Counter-Strike 2 is the latest version of Valve’s long-running multiplayer FPS and is set to release sometime between June and September. The game comes as a free upgrade to its predecessor: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), released in 2012.
Counter-Strike’s fast-paced, objective-based gameplay makes it feel like speed-chess with guns. Despite being long in the tooth, CS:GO has a thriving community of players, and the Counter-Strike 2 update looks like it’ll be a welcome breath of fresh air for newcomers and veterans alike. With a very active tournament scene and mods galore, CS:GO has been a titan in the FPS world, and Counter-Strike 2 looks poised to continue the legacy of its predecessor.
Though we don’t yet have official confirmation as to Counter-Strike 2’s launch platforms, the “Limited Test” for the series’ latest incarnation will only be taking place on PC. However, since CS:GO never made the jump to PS4 and Xbox One, let alone PS5 and Xbox Series X, meaning Counter-Strike 2 may stay to PC for the forseeable. Read on to find out more about the Limited Test, as well as the new features in Valve’s upcoming FPS.
Counter-Strike 2: cut to the chase
- What is it? A big update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- When can I play it? Mid to late 2023
- What can I play it on? PC, with potential console releases TBC
Counter-Strike 2: release date and platforms
Counter-Strike 2 has a release window for mid-late 2023. However, we know that the Limited Test, a free beta test for “select CS:GO players” began on March 22 and has no official end date as of yet.
If you have been selected to participate in the Limited Test, you will receive a notification on the main menu the next time you start up CS:GO. More players will be added over time, but, as of yet, there is no way to guarantee entry into the test, so you’ll just have to keep your fingers crossed in the meantime.
As for platforms, it has already been confirmed that Counter-Strike 2 will be coming to PC. There has been no news yet as to console releases. However, Counter-Strike 2 is an overhauled update for CS:GO, and Valve never released the game for PS4, Xbox One, or the more recent consoles, it’s possible the shooter will remain PC-only for a while, if not permanently.
Counter-Strike 2: trailers
The “Leveling up the world” trailer, which we’ve linked below, shows off what to expect from Counter-Strike 2’s maps, including revamped versions of old classics, as well as brand new maps created using new lighting and rendering techniques to produce some gorgeous visual effects. What’s more, it looks like all of Valve’s map making tools will be available to the community, a move which will, undoubtedly, lead to some great player-driven content.
Valve has yet to give us a main trailer for what we might expect from Counter-Strike 2, but there are other feature-focused trailers on Valve’s YouTube channel (opens in new tab).
Counter-Strike 2: gameplay
Valve is building on the Counter-Strike series’ fundamentals, so Counter-Strike 2 will continue to offer fast-paced, strategic, team-based FPS combat with an emphasis on objective-driven missions.
However, Counter-Strike 2 boasts numerous tweaks and improvements to the core gameplay. One of the biggest changes is the way smoke grenades behave. Smoke now exists in the game as an interactive cloud, filling the space as before, but now bullets will punch holes through the cover, revealing enemies on the other side.
Counter-Strike’s gameplay visuals have been redesigned with readability in mind. For instance, bullet impacts will now be more obvious from a distance and blood splatters will be directional, showing you what angle someone was shot from.
Valve’s also completely overhauled the UI, giving HUD elements a much-needed facelift as well as optimizing the way they convey information to the player, such as a bar at the top of the screen that tells you the status of your teammates.
In Counter-Strike 2, the game’s audio tells you more about what’s happening and where. The sound of combat now travels realistically through space, so you can work out where your enemy is through audio cues.
Counter-Strike 2 will also allow you to bring your entire CS:GO inventory with you. All of your weapons skins have been updated with high-resolution models, too – a real treat for series veterans.
Counter-Strike 2: news
Counter-Strike 2 announced
Valve announced the release of Counter-Strike 2, a massive update for CS:GO on Counter-Strike’s official website. They also started a Limited Test program, allowing selected players to help Valve beta test Counter-Strike’s latest incarnation.
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