Valve has officially announced the long-awaited news. Counter Strike 2 has been officially announced. CS2 will appear as a free upgrade to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO). Some new mechanics have been introduced and with the updates, it can be said that the added visual upgrade to CS:GO is waiting for the players. We’ve put together all the details that Counter-Strike fans need to know. Here’s everything you need to know about Counter-Strike 2👇

Counter Strike 2 release date

Valve has confirmed that the launch range of Counter-Strike 2 will be in the summer of 2023. In fact, Valve indicated the period from June to August, depending on the development conditions of the game. In short, we can expect Counter Strike 2 production submission on June 1 at the earliest. In the other scenario we don’t want, if there is any delay in the development of the game, the CS2 release date will be August 31 at the latest.

It looks like CS2, which will replace Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, released in 2012, will continue to be one of Valve’s most consistent and popular games on Steam. Although CSGO has a limited launch on PS3 and Xbox 360, the company has yet to confirm if there are any plans for a PS5 or Xbox Series X version of Counter Strike 2 alongside a confirmed version for PC. So, the hopeful wait for console players can continue. In addition, a portable version of CS2 may be introduced with the increase in mobile gaming nowadays.

Counter Strike 2 platforms and price

Counter Strike 2

According to the official FAQ page, Valve has confirmed that Counter Strike 2 will be a free-to-play game. Essentially, CS2 is Valve’s overhaul of the original game with the new Source 2 engine that makes many graphics and features possible. Moreover, for those who don’t know, CS:GO was previously a paid game but switched to a free-to-play model in 2018. Similarly, the Counter-Strike 2 production will adopt the free-to-play model and offer an update to the existing game. In short, CS2 will be available as a free upgrade for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

As for supported platforms, Counter-Strike 2 will currently only be available for Windows PC. Valve has not yet made an official statement that the game will be available for PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X game consoles. However, CS: GO was also available for players with PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles. We can say that the possibility of bringing CS2 to next-gen game consoles continues at present.

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What’s new in Counter-Strike 2

Counter Strike 2

The biggest innovations that Counter Strike 2 aims to bring about may be changes in lighting and visuals. CS:GO is built by Valve with the Source engine that powers Portal 2, Half-Life 2, and many more popular games. With Counter-Strike 2, Valve is using the new Source 2 engine used to make games like Half-Life: Alyx, DoTA: Underworlds, and Artifact.

With the Source 2 update, CS2 will feature new lighting, including a physical-based rendering system. That means a pack with realistic textures and updates to lighting and reflection. Old maps are now better lit in dark places and have smoother reflections. The official website shows the stark difference between the old and new maps in Counter-Strike 2.

Changes to maps

Counter Strike 2

Looking at the lighting and engine changes, some changes to the maps can be expected, and Valve doesn’t seem to disappoint players here in our opinion. With Counter-Strike 2, Valve is upending some of the most popular CS:GO maps with the new Source 2 engine. However, dramatically changing maps for a competitive game can disappoint the fan base. That is why developers approach this from different angles.

Map updates for CS2 are divided into three categories: landmarks, upgrades, and revisions.

  • Touchstones are ancient base maps that everyone loves or adores. These maps are tournament standard and come with gameplay changes, graphics, and lighting updates. Apart from this, no fundamental changes have been made in these maps. Dust 2 and Mirage are some of the best examples.
  • The Upgrades category contains maps that receive the Source 2 change. These maps feature Source 2’s physical rendering system, improving lighting, textures, and reflections. Nuke and old maps are examples of this.
  • The review refers to the completely rebuilt maps for CS2. These are the oldest maps in the game that have stood the test of time. Overpass is one of the maps offered for review.

Additionally, Valve states that people who enjoy creating maps will have access to map creation tools that allow them to experiment as they please.

Reworked smoke mechanics

Counter Strike 2

In CS:GO, fumes were one-sided and constant. In short, it can be said that the CT teams and the T-team see different things from their own perspectives after smoke. Furthermore, smoke filled only a fixed point on the map. In Counter-Strike 2, the developers have fixed how smoke interacts with objects and their actions on the map. Thanks to the Source 2 engine, the vapors are now stone.

This way, your smoke will naturally fill the space and every player will see the same amount of smoke regardless of position. In addition, fumes now interact with light and can change shape by being sculpted by bullets running through them. Not only will bullets, but grenades will also scatter clouds of smoke for a few seconds and give the enemy a chance for a surprise attack.

This is the trailer for the topic:

With the revamped smoke mechanic, the way the game works will completely change, giving players more options to engage in combat even when smoke obscures their vision.

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New Alt-Tick system

Counter Strike 2

If you have been a CS:GO player for a long time, you might know that Counter Strike uses 64 tag servers. The tick system allows the game to mark your moves and shots at intervals. While Valve claims that there are no time lags and offers a responsive experience for players, it also claims that there is sometimes a delay of milliseconds.

With Counter-Strike 2, Valve has completely revamped the server hashing concept. With CS2, a sub-cue system will be used, where the server will recognize when the player is moving and shooting, adding more precision to their gameplay. Whatever the player does within the game, the server will calculate the exact time and set it accordingly.

How to access the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Beta Program?

Right now, the developers are hosting a limited CS2 beta test. Valve offers invitations to the CS2 beta program for players based on their Steam profile status, playtime, and experience. So, you can beta test CS2 if the system considers the upcoming game worth trying.

Will CS:GO in-game items and weapon skins carry over to CS2?

CS:GO probably has one of the largest in-game marketplaces, where you can buy and sell weapon skins on a regular basis. This system has given rise to third-party skin shops where you can sell CS:GO skins for real money.

Fortunately, Counter-Strike 2 players will be able to easily access their existing CS:GO skins and gloves at any time within the game. Since the upcoming game is primarily an upgrade of the engine, Valve has also mentioned that skins are getting a Source 2 overhaul as well. All weapon skins and items have been improved, and some are already in beta testing. So when you get to beta testing, you can check how your new skins are doing with Source 2.

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