How to play Counter-Strike 2 beta: Download, access requirements, content, more

Luca Di Marzo
Counter-Strike 2 coverValve

Counter-Strike 2, the anticipated sequel to CSGO, is presently undergoing a limited test beta phase in preparation for its official launch. Here’s everything you need to know about the Counter-Strike 2 beta playtest, including release date, access requirements, content, and more.

The highly anticipated next installment of the Counter-Strike franchise is on the horizon as Valve has officially unveiled Counter-Strike 2 following a series of videos shared on March 22. This upcoming chapter is set to revamp current maps and enhance graphics and features, all the while introducing fresh content to the game.

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Luckily, Valve are allowing players to try Counter-Strike 2 early via a beta limited playtest, so here’s how to play the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test.

Counter-Strike 2 charactersValve
In the Counter-Strike 2 beta playtest, players can take a look at the new features.

When is the Counter-Strike 2 beta playtest available?

The Counter-Strike 2 beta Limited Test started on March 22, 2023. The CSGO 2 beta playtest went live on the same day that players got their first look at what’s to come in the next chapter of the FPS franchise.

The official release date for Counter-Strike 2 has not been revealed yet, but we know from leaks that it could be on September 23, 2023. So it’s expected that the Counter-Strike 2 beta playtest will be available until the week before the game’s launch.

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How to access Counter-Strike 2 beta playtest

To access the Counter-Strike 2 beta playtest, players have to be invited through a notification within CSGO’s main menu. The Counter-Strike 2 beta is only available on Windows, meaning users on Linux or macOS won’t have access to the beta.

On August 31, Valve disclosed the eligibility criteria for potential invitations. Here are the requirements you need to meet:

  • Have Counter-Strike Global Offensive Prime Status
  • Have an active competitive skill group
  • Play the majority of your official matchmaking games in one of the regions where the Limited Test is available

If you’ve received an invitation, you’ll find an invite option at the top left corner of the CSGO main menu. Click on this option, select “Enroll,” and then initiate the beta playtest download process.

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Does Counter-Strike 2 beta playtest require keys or drops?

No, the Counter-Strike 2 beta limited playtest doesn’t require keys or drops, as stated by Counter-Strike’s official X account.

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Valve have warned players against potential scams that claim to provide access to the limited test through a key. They advise not to log in to any third-party websites offering keys and to abstain from clicking on any social media links promising access.

To access it, you’ll just have to wait for the official invitation to pop up in the CSGO main menu.

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How to launch Counter-Strike 2 beta playtest

Once you’ve downloaded the Counter-Strike 2 beta limited playtest, go to CSGO in your Steam library and initiate it. Upon clicking ‘Play,’ you will encounter two choices: launch Counter Stike: Global Offensive or Counter-Strike 2 (Limited Test). You’ll need to select Counter-Strike 2 (Limited Test) to initiate the beta playtest.

Currently, both CSGO and CS2 are launched from the same game.

Counter Strike 2 beta playtest selectionSteam
By clicking the ‘always use this option’ you can choose to have Counter-Strike 2 launch by default.

Counter-Strike 2 limited test beta content included

The Counter-Strike 2 beta limited playtest includes all your current CSGO items, as well as deathmatch and casual modes on all competitive maps. Inferno has been newly added to the map pool, and there’s also the updated Premier Matchmaking system.

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While most skins, stickers, gloves, and knives remain the same, some may appear slightly different due to the new lighting effects. However, you won’t be able to make modifications to your items, such as adding or scraping stickers; these changes must be made in CSGO.

On August 31, Valve shared the revamped Premier matchmaking, which now includes a precise rating featuring seasonal friends, region and global leaderboards, and pre-existing skill groups calculated on a per-map basis, among other changes.

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All in all, that’s everything you need to know about the Counter-Strike 2 beta playtest. For more FPS content, check out some of our Call of Duty guides:

Best Modern Warfare 2 PC settings | Best Modern Warfare 2 controller settings | Best mouse and keyboard settings for Modern Warfare 2 | How to level up fast in Modern Warfare 2 | Best guns in Modern Warfare 2 | Best Assault Rifles in Modern Warfare 2 | When is the next Modern Warfare 2 & Warzone 2 Double XP event? | 10 most popular weapons in Modern Warfare 2 | Best audio settings for Modern Warfare 2

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About The Author

Luca is a Senior Writer at CharlieIntel. An accomplished, writer with interests in sports and gaming alike, Luca is focused on Call of Duty and FIFA as a content creator. After earning his BA in English Literature at Concordia University, he began writing for Gamelevate, OddsShark, and H4X. Luca joined CharlieIntel in 2021. You can reach Luca at [email protected], or via his Twitter @TheLucaDiMarzo.