Go BackHow to get CS2: A step-by-step guide (2024)
By Gabriele Asaro
7 min read
Updated on

How to get CS2: A step-by-step guide (2024)

To get CS2, you'll need to purchase it through Steam, Valve's digital distribution platform.

CS2 (also known as Counter-Strike 2) is the next installment in the popular tactical first-person shooter series. Developed by Valve and released in 2024, CS2 builds upon the success of its predecessor, CS:GO, with enhanced graphics, improved gameplay mechanics, and new features.

I've been playing Counter-Strike for over a decade, and I'm excited to share my step-by-step guide to getting CS2.

In this article, I'll explain how to purchase and install the game, ensuring you're ready to play on launch day.

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How can you get CS2? 5 steps guide

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Here is a quick guide on how you can get CS2:

  1. Download and install Steam on your PC. It's a quick and easy process that will open up a world of gaming possibilities beyond just CS2.
  2. Search for "Counter-Strike 2" in the Steam store. The new game should pop up and be ready to install.
  3. Click the "Download Now" button and select where you want CS2 installed on your PC. Make some room, though, as the game is around 22 GB.
  4. Launch CS2 from your Steam library once the installation is complete. It's time to lock and load!

In the next headings, I'll explain how to do it further.

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Step 1: Open Steam

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To begin getting CS2, you'll need to open Steam. Make sure you have a Steam account in good standing. If you don't have Steam installed, go to the official website and download it for your operating system (Windows or macOS).

  1. Double-click the Steam shortcut on your desktop or search for "Steam" in your Start menu (Windows) or Applications folder (macOS).
  2. Once Steam launches, log in to your account. If you don't have an account, enroll in one - it's free!
  3. Check your Steam account standing. You'll need a clean record and prime status for the best experience.
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Step 2: Go to the CS2 store page

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  1. Click the "Store" tab at the top of the Steam interface.
  2. In the search bar (top-right corner), type in "Counter-Strike 2" or "CS2."
  3. Hit Enter to see the search results.
  4. Select the official CS2 game from the list (avoid fan-made or unrelated content).
  5. Click the CS2 title to open the game's store page.
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Step 3: Buy CS2

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Once the official release date arrives and CS2 is available on Steam, it's time to purchase.

  1. Head over to the CS2 store page on Steam (as mentioned in Step 2).
  2. Locate the "Add to Cart" button and click it.
  3. Follow the prompts to complete the purchase process. Don't worry; it's straightforward!
  4. After the purchase is finalized, CS2 will proudly sit in your Steam library, powered by the incredible Source 2 engine.

If you're lucky and CS2 is released as a free-to-play title on the official server, you can skip this step and jump right into the action!

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Step 4: Download CS2

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After purchasing CS2 or adding it to your Steam library, head to the store page and click "Install." Steam will then begin downloading the game files, which total around 40 GB, so ensure you have sufficient disk space.

Here are a few tips during the installation process:

  • If you're an esports competitor, consider installing CS2 on an SSD for optimal performance and faster load times.
  • Be aware of any regional bans that may prevent you from playing online in certain areas.
  • Close other bandwidth-heavy applications to maximize your download speed.

Once the download reaches 100%, CS2 will automatically install. After a brief setup, it'll be ready to launch directly from your Steam library. Get pumped to dive into the latest evolution of this legendary competitive FPS!

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Step 5: Play the game

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  1. Launch CS2 from your Steam library. The game should be ready to go after the installation process.
  2. Sign in with your Steam account. This ensures that your progress, settings, and inventory are synced across devices.
  3. Customize your CS2 settings to your liking:
    • Adjust the graphics options to optimize performance and visual quality.
    • Fine-tune your controls for the perfect feel.
    • Tweak audio settings for immersive gameplay.
  4. Explore the various game modes Counter-Strike 2 has to offer:
    • Classic competitive matchmaking for the ultimate test of skill.
    • Casual play for a more laid-back experience.
    • New modes exclusive to CS2.
  5. Join matches and immerse yourself in the intense, tactical gameplay that defines the Counter-Strike series. Communicate with your team, outmaneuver your opponents, and strive for victory.
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Is there any way you can get CS2 for free?

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No, there is no way to get CS2 for free. Valve Corporation has not announced plans for a free version of Counter-Strike 2, even for the limited test.

The hype around the launch of CS2 is high, but to play it, you'll need to purchase the game when it's released. Giveaways on Twitch might offer a chance to win a copy, but nothing is confirmed yet.

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Did CS2 replace CS:GO?

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Yes, CS2 did replace CS:GO. CS2 has replaced CS:GO on the Steam page and now you can only play CS2.

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What are the differences between CS2 and CS:GO?

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Here are the main differences between CS2 and CS:GO:

  1. Game Engine:
    • CS2 uses the cutting-edge Source 2 engine, offering improved visuals, improved effects (like realistic blood splatter), and dynamic environment reactions.
    • CS:GO, on the other hand, has been running on the outdated Source engine for over a decade.
  2. Server Tick Rate:
    • CS2 introduces sub-ticks, resulting in smoother gameplay and more precise hit registration.
    • CS:GO operates at a fixed 64-tick rate, which can feel less responsive.
  3. Modes: CS2 offers a variety of modes, including the new Premier mode, Competitive, Wingman, Casual, Deathmatch, and Private Matchmaking.
    • CS:GO features the classic Competitive, Wingman, Casual, Deathmatch, and Private modes.
  4. Maps:
    • CS2 has given all maps a stunning graphical overhaul, making them look and feel more immersive.
    • While CS:GO has updated some maps like Overpass and Inferno, many still retain their classic look.
  5. Gameplay Mechanics:
    • CS2 introduces dynamic volumetric smokes that react to the environment and improve grenade mechanics.
    • CS:GO follows the standard smoke and grenade mechanics players are accustomed to.
  6. User Interface:
    • CS2 features a sleek, modern game menu, HUD, and buy menu, giving the game a fresh look.
    • CS:GO retains the classic UI elements players have become familiar with over the years.
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How could you get access to the CS2 beta?

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I'll tell you how to get access to the CS2 beta. However, CS2 is already out and available for everyone.

  1. Launch CS:GO: If you haven't already, install CS:GO (currently free) through Steam. Even though CS2 will eventually replace it, CS:GO is still the gateway to the beta.
  2. Boost your trust factor: Valve prioritizes CS:GO Prime players with a solid trust factor for beta access. Focus on being a positive community member and rack up that playtime on official servers.
  3. Get your competitive rank: Grind through those competitive matches in a region where the CS2 beta is live. Proving your skills is key to catching Valve's attention.
  4. Watch for the golden ticket: Once you've met the requirements, watch your notifications. The loved CS2 beta invitation awaits.
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Can you play CS2 on consoles?

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No, you cannot play Counter-Strike 2 on consoles. CS2 is a PC-exclusive game, and the devs have not announced any plans to bring it to consoles like Valorant. To play and get Counter-Strike 2, you'll need a gaming PC that meets the minimum system requirements.

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.