Counter-Strike 2 release window, Source 2, leaks & more

Counter-Strike 2 release window, Source 2, leaks & more
Images via Valve

Written by 

Harry Boulton


22nd Mar 2023 16:55


News of Counter-Strike 2 has been coming in hot recently, as we're finally getting a sequel of the long-standing king of FPS games. While CS:GO is still flying high, there are certain aspects, features, and upgrades that players have been craving for years now that look to be on their way with this new iteration.

But what new features will Counter-Strike 2? Find out everything we know so far about Counter-Strike 2 in this comprehensive guide below.

Counter-Strike 2 release window

Counter Strike 2 predicted release date
Click to enlarge

While we don't have an official Counter-Strike 2 release date yet, we do know that it's coming in Summer 2023. As revealed in a slew of gameplay videos released by Valve, we know that the current plan is to release Counter-Strike 2 sometime later this year.

However, there will be a Limited Test run before the game does release. Access to that starts from March 21st, but you can only access it if you have been chosen by Valve.

According to a Steam FAQ, Valve takes into account your recent CS:GO playtime, along with the current standing of your Steam account and any VAC bans you may have had in the past.

Is Counter-Strike 2 a sequel to CS:GO?

Yes, and also no. Counter-Strike 2 will eventually replace CS:GO as the primary client of the game. That means that once it releases in Summer 2023, you will no longer be able to play CS:GO as it currently stands.

Thankfully, the update is coming for free to all those who currently own CS:GO, so you don't need to worry about buying another copy.

What's more, all of your weapon skins and inventory items will carry over to Counter-Strike 2. This is huge for the Steam Market and those that own skins worth thousands of dollars.

What will Source 2 bring to Counter-Strike 2?

What will Counter Strike 2 be?
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It appears that Counter-Strike 2 will be a monumental refresh of CS:GO. Although, some may argue that there is no real need to refresh CS:GO from a popularity standpoint, as the game has reached multiple all-time peaks in the past few weeks.

However, the biggest topic of discussion with the game over the last couple of years has been the implementation of the Source 2 engine. Introduced first in a revamp of Dota 2 back in 2015, the Source 2 engine will bring forward a vast improvement to the game from a graphical and optimisation standpoint.

Source 2 appears to overhaul Counter-Strike in a big way. Firstly, smokes are now much more dynamic and interact with the world and objects in a meaningful way.

The visuals of all the maps have also been drastically updated, looking way better than they currently do in CS:GO. Lighting especially has seen a huge upgrade.

In addition, tick rate of servers has been overhauled so that they are now far more accurate. In fact, servers should now accurately predict inputs in between ticks, so matches will be as accurate as they can possibly be.

Thus, Counter-Strike 2 is likely to be mostly be the same game as CS:GO only with updated visuals and improved servers. If it has managed to last for a decade now without any drastic gameplay changes, then arguably all the game needs is a fresh coat of paint to keep it relevant.

What will happen to the CS:GO esports scene?

One of the biggest questions surrounding the potential release of Counter-Strike 2 is its effect on the esports scene. It has been nearly ten years since NIP's legendary 87-0 streak was ended by Virtus Pro, which shows how well CS:GO has sustained itself as arguably the number one FPS esports title.

However, a sequel or significant update could significantly shake things up, as we have seen in the shift between CS 1.6 and Counter-Strike: Source, or the latter and CS:GO. When Dota 2 received its Source 2 update the professional player base was split between the original game and the new Dota 2 Reborn version before eventually merging the two into the Source 2 variant.

This could very much be repeated, depending on how much is altered in Counter-Strike 2, but it is just as likely that things go on as normal and the professional scene remains largely unchanged.

So, that wraps up everything we currently know about Counter-Strike 2, but make sure to check back soon as we will update you with any news that drops. If you want to try out some knives in the meantime though, check out this CS:GO knife commands guide for all of the details.

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