Valve announces Counter-Strike 2 (C2), which will launch as a free upgrade to CS:GO in summer 2023, and a limited test begins today - gameplay mechanics smoke grenade world sub-tick video trailer

Counter-Strike 2 Launches in Summer, Limited Test Begins Today

At long, long last, Valve has formally announced Counter-Strike 2, which will launch as a free upgrade to CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) in summer 2023, and a limited test for CS2 begins today for “select CS:GO players.” Valve has released several short videos to announce and explain the gameplay mechanics and systems for Counter-Strike 2, in addition to rolling out a website highlighting game features and explaining the limited test. But in short, the game runs with Source 2 tools and is “an overhaul to every system, every piece of content, and every part of the C-S experience.”

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Counter-Strike 2 Improves Smoke Grenades, World Visuals, and Tick Rate

There are dedicated videos to talk about “responsive smokes” (smoke grenades), “leveling up the world,” and “moving beyond tick rate.” With Source 2, smoke grenades create dynamic volumetric 3D objects that all players see the same way and play heavily into tactics. Regarding maps, some “touchstone maps” from CS:GO have been brought over with visual improvements and nothing else, so that players can “evaluate gameplay changes” between the original game and CS2. However, “The oldest maps have been fully rebuilt from the ground up” to leverage improved technology, and the community will receive access to Source 2 tools to make their own beautiful maps. Lastly, “tick rate no longer matters for moving and shooting,” as Counter-Strike 2 now enjoys sub-tick updates that will “know the exact moment” that actions are occurring and the server will calculate information appropriately.

The CS2 Limited Test Is Limited Indeed

On paper — and in these gameplay explanation videos, frankly — Counter-Strike 2 sounds like a pretty awesome upgrade from Valve. It’s nice to enjoy a new game that is straight from Valve as opposed to teams modding Valve. Stay tuned for more updates as the game approaches launch this summer. As for the limited test, it sounds like players have been selected mostly according to how hardcore of players they are.


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John Friscia
Former Managing Editor at The Escapist. I have been writing about video games since 2018 and editing writing on IT, project management, and video games for around a decade. I have an English degree, but Google was a more valuable learning resource. I taught English in South Korea for a year in 2018, and it was exponentially more fun than living in Pennsylvania. My major passions in life are SNES, Japanese RPGs, Berserk, and K-pop. I'm currently developing the game Boss Saga with my brother, which is guaranteed to change your life and you should buy it.