Following much anticipation, Valve has finally unveiled Counter Strike Source 2, a comprehensive revamp of the highly boasted FPS game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (or CS:GO). They’ve released a collection of videos displaying the various modifications, enhancements, and other features that bring the competitive FPS game up to date.

The alterations range from minor tweaks to transformative updates. As we embark on a new chapter of Counter-Strike, we must be acquainted with all the adjustments. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the changes in CS2.

What’s Counter Strike 2 release date?

The exact release date for Counter-Strike Source 2 has not been disclosed. Valve has confirmed that CS2 is set to launch in the Summer of 2023, indicating a potential release window between May and June. However, this timeline could be subject to delays if further enhancements or bug fixes are necessary.

Although the game’s official launch is still a few months away, a select group of fortunate players, chosen to partake in the limited beta, have had the opportunity to test CS2 and provide feedback on its updated features.

Counter-Strike 2 is expected to be available in the summer of 2023!

Platforms for Counter Strike Source 2

Counter-Strike 2 is exclusively available on PC, with Valve yet to reveal any plans for console releases on platforms such as PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X.

Counter-Strike 2: New features revealed

Counter Strike Source 2 is set to revolutionize the history of Counter-Strike by introducing innovative features and mechanics for players to master.

New tick system

As a seasoned CS:GO player, you’re likely familiar with the game’s 64-tick servers, which register player movements and shots at discrete intervals. Although Valve asserts that these intervals are virtually invisible, resulting in a smooth gaming experience, they admit that occasional millisecond delays can occur.

The sub-tick system will be added to improve the accuracy

In Counter-Strike 2, Valve has enhanced the server registration system by implementing a sub-marking technique. This improvement allows the server to better detect player movements and shots, thus increasing gameplay accuracy.

This modification requires players to rely on third-party clients to access higher tick rate servers, such as those with a 128 tick rate. This substantial backend alteration will have a considerable impact on gameplay.

Maps are reworked

A recent video shows the revamped map series in the upcoming season. While some maps retain their original layouts with minor texture and lighting enhancements, others undergo more striking transformations, thanks to the Source 2 engine. The map updates can be grouped into Touchstones, Upgrades, and Overhauls.

Significant improvements in maps in CS2

Touchstones: These are classic, beloved maps with a strong foundation. They will receive gameplay adjustments and graphical and lighting updates in the sequel.

Upgrades: This category includes maps enhanced with the Source 2 facelift. Benefiting from the engine’s physics-based rendering system, these maps – such as Nuke and Ancient – will exhibit improved lighting, textures, and reflections.

Overhauls: This kind applies to maps entirely reimagined for Counter Strike Go Source 2. Typically the oldest maps in the game, they have proven their longevity. Overpass serves as an example of such a map.

A new type of smoke grenade

In a recent discussion video, Counter Strike Source 2 showcased a new type of grenade called “responsive smoke,” producing a realistic 3D effect. This smoke naturally fills spaces, demonstrating that all players perceive the same density of smoke, regardless of their position.

Stay tuned to see a new grenade with realistic smoke!

Moreover, the smoke realistically wraps around objects and is derived from external factors, such as gunshots passing through it. The grenade even generates authentic smoke emissions.

Improved light and visual quality

The most significant transformation that Counter-Strike 2 aims to achieve involves lighting and visuals. Valve is utilizing its new Source 2 engine for CS2, already employed in titles like Half-Life: Alyx, DoTA: Underworlds, and Artifact.

So, CS2 will feature enhanced lighting, including a physics-based rendering system that enables the creation of realistic materials, lights, and reflections. As a result, older maps will benefit from improved lighting in darker areas and more accurate reflections.

More refined images and lighting in CS2

FAQs about Counter Strike Source 2

Is Counter-Strike Source 2 free?

Valve has confirmed that Counter-Strike 2 will be a free-to-play game, leveraging the company’s new Source 2 engine to deliver an array of graphical and gameplay enhancements for an even more immersive experience.

As you know, CS:GO was initially launched as a paid game ($14.99) but transitioned to a free-to-play model in 2018. Counter-Strike 2 will maintain the free-to-play format while offering CS: GO’s players updates.

Counter-Strike Source 2 will be free to play!

How to download Counter Strike Source 2 beta

The developers are conducting a limited beta test for CS2, granting access to select former and current players. Valve chooses participants based on their Steam profile status, playtime, and overall experience. 

As such, anyone could access the CS2 beta if deemed suitable to test the upcoming title. Here’s how to join the Counter-Strike Source 2 beta:

Step 1: Open Steam, then download and install Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Invitations to CS2 are only available through this existing game.


Step 2: Run Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. If you’re new, you may need to wait to access the CS2 Beta, as Valve is superior in offering it to players with a well-established trust factor in CS:GO.

Step 3: If selected, you will receive an invitation to join the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Access beta.


Step 4: Once you’ve registered for CS2 limited beta, Steam will download CS2 onto your computer. After installation, you can choose between CS:GO or CS2 when clicking “Play” in Steam.

Will CS:GO items be carried over to CS2?

The publisher has confirmed that players can transfer their CS:GO items to the upcoming Counter-Strike 2.

Players can conveniently use their existing skins and gloves in the new game. All skins and weapon items have been upgraded and are accessible during beta testing.

Your CS:GO items will be found in CS2

As popular shooters like Valorant and battle royale games such as Apex Legends continue to command the market, Counter Strike Source 2 is set to make waves. The changes introduced in this new installment offer a refreshing experience and promise to create unforgettable moments in Counter-Strike history. Are you eager to give the game a try?

While you await its release, consider exploring other FPS titles like ATOMIC HEART and DEAD ISLAND 2.

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