The long-awaited Operation Riptide just dropped, and most users are already trying to complete their missions for week 1. But for some players, Operation Riptide might be the first operation ever in CSGO. What even is an operation and what exactly can you do during it? In this article, we take a look at the content the Operation Pass provides you to hopefully help you decide whether or not you want to pick up the operation pass.
What is an Operation?
Operations are limited-time events, similar to battle passes in other games. The operation provides users with some limited-time content, such as new maps, new game modes, weekly missions, and access to operation-specific rewards. To gain access to the operation, you have to purchase an operation pass for $15 or the local equivalent. After using the pass, players also receive a commemorative medal that they can display on the scoreboard. This medal comes in bronze but can be upgraded by completing missions. This leads us to our first point on the to-do list for Operation Riptide.
Leveling Up Your Operation Coin:
If you don’t like the looks of the bronze operation coin, worry no more! The coin can be upgraded to silver, gold, and even diamond by completing enough of the weekly missions.
During the first 16 weeks of the operation, weekly quests will be introduced every 7 days. These missions can be found in the main menu. Currently only week 1 is available. These missions require you to complete tasks in competitive matches, danger zone games, guardian matches and there might even be some actual story missions later down the road. The story missions were present in the last few operations, so it would be surprising if Valve did not add them this time. All of these missions give you a certain amount of operation stars. There is an upper limit of stars that can be earned each week though. In the first week, you can earn a total of 10 operation stars, though the missions theoretically allow you to earn a total of 13 stars if you complete them all. This is done so that you can pick which missions you might not want to complete and still don’t miss out on the progress for your operation coin. Even if you do complete all of the missions, you will not receive any additional operation stars. 10 is the maximum for week 1, while all weeks after that have a total of 6 stars that can be earned. This adds up to a total of 100 stars that can be earned during Operation Riptide.
To upgrade your coin to silver, you will only have to earn 34 operation stars. For the gold upgrade, you need to earn a total of 66 stars. If you want the prestigious diamond coin, you’ll have to earn all 100 available operation stars.
Now you might be wondering: If I can only earn a certain number of stars per week, why should I bother completing the other missions after I have already gotten all of my stars for that week? The answer is quite simple: For every completed mission, you will receive progress towards an exp token that can be redeemed for one full player level. While this might not be the most exciting item in the operation, it still gives you a nice boost towards your player level and allows you to get your 2021 service medal a lot faster. Getting all of the available exp boosts from the missions is also a fun challenge.
The operation stars that are earned from the missions are not just used to level up your coin though. You will also receive operations stars that you can spend in the operation shop. The operation shop offers you a selection of limited-time items that can only be redeemed by operation pass owners. The items can be traded and sold on the Steam Community Market though, so they are not exclusive in that sense.
You can pick between a lot of different options. If you only complete the first week of quests, you will have 11 stars to spend. 10 of those are earned from the missions and the additional star is a starting bonus every operation pass owner received. Some of the operation shop items cost 100 operation stars. For these, you will have to save up all the operation stars until you finally reach 100, or you can purchase extra stars from Valve. These bought stars do not count towards your operation coin and are only used to purchase the items from the operation shop. Wherever your stars are from, spending them should definitely be on your personal to-do list, since the stars will become useless a few weeks after the end of Operation Riptide, so spend them while you can!
The possible items you can redeem:
An Operation Riptide Sticker Collection sticker for 1 star per random sticker.
A Riptide Surfshop Sticker Collection sticker for 1 star per random sticker.
An Operation Riptide Patch Collection patch for 2 stars per random patch. Patches can be applied to the custom player models to further customize them.
One Operation Riptide Case for 2 stars each. You still require a key for $2,50 to open this case.
A random drop from the 2021 Dust II Collection for 4 stars per random drop. You will receive a random item in a random condition from this collection, so it is luck-based what exactly you get. The chance to receive a low-tier item in consumer grade is very high though, so you have to be very lucky to receive a good drop.
A random drop from the 2021 Mirage Collection for 4 stars per drop. As with the Dust II collection, the exact skin you get is randomized with a low chance for the higher-tier items.
One drop from the 2021 Vertigo Collection for 4 stars each. These drops are also entirely random, so while you might be hoping for the new M4A1-S Imminent Danger, receiving a grey skin is much more likely.
A random distinguished agent for 5 stars.
A random exceptional agent for 7 stars.
A random superior agent for 10 stars.
A random T master agent or a random CT master agent for 25 stars each.
A random drop from a rarity tier of your choice from the 2021 Train Collection. A mil-spec drop costs 1 star, a restricted item for 4 stars, a classified item for 20 stars, or a covert item for 100 stars. This is a new concept that has not been seen in any previous operations. Due to the fact that the skins are guaranteed drops, there are a lot of them already in circulation, so the prices should be relatively low for the rarity tiers.
As you can see, basically all of the items you can get involve some form of randomization for the reward. While you can choose the rarity tier for the 2021 Train collection skins, other skins are entirely random. You could receive a skin worth thousands of dollars, but most people will not get this lucky and instead take home 25 skins that are worth just a few cents. If you prefer guaranteed rewards, going for the Train Collection skins seems like the correct choice, but even there you can pull a battle scarred version of a covert skin, which would be worth much less than the equivalent of 100 operation stars.
Trying out new maps and game modes
Operations are not just about the skins, though they seem to be the main focus for most people. When you are playing the missions to get your operation stars, you will also play some games on newly added maps. These maps are not just for operation missions though. As with all CSGO operations, Operation Riptide has introduced new maps for some of the most played game modes. There is one new map for the classic defuse mode, one map for hostage mode, there are also 2 maps for Wingman, and a new Danger Zone map. These community-made maps add a bit more variety to the regular map rotation in CSGO and are all very well-made. Especially Insertion II adds a nice twist to the standard hostage mode by allowing the CTs to pick their spawn location. This adds a whole new layer of strategy to every game played on this map. Even if hostage mode is normally not your thing, Insertion II is here to change that!
The additions don’t end with the maps though: Operation Riptide has also introduced a new competitive mode with fewer rounds played, the deathmatch modes team deathmatch and free for all, and the riot shield for hostage maps in casual play. All of these things are worth a try and the new shorter competitive games are especially great. With only 9 rounds needed to win, the games are much more fast-paced while still remaining the classical feel of a Counter-Strike match.
Now for the important part though: These maps and game mode changed are also available to users who do not own the operation pass, so if you just want to try out the new maps or the shorter competitive games, buying the operation pass is not needed.
Operation Riptide has added a lot of new things to the game. If you are looking to spend $15 for a chance at items worth thousands and enjoy playing the game anyways, getting the operation pass is a great way to get even more fun out of the game. If you are still unsure, worry not! You can complete missions without buying the pass and the progress is saved for you. Should you decide to buy the pass at a later date, you will receive all of your already earned operation stars right away. This only applies if your account has the Prime upgrade though, so if your account doesn't have it, you'll sadly have to buy the operation pass to complete any missions. Overall, the $15 for a way to earn 100 stars and a lot of new content are a decent deal, but you have to at least be interested in skins for this to be worth it. Otherwise, you can also enjoy all of the new gameplay content without paying a cent for it.
If you have bought the operation pass and have received one of the new item drops, you’ll be able to sell them for real cash right after the trade cooldown has expired. Skinport offers a safe and easy-to-use marketplace for CSGO items on which you can sell your items for real money instead of Steam Community Market funds. And if you haven’t been lucky with your drops, buying some new skins is just as easy! Give it a try today and visit Skinport.com!