Valve Officially Announces Counter-Strike 2

Counter-Strike 2 launches this summer.

It turns out the rumors of Counter-Strike 2 were true, as Valve just announced its plans to release the game this summer. Three videos released on Valve’s YouTube channel highlight a few major changes coming to Counter-Strike 2, including a new sub-tick updates system to replace tick rate, responsive smokes, reworked maps, hi-def visual effects, and more accurate audio.

What’s new in Counter-Strike 2?

Valve has highlighted five main features and updates for Counter-Strike 2:

  • New sub-tick rate system
  • Responsive smoke grenades
  • Map upgrades and overhauls
  • Hi-def VFX
  • Accurate audio

Tick Rate

Any competitive Counter-Strike player will tell you tick rate makes all the difference. Counter-Strike 2 introduces something called “sub-tick updates,” a system that renders tick rate irrelevant for moving and shooting — “the server will know the exact moment you fired your shot, jumped your jump, or peeked your peek.” The server will supposedly calculate precise actions between ticks, resulting in more responsive gameplay.

Responsive Smokes

Smokes in Counter-Strike 2 are getting a major revamp — smoke grenades now “create 3D volumetric objects that live in the world.” The smoke can now interact with the environment, reacting to lighting and filling spaces more naturally. Players can also push the smoke cloud with bullets and grenades. 

The changes will make smoke grenades an even more useful utility item for players, and seeing how professional teams incorporate them into their strategies will certainly be interesting.

New Maps and Source 2 Tools

Counter-Strike 2, developed on the Source 2 engine, features an array of improvements over Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. One of the new videos details the maps and how they’ve changed. First, there are classic maps that players can use to notice the differences between CS:GO and Counter-Strike 2. These Touchstone maps showcased in the Counter-Strike 2 trailer include Train, Mirage, and Dust2. 

Upgrades are a bucket of maps that use the new Source 2 lighting, a rendering system that results in ultra-realistic graphics, mostly improving upon textures, lighting, and reflections. The trailer highlighted several visual changes on Nuke, specifically.

Lastly, the trailer reveals that the game’s oldest maps are rebuilt entirely. These maps fully leverage the new Source 2 engine features, and these Source 2 tools will be available for map makers to use to build and iterate on their own creations.

It’s important to note that Counter-Strike 2 will arrive this summer as a free upgrade to CS:GO. You can visit the official Counter-Strike 2 website to learn more about the upcoming game. A Limited Test for select players begins today, during which time Valve will evaluate various features and shake out any issues.