When did Counter-Strike 2 come out? For years, rumors of an updated version of Counter-Strike Global Offensive running on a new engine circulated, despite the original CSGO cementing itself as an all-time great with a consistent, healthy player base. While CSGO 2 seemed like a pipe dream for many, now it is real.
In March 2023, Valve finally revealed the existence of Counter-Strike 2, and a limited-access beta began soon after. Fans finally had a successor for one of the best FPS games ever made. The full release date followed later in the year, and with it came some beautiful, reworked CS2 maps, improvements to several core aspects of CSGO’s gameplay, and a new challenge to climb the CS2 ranks. Here are all the details you need about CS2, including when it finally arrived for all players to enjoy.
Counter-Strike 2 release date
The CS2 release date was September 27, 2023. In the six months or so between it being revealed in March 2023 and the full game going live, there was a limited test period open to only the most hardcore of Counter-Strike players.
During the limited test period, those few lucky CSGO players were given the chance to test the best CS2 guns, the shiny new maps, and ogle some new CS2 skins in the new and improved engine. Fans could also see how CS2 played, as the test could be livestreamed by those invited to play on platforms like Twitch.
Finally, on September 27, the CS2 update was let loose to all players.
It’s worth noting that despite the ‘2’, Counter-Strike 2 is not an all-new game, it is simply an enormous update and upgrade that fully replaced the old CSGO.
Initial Counter-Strike 2 rumors
News of a CS:GO 2 update was first revealed in a report from journalist Richard Lewis.
Other leaks that pointed to this before the official reveal included NVIDIA adding driver support for two new executables: csgo.2.exe and cs2.exe. On March 14, Source 2 was added to the developer pre-release branch. Then three days later, on March 17, trademarks for ‘CS2’ and ‘Counter Strike’ were filed by Valve. These are directly connected to the existing CS:GO trademark, offering further proof that the two are connected. The CS:GO Twitter account also changed its banner for the first time in months, depicting five silhouettes of CT players. You can see that banner below.
Earlier that day, Valve developers were seen to change their profile pictures, sparking rumors they were taking promotional screenshots for the announcement. On March 21, 2023, the banner was changed yet again to a new logo for the game removing the “Global Offensive” in the tagline and changing the shade of blue.
Counter-Strike 2 updates
Counter-Strike 2 brought about a number of updates to CSGO’s gameplay. The biggest is, ironically, the one that is also the most bornig: sub-tick updates. The addition of sub-ticks means that tick rate no longer matters for moving and shooting. CS2 also calculates precise actions between ticks.
Visually the game has also seen a massive upgrade to existing maps. Some small tweaks to layouts were made, but mostly Valve gave some of CSGO’s iconic maps a much-needed facelift – they now look glorious in CS2.
Large gameplay improvements have also been added, including new lighting, rendering, and an overhaul to returning maps like Italy, Overpass, and Zoo. Smoke grenades are now dynamic and can fill spaces and create volumetric 3D blooms. All players will now see the same bloom, which can be pushed with grenades and other forces.
The game also now allows you to have loadouts, complete with the ability to buy weapons and change things up during a match.
How long has Counter-Strike 2 been in development?
According to Richard Lewis’ report, Counter-Strike 2 has been in the works for quite some time and has been a priority for Valve. The team includes minds from the wider franchise and their focus on it might explain why, towards the end of its life, some bugs in CSGO were left unattended for quite some time.
Now that it’s finally here, it’s time to take your CSGO crosshair flicking skills and apply them to a new, shiny CS2 crosshair instead. For many, the longevity of CSGO cements its place as one of the best games of all time – let’s see if CS2 can continue the legacy.