The resounding echo of loud reports and leaks suggesting that Counter-Strike 2 or CS:GO 2 may soon appear on the market – in short, the next installment of the iconic tactical shooter from Valve – has not subsided. What do we know about this project? Are the leaks credible? What innovations and changes can we anticipate?
What do the reports and leaks say about CS2?
Some time ago, astute internet users noticed unknown profile and application names in NVIDIA's application responsible for the manufacturer's graphics card drivers. Files marked as “Counter-Strike 2 (cs2.exe)” and “Counter-Strike (csgos2.exe)” could be found.
Immediately, fervent debates among the gaming community ensued as to whether this was a controlled or unintentional leak. Either way, many suggestions surfaced that the Source 2 game engine may soon have its premiere.
Shortly thereafter, the CS world was abuzz with information presented by informant and esteemed industry journalist Richard Lewis. He stated that the continuation of CS:GO is already in an advanced stage of production and that the project is to operate under the name Counter-Strike 2.
Lewis mentioned that the new game has long been a high priority for Valve's developers. The creators aim to refine and release a fully prepared, satisfying product that meets the high expectations of CS series shooter fans. According to him, the game would officially appear on the market between March and April 2023. The journalist also informed that some professional players allegedly received special invitations from Valve producers to the company's headquarters in Seattle, where secret game tests were conducted.
On March 6th of the current year, we could see on SteamDB that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was heading toward an unspecified patch/update. This, of course, spawned further speculation.
Counter-Strike 2 on the Source 2 engine offers new possibilities.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was revolutionary in 2012 when it made its market debut. However, the game was built on the foundation of the rather dated Source game engine, the successor to GoldSrc. Source, in turn, was created almost two decades ago, and the project has not been developed for ten years. The newer engine from Valve is Source 2, released nine years ago. The first title to be ported to the newer engine version was Dota 2, a now-iconic esport MOBA production.
It is certain that the next installment of Counter-Strike will also be powered by this engine's capabilities. It primarily offers a better level of hardware optimization and support for newer technologies such as DirectX 11, 12, and Vulkan. Consequently, this translates to significantly improved graphics, enhanced weapon and character animations and models, and a more detailed image. We will likely also experience support for a greater number of graphic modes in the game settings.
The mechanics of movement, aiming, grenade throwing, and jumping remain a mystery. How significant will the changes be in these aspects? Can Valve turn the gameplay 180 degrees? That remains a secret for now.
Tickrate 128 or perhaps subtick?
For many years, CS:GO fans have appealed to Valve to implement tickrate 128 on their official servers. It is one of the server parameters defining the frequency of data sent from the user to the server with which we connect.
Official Valve servers (including matchmaking) are based on tickrate 64, while most community-established servers rely on tickrate 128. A higher parameter value indicates improved fluidity of movement and shooting. Tick 128 is used, for example, on official servers of the competitive shooter Valorant. It is worth mentioning that playing on servers with a higher tickrate requires slightly better computer parameters for full, satisfying, and lag-free participation in the game.
Valve may completely abandon the tickrate-based technology. Reports suggest that the producers of CS are working on a new system called “tickless” or “subtick.”
Changes in the operation of ranks and match-making rules? How will matchmaking change?
Matchmaking in CS:GO is one of the most criticized features, causing a significant pool of players to resort to external websites and leagues to climb skill-related level ladders. In Counter-Strike 2, a revolution is expected. The rank system will likely be designed from scratch, as well as the mechanisms responsible for match-making.
What about skins and cosmetic items in CS:GO 2? Will they be removed?
If you possess a rich collection of items in your inventory, you need not worry. Valve is aware that the Steam Market, along with various stickers, skins, and badges, is an integral business aspect of CS:GO that continually drives the game.