Sticker Bomb: CS:GO’s New Update Adds Gun Stickers

By Graham Smith on February 7th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

Wouldn't this look more fun if there were stickers?

Counter-Strike is a lot like high school. There are a lot of cliques. Fights break out in the hallways. Everybody is concerned with looking cool. And now, with Global Offensive’s latest update, people are able to decorate the covers of their books (guns) with stickers.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive now has stickers. This is a good thing. This is a very good thing.

I’ve written before about the growing weirdness of Counter-Strike’s microtransactions. Currently, by playing or paying to unlock skins, you can turn your ordinary submachineguns into works of graffiti art, covered in colourful paintwork and realistic rust. There’s then a button in the game which allows you to turn the side of that gun towards you, so that between manshoots, you can admire the paintwork. I love this, because it suggests that the terrorists and counter-terrorists are simpletons infatuated with their weapons. Even in a firefight, they can’t resist sneaking a loving peek. “I always wanted my own little M4A1 Colt. I will name him George and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him.”

The stickers are a sensible extension of that idea, but shift the vision in my head from Of Mice and Men to Saved By The Bell. I’m OK with this.

If you read the comments about the stickers anywhere on the internet, you’ll find a lot of criticism from players annoyed that this somehow disturbs the sanctity of the game. I disagree, or at least think that the sanctity needs disturbing. Counter-Strike always had a community problem, where its matches could grow increasingly aggressive and offensive as players, frustrated by the process of playing, took those annoyances out on others. Global Offensive adds a bunch of modern community tools that cut down the number of problem players, but public servers can still be a hive of scum and villainy.

Team Fortress 2, by comparison, never had problems of the same scale. I think that’s in part because there’s a silliness to the game that cuts across the seriousness of fighting, competing, shooting. The character types, the colourful maps and ridiculous hats, the little bits of fun-dickery that are coded into the game’s systems, like grudges and taunting in killcams. They each help keep the competition fun, not vicious. My hope is that stickers, and additions like it, find ways to do the same in Counter-Strike, undermining the seriousness of its initial theme by treating guns like skateboards. Especially when there’s so much that’s compelling about the system.

Also the update makes a bunch of other changes. I don’t really care about those, but did like Dust 2′s “Covered up shadow that looked like a player near CT spawn.” See the list of full changes here. If you’ve got Global Offensive installed, Steam has likely already downloaded the update.

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47 Comments »

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  1. Kollega says:

    Okay, I gotta ask… does it bother anyone that you have to pay money for the game (currently 10 bucks) and then shell out for microtransaction stuff in addition to that? Same with TF2 before it went free-to-play, actually. Even if 10 dollars is not a big amount of money in the Western countries, which this is targeted towards, Valve’s policy of taking money for both the game itself and in-game stuff rubs me the wrong way.

    And of course, there’s the issue of ruining the art style of a game that people paid actual money for without asking whether they want that art style ruined or not. Sure, it’s not as tragic as TF2, because CS: GO isn’t one-of-a-kind with its “realistic” modern setting, but again, I’m pretty sure that some people are not happy that they have their favourite art style yanked out from under them in favour of LOLRADOMNESS.

    • rightyeauhuh says:

      Bland isn’t an art style.

      • Kollega says:

        Maybe so, but I think there will still be people unhappy with Hello Kitty rifles in a “serious” setting.

        Then again, the whole article is about how CS should lose the seriousness and become like TF2, so it’s probably pointless to voice that idea.

        • SillyWizard says:

          Personally, I think the Hello Kitty skins are stupid, so I don’t use them. If someone else has a Hello Kitty skin, it’s that much more fun to kill them (assuming I even notice from that far away.)

          It hasn’t been a big deal for me. I’ve enjoyed being able to collect the stat-tracking weapons.

    • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

      I have to say, in War Thunder it’s my policy to shoot on sight anyone who’s laden their planes with as many paint mods and decals as they can while still being able to take off.

    • zeroskill says:

      No.

    • Stupoider says:

      I always thought CS:GO was going to free to play as soon as they rolled out the cosmetic stuff.

      I think a consistent art-style is part of any game experience, whether it’s a singleplayer game or a multiplayer shooter. There has ALWAYS been the option to make the game silly for yourself by downloading skins and the like, I can’t see the reasoning behind Graham’s wish for CS:GO to strive towards silliness.

      I haven’t had TF2 on my computer since ~2009 when it went completely overboard. Now it’s just bloody garish.

      • sd4f says:

        Free to play will ruin the game. First the game will be overrun by noobs, second hackers will have a field day. I’m not sure on the portability of hacks from TF2 being free, but if CSGO is free, even hacks that get a VAC ban, will be used for a while, until the ban happens, they’ll then create a new account and go again, repeat ad nauseam

    • secuda says:

      As long as i can sell the items (wich i can in CS:GO) i have no problem with it.

