Counter-Strike 2 now available: How to play, Source 2 engine, new features, more

Joseph Pascoulis
Counter-Strike 2 characters

Valve have officially confirmed that the long-awaited Counter-Strike 2 is now available for all players. Here’s everything you need to know about CS2 including all the new features and more.

Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CSGO) stands out as one of the most popular FPS games, boasting a vibrant community and a flourishing esports scene even in 2023, despite its initial release in 2012.

Valve have done an unbelievable job to keep the game going, and finally, after a long wait, they’ve officially launched Counter-Strike 2 featuring a complete overhaul and update of the famed game. With that said, here’s everything we know about CS2.

Counter-Strike 2 release date

Counter-Stike 2 has officially been released for free for all players on September 27, as confirmed by the Counter-Strike account on X (formerly Twitter).

What is Counter-Strike 2?

The Counter-Strike team describes Counter-Strike 2 as “an overhaul to every system, every piece of content, and every part of the C-S experience.”

Counter-Strike 2 is a free upgrade to CS:GO. Not onyl has Counter-Strike 2 updated and overhauled existing systems and features in CSGO, but this new chapter also introducec new elements.

Counter-Strike 2 how to play

You can now play Counter-Strike 2 by heading to the Steam page and clicking on Download. If you had CSGO installed, the game will install an update to access the overhauled CS2 experience.

Being available to everyone for free, the game won’t require any type of invitation from Valve, as was the case with the game’s beta.

Counter-Strike 2 uses Source Engine 2

One of the significant details that the Counter-Strike 2 announcement blog revealed was that CSGO 2 is on the Source 2 Engine, which the developers feel will improve the optimization and graphical fidelity of the game.

“All of the visual effects have been updated in Counter-Strike 2,” they confirmed. “With Source 2 lighting and particle systems, there’s an all-new look and behavior for water, explosions, fire, smoke, muzzle flashes, bullet tracers, impact effects, and more.”

This will be a significant change for CSGO players, as the current engine dates all the way back to 2004. Players can expect a new and improved look to hit CSGO’s maps, weapons, and various environments.

What’s new in Counter-Strike 2? Map overhauls, smoke changes & servers

CS 2 fans can now experience extensive map overhauls. This means that classic Counter-Strike maps have arrived with lighting changes, new environments, and features.

You can find out more about the map updates in Counter-Strike 2 in the video above.

Smoke Grenades and how they interact with the map will also receive drastic changes. The devs explained that “Smoke Grenades are now dynamic volumetric objects that interact with the environment, and react to lighting, gunfire, and explosions.”

Another announcement came by way of confirming sub-tick servers. The devs have gone out of their way to emphasize this new addition, even going as far as saying that “Sub-tick updates are the heart of Counter-Strike 2.”

In Counter-Strike 2, “regardless of tick rate, your moving and shooting will be equally responsive and your grenades will always land the same way.”

Will skins transfer from CSGO to Counter-Strike 2?

Valve confirmed that skins and other in-game cosmetics and items will transfer to Counter-Strike 2.

In the reveal blog for Counter-Strike 2, the devs confirmed that you will be able to “Bring your entire CS:GO inventory with you to Counter-Strike 2.”

This means that player accounts on CSGO will not be deleted, and their inventory will remain intact for the next chapter. This is great news for those who have spent their hard-earned money on Valve’s FPS game, as they will get to keep all of their items.

All in all, that’s everything you need to know about Counter-Strike 2.

For more on the game, check out our other related guides:

Best settings to avoid input lag in Counter-Strike 2 | Best CS:GO & CS2 crosshair codes used by pros | How to use s1mple’s Counter-Strike 2 settings | What are Premier ranks & CS rating in Counter-Strike 2 | How to bind & jump throw nades in CS2 | Best Counter-Strike 2 commands | How to show FPS in Counter-Strike 2 | Best Counter-Strike 2 PC settings

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