Counter-Strike 2: two soldiers on a white and orange background.

Counter-Strike 2 Is Finally Out, and It’s Free

It’s been in the pipeline for over ten years and now, at last, Valve has released Counter-Strike 2 on Steam. The best part: the game is free-to-play, though there is a paid version which comes with some privileges.

Sadly, this means CS has had to GO

We’d been hoping for a summer release of Counter-Strike 2 and there were hints that it would be launching soon. Valve has not only released the follow-up to the immensely popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the developer also revealed patch notes.

This will, essentially, replace CS:GO, so it’s more like an upgrade than a separate release. However, the patch notes show that CS2 is the next generation in the series, with it being built in the Source Engine 2, Valve’s own game development toolkit.

As such, Counter-Strike 2 will replace Global Offensive, with the game updating the next time you log into Steam.

The sequel comes loaded with new content, representing a “technical leap forward” for the series. This is what the studio had to say about it in a recent post:

If you’re a returning player, you’ll find your favorite maps and matchmaking modes right where you left them, along with a revamped Premier mode where you can establish your all-new CS Rating…

For new players, learn the basics with some offline training and jump into Casual and Deathmatch to hone your skills.

While the game itself is free-to-play, there is the option to purchase the Prime Status Upgrade. This will make you eligible to “receive Prime-exclusive souvenir items, item drops, and weapon cases.”

Counter-Strike 2 is already proving popular. At the time of writing, SteamDB has registered over 1.2 million people currently playing (compared to Cyberpunk 2077‘s 143,000 players). Given CS’s long-standing with the PC community, and its reputation as a solid multiplayer FPS series, many won’t be surprised by this surge in popularity.

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