Counter-Strike: Global Offensive became free-to-play yesterday when the battle royale mode Danger Zone was introduced. Any player with a Steam account can now play CS:GO for free, and players who paid for the game in the past have the Prime status. New player can also acquire Prime Status.
Benefits of Prime
With Prime, players are only paired with other players with Prime while playing online CS:GO or Danger Zone matches. Game developer Valve also intends to make some souvenir items, item drops, and weapon cases exclusive to players with the Prime Status Upgrade.
The new MP5-SD Lab Rats skin is the first exclusive item for players with Prime. It went live yesterday with the game changes and can be grabbed if a Prime player gets 250 XP in Danger Zone. Players can expect similar opportunities to come soon.
Since Prime players are only matched with other Prime players, they can feel safer about their opponents. They’ll only play against people who invested in the game, either with money or time. You wouldn’t expect cheaters to invest both of these when they can now play the game for free and ruin other people’s games without spending money. This is likely to reduce the number of cheaters Prime players may run into during matches, which can increase the number of fair matches Prime players will play. Prime is far from an anti-cheat, though.
How to get Prime
Users who owned CS:GO before it went free-to-play on Dec. 6 were granted Prime automatically.
Users with a free-to-play license can either buy their Prime status on Steam for $14.99 or play until they reach level 21 (Lieutenant) in online casual matches. Players must have a valid phone number linked to their Steam accounts as well.
Players with Prime status who remove the phone number associated with their Prime Account will lose the status. This number can be linked again to another account to activate Prime, but only after six months. The Prime Status Upgrade is tied to the phone number you linked, not to the account you’re using.
Get your Steam account, download CS:GO, and play it for free for a while. If you like the game or want to have exclusive items, grab that Prime Status Upgrade and enjoy your benefits.