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Valve Announces Counter-Strike 2, Launches This Summer

Valve Announces Counter-Strike 2, Launches This Summer - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 22 March 2023 / 3,192 Views

Valve has officially announced Counter-Strike 2. It will launch this Summer for PC and will be a free upgrade to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

"Counter-Strike 2 is the largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike‘s history, ensuring new features and updates for years to come," announced Valve.

"All of the game’s new features will be revealed when it officially launches this summer, but the road to Counter-Strike 2 begins today as a Limited Test for select Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players. During this testing period, we’ll be evaluating a subset of features to shake out any issues before the worldwide release.

"Counter-Strike 2 arrives this summer as a free upgrade to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. So build your loadout, hone your skills, and prepare yourself for what’s next!

"Read on to learn more about some of the features of the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test."

Read details on the game below:

Responsive Smokes

Smoke Grenades are now dynamic volumetric objects that interact with the environment, and react to lighting, gunfire, and explosions.


Smoke now has the ability to interact with other gameplay events, creating new opportunities. Bullets and HE grenades can push smoke to briefly clear sightlines or expand occlusion.

Expands to Fill Spaces Naturally

Now the smoke will seep out of opened doorways and broken windows, go down and up stairs, as well as expand in long corridors and combine with other smokes.

Reacts to Lighting

In Counter-Strike 2 smoke particles work with the unified lighting system allowing for more realistic light and color.

Moving Beyond Tick Rate

Tick rate no longer matters for moving, shooting, or throwing.

Sub-tick updates are the heart of Counter-Strike 2. Previously, the server only evaluated the world in discrete time intervals (called ticks). Thanks to Counter-Strike 2‘s sub-tick update architecture, servers know the exact instant that motion starts, a shot is fired, or a ‘nade is thrown.

As a result, regardless of tick rate, your moving and shooting will be equally responsive and your grenades will always land the same way.

Leveling Up the World

From upgrades to overhauls, maps are cleaner, brighter, better.

Full Overhaul Maps

The overhauled maps have been fully rebuilt from the ground up, leveraging all of the new Source 2 tools and rendering features.

Upgrade Maps

These are maps that use new Source 2 lighting, including a physically based rendering system that produces realistic materials, lighting, and reflections.

Touchstone Maps

Classic maps with solid foundations that players can use to evaluate gameplay changes from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to Counter-Strike 2. These have improvements to lighting and character read, but otherwise haven’t been changed.

Source 2 Tools

The Source 2 tools and rendering features will be available for community map makers to make it easier to build, experiment and iterate. And stay tuned for the Source 2 Item Workshop, which will be available later on in the limited test.

Your Items in a Whole New Light

Bring your entire Counter-Strike: Global Offensive inventory with you to Counter-Strike 2. Not only will you keep every item you’ve collected over the years, but they’ll all benefit from Source 2 lighting and materials.

In addition to supporting legacy models and finishes, all stock weapons have been upgraded with high-resolution models, and some weapon finishes take advantage of these new models.

Hi-Def VFX

From UI to gameplay, all visual effects have been reimagined.

All of the visual effects have been updated in Counter-Strike 2. 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.

Gameplay Visuals

In Counter-Strike 2 the most critical gameplay visuals have been redesigned with readability in mind. Bullet impacts can be easily viewed at a distance, and directional blood impacts (that fade over time) give you more information as you move through the world.

Environment Effects

Experience completely reauthored explosions, fire, C4 lighting, and more. Leveraging the Source 2 Engine and modern hardware, environmental effects in Counter-Strike 2 feature improved visual fidelity and greater consistency.

UI Effects

The UI in Counter-Strike 2 has gotten a complete overhaul, including fresh visual effects throughout the HUD. Not only do these improvements look nice, they also communicate important game state.

Accurate Audio

Reworked, rebalanced, and reverbed.

Counter-Strike 2 sounds have been reworked to better reflect the physical environment, be more distinct, and express more game state. They have also been rebalanced for a more comfortable listening experience.

There’s More to Come

The Limited Test only evaluates a subset of Counter-Strike 2‘s features, so that major issues can be resolved before the summer. But there’s much more to come. In just a few months we’ll reveal all of the details of Counter-Strike 2, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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UnderwaterFunktown (on 22 March 2023)

Is it any wonder people joke about their counting skills?

  • +8

Nope! Lol this will be the last Counter-Strike we ever get.

  • +5

Yeah.... CS, Condition Zero, CS Source, that Korean CS game, CS GO, and the sixth game gets the number 2 for whatever reason.

  • +1
gtotheunit91 LittleCloud (on 23 March 2023)

While there has been multiple CS games, half of those are remakes of the original. Including CS:GO. That’s just insulting to include the Korean made CS game that has nothing to do with CS xD

  • 0
LittleCloud gtotheunit91 (on 23 March 2023)

If it doesn't ship with OG de_dust and cs_mansion, it's not a remake of the original. Condition Zero and CSGO are definitively stand-alone products, not remakes. That makes the 2 super weird. The Korean one can be considered a spin-off.

  • 0
gtotheunit91 LittleCloud (on 23 March 2023)

I guess in Valve's mind, this is the actual sequel to the original Counter-Strike. Although it looks more like a glorified update to CS:GO. Maybe it's just Valve toying with the community at their inability to count to 3 lol

  • +1
V-r0cK gtotheunit91 (on 23 March 2023)

Im sure we'll get CS2 Episode 1 & 2 right??

