Is CS2 Free? How To Play CS2 Explained

Highlights
  • CS2 is free to play and you get access to most game modes and matchmaking types with a free account
  • CS2 also has a paid upgrade (Prime Status) which grants you access to Premier Mode, as well as giving you the ability to earn XP, weekly care packages, and Skill Groups and CS ratings
  • Prime Status players only get matched with other Prime Status players when matchmaking

Counter-Strike has gone through many different versions over the past couple of decades. With many of those versions being paid, it’s only natural to ask the question ‘is CS2 free’. Luckily, CS2 is definitely free to play, but there are some caveats.

In this short guide, we’ll go over how to install CS2 and answer any questions you might have about how to play CS2.

Is CS2 Free?


Yes, CS2 is free-to-play.

Counter-Strike 2 is available as a free upgrade if you already own the original CS:GO, with all weapon skins automatically transferred over. Even if you have never played CS:GO (or any other prior Counter-Strike versions) you can download CS2 for free on Steam.

It should be noted that not all game features are unlocked for free accounts, however. More on that further down in the article.

How to Play CS2


Firstly, you’ll need to download Steam and create a Steam account if you don’t yet have one. This is like creating an account on any other platform.

Once your Steam account is up and running, follow the steps below to add CS2 to your game library and install it:

  1. Open Steam and click on the Store tab on the top left.
  2. If you don’t see Counter-Strike 2 in the featured section, search for it in the search bar.
  1. Click on Counter-Strike 2 from the search results.
  2. Now click on Play Game.
  1. Select the location where you want to install the game and click Install.
  1. The download will start now.
  2. Now you can click on Library and check the download progress of the game.
  1. Once installed, launch and play the game!

What is CS2 Prime Status?


If you go for the free version of CS2, you get access to pretty much all game modes and matchmaking types, with one exception: Premier Mode. If you want to play Premier, you will want to purchase the Prime Status upgrade package on the CS2 store page.

Furthermore, users with Prime Status only get matched with other users who have Prime, which theoretically adds an extra layer of security, as cheaters are less likely to pay for an account.

Accounts who had the Prime Status in CS:GO automatically have Prime Status in CS2.

Prime Status Advantages in CS2


In addition to being eligible for Premier Mode, CS2 Prime Status accounts also get access to the following perks:

As such, if you want the complete CS2 experience, it pays off to spend some money on a Prime Status upgrade.

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