Valve has bad news for CS:GO players trying to get Counter-Strike 2 beta test access

Counter-Strike 2
(Image credit: Valve)

What you need to know

  • Valve announced Counter-Strike 2 last week, and then pushed a beta-like Limited Test for the game live shortly afterward.
  • The company informed fans that players with Steam accounts in good standing and lots of recent CS:GO playtime have a better chance of getting access to the test sooner.
  • This prompted many to grind CS:GO playtime hours, either by playing normally or by "idling" AFK in matchmade lobbies.
  • In a new statement, Valve has clarified that "the playtime that counts was your playtime prior to the start of the Limited Test," meaning that there's no point to trying to accrue hours in CS:GO if your goal is to get beta access faster.

When Valve announced Counter-Strike 2 last week and subsequently kicked off the game's beta-style Limited Test for players on Windows PCs, it sent fans of the series into a frenzy. Countless hopefuls raced to launch Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) to see if they were chosen to participate, and those that were have been excitedly testing out Counter-Strike 2's new gameplay features and overhauled visuals ever since. Fans that weren't lucky enough to get in, though, have been desperately trying to find a way to get access.

Everyone looked to Valve for answers, which were provided in the official Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test FAQ. According to the company, "players are selected based on a number of factors deemed important by the Counter-Strike 2 development team, including (but not limited to) recent playtime on Valve official servers, trust factor, and Steam account standing." That means that as the developers gradually rollout access to the beta to additional players, you're more likely to get it sooner if you've logged a lot of recent hours in CS:GO matchmaking and are playing on a trustworthy account without past bans or suspensions.

This gave fans that haven't gotten in yet a lot of hope, as they believed that by grinding CS:GO — either by playing regularly or by "idling" and going AFK in matches — they'd move up to the front of the line. This, however, will not work, as Valve has released a new statement on Twitter that clarifies exactly what "recent playtime" means:

"PSA: Idling on official matchmaking servers in CS:GO does not increase your chances of making into the CS2 Limited Test," the studio wrote. "The playtime that counts was your playtime prior to the start of the Limited Test."

This is a rather strict restriction, but I can understand why it's in place. After all, Valve clearly doesn't want to encourage people to idle in-game and ruin the experience for everyone else in their lobbies, which is probably what prompted the release of this clarification in the first place. Also, it makes sense that the developers would want to limit beta access to the series' most dedicated and consistent players initially, as these fans know the competitive shooter inside and out and can test Counter-Strike 2 much better than a scrub like me ever could.

Also — and I'll admit, this might be copium — Counter-Strike 2 doesn't exactly seem like a new game. While it's built on the Source 2 engine and includes impressive new improvements like overhauled and dynamic smoke grenades, sub-tick server updates, and complete audiovisual makeovers for every map and weapon, it ultimately still presents as the CS:GO that fans know and love. I'd love to try it out, but I'm not heartbroken that I haven't gotten in yet, and I don't think there's much reason to be unless you're a hardcore Counter-Strike fan that didn't make the cut for whatever reason.

As time passes, hopefully everyone will eventually get an opportunity to try out Counter-Strike 2's Limited Test. If not, at least the game's scheduled Summer 2023 release window isn't too far away.

Counter-Strike 2, a massive relaunch of CS:GO that Valve calls "the largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike’s history," is slated to arrive on Steam in Summer 2023. Between its new dynamic smoke grenades, improved networking, and its cleaner and higher quality visuals, Counter-Strike 2 looks like it has the potential to make one of the best PC games ever released even better.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.