The largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike’s history

Counter-Strike 2

Counter-Strike 2

  -  Paid
Valve Corporation's Counter-Strike 2 is a premium PC action game that serves as the successor to the famous and long-standing first-person shooter franchise, Counter-Strike or CS. Those who already own Counter-Strike: Global Offensive can upgrade to Counter-Strike 2 for FREE! Cleaner, brighter, better!

Compared to previous iterations such as Counter-Strike: Source or Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, Counter-Strike 2 (2023 version) offers the most extensive visual and graphical overhaul the series has ever seen. Before its official release, the game will undergo a Limited TEST phase with a select group of players.

The next era of CS begins this summer!

CS 2 for Windows 11/10 represents a significant technical advancement for the Counter-Strike franchise, promising to introduce new features and updates for years to come.

All of the game's new features will be unveiled upon its official launch this summer. However, the journey towards Counter-Strike 2 commences now with a Limited Test, available only to selected CS:GO players. This testing phase aims to evaluate a subset of features and identify any issues before the game's global release.

CS 2 will be a free upgrade for existing CS:GO players and is set to arrive this summer. Aspiring players are encouraged to prepare themselves, build their loadout, and sharpen their skills for what's to come!

Counter-Strike 2 Screenshot 1

Game Changer Features

Smoke grenades in Counter-Strike 2 desktop game now interact with other gameplay events, providing new opportunities for players. Bullets and HE grenades can push smoke to temporarily clear sightlines or expand occlusion. Additionally, smoke expands naturally to fill spaces such as opened doorways, broken windows, stairs, and long corridors, and can combine with other smokes. Smoke particles in the game also react to the unified lighting system, providing more realistic light and color.

Full Overhaul Maps
CS 2 features completely rebuilt maps from the ground up, utilizing all the new Source 2 tools and rendering features. There are also classic maps, called Touchstone Maps, with solid foundations that allow players to evaluate gameplay changes from CS:GO to Counter-Strike 2. These maps have undergone improvements in lighting and character readability, but remain largely unchanged.

Source 2 Tools
Community map makers can utilize the Source 2 tools and rendering features in CS 2 to build, experiment, and iterate on new maps. Additionally, the Source 2 Item Workshop will be available later on in the limited test.

Gameplay Visuals
Critical gameplay visuals in CS2 have been redesigned with readability in mind. Bullet impacts can be easily viewed from a distance, and directional blood impacts fade over time, providing more information as players move through the world.

Environment Effects
Explosions, fire, C4 lighting, and other environmental effects in the game have been reauthored for improved visual fidelity and consistency. These effects leverage the Source 2 Engine and modern hardware.

UI Enhancements
The game features a complete overhaul of the UI, including fresh visual effects throughout the HUD. These improvements not only enhance the game's appearance but also provide important information about the game state.


The Counter-Strike series is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of modern first-person shooter games. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), in particular, has continued to have a significant influence on the gaming industry and competitive e-sports since its release 11 years ago. Now, after over a decade, the successor, CS 2 for PC, is finally here.

With the use of the in-house Source 2 tool and engine, the game has been built from the ground up, offering overhauled graphics, maps, animations, and effects. The Smoke Grenade is a crucial tactical tool in the game, expanding to fill spaces and objects, and now reacting to lighting effects, gunfire, and explosions.

In addition, the game boasts a new sub-tick system to reduce delay for near-real-time events and actions, improved spatial awareness and accuracy with reworked audio, and weapons that have been visually updated. At present, the game is only available as a Limited TEST, and interested players should check the official website for more news and updates.


What do I need to do to participate in the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test?
Participants for the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test are chosen by the development team based on factors such as recent playtime on Valve official servers, trust factor, and Steam account standing. If your account is locked on Steam, you cannot participate until the lock is removed.

How will I know if I'm selected for the CS 2 Limited Test?
If you're chosen, you will receive a notification on the main menu of CS:GO. Click "ENROLL" and begin downloading the game. Once the download is complete, launch CS:GO and select the "Limited Test" option to start playing.

