17 New Changes in Counter Strike 2

With the official launch of Counter Strike 2, Valve has made several minor as well as major changes across the game whether you look at the gameplay, interface, or features. Of course, it wouldn’t make any sense to simply throw a new CS game at fans that just brings improvements in visuals.

CS 2 is currently one of the most if not the most played competitive fps shooter on Steam and in this post, we are looking at the top 17 drastic changes the game offers over CSGO.

New Features and Changes in Counter Strike 2

From improved visuals and interactive smoke to many bug fixes, the new CS game has improvised a lot that provides a unique feel but still manages to leave the classic and nostalgic touch of CSGO. As the game is still in the early phase, we will continue updating this list whenever any significant changes occur in CS 2.

Till then, here are the top 17 big changes you will see in Counter Strike 2:

Maps and Visuals

The most visible difference between CSGO and CS 2 is how the new game looks. It is perhaps the most notable change in CS 2 that could be noticed even by newcomers to the game.

In Counter Strike 2, the game maps are significantly improved with more vibrant colors, lighting, reflections, textures, and materials. The visual changes extend over to different materials, water, smoke, and fire. However, the game maps do not feature any significant changes in the design itself but now the map world looks much more realistic than ever.

This is to ensure an easier transition from CSGO to CS 2 for players who have invested hundreds and thousands of hours mastering every corner inside the game.


Counter Strike’s movement is crucial in competitive matches especially when you have to move through obstacles with bunny hop. The lighter movement of the characters is what makes mobility and adjustments better in the game but in CS 2 movements are a little harder than CSGO. It has been reported by multiple players that the movement feels around 10 lbs heavier than what we are used to in CSGO.

So, either this is a part of the game’s mechanics or a bug that needs to be fixed. Whatever the case is, we are sure gamers will find a way to master the movements in a couple of weeks.

Shooting and Muzzle Flash

The weapon spray and the hitting of the bullets are pretty hard to describe. You will surely feel the difference once you grab a rifle and shoot some of your ammo. The spray is different and the bullet traces are visible. If you have never touched CSGO in life then you won’t understand this. However, if you have hundreds of hours in CSGO, then shooting in CS 2 will be a unique experience.

Next is the Muzzle Flash which comes under improved graphics quality. When you shoot, the flash that comes out of your gun lights up the Muzzle of your gun. Not something big but makes shooting more realistic.

Tick Rate

Tick Rate is an important feature of the game that decides the responsiveness. When you shoot or perform an action, the response is registered on an official Valve server. Unlike CSGO’s Tick Rate which was fixed at 128, CS 2 is independent of the Tick Rate. That means whenever you shoot, the server will register the input at the exact same time that will execute the action right away.

So whether you fire a bullet, throw a grenade, or jump, the server will know when to register and show the action.

Responsive Smoke

In CSGO, you couldn’t do anything except for the smoke to disappear. Of course, you could shoot through it but the smoke wouldn’t interact with anything. In Counter Strike 2, Responsive Smoke is introduced that now interacts with the surround objects.

When the shots are fired through the smoke, the bullets pierce through it and allow some transparency across the smoke that allows the players to see the enemy through the small temporary holes created. Once you stop the shooting, the smoke fills up the space like before.

Similarly, a grenade can make the smoke disappear for a few moments making it possible to understand the enemy strategy behind the smoke.


There are two types of competitive matchmaking in CS 2: The original Competitive mode and the Premier. While the Competitive mode offers the same matchmaking as CSGO with the same ranking system as before, the Premier mode is a new one that is based on the Rating system and features a different method of ranking each player. Unlike the Competitive mode, the Premier mode features a Pick/Ban phase instead of a queue for specific maps and is only available to Prime Status users.

In Premier mode, each match win increases your points also known as Rating which is displayed between 0-35000, and with every match win, the rating increases. When a player loses a match in Premier mode, the rating reduces. The total rating indicates where each individual player stands in their Friends list, Region, and World. Players with the highest W/L ratio will be displayed at the top of the leaderboard considering he has played enough matches to gather the highest ratings.

In the Competitive mode, rankings are based on individual maps. How good you play on each map and how many wins you gather will decide your Competitive Rank on that map. So, for example you have an excellent W/L in Dust 2, you will gain a higher Competitive Rank compared to a map where you lost more.