  • +3
LittleCloud gtotheunit91 (on 23 March 2023)

Why will they release it as an update to CSGO then when it's a sequel to original CS and not CSGO?

  • 0
gtotheunit91 LittleCloud (on 23 March 2023)

Idk lol. So far we just have 3 videos about very specific features. We're just going to have to wait for Valve to give us a deep dive in the game.

  • 0
Darwinianevolution (on 22 March 2023)

Well, this came out of nowhere.

  • +7

Only if you didn't notice weeks of leaks, one source being Nvidia once again.

  • +1
2zosteven (on 22 March 2023)

this will be fantastic plus free, but common Valve, give us what we really want.

  • +4
KratosLives (on 23 March 2023)

Massive news

  • +3
Pemalite (on 23 March 2023)

Source 2 turns 10 years old in 2025, only 2 more years... It's starting to show it's age when compared to the likes of Unreal, CryEngine, Snowdrop, Unity, idTech or Frostbite.
In saying that, it's a massive step up over Counter Strike GO, just wish for something "more" in this era where things feel stagnant as we migrate from 8th to 9th gen.

Valve needs to iterate faster and more significantly as Source is used as developer-entry to Steam and helps lock games to their ecosystem.

I guess in the grand scheme of things, Counter Strike has never been known for it's visuals, but rather it's competitive gameplay and I am sure they have dialed that in perfectly.

On the plus, it seems Valve hasn't forgotten how to make games yet, so that's a win.

  • +2
Azzanation Pemalite (on 23 March 2023)

We say its aging however have you seen Half Life Alyx run on high end specs? Its definitely still great.

  • 0
Pemalite Azzanation (on 23 March 2023)

Don't get me wrong, I didn't say games using Source 2 look intrinsically bad, just that the engine is definitely showing it's age when compared to it's contemporary peers.

It's all relative otherwise.

  • 0
Azzanation Pemalite (on 24 March 2023)

I still think Source 2 offers the best physics around. Alyx really shows how good the engine can be. The issue is not many games utilise it

  • 0
gtotheunit91 Pemalite (on 23 March 2023)

Makes me wonder just how long Valve has been working on this game. For years now we've heard countless rumors that a CS:GO port to Source 2 was being worked on. Which is more or less what this looks like. Valve is just slapping the number 2 on there lol

  • 0
TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 22 March 2023)

It's a free upgrade, nice!

  • +2
Azzanation (on 23 March 2023)

Nobody: ....

  • +1
LittleCloud Azzanation (on 23 March 2023)

Unifying the technological base of their live service games makes sense. Dota2 is on S2 since before Alyx. I hope TF3 is on the roadmap as well.

  • +1
Azzanation LittleCloud (on 23 March 2023)

Would be nice to see TF get the same treatment

  • 0
CaptainExplosion (on 22 March 2023)

Wait, Valve? Making a SEQUEL?

  • +1

They have made sequels before, but they have trouble counting to 3 for some reason. :P

  • +2
LittleCloud CaptainExplosion (on 23 March 2023)

This is the sixth CS game, so plenty of sequels already.

  • 0
CaptainExplosion LittleCloud (on 23 March 2023)

You missed the joke.

  • 0
Jumpinbeans (on 22 March 2023)

I reckon they should put it out on console too.

  • +1
gtotheunit91 Jumpinbeans (on 22 March 2023)

For a game that requires beyond twitch reflexes, it wouldn't really work well on console. Unless crossplay is completely disabled, but even then, Valve doesn't like consoles.

  • -2

PS5 and Series X/S don't support keyboard and mouse?

  • +1

They do, but it has to be a feature that devs implement, and Valve has shown to not really bother with consoles. The last console game they released was ironically CS:GO and even then, they barely provided any support beyond just getting the game released.

Plus Counter-Strike is so deeply rooted in other third-party companies like FaceIT for things like matchmaking and even anti-cheat, it would be a pretty large undertaking for Valve, and as history has shown, Valve only does things the way they want. And since CS:GO less than 2 weeks ago had its highest concurrent player count ever at 1.4 million, I wouldn't be surprised if they do decide to just dedicate all their resources into just focusing on PC, especially since Steam Deck has taken off for them. They certainly could outsource all the work like they had EA port the Orange Box to consoles, but we'll see.

  • +1
LittleCloud gtotheunit91 (on 23 March 2023)

The last game they released on consoles was Portal for Switch only a few months ago.

Steam Deck provides a console experience as well and they tweaked CSGO for that in the past year. I don't expect Valve to throw away all learnings from that.

  • 0
gtotheunit91 LittleCloud (on 23 March 2023)

Don’t be silly. We’re not including ports of over 10 year old games.

I hope you’re right though! Still though, Steam Deck is a PC experience on top of a console experience. So it’s not like Valve had to overhaul CS:GO to make it work like one on a device that is primarily a PC. I would definitely like for CS2 to get ported to consoles! Technically, platforms haven’t been announced yet for CS2!

  • 0
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Zippy6 Jumpinbeans (on 22 March 2023)

They might do eventually. CSGO was on PS3/360 after all.

  • +2
Ka-pi96 (on 23 March 2023)

Valve still make games? Where's Half-Life 3 then?

  • 0
Manlytears (on 22 March 2023)

lol! fuck, this looks nice!

  • 0