    • Skiddywinks says:

      There is little about GO that doesn’t bother me. And that’s because the only thing going for it is incredible slickness and smoothity. Apparently that’s actually a word says my spell checker, so I’m leaving it.

      If BF felt this good to play it would be the best FPS ever.

    • Leb says:

      Well, if you don’t like cosmetics, sell the FREE drops you get. I bought CS GO for 3 bucks and made 30 dollar selling crates and the like

  2. c-Row says:

    Can we buy hats for the stickers?

  3. Skiddywinks says:

    Let me guess; are the keys to open these stupid sticker capsules also an outrageous £1.50 as well?

    I find myself more and more put off with CSGO every time they do something like this. The gun designs aren’t even great to begin with. Literally just shit paint jobs.

    God I just wish I could skin the guns with some new models or animations like days of old.

    • SillyWizard says:

      Given a little time, I expect you’ll be able to pick up most of the stickers for $0.07, just like everything else.

      • Skiddywinks says:

        I don’t see how that is a good thing. The paint jobs are shit nine times out of ten. The fact I even have to pay 7p for something that used to be free and far superior does not sit well. And now fucking stickers.

        If it wasn’t for steam I really wouldn’t give a shit about valve. The only game anyone really wants is constantly looming over like a carrot on a stick, meanwhile they seem to be trying to milk as much money as possible out of their fans by doing as little as possible.

        • SillyWizard says:

          You don’t have to pay anything at all. The standard (and less offensive-looking) skins are still available at no extra cost!

    • bit_crusherrr says:

      They were £1.99 last time I checked. The whole getting weapon skin drops is a good idea. But putting Valve idiotic crate and key wank into the game is bullshit when you have to actually pay for the game.

      • Skiddywinks says:

        Shocking. I do agree that the skins would be excellent added value and be something to work towards. But fuck paying for the privilege. I mean, even if they were like 50p I would probably open some crates, but 1.50 is insane for a poor, locked down imitation of the capability they took away.

        • Tidz says:

          The keys for the stickers are actually £0.55, normal weapons crate keys are £1.49.

          There’s no key in the game that costs 1.99.

          • bit_crusherrr says:

            They were £1.99 when the system first launched. Must of either been a pricing error or they altered the price.

      • SillyWizard says:

        The keys for these things are pretty obscenely priced. Unfortunately, while people continue to fork over for them so readily, I doubt we’ll see any changes.

        But please please please do not suggest CSGO go free-to-play. Matchmaking is bad enough as it is. We do not need hackers and griefers and trolls and smurfs and Brazilians (I’m fucking serious) having an even easier time setting up new accounts.

        >:(

        • bit_crusherrr says:

          I agree free2play would probably ruin the community. But Valve shouldn’t be running a paid for game like a free2play game. You can’t eat your cake and have it.

    • Vin_Howard says:

      Here is an amazing idea you might not have considered. Don’t buy keys. OMG! What an amazing idea, I know.

      Instead, just sell your unopened sticker boxes to the saps who will pay a lot for them on the market, wait a week or so, and then use that money to buy what stickers you want at $0.02

  4. SkittleDiddler says:

    I’m glad I finally uninstalled this boorish game; same goes for TF2. Valve are only interested these days in pimping sales for their Market and Store to the lowest common denominator, so I’m permanently bowing out of their multiplayer offerings from this point onwards.

    I have a suggestion for those CSGO players who may be feeling the same way but are unsure of where to go to get their fix: try Insurgency. It’s a massively better tactical shooter in every way compared to Counterstrike, it’s community is nontoxic and willing to invest in actual teamwork, and the game doesn’t shove stickers and keys in your fucking face. It’s a blast to play.

    • Skiddywinks says:

      I feel like I am drowning in that same boat. I will check out Insurgency. Thanks for the tip.

  5. bit_crusherrr says:

    CS:GO the game you pay for which has a free2play business model!

  6. zeroskill says:

    The King is back.
    http://store.steampowered.com/stats/
    Peak Today

    97,080 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

    8,545 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – Multiplayer

    Haters gonna hate.

    • HadToLogin says:

      One of them was me, trying to get my $1 sticker-case while playing Injustice (no luck yet, just crappy weapon skin, more idling required).

      • zeroskill says:

        It always astonishes me what people are able to do for $1.

        • HadToLogin says:

          It runs in background without causing any problems for me at all. If I would need to accept them or click every 5 minutes then yes, I wouldn’t bother.

          But when it’s completely free, give me a reason why shouldn’t I?

