Go BackCan you still play CS:GO after CS2?
By Gabriele Asaro
5 min read
Updated on

Can you still play CS:GO after CS2?

This article explains if you can still play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) after the release of Counter-Strike 2 (CS2).


Can you still play CS:GO?


No, you cannot play the original version of CS:GO as you once did. Following the release of CS2, Valve has upgraded all CS:GO accounts to this latest version automatically.

What does this mean for your Steam library? Essentially, the game known as CS:GO has been replaced with CS2, incorporating all your previous items and settings into the new game environment.

However, if you're longing for the nostalgia of CS:GO, there's a workaround. Gamers can access a legacy version of CS:GO. Be aware, though, that this version supports only bot matches, as official matchmaking and other multiplayer functionalities tied to the Game Coordinator are no longer operational.

While the transition may seem abrupt, this update brings significant enhancements to gameplay, including improved engine performance (Valve is using Source 2, a better engine) and a higher tick rate, ensuring a smoother and more responsive gaming experience. So, while you can technically revisit CS:GO's legacy version, CS2 offers a revamped and superior gaming experience.


How to play CS:GO in 2024


In 2024, diving back into CS:GO, despite the release of CS2, remains possible through community servers.

Here's a clear guide on engaging with CS:GO today:

  • Access CS:GO via CS 1.6’s Legacy Version on Steam:
    • Open Steam and navigate to your Library.
    • Right-click on CS 1.6 and select “Properties.”
    • Click on the “Betas” tab.
    • Under “Beta participation,” select “csgo_legacy.”
    • Allow Steam to download the necessary files.
    • Launch CS 1.6, and you’ll have the option to play CS:GO’s Legacy Version.
    • If you don’t own the game, consider purchasing it during sales, when it often drops to about a dollar.
  • Play CS:GO Online in 2024:
    • While official matchmaking is no longer available, community servers thrive.
    • These servers provide diverse game modes and experiences.
    • Locate community servers using the server browser within CS:GO (Legacy Version).
    • Note that the Legacy Version has some limitations and fewer players compared to the original game.

Is CS2 better than CS:GO?


Yes, CS2 surpasses CS:GO in several key aspects, elevating both in-game performance and player experience.

Here's how:

  • Game Engine Upgrade: Utilizing the Source 2 engine, CS2 offers remarkable visual improvements, including more vibrant graphics and refined visual effects. These improvements enrich the environmental interaction during gameplay, such as blood splatter and other dynamic responses to in-game activities.
  • Server Tick Rate: CS2 improves the server tick rate with a new sub-tick system, providing a smoother and more accurate fps experience than the traditional 64 tick rate in CS:GO.
  • New CS Rating and Premier Mode: The introduction of a new CS rating system and a Premier mode in CS2 aims to refine competitive play, making matchmaking more engaging and fair.
  • Map Changes: CS2 has significantly upgraded the graphics of all maps. Key maps like Overpass, Inferno, and Italy have undergone extensive redesigns, offering new strategic challenges and visuals.
  • Gameplay and Mechanics Changes: The game introduces advanced smoke mechanics with dynamic volumetric smokes that react realistically to various in-game elements, enhancing strategic depth. Grenade mechanics have also been upgraded to offer more tactical gameplay.
  • UI Changes: A completely revamped game menu, HUD, and buy menu in CS2 ensure a more intuitive and streamlined player interface.
  • Matchmaking Round System: The new MR12 system reduces the number of rounds per half to 12 with an optional Overtime if teams are tied at 12-12, speeding up matches and intensifying competition.
  • Quality of Life and Additional Improvements: CS2 includes audio and visual enhancements such as better-rendered water, explosions, and more realistic fire and smoke effects. A new movement system introduces sliding, rolling, and vaulting, significantly altering how players navigate the game.

Why did Valve replace CS:GO with CS2 instead of making a new game?


Valve chose to replace CS:GO with CS2 rather than introducing a new game to maintain unity among its players and improve the game's infrastructure.

Here are the core reasons for this strategy:

  • Avoid Splitting the Player Base: Historically, new game launches within the Counter-Strike series led to divided communities. By updating CS:GO to CS2, Valve ensured that the entire player base remained on a single, updated platform, promoting a stronger, more unified community.
  • Transition of Assets: The decision allowed for an effortless transfer of skins and items from CS:GO to CS2, preserving the investments players made in the game.
  • Accelerated Improvement: CS2's launch as a direct upgrade rather than a new title enabled quicker enhancements in networking, performance, and gameplay, making significant strides in the game's evolution.
  • Future-Proofing the Franchise: Described as the most substantial technical advancement in the series, CS2 positions Counter-Strike for ongoing innovations and updates, maintaining its relevance in the competitive gaming market.
  • Overcoming Technical Limitations: Replacing CS:GO helped Valve avoiding technical limitations that affected game performance and player experience, particularly issues related to the Game Coordinator.
Gabriele AsaroAbout the author

Gabriele Asaro
Gabriele Asaro

I'm the Head of Research at Clash.gg. With over 7 years of experience in the Counter-Strike niche, I have developed extensive knowledge of the game, its strategies, and the competitive scene. My insights are based on years of in-depth analysis and close involvement with the Counter-Strike community.