Valve Anti-Cheat Method

Valve has developed a new system for hackers in the game. Previously VAC(Valve Anti-Cheat) would ban a player after examining if the user has cheats installed on his computer. The game would still go on irrespective of a player using cheats but with the new Anti-Cheat method called VAC Live, it will end the game as soon as a cheater is detected.

Look at your Legs

Look down and now you can see your legs which weren’t visible in CSGO. Kinda a small update but still important to let you know how are you running.

Visual Audio in Mini-Map

The newly introduced Visual Audio Indicator is a deal breaker. Normally in a competitive match in CSGO, you wouldn’t know if your enemy is hearing you running in the lower tunnels rushing at B but now with the audio indicator in the Mini-Map, you can see how far your footsteps noise can be heard.

Weapon inspection

It’s fun to see your Factory-New Golden Coil M41-S when you are waiting for your enemy to fall into your trap and we all did this multiple times in CSGO. Fortunately, Counter Strike 2 allows inspecting your weapon just like previously but now with a newly improved animation. It’s smoother and gives you an authentic feel when the character moves his fingers around the gun handle.

Bug Fixes

Valve introduces several bug fixes almost every few days and there have already been multiple patches that fixed a lot of bugs. These include bug fixes inside gameplay, animation, maps, graphics, and sound. Therefore, not necessarily a new feature in the game but these minor updates sometimes bring noticeable changes.


The Crosshair didn’t see a huge change when it comes to customizations but one new feature that makes it a lot different than it was in CSGO is how it responds to the bullet spray. The new Crosshair feature allows toggling between a static Crosshair and a dynamic Crosshair that moves with the gun recoil. This will help newbies to the game understand how the gun spray works but CSGO veterans don’t like it.

Glass Breaking Animation

CSGO had a horrible glass-breaking animation that was worse than 2004’s CS Source. In CS 2, this has changed significantly and now the glass break animation is much more satisfying and looks realistic. In CSGO, the glass would completely disappear when shot at or knifed but in CS 2, the glass would shatter into several pieces before falling to the ground.


No, we are not talking about the game refund but a refund inside the game itself. This is the Refund you can perform in matches when you buy your weapons from the inventory. At the start of every match, every player buys some weapon and accessories with the amount of money they have from the end of the previous round. Players sometimes make the mistake of buying the wrong weapon either due to an unintentional click or not in accordance with the team strategy.

In Counter Strike 2, you can refund the weapon and buy another if you think you bought the wrong one. You may also keep the money after the refund if you are trying to save for the next round. Make sure you do it in the Buy Time.

Main Menu Music

It’s different. Counter Strike 2 features a new Main Menu theme as well as a new Round One soundtrack but you can always revert back to CSGO’s theme if you like that nostalgic feel. However, we are sure you will love the new one.

New Audio Settings

Counter Strike is a game of strategy and alertness. It’s a well-known fact that CS is best played with headphones on. This helps locate the exact location of the enemies. In CS 2, the new Audio settings enable EQ Profile, L/R Isolation, as well as Perspective Correction for improved audio in-game.

Weekly Care Package

Counter Strike 2 introduced a Weekly Care Package that helps you rank faster in Casual Ranking. By playing Casual and Competitive Matches, you earn XP through which you increase your Casual Rank. Once you go a level up in Casual rank through gaining more XP, you will receive four items in the Weekly Care Package that includes Cases, Weapon Skins, and Graffiti. If you are lucky enough, you might get a rare case or expensive gun skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s new in Counter Strike 2?

Counter Strike 2 boasts new features as well as updates in gameplay, sound, graphics, and mechanics. We have already covered the majority of them above and will add more if the game receives an update.

Is Counter Strike 2 just an update?

Counter Strike 2 is a major update and a sequel to Counter Strike Global Offensive. CS 2 replaces CSGO and now you can only download CS 2 on Steam but won’t find CSGO.

Which is better CSGO or CS 2?

It’s subjective. CS 2 brings a lot of new features that have an advantage over CSGO but the game is also receiving criticism from the fans.

Is CS 2 free to play?

Yes, Counter Strike 2 is absolutely Free to play. You only have to pay $14.99 for Prime Status if you want to play Ranked matches and want fewer cheaters in matchmaking.


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