Counter-Strike 2 is coming this summer as a free CS:GO update
Valve announced Counter-Strike 2 on Wednesday, the evolution of one of the most famous first-person shooters. According to the game’s website, CS2 is a massive update to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the crown jewel of the tactical shooter genre for decades. Maps have been rebuilt from the ground up with new tools and features. The new game will be available on Windows as a free upgrade to CS:GO (which is already free) this summer.
CS:GO, the fourth mainline series in the Counter-Strike franchise, was launched in 2012 by Valve (creators of the steam bridge) and has long dominated the tactical shooter genre, which rewards precise aiming and coordinated tactics to achieve objectives like planting or defusing bombs. Its dominance was tested in 2020 when Riot Games released Valorant, which featured more contemporary graphics and agents with unique abilities like smokes and walls. The announcement of Counter-Strike 2 gives the series a modern upgrade and a chance to attract new players who weren’t interested in a decade-old game.
The ad features a variety of gameplay experience upgrades. The CS2 features dynamic, volumetric smoke that reacts to gunfire. The game has cleaner, brighter visuals, including high-res updates to CS:GO guns and finishes, and updated environmental effects. It also uses sub-tick updates for moving and shooting. This is especially important for the competitive aspect of the game, where players’ reflexes are continually tested, and the smallest increments of time make a significant difference in the outcome of a match.
Want to enter the limited test? According to Valve’s FAQ, current CS:GO players are selected “based on a number of factors deemed important by the Counter-Strike 2 development team, including (but not limited to) the recent playtime on official Valve servers, Trust Factor, and Steam account standing.” If you are invited to the test, you will see a notification on the CS:GO main menu. Players will be invited over time until the game launches. We will continue to report as more information becomes available and the game gets closer to launch.