How often are new players added to the CS 2 Limited Test?
More players will be added over time, so keep checking your CS:GO main menu to see if you've received an invite.

How long will the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test last?
The Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test is expected to last until the game's release in Summer 2023. Visit the Counter-Strike blog for updates and future announcements.

What features are available in the CS 2 Limited Test?
Initially, the Limited Test will offer Deathmatch and Unranked Competitive matchmaking on Dust2. Future limited test releases will offer other game modes, maps, and features.

Can I use my CS:GO inventory items in CS 2?
Yes, all inventory items, such as weapon finishes and stickers, are available in Counter-Strike 2. Report any inventory item and weapon finish bugs you encounter using the previously mentioned bug report process.

Can I modify my inventory items during the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test?
No, inventory items cannot be modified within CS 2 during the limited test.

Is it possible to earn XP in the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test?
Yes, you can earn XP in the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test, and it will carry over to CS:GO.

Can I create videos or stream the CS 2 Limited Test?
Absolutely, you are free to make videos or stream the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test.

Can I play on workshop maps or community servers during the CS 2 Limited Test?
Initially, workshop maps and community servers will not be available. Keep an eye on the CS:GO blog for updates on their availability.

Can I use the same Steam account for both CS:GO and Counter-Strike 2 if I've been banned in CS:GO?
If your account has been banned in CS:GO due to VAC or game bans, you cannot play Counter-Strike 2 on VAC-secured servers using the same account.

Are competitive cooldowns shared between CS:GO and CS 2?
Yes, if you have a competitive cooldown in CS:GO, you will not be able to matchmake in Counter-Strike 2 and vice versa.

Is it possible to participate in the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test on Linux or macOS?
No, the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test is only available on Windows at this time.

  • Enhanced visuals: CS 2 features upgraded graphics, animations, and special effects, providing a more immersive and visually stunning gameplay experience.
  • Realistic smoke effects: The game introduces more dynamic and reactive smoke effects, adding to the tactical depth and strategic gameplay for players.
  • Reduced delays: The implementation of a sub-tick system helps to minimize delays, resulting in smoother and more responsive gameplay, providing an improved gaming experience.
  • Enhanced audio: The game features reworked audio, including improved sound effects and realistic audio cues, enhancing the overall atmosphere and immersion of the game.
  • Limited player base: Counter Strike 2 may have a limited player base due to being available only to select players, which may impact the matchmaking system and the availability of opponents for players.
  • Limited accessibility: Some players may not be able to access the game due to system requirements or other technical limitations, resulting in a reduced player base.
  • Potential compatibility issues: As CS 2 is a new version, there may be compatibility issues with older hardware or software, requiring players to upgrade their systems to play the game.
  • Learning curve: Players familiar with the previous version of Counter Strike may need to learn and adapt to the changes in Counter Strike 2, which may pose challenges for some players initially.
Minimum System Requirements for Counter-Strike 2
  • OS: Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6600 or AMD Phenom™ X3 8750 processor or better
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Video card must be 256 MB or more and should be DirectX 9-compatible with support for Pixel Shader 3.0
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 15 GB available space

In conclusion, Counter-Strike 2 marks a significant leap forward in the history of the Counter-Strike franchise. The game introduces a range of new features and improvements, including enhanced smoke mechanics, expanded maps, improved visual fidelity, and more intuitive UI.

The game utilizes the Source 2 engine and tools to deliver a modern and immersive gaming experience for players. The limited testing period provides an opportunity for developers to fine-tune the game before its official release. CS 2 promises to offer exciting new opportunities and challenges for both casual and competitive players alike.

The FileHorse review team is eager to test their skills with you on these new realistic maps and effects. See you on the DUST II map!

  • Counter-Strike 2 Screenshots

    The images below have been resized. Click on them to view the screenshots in full size.

    Counter-Strike 2 Screenshot 1
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