servers, and play workshop maps. However, they will no longer receive XP, Ranks, drops, or Skill Groups; those features are now exclusively available to Prime Status players.
New players can still upgrade to Prime by purchasing the Prime Status Upgrade from the Steam store, however there is no longer a free path to Prime. And if you purchase the upgrade in the next two weeks, your current Skill Group and XP progress will carry over.
When new players play Competitive, Wingman, and Danger Zone, their matches will still use skill-based matchmaking, but players will not earn a Skill Group.
Prime players can also play Unranked matches, where their Skill Group will not be affected and where there are no lobby Skill Group restrictions.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a new arrival, GL and HF!