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Closer hostage csgo
Team Counter-Terrorists (affiliated)

A hostage is an artificially intelligent NPC in the Counter-Strike series.


Hostages are the basis of the Hostage rescue scenario. After a group of Terrorists capture them, the Counter-Terrorists must safely escort them to a nearby Hostage rescue zone, while the Terrorists must prevent them from doing so.


A hostage will follow any Counter-Terrorist if the USE key (default = E) is pressed on them. They will not stop following their rescuer until the USE key is pressed again, the rescuer dies, or they get separated. Once a hostage has stopped, they will remain stationary. The AI was modified from the original NPC monster code used in Half-Life. Hostages are the only unique NPCs in the game.

Counter-Strike: Condition ZeroEdit

Turtle Rock Studios introduced new AI for the hostages. In addition to similarities of Counter-Strike, these hostages are able to wander around their detention point, escape on their own (though rarely), have different interactions when under fire and warn Counter-Terrorists of nearby Terrorists. Furthermore, they were given facial expressions, mainly, frightened animations. 

They can also climb ladders, crawl into air vents, and traverse through other tight spaces. In fact, they will crouch and avoid being targeted if they are caught in the middle of a gunfight. They were also given a "coward attitude", which forces them to go back to their detention point if a Terrorist witnesses them attempting to escape or a firefight occurs in the area.

Notably, hostages react differently to each team; hostages will shout and wave to get the attention of Counter-Terrorists while they will respond in fear by trembling if targeted by terrorists. If a hostage sees both a CT and senses a Terrorist nearby, that hostage will give off a warning by shaking his head silently and wait until the Terrorist is eliminated or has moved away.

The hostages can also be interacted with from a distance. Counter Terrorists can "select" a hostage by pointing the crosshair on a hostage and than press the "USE" key, which is useful when a Terrorist is nearby but not in the sight of the player or when the player is equipped with a tactical shield. However, bots will always interact them at point blank range.

Often times, they utter phrases such as "Why are you doing this?" and "I'll do whatever you want, just please don't hurt me" to any Terrorist while for the Counter-Terrorists, hostages will say "When can we get out of here?" and other quotes.

The hostages are also sensitive to each type of grenade. If an HE grenade is thrown into their sight, they will shout, "Watch out! Grenades!", and they will run. If a Flashbang explodes in their sight, they will shout, "Oh my eyes!" and "I can't see!". If a smoke grenade spreads near them, they will begin to cough.

Counter-Strike Condition Zero Hostages02:43

Counter-Strike Condition Zero Hostages

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero Deleted ScenesEdit

Although unavailable in multiplayer games, hostages still exist in missions. Similar to their multiplayer counterparts, the hostages are the main objective in some missions and if they die, it will lead to a mission failure.

All hostage rescue missions have different hostage models. For example, in the mission Recoil, the hostage is a Delta Force Sniper. He can climb ladders and fire his grabbed Steyr Scout.

Counter-Strike: SourceEdit

With the exception of new models and sounds, the hostages in Counter-Strike: Source are identical to the ones in Counter-Strike. All changes made in Counter-Strike: Condition Zero are undone.

Unlike the previous games where a CT can "steal" a hostage, in Source, if a player press the "USE" key while that hostage is already being commanded by another CT, nothing will happen.

Also, unlike in Counter-Strike 1.6 where a hostage can become permanently stuck in one spot in a round (e.g. the sewers in Militia), the navigation of hostages have been improved to follow a leading CT. Also, at least one hostage must be rescued should the other 3 hostages been killed, unlike in previous games where, for example, two out of four hostages are required to be rescued.

Counter-Strike: Global OffensiveEdit

Before the March 21st 2013 update, the hostages behaved the same way as in Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Source. They were completely static and did not react to their surroundings. The most notable change was their overall appearance. This includes having bandages covering their faces, have rope tying their hands together, and wear prison-like attire (similar to the GoldSrc games).

On the March 21st update, however, the Hostage rescue scenario was completely overhauled. Now, hostage rescue maps only have two, rather than four, hostages. These NPCs are spawned randomly at designated areas (generally near the Terrorist spawn zone). This spot is then used for the hostages for the entirety of the match. The hostages still remain in the same spot, but now they kneel down rather than stand up. Moreover, they are immobile so they will not follow a CT operative, they do not speak, and are invincible to damage but harming hostages still incurs a cash penalty. Regardless of where the hostage was hurt, damage inflicted is the same as chest/arm damage.

The rules have been changed as well. In order for the Counter-Terrorists to win the round, only one hostage needs to be rescued (although it is possible to rescue more than one). But, the player must carry this hostage in order to rescue them. Even before that, they must "untie" his hands, taking four seconds (one with the new rescue kit). Upon carrying a hostage, a notification will appear to all players that a hostage is being escorted.

