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

How to Play Counter-Strike Source 2

No doubt you’ve seen the hot news that Counter Strike Source 2 is real and in fact playable right now! We hadn’t had any details about it beforehand; Valve kept things under wraps well until rumors started circulating the past couple of weeks. Now, we’re seeing some of the incredible improvements coming in the new version of the beloved competitive FPS series. If you’re keen to jump in, here’s the go on how to play Counter-Strike Source 2!

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Is It Possible to Play Counter-Strike Source 2 Right Now?

Counter-Strike Source 2 doesn’t have a set release date yet, but we do know that Valve has announced it will be coming out within the next few months. There is no set beta. Instead, the developer is doing a slow roll out of the game to select players over time. So, to play Counter-Strike Source 2 right now, you simply have to open up CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) and see if you have a message at the home menu inviting you to try the new game.

It’s not clear how quickly invites are rolling out, so if you’re eager to get in, try booting up the game to check each day whether you’ve received an invite. Being active and loading the game daily may increase your chances of receiving an invite.

If you are one of the lucky players to receive the message to participate, you can accept the invitation and be directed to update the game. You’ll then be able to access the Counter-Strike Source 2 version of CS:GO and start playing with others who’ve been given access.

This is the first major update to the Counter-Strike series since the launch of CS:GO back in 2012. Many are saying it’s Valve’s response to popular tactical shooter Valorant stealing CS:GO’s thunder with a similar core gameplay style, but with shinier and newer things. It will be very interesting to see just how many players are pulled back into Counter-Strike thanks to the upgraded mechanics, new tick rate technology, amazing volumetric-based smoke grenades, and much-needed graphical overhaul and upgrade.

If you’re one of the lucky few to have gotten access to play Counter-Strike Source 2 thus far, let us know in the comments how you’re enjoying it. If you’re like me and are still trying to get in each day, I wish you luck and keep up the effort! 


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Alex Berry
Alex Berry has been a freelance contributor at The Escapist since January 2023. His coverage ranges from funny takes on the latest games to a whole bunch of guide content on such titles as Honkai: Star Rail, Genshin Impact, and various new games. Alex is a jack of all trades when it comes to games, playing almost every new title that shows promise. From RPGs to shooters, all the way through to sports games, he plays it all, although he does have a soft spot for turn-based RPGs having started out his gaming journey with a copy of Pokémon Red on the original Game Boy. Alex has a master's degree in Business and is fascinated by online game economies, often spending a lot of time finding ways to maximize wealth in these games (but he should really be doing that in real life instead).