Counter-Strike 2 release date: CS2 now available for all players for free

CounterStrike 2 wallpaperValve

Counter-Strike 2, the much-anticipated sequel to CS:GO, is now live for all players. CS2 is now free for everyone to play.

Despite being over ten years old, and Counter-Strike itself over two decades old, CS:GO is always growing in popularity. As of August 2023, it’s had almost 26 million unique players and hit a peak player count of 1.8 million in May.

But Valve knows the game is becoming outdated, and so has been working on the sequel, Counter-Strike 2, which uses the new Source 2 engine, and it’s now ready for release.

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Counter-Strike 2 is now live, and you can play by simply updating CS:GO in your steam client.


Counter-Strike 2 release date

CS2 released on Wednesday, September 27, 2023. CS2 teased this by hinting the release would be ‘next Wednesday’ on September 20.

It was previously thought the release date would be September 23, after a leak that shows the first “season” of the competitive Premier Mode was scheduled to begin then. But, we can wait a few days.

The game is now playable for everyone, outside of beta, and all maps are now playable.

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Was CS2 delayed?

No, the Counter-Strike 2 release date has not been delayed. However, a hoax went viral on X/Twitter in August, with a fake message from Valve saying they had delayed the release to Spring 2024.

However, this was just a joke, made up by Twitter user Exerpas to troll fans who are getting somewhat impatient about the CS2 release.

What’s in CS2?

In CS2, all maps are now available. On August 31, Valve rolled out the beta for many more players.

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The beta started with Dust 2, which was then replaced by Mirage, and eventually Nuke. Office has also been tested out. Overpass was the first ‘Upgrade’ level map in the test, a good indication that a release date is moving closer.

Of course, upon the full release, there is the full slate of maps and features.

The full list of maps confirmed for Counter-Strike 2 can be seen here, and it includes classics like Nuke, Inferno, and more.

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counter-strike 2 weapons bugValve
Maps like Nuke will be getting visual overhauls in CS2.

All skins and other items will also transfer over seamlessly to CS2. Although, in the test beta, many skin enthusiasts noticed a number of errors or differences between their appearance in CS:GO and CS2.

Valve already issued some updates to visuals, and more might be on the way, but don’t be totally surprised if your AK-47 or knife skin looks a bit odd at first.

We can also expect pro players to make a quick transition over to CS2, and perhaps see some of the first official events held later in the year.

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The next Counter-Strike Major will be played on CS2, to be held in Copenhagen in March 2023, hosted by PGL.

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