Big update may be coming to CSGO, judging by dev server usage

By Nick Johnson


Feb 27, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive developers have been spending hours inside the game’s development branch.

Earlier this week there were five accounts connected to the mysterious development testbed, tying the beta server’s all-time high. While no one knows exactly which developers use the CSGO beta server, the past two years have shown that large CSGO updates usually go hand-in-hand with an uptick in usage of the beta server. Since the release of Broken Fang, CSGO developers have seemingly been hard at work on something big.

CSGO developers haven’t stopped working on Source 2 after Broken Fang

CSGO has been strangely quiet recently, with many of Valve’s other games getting some serious attention. Dota 2 saw the debut of CSGO’s Overwatch system in late January, SteamVR received a major new feature, and even seemingly abandoned games such as Team Fortress 2 and Portal 2 have seen increasingly frequent updates. 

Besides the release of CSGO’s RMR sticker capsules, a fix for some misplaced code, and developers pulling the plug on enemy pings, it’s been quiet. Of course, the developer did announce the upcoming PGL Major this fall, but players haven’t seen a meaningful update in weeks. That makes all of the activity happening inside the beta branch so strange.

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CSGO doesn’t get operations every day, and players are currently in the middle of one right now. Broken Fang is in full swing, and even though CSGO received a small update on February 25 to prepare for next week’s missions, the last time Valve mentioned Broken Fang was two months ago.  It’s already known that CSGO is moving to Source 2. The newer game engine would open a lot of doors for the game, and would make for a marked improvement to the game’s graphics.

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Half-Life Alyx’s massively improved VConsole shows entries and commands that directly reference Valve’s new engine, and shaders that went unused in Alyx seem to be made for standard rendering. It’s possible that fans have seen some of that from Valve already.

When the developer updated CSGO’s store page with photos from both Operation Broken Fang and Shattered Web, some of them looked better than what CSGO is actually capable of at the moment. Placing the massively improved graphics of today’s CSGO next to a release screenshot from 2012 was a strange move, but it’s possible that Valve was just showing off. Anyone interested should go take a look at them, just be sure to zoom in. 

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Bottom line is, no one knows what’s going on inside CSGO’s beta branch right now, but it’s likely a big deal. 


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