The History of Counter-Strike


The History of Counter-Strike

5 Fun Facts About Counter-Strike

  • Counter-Strike was originally a mod for Valve’s Half-Life.
  • Counter-Strike was created by Minh Le and Jess Cliffe in 1999.
  • The first major Counter-Strike tournament had a prize pool of $15,000.
  • Counter-Strike was featured in many TV series, such as War Dogs and The Big Bang Theory.
  • Despite Counter-Strike’s most recent release debuting in 2012, the game continues to be updated regularly with new maps, modes, and cosmetics.

Counter-Strike Specs

OS: Windows® 7/Vista/XP
Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6600 or AMD Phenom™ X3 8750 processor or better
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: The video card must be 256 MB or more and should be DirectX 9-compatible with support for Pixel Shader 3.0
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 15 GB available space

These minimum specs are essential for running the game at the lowest possible settings. Because the game came out in 2012, its specs are not as beefy as some other choices out there. Realistically, if you have a decent PC, you should be able to run Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at the highest possible settings without any pushback from your computer.

Quick Facts

Release Date
Original price
Units Sold

Counter-Strike: Where to Buy 

Counter-Strike is available through Valve’s premier gaming platform, Steam, and is free to play. So, you won’t be forking out any cash if you pick up Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. A DLC pack, which is available at the Steam store, grants your account “prime status” and improves your matchmaking. And you can still download the free-to-play game.

Because Counter-Strike is developed by Valve, we recommend you get the game through Steam. However, Steam is not necessary to buy, download, or play the game. Other stores, such as GreenManGaming, have the game. However, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive uses Steam’s multiplayer platform in case you want to engage in multiplayer gaming. If you haven’t installed Steam, there is little you can do. The game must connect to your Steam account to play online.

Counter-Strike - Xbox
  • Intense, team-oriented FPS game
  • Single-player missions and multiplayer action
  • Communicate with teammates during gameplay
  • Range of real-life gadgets and weapons
  • Real counterterrorist experience across Asia, South America.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 06:31 am GMT

Counter-Strike: What to Know

Counter-Strike was first developed as a mod for Valve’s Half-Life game. Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess “Cliffe” Cliffe developed the game in 1999. The mod’s popularity came to a head in 2000 when Valve acquired the mod with the intent to turn Counter-Strike into a full-fledged, standalone video game.

The game centers around two groups of players: terrorists and counter-terrorists. Both teams typically complete goals to win the game against the other team. On the one hand, terrorists try to complete an act of terror, such as a bombing, while counter-terrorists try to stop them by disarming the bomb.

Since the original release of Counter-Strike, several spin-offs and sequels have come out leading up to the most recent release. The latest installation, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, has received regular, comprehensive updates to the game, including new maps, modes, and balance changes for the last ten years.

Counter-Strike Versions: Each Edition

A wide breadth of games has been released since Valve bought Counter-Strike’s game design. The first standalone game, Counter-Strike, came just one year after the debut of the Half-Life mod. From 2000 until 2012, several Counter-Strike games came out, including several games designed for the Asian market.


Counter-Strike was the first game in the Counter-Strike series. It was a standalone game based on the Half-Life mod designed by Minh Le and Jess Cliffe. It is a tactical first-person shooter where the players are split into two teams, with the terrorists attempting to complete a terror plan and the counter-terrorists trying to stop them.

The three most popular game modes in Counter-Strike are bomb defusal–where the counter-terrorists try to defuse the terrorists’ bomb–hostage rescue–where the counter-terrorists try to rescue a group of NPC hostages–and assassination–where one counter-terrorist is designated the VIP and must be escorted to the meeting point without being killed by the terrorists.

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero followed the release of Counter-Strike. It was released in 2004 and received mixed reviews, unlike Counter-Strike, which was critically acclaimed. Condition Zero ran on Half-Life’s GoldSrc engine, just like the game before it.

Condition Zero was developed by Turtle Rock Studios and contained a full in-universe campaign alongside its multiplayer modes.

Counter-Strike: Source

Counter-Strike: Source was the first Counter-Strike game to be made using Valve’s Source engine over their GoldSrc engine from Half-Life. It was initially released to members of Valve’s Cyber Cafe Program as a playable beta. Shortly after, the beta was released to owners of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and people who received a Half-Life 2 voucher from certain graphics card sales.

