Counter-Strike 2 officially announced, launching summer 2023

We're getting closer.

Image via Valve

Valve is releasing Counter-Strike 2 this summer, the developer of the Counter-Strike franchise announced today in a series of videos amid all the recent speculation on the incoming Source 2 update.

“Today we’re excited to announce Counter-Strike 2,” Valve said on the official CS:GO account on Twitter. “Counter-Strike 2 is an overhaul to every system, every piece of content, and every part of the C-S experience.”

Counter-Strike 2 will arrive this summer as a free upgrade to CS:GO, according to Valve’s official CS2 page. The game will become available today for selected players that wish to play the Limited Test Build and Valve will collect feedback and work on any issues before the worldwide release. If you are chosen to participate in the limited test, you’ll receive a notification on the main menu of CS:GO. All you have to do is select “ENROLL” and begin the download to play. Valve took into consideration a number of factors, including your trust score in CS:GO.

Here is all that Valve revealed about Counter-Strike 2 today.

Counter-Strike 2 will revolutionize how smoke grenades work

Due to Counter-Strike 2‘s new game engine, the smoke grenades will become dynamic, adding more depth to executes made by the Terrorists and changing how Counter-Terrorists will defend the bomb sites.

“Now, not only do all players see the same smoke regardless of position, but the smoke can interact with the environment in interesting today,” Valve said showcasing clips of how the smoke grenades work on maps like Overpass and Dust II. The smoke will react to lightning and will grow automatically to fill any space it can, so it’s essentially way more interactive than it currently is in CS:GO.

Counter-Strike 2 will change how you move and shoot

The millisecond difference caused by the tick system in previous versions of Counter-Strike could be what decided if your shot hit or missed the enemy. Moving forward in Counter-Strike 2, Valve has introduced sub-tick updates, meaning that tick rate doesn’t matter anymore for both moving and shooting, which are key aspects of Counter-Strike.

“The server will know the exact moment you fired your shot, jumped your jump, or peeked your peek, and the server will calculate your exact actions between ticks, so what you see [on your screen] is what you get,” the video says.

Counter-Strike 2 will improve the maps in “every way”

The maps will change but players with hundreds of hours of Counter-Strike should still be familiar with the maps in Counter-Strike 2 because the developer wants to keep part of its legacy. Valve took three approaches when it came to making changes to maps: Touchstone, Upgrades, and Overhauls.

“Touchstone maps are classic maps with solid foundations [Dust II, Mirage] that players can use to evaluate gameplay changes between CS:GO to Counter-Strike 2,” Valve said. “Next we have Upgrades, [which] are maps that use new Source 2 lightning [Nuke, Ancient], including a physically-rendering system that produces realistic materials. And finally, Overhauls. The oldest maps [Tuscan, Overpass] have been fully rebuilt from the ground up leveraging all of the Source 2 tools and rendering features.”

Counter-Strike 2 is a new game

In theory, Counter-Strike 2 is a much different game in comparison to its predecessor CS:GO. All of the upgrades and new features that Valve has showcased today will definitely have an impact on both casual and professional play, even though some of the skills are transferable.

You can read more about of Counter-Strike 2‘s limited test onthe Steam Community FAQ page.

This section is sponsored by ExitLag.

If you’re experiencing lag, disconnects, high ping, or stuttering in CS:GO, try ExitLag now, it reduces lag spikes and packet loss and has an FPS Boost feature! Unlike your ISP, ExitLag uses multiple routes simultaneously for a stable and high-performance connection. With thousands of servers worldwide, it guarantees a reliable connection from anywhere. ExitLag optimizes your connection in real time for better in-game performance and FPS. It’s the go-to solution for gamers dealing with lag, packet loss, or ping spikes. Use this link, try ExitLag for free, and subscribe to the annual plan for up to 44% OFF!

About the author
Leonardo Biazzi

Staff writer and CS:GO lead. Leonardo has been passionate about games since he was a kid and graduated in Journalism in 2018. Before Leonardo joined Dot Esports in 2019, he worked for Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte. Leonardo also worked for between 2020 and 2021 as a senior writer, until he returned to Dot Esports and became part of the staff team.