How to fix the 'Unable to Establish Connection' error for CS2

How to fix the 'Unable to Establish Connection' error for CS2
Images via Valve

Written by 

Tarran Stockton

Last updated 

26th Jan 2024 12:11

While CS:GO has made way for Counter-Strike 2 to replace it, some of the old issues remain, such as the common network error - so you may need a helping hand on how to fix it if it pops up for you.

The new version of the CS2 network error displays the 'Unable to Establish Connection' when players attempt to go into matchmaking or online play in general. It's quite a vague error though, which means there are tonnes of possible methods to fix it and get back to playing the game - so here's all you need to know.

Ways to fix Counter-Strike 2's 'Unable to Establish Connection' error

There are several different fixes you can try to sort out the network error in Counter-Strike 2. Follow the processes below to get back to playing.

Restart your internet

A simple and timeless fix for any internet or connectivity issues is to just reset the internet. You can either do this by unplugging your router or resetting the internet on your PC itself.

Regardless of which method you use, just wait a few minutes for the connection to reset and establish itself again, and the error may no longer occur.

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Enable Data Execution Prevention

If the first fix doesn't work, you may need to get a little more involved and try changing some PC settings, though it's nothing too advanced. You can start by enabling the Data Execution Prevention setting, which helps protect your PC from malware. Here's how to enable it:

  1. Open the Windows settings menu from the taskbar or with Windows key + I
  2. Navigate to the 'System' tab, scroll down and select 'About'
  3. Click 'Advanced system settings'
  4. In the new window, press the 'Advanced' tab, and click 'Settings' under Performance
  5. Select the 'Data Execution Prevention' tab and click 'Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select'
  6. Click 'Apply', then press 'OK' and the setting will be turned on

Verify game files

If the problem persists, it may be due to an issue with your installation of the game itself. To remedy this, you will need to check over the game files and verify them on Steam. Here is the process:

  1. Right-click Counter-Strike 2 on your Steam library and select 'Properties'
  2. In the new window, select 'Local Files' and then press 'Verify integrity of game files…
  3. Let the process finish, and then load the game back up

Turn off your VPN

Another reason you may not be able to connect to the CS2 network, is due to a VPN being turned on. Steam does not allow users to play with an active VPN, so if you use one when browsing the web, make sure it is turned off before playing. 

If one of these above fixes doesn't allow you to keep playing, you'll need to contact Steam support for more specialised help.

Check out our Counter-Strike 2 homepage for more guides. Otherwise, check out the best crosshair codes, the best graphics settings, and how to fix input lag.

Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.

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