How to join the Counter-Strike 2 limited beta test

By Kenneth Williams


Mar 22, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

Valve is hosting a limited beta test for Counter-Strike 2, but getting in isn’t as easy as many fans had hoped.

Valve has finally spilled the beans on Counter-Strike 2 with a slew of major announcements on March 22, 2023. In the middle of all the exciting smoke grenades and rendering changes, the developer also revealed that the new game version will come with a special testing period before its official release in the summer of this year.

The limited beta test for Counter-Strikee 2 will feature all of the new gameplay changes revealed today. That means that the smoke grenade system, with smoke naturally filling areas and effusing through open areas, will be ready to test as soon as it launches. In addition, the major map changes and rendering features will be live and playable. Subtick servers are probably the most mysterious new feature, and many fans are eager to see how it affects movement, gunplay, and smoke lineups.

Counter-Strike 2 Train monster mouth

If you’re one of many excited CS2 fans, you’re probably chomping at the bit to get into the limited beta test. However, “limited” is the operative word in that sentence. Getting in won’t be nearly as easy as fans thought.

Counter-Strike 2 limited beta test details

The limited beta test for Counter-Strike 2 is not open to the average player. The only way to get in is for Valve to invite players to join individually, but there are ways to make sure you are eligible.

This is a major disappointment, but it makes sense from a logical perspective. Valve servers probably can’t handle more than a million new players suddenly stress-testing their new systems. Tickless servers are the most likely point of failure, and a buggy and the unplayable beta test would kill lots of the carefully curated hype for Counter-Strike 2.

Valve will be choosing which players get to join based on three major criteria. Accounts will be evaluated based on their trust factor, Steam account standing, and recent playtime on Valve servers. Accounts that largely play on third-party matchmaking services like FACEIT will likely be excluded. If you do fit the criteria, the only way to join is to wait for Valve to give it to you.

However, there’s reason to suspect that the beta will open up in the future. When Valve ported Dota 2 to Source 2, it started with an invite-only beta but quickly became an open beta when it got closer to its official release. With a variable Counter-Strike 2 release date set for the summer of 2023, expect to see a new beta announcement sometime in May or June.


CS2 care package

Players hopeful after Valve adds Overwatch to expose CS2 cheaters

Only “trusted” players will be Overwatch investigators. 

By Fariha Bhatti


Apr 26, 2024