Valve's Counter-Strike 2 is available now on Steam

Counter-Strike 2 gun image
(Image credit: Valve)

What you need to know

  • Counter-Strike 2 is a long-awaited upgrade to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. 
  • Developed and published by Valve, Counter-Strike 2 includes a number of new visual enhancements such as dynamic smoke grenades.
  • Counter-Strike 2 replaces Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and is available now.

It's finally here. 

Counter-Strike 2 is available on Steam right now thanks to a surprise launch from Valve. The developer and publisher originally revealed Counter-Strike 2 earlier in the year while sharing that the game would be released at some point in summer 2023. You can check out the launch trailer for Counter-Strike 2 below:

As part of the overhaul and upgrade process that makes up Counter-Strike 2, Valve has retouched and redesigned classic Counter-Strike: Global Offensive maps. Different maps have received different levels of attention, with "Touchstones" getting only a little bit of work. 

"Upgrades" now use Source 2-based lighting and physically-based rendering, while "Overhauls" were the oldest maps in question and have naturally gotten the most care throughout the development process. 

Another big upgrade made possible by Source 2 is the new dynamic smoke grenades, which can radically alter the flow of combat due to the enhanced effects. 

Counter-Strike 2: Windows PC requirements

Due to Counter-Strike 2 being an upgrade over Counter Strike: Global Offensive, the PC requirements to play the game have naturally gone up. Here's what you'll need in order to run the game:

  • OS: Windows 10
  • Processor: 4 hardware CPU threads, Intel Core i5 750 or better
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Graphics: Video card with 1GB or more memory, DirectX 11 compatible with support for Shader Model 5.0
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 85GB

Analysis: Surreal and cool to see

It's not a controversial statement to say that Valve doesn't release many games these days, so it's really cool to see something like Counter-Strike 2 happening. While I'm not a major fan of the series, I understand how important it is to millions of people, and these overhauls seem perfect for ensuring that it continues to remain popular. 

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.