After Rust kicked off the battle royale trend, it was only a matter of time before Valve got in on the action. Now nearly two years old, Danger Zone has separated itself from other battle royale games. Even groundbreaking additions to the genre like Fortnite’s building system don’t hold a candle to this under-appreciated addition to CSGO.
A recent CSGO update removed one of Danger Zone's maps, Jungle, from public play. The developers didn't comment on why they took out Jungle, but it could mean that there's a new Danger Zone map coming to CSGO. With that in mind, players ought to brush up on how to play the game.
Here's everything a beginner needs to know about CSGO's Danger Zone.
At its core, Danger Zone is like any other battle royale.
Players drop into a large map with the sole purpose of being the last one standing. Danger Zone has more strategies for players than the typical “post up in the middle” or “move in with the circle" approaches that are all too standard in other battle royales. In fact, Danger Zone might be the deepest battle royale game on the market right now thanks to some smart moves from its developers that have given CSGO's players more than a few new ways to play.
The first major difference is that players can buy weapons, armor, and grenades from their tablet, which integrates CSGO’s famous economy system into the mode. Once players have found enough cash on the map, they can use their tablets to call in items which are delivered with drones.
The items are delivered to their tablet's location, not their own. This means players can set up ambushes by ordering something, dropping their tablet, and waiting for enemies to approach. An even bigger twist is that players can shoot down the drones on their way to make the delivery, but it’s a risky move.
Ammo is scarce, especially for weapons that are accurate and powerful enough to take down CSGO's erratic delivery drones. But nothing says psychological warfare like stealing someone’s Scout delivery and then using it to kill them.
The way Danger Zone’s players drop into the battle royale’s maps is different from other entries in the genre, too. In Danger Zone, each player picks a landing zone that is exclusive to them at the begining of the match. There is still competition for the best landing spots on CSGO’s Danger Zone maps, but the game mode's individual landing zones are a welcome relief from dropping into PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' hot zones.
While Danger Zone's players pick a landing site, they're also given the option to spawn with one of several gadgets that suit their playstyles. Aggressive players that are looking to get into early fights might want to take the added defense from CSGO's helmet against the mode's early-round pistols and SMGs. Others might want to go with the Zeus, which can be used to break open the weapon crates scattered around the maps. While most other battle royales have weapons and ammo in every nook and cranny of their huge maps, Danger Zone makes players work for everything.
There are even upgrades for the tablets themselves that let players take over another user's drone. A popular tactic is to use the drone to pick up a crate, strap some C4 to it, and fly it right into an unsuspecting team. It's a level of depth that is missing in many of the battle royale games on the market today.
The mode's most powerful weapons, like CSGO's infamous AWP and semi-automatic sniper rifles, can only be found in late-game supply drops. Until then, almost every item littered around Danger Zone's maps is stuck inside a crate that needs to be punched or broken open with a melee weapon. Some are even locked behind doors that can be opened with the money they've found in the round.
Danger Zone was clearly made specifically to be a fast-paced game. Players' tablets are always highlighting squares where players are, leading to a desperate game of cat and mouse between those who get unlucky with their initial drop and those who gear up early to go on the offensive.
Finally, Danger Zone's most brilliant addition is its "circle" system that forces players together. There are alcoves of safety that players can use to take a breather, but coming in from one of these alcoves is dangerous due to the fact that the tablets report the general positions of players, so there's always a chance that someone could be waiting to pounce out of the shadows.
High ground is king on Danger Zone's two maps, Black Site and Sirrocco.
In an interesting connection, CSGO players who spent hours in Shattered Web's missions should recognize Sirrocco, as one of the operation's missions was to infiltrate the island and take out an arms dealer that was manufacturing and testing a deadly virus. This technically made every game of Danger Zone a part of the story of Shattered Web.
With the same mechanics, spray patterns, and movement as CSGO's competitive mode, established CSGO players who haven't tried out Danger Zone might be pleasantly surprised about how much fun it can be. ESL Pro League observer Alex "Rushly" Rush is an avid fan of Danger Zone. Earlier this week, Rushly posted some of the craziest Danger Zone gameplay seen to date.
All in all, a few rounds of Danger Zone could be just what players need as they wait for CSGO's next operation. Valve still hasn't given any indication as to when CSGO players will get the follow-up to Shattered Web, but Jungle's removal might have paved the way for a new set of cooperative strikes and a new Danger Zone map. Until then, players will just have to try to hit the double Bump Mine PP-Bizon kills that Rushly, one of CSGO's best Danger Zone players, is known for.