For the last couple of years, it has become more and more popular for online multiplayer games to host seasonal events that introduce new content into a well-established setting. This also allows presenting new features of the game with some sort of a backstory. Operation Hydra was one of the major season events in CSGO, released on May 23rd, 2017, set into a global conflict with a fictional terrorist organization called Hydra. It introduced several new game modes and based the weekly events on a rotation of challenges that showcased these modes.
Players were able to gain event experience and level up their operation coin, which also resulted in rewards. In contrast with previous “operations”, it relied less on a mission campaign and instead focused on presenting new game modes and additional community-created content. Of seven published maps, four were made from scratch by community members, while the other three were legacy re-hashes.
Operation Hydra came along with a lot of content in terms of literally all aspects of the game.
For weekly events, players could play new game modes designed specifically for this occasion. “Wingman” mode was a tense 2vs2 play calling for defensive tactics. “Weapon Expert” forced players to plan their arsenal rotation for the match as each weapon could be used only during one round.
Seasonal War Games consisted of several micro-modes which altered the core gameplay rules to pose a new, fun challenge. “Heavy Assault” allowed players to buy a buffed kevlar+helmet set with 200 defense points but coming with some penalties like louder footsteps and tinted vision. “Hunters-Gatherers” required players to gather dog tags dropping from both allies and enemies, and those with most tags at the end of the round won. “Boom! Headshot!”, a tribute to a viral video back from the days of CS 1.6, reduced all damage dealt by shots to the body and forced to eliminate enemies by performing – guess that one – headshots. “Trigger Discipline” mode caused missing shots to damage the shooter’s health, so it both strained players for more accuracy and allowed for some alternate tactics. “Stab Stab Zap” is what you might know from unofficial servers as “knife and zeus only”, which is pretty self-explanatory. The last one, “Flying Scoutsman” equips every contestant with an SSG 08 rifle and reduced the gravity setting, and is still playable as a separate game mode.
This update introduced Operation Hydra Case CSGO drop, which contained a whooping number of six collections of items, namely Cobblestone, Cache, Overpass, Gods and Monsters, The Rising Sun and Chop Shop.
What was the main difference between the general event access and an all-access pass? While all users could do the weekly challenges and play matches on the newly added maps, all-access Hydra pass gave the eager ones the ability to level up their Guardian XP through Guardian missions and Event XP through completing weekly challenges. Both of these resulted in event case drops and event-specific rewards.
Maps in Operation Hydra
Now dearly missed in the competitive mode after the Hydra map rotation is gone, Austra is a winter setting demolition map praised for its balance.
An attack on an oil refinery. A total, one-man remake effort based on a CS 1.6 map with improved functionality, and some funny features for the observant.
A cool twist to usual urban/suburban setting of CSGO maps. Shipped takes place on an off-coast ship that has become a target to pirates. Atypically stretched, rectangular outline of the map and skillfully crafted paths brought it a lot of renown.
A demolition map based on a late-coming, yet highly anticipated map for the classic CS 1.6, de_mirage2., but with the added motif of a roller coaster theme park.
A complex office building with both open lobby and close corridor situations. Agency has appeared in the past operations and proved to be a liked, usable map for the community. It has returned in Operation Hydra and is still in the hostage rescue rotation to this day.
As it is set on an oil rig, this map poses a lot of threat to careless players – falling off ledges and railings is lethal. A lot of open spaces and bomb sites forcing clutch encounters.
First introduced in Operation Breakout, this map became famous (or notorious, as some would prefer) for its spacious area and peculiar, yet not unfair disbalance between widespread CT insertion points and a very tight, fortress-like terrorist spot.
While the Operation Hydra CSGO event is over, all the maps are still available for download from the workshop.
Access Pass… passed.
With all the splendid features of CSGO Operation Hydra, it’s easy to feel tempted to search for buyable passes. Unfortunately, that might not be the best idea. After the operation season has ended, the all-access pass becomes somewhat obsolete. If you have any left, you can exchange them for operation coins which would hold some collectible value. Nevertheless, the weekly challenges and campaigns were only available during the 18 weeks of season runtime. You can however still play on maps mentioned above and hunt for a CSGO Operation Hydra case both in-game and on the market. It is now available as an extremely rare drop during the standard game routine. A pass doesn’t increase the chance to find it.
What skins did it bring?
Let’s look into the most popular Operation Hydra CSGO skins available in the season’s case.
AWP | Oni Taiji
This might be the most famous skin from the Hydra case. Combine artisan finish with uber-rarity and you’ve got yourself a good recipe for a valuable skin. You won’t get it cheaper than 50$, and the Factory New prices range widely between Steam Market and third-party sites but reaching over $400.
Five-SeveN | Hyper Beast
A covert pistol skin with a very detailed, neon-colored design. Its prices range from $12.61 for a battle-scarred up to over $500 for a Factory New StatTrak™.
M4A4 | Hellfire
Laid back but still good-looking. The community seems to agree that this skin looks best in its Well-Worn version, as this float variation reaches even $90 in StatTrak™, which is almost the same prices as Factory New.
Galil AR | Sugar Rush
A classified Galil skin that kind of recalls the Suicide Squad vibe, with its grungy, yet strong colors. A StatTrak™ Factory New version can cost up to $70, but you can also easily get a Minimal Wear for about $11.
Dual Berettas | Cobra Strike
Somewhat reminiscent of 90s action toys or early video games, these Berettas present a sturdy, yet a pleasing design that fits into the overall visual identity of Operation Hydra. Field-Tested ones can go for around $7, but for a neat StatTrak™, you will need to spend anything between $11 and $52, depending on the float of your choice.
How can you buy and sell Operation Hydra skins?
Two years after their release, CSGO Operation Hydra skins are not going anywhere and prevail on the skin market. If you would like to buy some, you can always refer to the good old Steam Market, but be ready to pay relevantly higher prices. While requiring a bit more fuss on your side, third-party markets seem to have a more dynamic range of prices. For example, see M4A4 | Hellfire – at the moment of writing these words, its Field-Tested StatTrak™ float variant can be bought on third-party sites $10 cheaper. Be observant, compare and contrast and you can find a good bargain.
If you happen to have some Operation Hydra case CSGO skins which you will not use in your play, you can put up an offer on Steam Market, but it can take ages for someone to get interested in your offer. When it comes to third-party sites. there’s no rule, every page has its own dynamics which you have to learn. If you’re in to cash it out effectively, try Skinwallet. Once you log in with your Steam account, you can deposit the skins from your Steam inventory to see how much can you get for them. After you confirm the withdrawal, the money should land on your e-wallet service (Paypal or WebMoney) within three minutes. This way you can monetize the Hydra skins you’re not interested in keeping without hassle.
When it comes to Operation Hydra, CSGO hasn’t seen such a big at-once content update in years. The weekly challenges revealed the most popular alternative mode which was kept in-game for longer. Classic and liked maps were revived, and two years after season passed players call to bring them back to the competitive mode. Finally, it brought a range of skins that are still sought for. CSGO players surely wish such seasonal events appeared regularly every year.