CSGO Operation Riptide: Patch notes, new Riot Shield weapon, skins, maps

CSGO Operation Riptide details new skins maps game modes patch notesValve

CSGO is getting a new event to round out 2021: Operation Riptide. The major update is the game’s first since Broken Fang in late 2020 with new weapons and maps, major balancing changes to the M4A1-S and Deagle and ⁠— of course ⁠— new skins.

Christmas has come early again for CSGO players. Broken Fang dropped just before the festive season in 2020, and now Operation Riptide will be keeping players company throughout Fall and Winter (or Spring and Summer, depending on your hemisphere).

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The latest Operation to drop into Counter-Strike brings more new content than ever before. A new weapon is being added for the first time since 2015 in the Riot Shield, new Deathmatch game modes, maps, and skins.

There’s also plenty of balance changes that’ll shake up the meta.

Everything in CS:GO Operation Riptide

New Riot Shield weapon comes to CSGO

For the first time since 2015, CSGO is getting a new weapon. However, you won’t need to worry about Riot Shields rushing through tunnels into B site any time soon.

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The new weapon has been added to the Hostage game mode as part of the CTs arsenal. The Riot Shield will block bullets from hitting you ⁠— and whoever is behind you. However, it has a set amount of HP before it breaks apart.

The Riot Shield will block head and body shots, but the players’ legs are still exposed unless they’re crouching.

CSGO Riot Shield Operation RiptideValve
Yes, there is now a Riot Shield in CS:GO. No, you won’t need to worry about it in Competitive.

FFA Deathmatch and TDM game modes added

No longer will you have to look for community servers for a decent warmup: Valve is finally adding official free-for-all (FFA) Deathmatch servers to CS:GO. With this and Retakes, the developers are taking popular community tools and implementing them into the base game.

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FFA Deathmatch isn’t the only new game mode coming either. There’s now a new Team Deathmatch (TDM) mode, where instead of fighting for yourself you partner up with the rest of your side to take down the enemy.

There’s a new short match feature coming in Operation Riptide too. If you are strapped for time but still want a competitive game, you can opt to search for a shorter, first-to-9 battle.

The shorter competitive games will last around 25 minutes, but it’s unclear if it will count towards your in-game rank.

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Plus, if you want to play with just your friends on a private server, but can’t rent one out, Valve has added new private queues so you can do just that.

CSGO Private Queues Operation RiptideValve
Among all the new modes, you can choose to play with just your friends on Valve-official servers with Private Queues.

CS:GO Operation Riptide skins

As with every update, a host of new skins are dropping into CS:GO. The Riptide case features 17 community skins, as well as a new Gamma Doppler finish, for players to pick up as they grind the Operation.

However, it’s not just Operation Riptide skins coming in the update.

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Valve has updated the Train, Mirage, Dust 2, and Vertigo collections with new 2021 renditions. The skin lines will be available by playing the game and collecting drops, and could mean an update to souvenir cases is due for the first time since Global Offensive’s launch.

CSGO 2021 Dust 2 Collection Operation Riptide AK-47 Gold ArabesqueValve
Four new map-themed skin collections are dropping in Operation Riptide.

CS:GO Operation Riptide new maps

Five community maps are dropping into CS:GO as part of Operation Riptide, and they’ll likely be a part of the missions you have to grind to get that Diamond Coin.

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Ravine, Extraction, Insertion II, Basalt, and County are all being added in the update.

Basalt and Insertion II will be added to all game modes, while Ravine and Extraction are going to be Wingman only. County is a Danger Zone-exclusive map.

Riptide patch notes: M4A1-S, Deagle, Dust 2 changes

It’s not just new content coming as part of Operation Riptide. Valve is finally making some proper balance changes to CS:GO in what seems like the first time in forever.

The M4A1-S is in line for buffs, with the silenced CT weapon having played second fiddle to the M4A4 for some time. It will receive a damage buff to body shots, so while the CTs won’t have a one-shot headshot gun yet, the M4A1-S won’t be outshone anymore.

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The Dual Berettas are also being buffed. The Dualies will now cost less, reduced to $300 from their current price tag of $500.

CSGO M4A1-S buffs Operation RiptideValve
CS:GO’s M4A1-S is being buffed in Operation Riptide to be on par with the M4A4.

The Desert Eagle, on the other hand, is facing nerfs with less body damage on the cards. The handcannon has been a staple for years, but now you’ll really need to aim for the head for those sweet clips.

Map-wise, there is an update coming to Dust 2 which is cutting off mid visibility from T Spawn. This is a huge change for the attackers, who will no longer be able to look through double doors to count the amount of crosses ⁠— and maybe snag a pick.

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Finally, players will now be able to drop grenades to teammates like they can drop guns. No need to worry about having to spread utility thin now.

Now you’ll really need to aim for the head with the Deagle’s latest damage nerfs.

You can find the full CS:GO Operation Riptide patch notes below.

CS:GO September 22 update: Operation Riptide patch notes

Operation Riptide

Introducing Operation Riptide, featuring new maps, new missions, and new ways to play your favorite game modes! Activate an Operation Riptide Pass and complete your missions to earn rewards including all new agents, weapon collections, stickers, and patches.

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Game modes

Private Matchmaking Queues

  • Generate a Queue Code and share it with your friends to create a private Premier match on Valve servers
  • Or, select one of your Steam Groups and play a match exclusively with other members of that group

Short Competitive

  • Added the option to select a preference for match duration in competitive Matchmaking: Short (MR 16), Long (MR 30), or No Preference.


  • Added the option to select Classic Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch (first team to 100 kills wins), and Free-for-all Deathmatch (all players are enemies).


  • Reduced max rounds to 10 and eliminated half-time team swap.
  • Reduced round time
  • Adjusted weapon progression

Arms Race

  • Adjusted weapon progression
  • Players now receive a health-shot after three kills


  • Grenades can now be dropped just like weapons.
  • Vision after death reduced from 3.0s to 2.0s (vision by headshot reduced from 1.0s to 0.5s).
  • Deagle
    • Reduced body damage
  • M4A1-S
    • Increased body damage
  • Dual Elites
    • Reduced price to $300
  • Riot Shield
    • Added the Riot Shield heavy weapon to the buy menu, currently purchasable by CTs in Casual Hostage map groups.


  • County has been added to official matchmaking in Danger Zone game mode.
  • Basalt and Insertion II have been added to official matchmaking in Competitive, Casual, and Deathmatch game modes.
  • Ravine and Extraction have been added to official matchmaking in Wingman game mode.
  • The following maps are no longer available in official matchmaking: Grind, Mocha, Pitstop, Calavera, Frostbite.

Dust 2

  • Slight visibility tweak from T spawn through mid
  • Improved visibility into B back site from upper tunnels


  • Made gate at top of banana solid
  • Revised 1v1 layout
  • Minor bug fixes


  • Increased size of plantable area in both bombsites
  • Fixed bullet penetration on plywood surfaces
  • Further optimizations
  • Added 1v1 arenas

When does CS:GO Operation Riptide launch?

Operation Riptide is going live on September 22, with all the new content available to players on Day 1.

You might have to pay for the battle pass to make the most of it, but it’s Christmas come early for CS:GO players who have been waiting for almost a year for new content since Broken Fang’s release.

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