Desert was apparently removed due to the large, open-spaced setting that allowed players to easily kill other enemies with sniper rifles and the multiple camping spots that made it hard for players to see potential snipers from a far distance. Due to this, it is rare to observe a CT successfully escorting the hostages to the hostage rescue zone. Generally, the CTs can quickly move to the upper sections of the map and pin down the Terrorists. However, the Terrorists are also armed with a heavy machine gun that can prevent the Counter-Terrorists from rescuing the hostages. Regardless, the integrity of cs_desert is unbalanced for both teams.
This is one of the few maps in which opponents can throw grenades as an endless shower of explosions or flashbangs in the upper areas of the map.
Both spawn zones of the teams feature camping spots for snipers that overlook the combat zones.
Bots appear to prefer to take the lower route and ignore the higher grounds of cs_desert.
Judging by the lack of recent activity in the map, it may have been an abandoned battlefield as there are charred spots from explosions, a destroyed tank, sandbags, a mounted machine gun (nearby the Terroristspawn zone) and trench-like areas.