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Published: March 24, 2023

Written by: web developer

  • Valve revealed CS2 in a series of short videos 
  • The game will arrive in the summer of 2023 and will be a free upgrade on CS:GO
  • CS2 will be an improvement in all aspects like lighting, maps, and game ticks

After years of speculations, and recent weeks of strongly supported rumors, Valve has finally revealed Counter-Strike 2.

Valve Announced CS2

CS:GO has been a staple of the competitive and casual FPS scene since its release in 2012. Developer Valve has been continually supporting the game but at more than a decade old, the game had started to show its age. There have been rumors that Valve is working on a sequel to the game for years. Until recently these rumors did not have much substance, but in early March strong evidence surfaced that Valve is working on CS2. Fast forward a few weeks later, Valve actually announced Counter-Strike 2.

Set to launch sometime in the summer this year, the game’s limited beta test opened last night, with the announcement. Counter-Strike 2 will be released on the Source 2 engine and will be a free upgrade to CS:GO, similarly to what Blizzard did with Overwatch, as revealed by a Valve blog post

The Limited Test will allow a select few players to experiment with the new version “based on a number of factors deemed important by the Counter-Strike 2 development team”. These include recent playtime on Valve official servers, trust factor, and Steam account standing. The Beta has already started, so if you think you have a chance of getting in, go for it now. 

Here’s What We Know So Far

Valve announced Counter-Strike 2 with a series of videos on YouTube and Twitter. The first one explained how smoke grenades have been overhauled. The new system results in smoke grenades acting as a volumetric 3D object in-game, meaning every player will see the same smoke regardless of their position. The environment will also affect the smoke, which will now fill out spaces more naturally and react to different lighting conditions.

Another big change comes to the game’s tick rates, which will no longer be measured statically. CS:GO updates at either 64 (in matchmaking) or 128 (in professional play) ticks per second. This could sometimes lead to a disconnect between input from a player and the resulting action being registered by the server, such as strafing, shooting, etc.

Valve addressed this by introducing the so-called “sub-tick” updates with CS2. They will allow the server to immediately register movement and shooting inputs. The devs even said that “tick rate no longer matters” in regard to those actions and that the server will calculate the player’s exact input between ticks. 

Last, but certainly not least, CS2’s maps have received a ton of refurbishment. Valve showcased Dust2, Train, and Mirage, which have received updates to their lighting and character. Thanks to the “Touchstone” approach, the majority of structure and visual designs of legacy maps have been kept the same. These maps have received updates to their lighting and character, but have otherwise been left untouched in order to judge gameplay changes from Source 1 to Source 2 in isolation.

Other maps have received more substantial changes, including the oldest maps, which “have been fully rebuilt from the ground up, leveraging all of the Source 2 tools and rendering features”. Valve showcased Italy and Overpass as examples with the latter including significant upgrades across the entirety of the map.

In their blog post, Valve also explained that the entirety of your inventory from CS:GO would port over to Counter-Strike 2, and would benefit from Source 2 lighting and materials. Weapons have also received new high-resolution models. Fire and particle effects from molotovs and incendiary grenades have also been updated, the upgrades offering better consistency. CS2’s audio has also been improved to “better reflect the physical environment, be more distinct, and express more game state”. 

Counter-Strike 2 has been one of the most wanted games in recent years, and by the early looks of things, it seems Valve has delivered a great upgrade to CS:GO.

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