New CSGO Source 2 hints drop along with Dota 2's TI10 Battle Pass

Nick J. June 1, 2020

New CSGO code was found inside DotA 2’s TI10 Battle Pass update and a recent update to Half-Life: Alyx that has to do with graphical improvements to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and its long-awaited Source 2 port.

Fans have heard this before. Over the last several months, several changes relevant to CSGO have appeared inside updates to both Dota 2 and Half-Life: Alyx. That may sound odd to newcomers given that Dota isn’t a first-person shooter and Alyx is stricly available in VR, setting the games apart from CSGO. But both games have served as Valve's testing grounds for Source 2 features. It's unsurprising that new updates come not from CSGO changes, but changes to the underlying code of both of Valve's other relevant titles.

Dota 2 and Half-Life: Alyx codes have many CSGO references

Here are some of the new lines of code, called strings, found the updates, followed by images of even more. Click on the image to be taken to SteamDB, the source of the unpacked files.

  • csgo_show_indexed_light_indices
  • csgo_show_lod_origin
  • csgo_show_nonfogging_cached_lights
  • csgo_single_light_fast_path_sun_cascade_vignette

There's also this string, which may be the most concrete evidence of a CSGO update that doesn't concern graphical improvements:

  • SleepConditionVariableCS 

The "sleep condition" is likely a command given to Counter-Strike NPCs when no players are visible to the NPC. This string could also be related to NPCs in Half-Life: Alyx. There isn't enough information at the moment to be sure. 

The first link between Half-Life: Alyx and CSGO was some unassuming boxes. Or rather, unassuming if the player is new to Counter-Strike. Found inside a folder called cs_militia, the fan-favorite Counter-Strike map, these boxes don’t mean that Militia is coming back. But they do show just how many older assets can be repackaged into brand new games. One reference that hasn’t been explained yet is a fully rendered P250, with a separate magazine included along with it.

The render is out of place in Alyx, especially considering that the weapon doesn’t appear as a useable item in Valve’s standalone installment of the Half-Life franchise. While the crates from Militia were used frequently in the game, the P250 is nowhere to be found. The P250 render could simply be Valve employees toying with an idea, or even using the weapon as a base for one of Alyx's own weapons. Its presence means little more than proving its existence, and can't be taken as a sign of things to come. That said, its inclusion inside Alyx's folders is a neat tidbit.

How does this tie into CSGO's Source 2 update?

CSGO’s Source 2 update has been rumored for years at this point, but the game's most recent "texture-streaming" beta update hints at some sort of graphics upgrade coming in for the eight-year-old fisrt-person shooter. CSGO’s current beta makes it easier for less powerful PCs to display larger and more complex textures.

Its addition to CSGO is an odd one, especially given that the game hasn’t seen a large scale graphical upgrade in its lifetime. Because of this, it's not outside the realm of possibility to assume that there might be some sort of broader graphical upgrade in the near future, and that texture streaming is the groundwork to allow older PCs to continue to run the game at high framerates after this graphical update hits.

Fans will have to see what’s next for CSGO, especially now that Valve has released the long-awaited Dota 2 TI 10 Battle Pass and can turn more of its attention elsewhere. With resources freed up from working on the pass, CSGO’s big update may be next.