The change to free-to-play is pretty straightforward. The base game is now entirely free, giving players instant access to “all game modes, matchmaking, and a limited set of item drops and weapon cases.” However, there’s also the option to spend $15 to attain “Prime” status, which drops you into a special matchmaking pool and makes you eligible for “Prime-exclusive souvenir items, item drops, and weapon cases.”
As for battle royale, Counter-Strike’s take on the mode to end all modes is of a smaller scale than genre behemoths like Fortnite and PUBG, with player counts clocking in at 16-18 depending on whether you queue up solo or in a squad of two or three. Guns will behave the same as they do in other CS:GO modes, but you’ll have to scramble to find weapons and cash—which you can use to buy more weapons and have them delivered to your position by drones. You’ll also be able to earn money by completing special mini-missions like contracts and hostage rescues.
In addition, you’ll have access to a tablet that can be used to track deliveries and opponents’ positions. So basically, Valve has made a battle royale mode out of ordering from Amazon during the holiday season.