Video Games

Valve Officially Announces Long-Awaited ‘Counter-Strike 2,’ Sets Summer 2023 Release Date

Valve has officially announced that the heavily rumored Counter-Strike 2 is a reality, revealing that the game is expected to launch this summer.

Two players meet at a corner, one taking a shotgun blast to the head via Counter-Strike 2: Moving Beyond Tick Rate, Valve YouTube

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Initially rumored by journalist Richard Lewis earlier this month, Valve has officially revealed the sequel to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).  With over 1.4 million players in March alone, the 2012 title is still going strong.

The announcement came, surprisingly, without a dedicated reveal trailer — presumably  due to ongoing leaks preventing any major unveiling. Instead, Valve announced Counter-Strike 2 along side it’s official website, and a trio of trailers detailing specific changes to the game’s mechanics.

A player steps out from smoke, and is met with a hail of gunfire via Counter-Strike 2: Moving Beyond Tick Rate, Valve YouTube

Promising “The next era of Counter-Strike begins this summer,” Valve explains, “Counter-Strike 2 is the largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike’s history, ensuring new features and updates for years to come.”

“All of the game’s new features will be revealed when it officially launches this summer, but the road to Counter-Strike 2 begins today as a Limited Test for select CS:GO players. During this testing period, we’ll be evaluating a subset of features to shake out any issues before the worldwide release.” 

The official website also explains the game is a free upgrade to CS:GO, encouraging players to “build your loadout, hone your skills, and prepare yourself for what’s next!”

A player plants the bomb via Counter-Strike 2: Moving Beyond Tick Rate, Valve YouTube

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The FAQ for the Limited Test only states “Counter-Strike 2 is expected to ship Summer 2023.” For more information, the site invites players to visit the Counter-Strike blog “for up-to-date information on the limited test and future announcements.” No additional information regarding how long the test will run for was provided.

It also confirms that “All of your weapon finishes, stickers, and other CS:GO inventory items will be available to use in Counter-Strike 2.” CS:GO can also still be played while the Limited Test runs, though gamers can only play against those playing the same game as them. EXP will also carry over from the Limited Test into CS:GO

Smoke is parted by an explosion via Counter-Strike 2: Responsive Smokes, Valve YouTube

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The big game changes coming to Counter-Strike 2 include dynamic smoke grenades which react to their environment — such as light, the surrounding space, bullets, and explosions.

The game also introduces sub-tick updates for more responsive gameplay, and graphical overhaul of all maps to be brighter and have better lighting; thus enhancing visibility as a whole.

“Touchstone” maps will remain untouched apart from graphics, while some will have new lighting, and others will be fully overhauled. The latter was done via Source 2 tools, which will be available to the community to make their own maps. The Source 2 Item Workshop will be available later on in the Limited Test.

The graphics comparison for Dust II shows the layout and other details remain unchanged via Counter-Strike 2 official website

The official website also notes imported items will be improved with high-resolution models, new lighting and materials, an improvement to all visual effects, an overhauled UI, and reworked audio to better reflect their environments while offering a more comfortable experience for the listener.

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