How to access Premier Mode in Counter-Strike 2

How to access Premier Mode in Counter-Strike 2
Images via Valve

Written by 

Harry Boulton


28th Sep 2023 13:14


There has been a big overhaul to the Premier Mode in CS2, giving players a new way to play ranked, with the inclusion of a new map pool and more to discover.

While you can still jump into standard competitive matchmaking in Counter-Strike 2, the Premier Mode carries over from CS:GO and provides a completely different experience to tackle. Furthermore, it includes a global leaderboard, so for the first time ever you can truly be the number one player in the game - if you're good enough, of course!

So, continue reading to find out more about Premier Mode in CS2, as we've got everything you need to know about accessing the mode, the maps, and more in Counter-Strike 2.

How to play Premier Mode in Counter-Strike 2

Image showing you how to access Premier Mode in CS2
Click to enlarge

You will need to have Prime Status in order to access Premier Mode in CS2. This is either a paid upgrade to the free version of Counter-Strike 2, or a carry-over if you already purchased the full-priced version of CS:GO in the past.

If you don't have Prime Status yet, you can pick it up from the Steam store for $14.99/£11.99, and it will then be permanently applied to your account.

Once you have Prime Status though, all you need to do is head to the 'Play' section of the CS2 menu, then select 'Premier' from the tabs at the top and you will be good to go.

What is Premier Mode in CS2?

Premier Mode is an 'alternative' ranked mode in Counter-Strike 2, which is in theory more serious than the standard competitive mode. It is Valve's official competition to third-party matchmaking services like FACEIT, as the majority of the game's best players use this to play, as opposed to sticking within the game itself.

It has its own bespoke ranking system called 'CS Rating' that is dedicated to visible MMR instead of group ranks that we are typically used to in CS. Furthermore, it also has a global leaderboard, showing you the top 1,000 players either worldwide or within each region.

While I will certainly never be good enough to show up on this leaderboard, it is a much more tangible thing to point towards if you want to become the best player in the game, and something to really brag about if you manage to actually achieve it.

Finally, Premier Mode in CS2 also has the map ban system that you might be familiar with from the esports scene. This lets both teams ban specific maps in turns until the final map is chosen by one team, leaving the other to pick which side they will start on.

All Premier Mode maps in Counter-Strike 2 

Image of long on Overpass in CS2
Click to enlarge

Here is a list of the seven maps that are available in Counter-Strike 2's Premier Mode:

  • Ancient
  • Anubis
  • Inferno
  • Mirage
  • Nuke
  • Overpass
  • Vertigo

As mentioned previously, all of the maps in CS2 are queued at the same time, meaning that you are unable to select a particular set of options. This is in part to force you to broaden your map pool - although you can circumvent this with clever bans that work well if you're not the most confident on one or two maps.

So, that's everything you need to know if you're unsure about the new Premier Mode in CS2, showing you how to access it and all of the currently available maps.

Check out our Counter-Strike homepage for more of the latest news and guides, or find out how to check who has CS2 access in our handy guide.

Harry is a Guides Writer at GGRecon, having completed a Masters of Research degree in Film Studies. Previously a freelance writer for PCGamesN, The Loadout, and Red Bull Gaming, he loves playing a wide variety of games from the Souls series to JRPGs, Counter-Strike, and EA FC. When not playing or writing about games and hardware, you're likely to find him watching football or listening to Madonna and Kate Bush.

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