    • jon_hill987 says:

      731,389 – Dota 2

      Clearly the best game.

  7. jawfun says:

    The other changes brought in the update are quite major. Like boosting the Deagle and Aug and adding an ability to adjust how powerfully you throw your nades.

  8. Protoplasmic says:

    “Also the update makes a bunch of other changes. I don’t really care about those”. I find it hilarious (and kinda sad) that the most important focus of this article are the cosmetic additions instead of the gameplay changes. Also, you do not want CS:GO to become the next TF2, and this is coming from someone who loves TF2.

    • Leb says:

      Yeah I think the meat of the update should talk about how the deagle is no longer useless,the AUG/SSG got uber buffed, and shooting while moving is rightfully nerfed

  9. Lemming says:

    I thoroughly enjoy CS, but you’re right that the critical players need a reality check. CS isn’t realistic at all. Sure it has a ‘series business’ art direction, but it’s still Quake without the rocket jumps. Obviously there are limits, but a few stickers and painted guns aren’t going to change the game. Comedy ‘boing’ noises when you jump might though…

  10. Leb says:

    I wonder if anyone in the comments here complaining about the skin & sticker market actually plays CS:GO, or if it’s just the typical RPS angry mob that shows up from time to time.

    You get 4 free drops of week, usually shitty skins but they can also be decent skins. Any drops you don’t like you sell for a few cents (some going much higher).

    Don’t wanna buy keys? Don’t! I look at it like a virtual loterry really.. if and when I open a case I’m hoping for a gun worth 10+ dollars on the market I can sell and make profit on. I’ve had friends who have opened cases to find stat-track knives which they sell on the market for 300 dollars – this is 300 dollars in your steam wallet you are free to buy games with.

    Now, is buying knives for 300 dollars ridiculous? Yes it is. But it is a player driven market and this is what some players want to pay for certain things and they will. I, in the meantime, will continue selling my stuff and earning money for playing a game. I played the day of the sticker update and sold a sticker capsule for 4.50$, bring on more stuff please valve :)

    • Widthwood says:

      I am playing CSGO from time to time, and mostly it ends up bothering me so much I just quit and switch back to CSS. It’s those little things, from some kind of retarded system of linking gametype with how much I am playing to play (what if I want to play couple of rounds, but without any ‘casual’ simplifications?), to same tragic war-time music playing over and over, to these ‘drops’ and skins and badges and items and icons and whatever else they have, menus that they somehow managed to make even worse. And now these stickers. It’s just feels like a distracting F2P game, not CS.

      And I completely don’t get why so much CS players love it and prefer it over CSS. I’ve been playing since beta 6.4, and this just feels like a huge step towards Battlefield-style over-the-top cinematic shooter, not return to something minimal like CS always was. But with CSS being more and more overrun with kids each year I probably have no choice but to switch…

      • subedii says:

        I’m afraid you’re going to have to elucidate when you say that Counter-Strike has become Battlefield OTT Cinematic now. It’s visually improved, but I don’t see that that means the same thing.

        For that matter, complaining about how you’ve got “no choice but to switch” doesn’t wash with me. CSS was ALWAYS overrun with kids (Your best bet was always a consistent community, preferably on a password protected server). And in fact, so is GO, (maybe to a lesser extent). But in Global Ops I REALLY prefer the infrastructure set up around it which means that people have to commit to serious games, and not just drop them every time they’re leaving. Which is something that people do ALL THE FREAKING TIME in CSS, and Casual. And hey, that’s fine, but if I want to play properly, I’m not interested in all the idiots that rage at their team mates and then ragequit.

        Basically it means I have more fun even when I’m losing, because everyone doesn’t just up and abandon ship at the drop of match. Compared to playing CSS, I find that far more preferable. You see the thing that makes me prefer CS:GO to CSS isn’t strictly the gameplay as such. It’s the entire infrastructure that’s been built around it, from the matchmaking to the community anti-cheat system. It’s something that helps keep the games from devolving into a MONUMENTAL amount of wasted effort and time when things go sour for one reason or another during the few hours I’ve got to play it. An experience I had far too common otherwise.

        Linking it to gametype can be a bit awkward, that’s something I’ll agree with. But that’s also because they want to have certain gamesets and rules as de-facto standards instead of the crazy mish-mash of rules you typically had in CSS. It’s pretty necessary if you’re going to have ANY kind of working matchmaking system, otherwise nothing can be tallied correctly. And if the matchmaking system can keep me at a roughly 50% W/L ratio, then that’s a huge benefit to me (which ties back into the whole “wasted time and effort” thing.

        And again, it’s fine if you don’t want that, then the community server browser’s right there (and it doesn’t track stats for matchmaking).

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