Counter-Strike: Source was initially released only for Microsoft Windows users, but an OSX port followed the game’s release, and shortly after, a Linux port was included.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, also known as CSGO (pronounced see-ess-go), is the most recently released version of Counter-Strike as of the writing of this article. However, at the time of writing a sequel to the game has been announced.

CSGO is designed for Microsoft Windows, but OSX and Linux versions have been developed. The game was also released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. However, despite the game continuing to receive major updates, next-gen versions of the game were never released for console players.

Counter-Strike Versions: Asian Market Releases

The main releases of the Counter-Strike series have traditionally not been available in Asia. Regulations on Valve’s creative process and vision pushed them to employ the company Nexon, a popular Asian developer, to create an “Asian Market-Friendly” version of Counter-Strike. These spin-offs have been popular in Asia but have not typically been formally brought to the West.

Counter-Strike Neo

Counter-Strike Neo is the first Asian-market version of Counter-Strike to be released. It is an arcade shooter published by Namco. The game uses anime-inspired characters to draw in the Eastern market and features a wide breadth of single-player and multiplayer content available on the arcade cabinet. Despite being an arcade game, the game was treated to several updates, including new single-player missions, minigames, and seasonal events to maintain player interest in the arcade game.

Counter-Strike Online

Developed by Nexon for the Asian market, Counter-Strike Online is a series within a series D. It’s a free-to-play game available in most of Asia. Nexon developed the game with oversight from Valve to ensure a smooth transition and faithful recreation of the Western gameplay altered for Eastern game design regulations.

Counter-Strike: Nexon Studios

Initially released as Counter-Strike: Nexon Zombies and later renamed to Counter-Strike: Nexon Studios, Counter-Strike: Nexon Studios is a zombie-themed spin-off on Counter-Strike: Online developed by Nexon for the Asian market. It initially launched as a beta on Steam with 50 maps and 20 game modes, including popular legacy game modes like bomb defusal and hostage rescue.

Counter-Strike: The Public Response

The public response to Counter-Strike was largely positive. Gamers from backgrounds loved and enjoyed Counter-Strike both before it became a standalone game as a mod for Half-Life and after it was acquired by Valve.

Since the release of CSGO, the game has continued to enjoy stellar reviews and a booming player base. Fans are excited to know Counter-Strike 2, the official sequel to Global Offensive, is coming out and will be a free update to people who own Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The new edition will feature micropayments and in-game purchases for things like cosmetics. Counter-Strike 2 is set to launch in the summer of 2023.

Final Thoughts

Counter-Strike is a wonderful story of how passion for a game can spawn its own beautiful projects. Thanks to Minh Le and Jess Cliffe’s love for Half-Life, we now have a whole new game to enjoy! If you enjoyed hearing a little bit about the history of video games, especially shooters, please let us know in the comments!

Frequently Asked Questions

When was Counter-Strike first released?

The first release of Counter-Strike was a mod of Half-Life using the Half-Life GoldSrc engine. It was released in 1999 and quickly acquired by Valve after the mod’s booming success.

Who developed Counter-Strike?

The first Counter-Strike, the mod for Half-Life, was developed by Minh Le and Jess Cliffe. Most Counter-Strike games are developed by Valve, but Counter-Strike: Condition was developed by Turtle Rock Studios, and Nexon develops the Asian versions of Counter-Strike.

What platform is Counter-Strike released on?

Counter-Strike games have historically been primarily PC games, releasing first for Windows and later for OSX and Linux. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was also released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

How does Counter-Strike differ from other first-person shooters?

Counter-Strike uses different mechanics than other first-person shooters. While most first-person-shooters include modes such as deathmatch (the number of kills determines the winner) or capture the flag (the winner brings the loser’s flag to their base), Counter-Strike’s assassination, hostage rescue, and bomb defusal modes–the most popular ones–require unique skills since the winner is not determined by simply killing everyone you see.

Does Counter-Strike allow mods?

Counter-Strike does allow players to mod the game to improve their own experience. It would be somewhat ironic if it didn’t, as the game was first spawned as a mod for Half-Life.

What was the prize pool of the first major Counter-Strike tournament?

The first major Counter-Strike tournament had a prize pool of $15,000.


To top