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Steam: Counter-Strike 2 is real and testing starts today – Valve officially confirms it

It is indeed true! Valve has officially announced that Counter-Strike 2 (Steam) actually exists and is coming later this year. Tests even begin today.

What is Counter Strike 2? Counter-Strike 2 will be an update to CS:GO, which will be released in summer 2023. The official website states:


Counter-Strike 2 is the biggest technical innovation in the history of Counter-Strike so far and forms the basis for numerous new functions and updates in the years to come. […]

Counter-Strike 2 will be released this summer as a free upgrade from CS:GO.


Leaks and rumors about Counter-Strike 2 have been around for weeks. For a long time it was unclear what it was. Will it be its own game? Will it be an engine update? What does it improve? It was the big topic for many fans of the tactical shooter, with many questions that have finally been answered.


What does Counter-Strike 2 improve on? Counter-Strike will improve some aspects of the game. On the website, Valve mentions the following content, among others:

  • Smoke grenades (gameplay, spread, reactions to light)
  • Revision of the maps (cleaner, brighter)
  • High Definition Effects: The game graphics, visual effects and interface have been overhauled
  • The sound effects have been revised and retuned

As an example of what the revisions look like, Valve has also published some videos, for example on the new smoke grenades:

Counter-Strike 2: Responsive Smokes


More videos

Tests start today

What are these tests? An initial limited test phase is scheduled to begin today, March 22, 2023, with which Valve wants to test various functions before publication and eliminate possible problems.

How can you take the test? You depend on your luck and on Valve. A FAQ on Steam states that players are selected for the test by the development team based on various factors. Factors include, for example, a trust factor as well as playing time on official Valve servers.


If you have been selected to participate in CS2 testing, you will receive a notification in the CS:GO menu. In the message is an invitation with which you can start a download.

The first reactions: The Counter-Strike community is exploding with joy – who would have expected otherwise? The comments section on Twitter is filled with statements like “Let go!” and “It’s really happening”. Of course, there are also tons of memes that are supposed to represent “freaking out with joy”.

After almost 45 minutes (as of March 22, 6:15 p.m.), the message already has more than 135,000 likes, has been shared more than 45,000 times and seen by 4.5 million users.


The release of Counter-Strike 2 could hardly come at a better time for the tactical shooter. Only in February did CS:GO set a new player record.

CS:GO has a new player record on Steam 10 years after release – what’s going on?