Counter-Strike 2 Released

After months of beta testing, Counter-Strike 2 has now been released. If you’ve been following the news regarding CS2, there won’t be many surprises, since no huge new additions have been added to the game (as of right now) when compared to how it was at the very end of the closed testing phase. This full launch update is very much focused on bug fixes and minor improvements, but we’ll highlight the most important changes in this article.

New CS2 Drop System

Read: CS2 Care Package Explained

CS2 will have a new system for random weapon/spray/lootbox drops. In CS2, you get a so-called Care Package when you level up in the game (leveling up can be done by playing the game; it’s not the same as a rank) which allows you to choose two items from a selection of four items. These items are selected at random and in all likelihood pulled from the same pool as the rewards that you could get in CS:GO, so don’t expect to suddenly be able to choose a Dragon Lore or something to that effect.

Once you’ve selected two drops, you can confirm your selection, after which you have to wait until the following week before you can get a new Care Package.

You can select your Care Package rewards in the revamped Store page, which also has offers for you to buy ingame skins and cosmetics.

CS2 Care Packages

Current CS2 Game Modes

As of right now, not all game modes that were present in CS:GO are live in CS2. Arms Race and Retakes, for example, aren’t live in Counter-Strike 2. The game modes that are currently present in CS2 are:

In addition, community servers have also been enabled for CS2. Of course there aren’t very many community servers live right now, but this will no doubt change in the near future.

CS2 Game Modes at Release

Current CS2 Maps

Currently, the following maps are playable in CS2:

  • Mirage
  • Overpass
  • Vertigo
  • Ancient
  • Inferno
  • Nuke
  • Anubis
  • Dust 2 (not in the Premier Mode map pool)
  • Office (not in the Premier Mode map pool)
  • Italy (not in the Premier Mode or Competitive map pool)

New maps will undoubtedly get added in the future, but since all maps in CS2 have been reworked, it might take some time to polish the maps and get them ready for Counter-Strike 2.

New CS2 Inventory Icons + Skin Changes

As with almost every update, Valve has made some changes to the way certain skins look. With hundreds of different skins and patterns out there and no official list, it’s impossible to list every changed skin, so do make sure to check out all of your skins. Some might look better, while others might look a little worse. Whether or not Valve will change the look of skins again is uncertain, as CS2 has now officially been released and Valve might not want to mess with the way skins look any longer, unless they’re obviously bugged.

Counter-Strike 2 also has new inventory icons. This is obviously not a major gameplay change, but it does make the ingame inventory look more modern.

CS2 Inventory Icons

CS2 Replaces CS:GO

As of today, Counter-Strike 2 has replaced CS:GO in the Steam library. There is no official way to play CS:GO any longer, as the game has officially been taken offline and replaced by CS2.

Training Day Added

As a new introductory experience, Training Day has been added. This is basically a match against bots where the basics of the game are explained.

Global Offensive Badge and Music Kit Added

Players who have played CS:GO more than a week ago will receive a Global Offensive Badge and a Global Offensive Music kit. The coin can be displayed on your profile, and the music kit contains the original CS:GO music (CS2 has new music) and functions as any other music kit; it has an MVP sound, a main menu sound, and so on.

New Audio Customization Settings and Various Sound Fixes

In addition to a number of audio fixes, a set of new audio customization fixes have been added to CS2. We’ll start testing these right away and add them to our CS2 Best Settings & Options Guide as soon as possible.

CS2 Audio Customization Settings

Full Patch Notes

Release Notes for 9/27/2023


  • Counter-Strike 2 is now available and free to play
  • Season One of Premier has begun


  • Enabled Competitive matchmaking
  • Enabled Wingman matchmaking
  • Enabled Private Matchmaking
  • Added Training Day, a brief introductory experience for brand new players
  • Improved player-against-player movement collision
  • Improved consistency of bullet penetration
  • Player reflections in water are now occluded by smoke
  • Molotov fire now floats above the water
  • Fixed character ambient occlusion being visible through walls
  • C4 bomb lights don’t reflect through walls
  • Fixed some rare cases of viewmodel lighting corruption
  • Adjusted smoke behavior to cover cases where smoke would stop less than a player’s height above the ground
  • Fix various bugs with switching teams in the middle of offline Deathmatch
  • Fixed Famas reloading too early
  • Chickens can finally fall off Vertigo


  • Added the new CS2 default music kit
  • Added new audio customization settings
  • Various mix tweaks and adjustments
  • Various bug fixes related to music kits
  • Updated the game startup sound
  • Added background ambience to main menu scenes
  • Restored the clutch_mode_toggle function
  • Fixed a bug where sometimes c4 defuse and planting sounds could not be heard in certain locations
  • Fixed some surfaces being incorrectly tagged causing incorrect footstep sounds in certain locations
  • Fixed a bug where attackers could not hear headshot feedback through wallbangs or smokes
  • Body damage feedback for attackers will now play within the same distance as it does for onlookers through smokes and wallbangs
  • Fixed a bug where scoping in affected directional sound
  • First person damage sounds are now more impactful
  • Removed several legacy audio convars that existed in CS:GO but never had an effect in CS2


  • Adjusted character additive lean animation
  • Adjusted jump animation, particularly when repeatedly jumping
  • Adjusted jiggle-peeking animation
  • Adjusted animated character head position relative to camera position
  • Added bullet belt to negev
  • Reduced foot sliding when carrying slower weapons
  • Fixed character momentarily standing during crouch-planting animation
  • Fixed incorrect viewmodel deploy speeds
  • Fixed pops in some weapon inspect animations
  • Inspecting weapons may now interrupt deploy animation


  • When one or more party members get convicted of cheating and permanently banned, all their associates will be penalized with loss of Profile Rank and CS Rating
  • In Premier, players with a very high established CS Rating are not allowed to party with accounts that do not have an established CS Rating

[ MAPS ]

  • Various bug fixes and tweaks for all shipped maps
  • Adjusted vertical audio occlusion boundaries in Nuke and Vertigo
  • Added an extra bell in Inferno
  • Casual and Deathmatch maps are now separated into multiple map groups

[ MISC ]

  • CS:GO Players who started playing more than a week ago will receive a commemorative CS:GO coin and CS:GO Music Kit
  • Added Store tab to main menu
  • Enabled all interactions with inventory items
  • Replaced weekly drops with a weekly Care Package. Choose from weapon cases, weapon finishes, and graffiti
  • Added demo playback support
  • Added the ability to favorite and shuffle loadout items
  • Added new item icons
  • Office and Vertigo are available as main menu scenery
  • Various updates for weapon finishes, including fixing overly strong wear on several Custom Paint Job finishes
  • Reworked Phoenix Street Soldier balaclava texture to resolve visibility issues
  • Enabled animated eyes on agent character models


  • Game clients running in workshop tools mode are not allowed to connect to VAC secure game servers
  • Added an all-new help system featuring contextually relevant guides and information. Guides include gray scale value ranges for alpha channel masking, paint-by-number mask color assignments based on current finish type, and much more!
  • Removed dynamic props from solid color inspect backgrounds
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