Maps are the space or arena where players confront one another. This term is used almost exclusively when describing multiplayer games. Maps in the Counter-Strike series pit Terrorists against Counter-Terrorists in real-world style locations. In some map scenarios, players are awarded money for completing the map's objectives or by eliminating players from the opposing team. Arsenal scenario maps rewards players with new weapons for completing objectives.
Bomb Defusal (de)
Maps classified as a Bomb Defusal scenario have Terrorists tasked with planting a bomb at one of two locations and ensuring it explodes or eliminating the Counter-Terrorists before the bomb can be defused. The Counter-Terrorists can win if they eliminate the Terrorists before the bomb has been planted, running down the time, or by defusing the bomb after it has been planted.
Hostage Rescue (cs)
Maps classified as a Hostage Rescue scenario have Counter-Terrorists tasked with eliminating the Terrorists or rescuing at least half of the hostages. Earlier games had at least 4 hostages on hostage rescue maps, but that number was reduced to 2 in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The Terrorists can win if the round timer runs out before enough hostages are rescued or if they eliminate the Counter-Terrorists before enough hostages are rescued.
Arsenal: Arms Race (ar)
Maps classified as an Arms Race scenario are team deathmatch style maps in which the player cannot purchase any weapons, but instead must advance through the weapons in the game by killing opponents until achieving the final kill with a golden knife.
Arsenal: Demolition (ar)
Maps classified as a Demolition scenario are similar to Bomb Defusal maps, with the exception of having only a single bomb site in a significantly smaller map. Instead of receiving money for completing objectives, players are rewarded with new weapons each round for eliminating at least one player from the opposing team.
Maps classified as an Assassination scenario have the Counter-Terrorists safely escorting a VIP to the extraction zone. Terrorists must prevent them from doing so by assassinating him. Either team can also win the round by eliminating the opposing team.
Maps classified as an Escape scenario have the Terrorists trying to escape from the Counter-Terrorists. Although the mode was included in the Counter-Strike beta, it was not continued as an official game type.
As of the July 1, 2014 update, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive introduced new map grouping as a way to further organize the maps for in-game and official competitive tournaments, as well as for use as mission parameters. The active duty and reserve groups contain official maps, while the operations group contains maps for the currently active operation. The lists may be subject to change by Valve at any time based on further testing and feedback.
The system was updated on the November 13, 2017 update.
Maps in the Active Duty Group are amongst the most popular and balanced maps available in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. They consist entirely of Bomb maps. Major tournaments are encouraged to include maps from the active duty group to keep the system balanced starting with the 2014 ESL One Cologne tournament. Following the November 13, 2017 update, they are not available as a blanket map group search option for casual and deathmatch, and are instead a special category for maps in the Competitive game search, marked as the official competitive map pool.
A currently removed map group, maps from the Reserves group are among the less popular of players, but are very different and unique compared to the other maps, contrasting with the Active Duty group. They sill consist entirely of Bomb maps. They can still be played competitively in game and in tournaments with full statistics. The category was completely removed on the November 13, 2017 update.
Defusal Group Delta
In the November 13, 2017 update, maps of the Active Duty group and those in the former Reserves group were merged and divided into two equal Defusal Groups, Delta and Sigma. The smaller of the two, it includes 4 maps.
Defusal Group Sigma
In the November 13, 2017 update, maps of the Active Duty group and those in the former Reserves group were merged and divided into two equal Defusal Groups, Delta and Sigma.
Maps in the Operations map group are the maps included in the currently active operation. When no Operation is active, this group is empty.
Maps in the Arms Race map group are the active maps available to the player when playing an Arms Race game.
Maps in the Demolition map group are the active maps available to the player when playing an Demolition game.
Official maps are maps that were created by the developer. Most of these were officially adopted and originate from the community. They come with the game or are added on via an update.
All of the original Counter-Strike maps are playable on Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, but there is not necessarily a newer version. The Assassination and Escape scenarios were removed completely from Counter-Strike: Source and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Custom maps are maps that were created by map developers outside of the official game development company. They are often created for custom game modes and feature mechanics that are not present in the base game. Most of the current official maps were at one time a custom map. Similar to the naming scheme used for official maps, custom maps use a prefix to identify what scenario they were created for. For example, "surf" denotes a surfing map, while "zm" is used for zombie maps. Some custom maps are exclusive to human players, while the bots cannot walk around effectively in some custom maps.
With the introduction of Operation Payback in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve has started to officially support the most popular custom maps for official game modes uploaded to Steam Workshop in matchmaking, even becoming official maps, as with the case of Cache.