Hostage mode militia

A hostage being carried by SEAL Team 6 on Militia which rarely happens in the game

The Counter-Terrorist carrying the hostage can still use his weapons but his movement speed will be drastically reduced. However, an extra minute is given to compensate for this. If someone is killed while carrying a hostage, the hostage will be "dropped" at the spot and remain unharmed. This overhaul to the game mode was in order to make it more balanced, an issue since the original Counter-Strike.

There was also a reused radio announcement from the Beta and the retail version of Counter-Strike that broadcasts "Hostage down!" when a player kills a hostage. Since the major overhaul, this is no longer played as hostages cannot be killed.




Action Individual Reward Team Reward
Leading a hostage $150 N/A
Rescuing a hostage $1000 $850 (at the end of the round)


Counter-Strike, Condition Zero and Counter-Strike: Source penalties

Action Penalty
Injure a hostage -$150
Kill a hostage -$1500 ($2500 if instant kill)
Kill 5 hostages Kick (default)

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive cash penalty values

Action Penalty
Injure a hostage -$30 for every point of damage dealt to a hostage


Main article: Hostage/Gallery


Counter-Strike: SourceEdit


Cowboy Diplomacy css Cowboy Diplomacy
Rescue 100 hostages.
Dead Shepherd css Dead Shepherd
Kill an enemy player who is leading the hostages without injuring any hostages.
Freed With Speed css Freed With Speed
Rescue all hostages within 90 seconds.
Good Shepherd css Good Shepherd
Rescue all hostages in a single round.
SAR Czar css SAR Czar
Rescue 500 hostages.

Counter-Strike: Global OffensiveEdit

Team TacticsEdit

Good Shepherd csgo Good Shepherd
Rescue all hostages in a single round.
Dead Shepherd csgo Dead Shepherd
Kill an enemy who is carrying a hostage.
Freed With Speed csgo Freed With Speed
Rescue all hostages within 90 seconds.
Cowboy Diplomacy csgo Cowboy Diplomacy
Rescue 100 hostages.
SAR Czar csgo SAR Czar
Rescue 500 hostages.


  • In older versions of Counter-Strike, hostages could also be moved by Terrorists. This allowed the hostages to be used as human shields and artificial steps to reach normally unavailable spots (e.g. the lights in the hostage room of Assault).
    • Furthermore, to rescue them, one had to bind a key to win the round as the hostages would not be "automatically" rescued at the CT spawn zone, due to the lack of a hostage rescue zone in older betas.
    • In CS 1.6, hostages are fully immobile when colliding with Terrorists.
    • In Condition Zero however, hostages can be moved by Terrorists by simply pushing them. However it is difficult to move them because if a Terrorist player aims his crosshair on the hostages while moving them away from the original spot, they will return to their original spawn point.
      • Sometimes, Ping of death bots will kill hostages when they are blocking their paths.
  • Four of the Counter-Strike hostage models use Half-Life scientist models. While all of them share the same animations as the Half-Life scientists, it appears the hostages use the scientists' coding and modified A.I.
    • Furthermore, the HD skins of the scientists can also enabled in the game settings. However, the "construction worker" and the "office manager" do not have HD skins and will remain unchanged.
  • The Counter-Strike: Source hostage face maps are reused from the face maps of Half-Life 2 characters and beta characters:
  • Hostages are the only humans/faction in Counter-Strike: Source who do have facial expressions animations while all other humans/factions have a static expression. This does not apply for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as hostages have static expressions.
  • Counter-Strike: Condition Zero is currently the only CS game that includes "enhanced" hostages that have a considerably better A.I. guidance system than the other CS games.
    • However, if there is no .nav file that exists for a map, the hostages will revert to the same behavior like 1.6 and Source.
    • Also, if they are walking into a cramped space, sometimes they will become stuck. If this happens, the hostages cannot be moved by anyone. However, there is a small chance that the hostage will reset to his original spawn point if this happens.
  • With practice and skill, it is possible to decrease a hostage's health to 0% without killing one. This is impossible in CS:S since there is no health counter.
    • Hostages are vulnerable to both explosive and incendiary gadgets, refrain using them when near the hostages.
  • Several Counter-Strike beta maps have hostages that reuse the G-Man model from Half-Life. Their AI is identical to the original hostages but lack a dying animation, though players can still go through them.
    • Much like the scientist hostages, the G-Man has a HD model which can be enabled in the settings.
    • The G-Man cannot be killed with a single headshot due to the fact he was not supposed to be killed in Half-Life and lacks a hitbox for the head. As such, hitting any area of the G-Man will inflict damage equivalent of a stomach shot.
  • In Global Offensive, if a player is wielding the M249 or Negev while carrying a hostage, they move faster rather slower.

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