Counter-Strike has grown from humble beginnings as a mod for Half-Life in 1999 to becoming one of the most-played multiplayer online video games, even being part of many eSports leagues. The benefits of the game are widely researched and proven. This does not mean that Counter-Strike doesn’t have its fair share of disadvantages and drawbacks. But what are these?
Counter-Strike can have a negative impact on physical health, especially eyesight and sleeping patterns. It can also negatively affect social skills and relationships in general. All the negative aspects are primarily due to people playing too much, though, and not the fault of the game directly.
1. Counter-Strike Is Addictive
Almost all games can indeed be addictive, but this is even more true in the case of Counter-Strike than with most other games.
Counter-Strike is made to be a game of intense and extreme competition. There are multiple ways to win, and a combination of skill and strategy is required to accomplish anything worth mentioning in the game. This makes victories utterly satisfying and losses frustrating to the point where you simply must try again immediately.
When we also consider that each round is about 5 minutes long, at most, Counter-Strike gives a constant rush of chemicals to the brain. Counter-Strike is an adrenaline-fueled emotional roller-coaster that is extremely difficult to get out of.
2. Playing Counter-Strike Could Damage Eyesight
Because of its addictive nature, Counter-Strike players often lose track of time completely. The number of hours they spend in front of the computer screen, combined with the rapid eye movement required by the game, has led to many players complaining of burning eyes and spasmodic eye muscles when they go to bed after a long night of gaming.
Medical science has confirmed that eye strain and blue light exposure are significant concerns for healthy eyesight in gamers. This is despite claims that some players have had their vision improve from playing Counter-Strike, specifically in the case of lazy eyes.
The rapid movement on the screen can help improve the strength of optical muscles, but that does not negate the risk that it could cause damage too.
3. Counter-Strike Interferes With Sleep Patterns
Most Counter-Strike players (at least, those that don’t compete in eSports) play at night after work or school. It is estimated that many players play between three and four hours each night and 10 hours per day over weekends.
Most often, players will go to bed almost immediately after playing. So if they fall into the “just one more match” trap, as most people do at some point in their lives, this will push their bedtime further and further, leading to less and less sleep.
Players also mention that when they go to bed immediately after playing for a few hours, their eyes, minds, and bodies are still in the adrenalin-fuelled rapid-response state from the game, causing them an hour or so of discomfort before they finally fall asleep.
4. Counter-Strike Can Ruin Relationships
Sometimes, players can neglect real-life relationships and friendships in favor of online friendships. These online relationships are not always true friendships and might be fleeting, and after a few years, the player could find that they destroyed something good for absolutely no reason.
5. Counter-Strike Can Be An Expensive Game To Play
Counter-Strike is free to play. But as we know by now, “free to play” does not mean “free” or even “cheap.” When a game is free to play, it means that money is made from selling player skins, weapons, and other custom content. The “pay to win” model also comes into play to some extent since seasoned players tend to pick more on players that still have the original skin.
With all of these potential expenses, Counter-Strike could potentially cost more than just buying a game once-off.
6. Counter-Strike And The Constant Need To Upgrade
Counter-Strike does not need a powerhouse of a PC to play. In fact, Counter-Strike will run perfectly well on hardware that is several years old. But unfortunately, it’s also a fact that PC gamers always find reasons to upgrade to the latest hardware, blaming older hardware for every missed shot. These constant upgrades are an expensive process.
7. People Get Obsessed With Counter-Strike
This is also not unique to Counter-Strike, but unfortunately, it’s a fact that people can get obsessed with Counter-Strike just as with other video games. Some players get to the point where they can’t focus on anything else. They go through the motions of work or school, with the next match always firmly on their minds.
Kids have been caught strategizing their next Counter-Strike match in class while the teacher is discussing work. Players sneak Steam onto work and school computers to get in a sneaky game or two when nobody’s watching. This obsession could ruin a student’s grades and cost players their jobs.
8. Hackers Often Target Counter-Strike Players
Online games are often full of bugs and weaknesses that hackers can target. For example, in the early 2020s, a group of hackers started targeting an exploit in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) that allowed them to take control of a player’s computer remotely. Valve was already informed about this exploit a few years before but never patched the problem.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident. Similar weaknesses are constantly being discovered and exploited by hackers.
9. Counter-Strike And The Uncontrollable Rage
Rage quitting is common with all video games, but it sometimes seems like Counter-Strike was made to push all of the buttons that lead to anger. The fast pace and adrenalin rush of Counter-Strike matches, combined with irritating arrogant kiddies in the in-game chat, is enough to make even the calmest and most spiritually centered person lose their cool.
But rage also costs money. A controller thrown through a TV screen or a keyboard smashed against a desk won’t replace itself.
10. Counter-Strike And Repetitive Strain Injuries
There is the possibility of actual physical injury when you’re playing Counter-Strike. The most common form of injury is what we refer to as “repetitive strain injury,” which is caused by the repetitive motion required to play the game. One example is carpal tunnel syndrome, which affects the wrists of people who use a keyboard and mouse a lot.
You can buy ergonomic hardware to help against repetitive strain injuries, but these are not always as perfect as they claim to be, and excessive playing could still cause further harm.
11. Counter-Strike Can Cause Strokes
This is another factor that isn’t caused by Counter-Strike itself but by the unhealthy habits of gamers in general. You can get blood clots from sitting in one position for too long, which in turn could lead to strokes. There are other similar problems as well, like fits that could be caused by flashes on the computer screen.
Again, any game should be played in moderation and with healthy habits to balance it out.
12. Counter-Strike Players Often Neglect Responsibilities
This aspect is related to the obsession and addiction drawbacks but is worth mentioning on its own as well. Once players start to get obsessed with the game, all other responsibilities will be pushed to the side to make more time for Counter-Strike. Family responsibilities, chores, work or school tasks and assignments, and even basic hygiene will be neglected in severe cases.
13. Counter-Strike Has Good And Bad Effects On Our Brains
Researchers have found that playing games like Counter-Strike can improve the hippocampal memory centers of our brains. In layman’s terms, this means that playing Counter-Strike can help us to remember things more easily. However, there is also a negative side. It has also been proven that playing Counter-Strike excessively can limit our learning ability.
So even though mild gaming helps us remember things more efficiently, taking this too far can completely undo the positive gains.
14. Counter-Strike Can Create False Confidence
When we spectate a Counter-Strike game, it’s apparent that many players develop over-confidence. This is proven by the arrogant comments posted in the in-game chat, among other things. Especially in younger players, performing well in the game can make them think they are unbeatable in the real world and even turn them into bullies, both online and offline.
Ironically, modern-day bullies are the ones who often play video games. How the times have changed.
15. Counter-Strike Is Not An Easy Game To Start Playing
Despite Counter-Strike’s popularity, the number of new players is dwindling. The number one reason for this is that the game is already dominated by players who have been playing for a decade or more, who are simply unbeatable by anyone who only started playing recently. Any new Counter-Strike players soon feel intimidated by the skills of other players and then simply give up.
Counter-Strike is many things, but it is not a friendly game for newcomers.
Counter-Strike has a plethora of advantages, but it also comes with a mountain of disadvantages. Players who like the game know about the weaknesses and find ways to work around them or live with them. But in the end, it is up to you to decide if it’s worth dealing with the negatives to enjoy the positives.