Each team has four factions (five in Counter-Strike: Condition Zero; Global Offensive has 7 CT and Terrorist factions), excluding the VIP. None of the factions have an affect on gameplay, although certain factions are more likely to spawn on certain maps compared to others (e.g. Arctic Avengers are more likely to spawn on snow themes maps like Office, Vostok, and Survivor).
Both Counter-Terrorists and Terrorists have their own unique equipment that may not be bought by the opposing team (though some can be picked up). Examples include the Maverick M4A1 Carbine, which can be bought by Counter Terrorsts only, and the AK-47, which are exclusive to the Terrorists.
Teammates can speak to each other using radio commands (default = Z, X, and C) without the risk of the opposing team hearing them.
In assassination (as_) maps, the Counter-Terrorists have a single member on their team who is the VIP. The VIP has to rely heavily on his team because they cannot purchase any equipment, although they are given an USP with 24 bullets as well as 200 kevlar at the beginning of the game. The VIP will need to go to a specified location where he can escape, thus winning the round.
In bomb defusal (de_) maps, one Terrorist will spawn with a bomb, that will need to be planted at one of the bomb site (Bomb Site A/B). When Terrorists plant the bomb, the Counter Terrorists objective is to defuse it. It should be noted that when the bomb is planted the Counter-Terrorists need to defuse it even if they killed the whole Terrorist team.
In hostage rescue (cs_) maps, the Counter-Terrorists must rescue hostages while the Terrorists have to prevent them from doing so. The Counter-Terrorists must spot the hostages and escort them to the hostage rescue zone. The spot and rescue processes will give money. Any injury inflicted on the hostages or killing them will result in a penalty.
In escape (es_) maps, the Terrorists must traverse through a map to reach the Terrorist escape zone or eliminate the opposing team to win. Meanwhile, the Counter-Terrorists are required to neutralize the Terrorists or prevent them from reaching the escape zone until the time expires.
- "cs_" refers to Counter-Strike.