Counter-Strike 2 revealed: Source 2 update overhauls CS:GO maps, graphics, smokes, more

counter-strike 2Valve

Valve has officially revealed Counter-Strike 2, an overhaul of CS:GO with improved maps, graphics, and all-new features, after years of rumors and hype.

Counter-Strike 2 will release in Summer 2023, with no official date yet revealed. But, a limited test beta is available today, March 22, for select players.

The full release of CS2 will be free to all players in Summer.

The update will also include an update to tick rate, in addition to visual changes. The game will now use a ‘subtick’ system.

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“Counter-Strike 2 is the largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike’s history, ensuring new features and updates for years to come,” Valve said.


What is in Counter-Strike 2?

Updates in Counter-Strike 2 include overhauled maps, improved audio and visuals, changes to how smoke grenades work, and much more.

Watch the reveal videos from Valve below, and a full breakdown of what else is to come below.

Map overhauls in CS2

The first video focuses on improved maps, with new lighting and more.

The maps featured in the video include Mirage, Overpass, Dust2, Nuke, Ancient, Italy and Inferno.

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Lighting, props and even some of the layouts have been altered.

Smoke changes in Counter-Strike 2

Valve dedicated a whole video to new smokes, which are being dubbed ‘responsive.’

Valve says: “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.”

Smoke will also “fill spaces naturally” and react to lighting.

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Sub-tick servers in CS2

Instead of a traditional tick rate system, CS2 will use “Sub-tick”.

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“Sub-tick updates are the heart of Counter-Strike 2. Previously, the server only evaluated the world in discrete time intervals (called ticks). Thanks to Counter-Strike 2’s sub-tick update 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.”

Skins in Counter-Strike 2

Valve has also confirmed that skins and all other items in your CS:GO inventory will transfer over to Counter-Strike 2.

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They also say that these items will be unchanged but will benefit from the improved lighting in Counter-Strike 2.

New UI

Counter-Strike 2 also includes an overhauled UI, with better-looking ranks and overlay in-game. There is also a new main menu, which shows your team together when they join the lobby.

counter-strike ui updateValve

“The UI in Counter-Strike 2 has gotten a complete overhaul,” Valve say. “Including fresh visual effects throughout the HUD. Not only do these improvements look nice, they also communicate important game state.”

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Reworked audio

“Counter-Strike 2 sounds have been reworked to better reflect the physical environment, be more distinct, and express more game state,” Valve said.

“[Sounds] have also been rebalanced for a more comfortable listening experience.”

Valve also said there is still “more to come” too, and that the limited test “only evaluates a subset of Counter-Strike 2’s features, so that major issues can be resolved before the summer. But there’s much more to come. In just a few months we’ll reveal all of the details of Counter-Strike 2, and we can’t wait to share it with you.”

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For more on Counter-Strike 2, check out the rest of our coverage:

How to play Counter-Strike 2 limited beta test | Is Counter-Strike 2 going to be free to play? | What is sub-tick in Counter-Strike 2? | All smoke changes in Counter-Strike 2 | Can you play Counter-Strike 2 on Linux or macOS? | Can banned CS:GO players play Counter-Strike 2?What will happen to my CSGO skins? | Will Counter-Strike 2 come to Steam Deck? | Everything we know about Counter-Strike 2

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