Counter-Strike 2 is available now on Steam and is free to play

Counter-Strike 2 has released at 4:40 p.m. on a Wednesday

They probably don’t teach this in PR and marketing classes. In typical Valve fashion, Counter-Strike 2 is officially released as of 4:40 p.m. ET on a Wednesday. The highly anticipated FPS sequel completely replaces Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and brings graphical updates and new features to the competitive shooter.

CS:GO is officially no more, as it will automatically change to Counter-Strike 2 in your Steam Library. CS2 is completely free-to-play, though players can purchase an optional $14.99 Prime Status upgrade. It appears Prime Status will feature its own special matchmaking and enable Prime Status players to obtain exclusive item drops and weapon cases.

Image via Valve

A decade of CS:GO comes to an end

This is the first new Counter-Strike title in over a decade as CS:GO was released in August of 2012. Cosmetics players have earned in CS:GO will automatically update to their new Counter-Strike 2 version, making it a seamless upgrade for all players. However, new players can download right away and jump in and start playing as well.

Also, according to the new Steam Page, CS2 is built in the Source 2 engine. This allows Valve to utilize realistic physics-based rendering, state-of-the-art networking, and upgraded Community Workshop tools.

Counter-Strike is available now
Image via Valve

Graphical upgrades alongside new features

Even though Counter-Strike 2 is technically an upgrade of the framework in CS:GO, there are some pretty big new features in it as well:

  • All-new CS Ratings with the updated Premier mode
  • Global and Regional leaderboards
  • Upgraded and overhauled maps
  • Game-changing dynamic smoke grenades
  • Tick-rate-independent gameplay
  • Redesigned visual effects and audio
  • All items from CS:GO moving forward to CS2

A bumpy start

While many are surely excited to jump into CS2, it appears some players are having trouble getting in. Though the new version of the shooter is technically live, some are not seeing the updated change in their Steam Library. I had this issue as well and restarting Steam worked for me. Before I restarted Steam it still showed as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for me. But, after restarting Steam, it automatically updated to Counter-Strike 2 and started downloading the update.

Also, understandable the servers are probably seeing a lot of traffic right now. Hopefully as the day continues things will settle down a bit and everyone can get in and play.

Counter-Strike 2 is available now on PC via Steam.

About The Author
Steven Mills
Staff Writer - Steven has been writing in some capacity for over a decade now. He has a passion for story focused RPG's like the Final Fantasy franchise and ARPG's like Diablo and Path of Exile. But really, he's willing to try anything.
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