Counter-Strike 2 Announced for PC, Launches in Summer 2023

    Valve ushers in a new era of Counter-Strike.

    Valve announced Counter-Strike 2, the next major entry in the popular competitive first-person shooter for PC via Steam. The upcoming sequel launches this summer as a free upgrade to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

    A Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test will be held before launch this summer. Select CS:GO players will be selected by Valve to try out the game during the test period. According to Valve, the Limited Test only evaluates a subset of features in Counter-Strike 2 so major issues may be resolved before launch. Much more information will be revealed in the coming months. 

    All the latest details are available below via Valve’s official website:

    The Next Era of Counter-Strike Begins This Summer

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

    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 CS:GO 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 CS:GO. 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.

    Responsive Smokes

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

    • Gameplay – 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 CS:GO 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 CS:GO 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 Enhancements – 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

    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.

    Lastly, Counter-Strike 2 launches this summer for PC via Steam.

    Soul Kiwami
    Soul Kiwami
    Raul Ochoa, a.k.a. Soul Kiwami, is the Managing Editor of Final Weapon and a Games Writer at Game Rant with four years of writing and editing experience. Raul is passionate about the Japanese gaming industry, and he's a huge fan of Nintendo Switch, PC hardware, JRPGs, and fighting games. business email: [email protected] | Muck Rack:

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