Valve Unveils Counter-Strike 2

The Source 2-powered version of the legendary first-person shooter is coming this Summer as a free upgrade to CS:GO.

Valve has officially announced Counter-Strike 2, an updated version of the company's legendary first-person shooter powered by the Source 2 engine. Described by Valve as "the largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike's history", CS2 comes with a slew of new features and improvements, including overhauled and visually-improved maps, upgraded smoke grenades, sub-tick update architecture, new high-res VFX, and more. According to the developer, the full list of enhancements will be revealed upon Counter-Strike 2's release, set to take place on Summer 2023.

Here's the list of the new features that have been revealed so far:


  • The game's maps and the corresponding updates they received were divided by Valve into three categories. The first one is "Full Overhaul Maps", which have been fully rebuilt from the ground up, leveraging Source 2's tools and rendering features.
  • The second category is "Upgrade Maps", which use Source 2 lighting, including a physically-based rendering system that produces realistic materials, lighting, and reflections.
  • And finally, we have "Touchstone Maps", mainly consisting of the game's classic maps such as Dust II, which have improvements to lighting and character read, but otherwise haven't been changed.

Smoke Grenades

  • CS2's smokes were completely overhauled and are now dynamic volumetric objects capable of interacting with the environment and reacting to lighting, gunfire, and explosions.
  • Smoke now has the ability to interact with other gameplay events, creating new opportunities. Bullets and HE grenades can push smoke to briefly clear sightlines or expand occlusion.
  • Now the smoke will seep out of opened doorways and broken windows, go down and up the stairs, as well as expand in long corridors and combine with other smokes.
  • In Counter-Strike 2, smoke particles work with the unified lighting system, allowing for more realistic light and color.

Tick Rate

  • Another massive improvement introduced with CS2 is the new sub-tick update architecture, which makes tick rate no longer matter when it comes to moving, shooting, or throwing.
  • According to Valve, thanks to the new architecture, "servers know the exact instant that motion starts, a shot is fired, or a 'nade is thrown".
  • As a result, regardless of tick rate, your moving and shooting will be equally responsive and your grenades will always land the same way.


  • Gameplay visuals: Bullet impacts can be viewed easily at a distance, and directional blood impacts (that fade over time) give you more information as you move through the world.
  • Environment effects: Leveraging the Source 2 engine and modern hardware, environmental effects in Counter-Strike 2, fire, explosions, C4, etc., feature improved visual fidelity and greater consistency.
  • UI enhancements: The UI in Counter-Strike 2 has gotten a complete overhaul, including fresh visual effects throughout the HUD

Besides revealing some of CS2's enhancements, the company has also shared a look at how Dust II, Nuke, and Overpass will look in the new game:

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At the moment, Counter-Strike 2 is available as a Limited Test for select CS:GO players, with the company planning to evaluate "a subset of features to shake out any issues before the worldwide release." The developer also noted that all of your items and weapon skins will be transferred from Global Offensive to CS2 and will "benefit from Source 2 lighting and materials".

You can check out Valve's full announcement by clicking this link. Also, don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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