Valve officially released Counter-Strike 2, its sequel/free upgrade to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, on Wednesday. The game was previously only available to players of CS:GO as part of a limited technical test.
Counter-Strike 2 replaces CS:GO on Steam. Valve calls the updated game “the beginning of an exciting new chapter and the largest technical leap in Counter-Strike’s history.” CS:GO players won’t be left behind; all items from CS:GO move forward to CS2, Valve promises.
Like CS:GO, Counter-Strike 2 is free to download and play.
Valve announced Counter-Strike 2 in March, promising an “overhaul to every system, every piece of content, and every part of the [Counter-Strike] experience.” The announcement showed off Counter-Strike 2’s new features, including updated maps, dynamic smoke grenades, and “sub-tick updates,” which Valve says offer even more precise server updates.
Counter-Strike 2 is the fourth major release in Valve’s multiplayer first-person shooter series. The original game, based on a mod for Valve’s Half-Life, launched in 2000. Valve followed that with Counter-Strike: Source in 2004, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in 2012. More than 10 years after its initial release, CS:GO remains incredibly popular; the free-to-play game is regularly the most-played title on Steam. CS:GO hit an all-time concurrent player record earlier this year, with more than 1.8 million simultaneous players on Steam.