Developer warns Source 2 might change how CSGO feels forever

By Steven Rondina


Apr 25, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive fans have long clamored for the popular first-person shooter to be ported to the Source 2 engine, but it might not be everything they’re hoping for.

A former Valve developer discussed what a Source 2-enabled CSGO might look like, and it’s not exactly what some fans have been expecting. Though other Valve titles have been ported to Source 2 effectively, differences in how the game is processed would likely impact CSGO’s gameplay in unintended ways.

“If CS:GO Source 2 actually comes online there will be differences…The Source 1 version has some really ancient code in there…Even the tiniest detail of rendering contributes to how CS:GO works and feels. If the smallest details are changed the game is different,” developer Richard Geldreich said.

Perfect ports have always been difficult to pull off in multiplayer games, where the differences in how a game runs are most obvious. With the sheer number of moving parts involved in a game like CSGO, there’s a lot more that could be impacted by a move to a different engine. Even a slight change to the physics of CSGO could see a slew of popular grenade lineups disappear, could make bunny hopping work differently, change run boosts, or even affect weapon aim and recoil.

There are still plenty of benefits to CSGO moving to Source 2, but odds are it wouldn’t be the exact same game that fans are used to. Fans ought to keep that in mind when they beg Valve to make the change happen.

Why isn’t CSGO in Source 2 yet?

Possible issues with physics are likely part of why Valve is slow to release a Source 2 port of Steam. This is made worse by the fact that CSGO has long been a mess of spaghetti coding, with parts of the code intertwining in a way that can make significant updates like this problematic. It’s not unusual considering that CSGO has seen nearly a decade of updates layered on top of the original game’s release.

On top of all that, Geldreich suggested that Valve’s staffing practices also likely play a significant role in why CSGO is running on a 16-year-old game engine.

“Valve works on a 1 year cadence. Every year like clockwork you’ve got a company-wide firing cycle, company ‘vacation,’ some sort of bonus, and new hires. So if they can’t fit the port into one of these cycles it may be hard to sustain, if not impossible to sustain because Valve is so quick to fire even its best coders,” Geldreich said.

Valve’s staffing practices have come under the microscope in the last year due to the shutdown of Dota 2 spin-off Artifact. The digital trading card game flopped on launch, prompting Valve to seemingly abandon the game. A relaunch was started after an extended silence. The new Artifact entered into a closed beta period, but Valve then announced that all development on the Artifact franchise had been ceased due to a low player count. Valve gave no explanation for why the player count was deemed unsatisfactory when the game was still in a closed beta phase.

Surrounding Artifact’s death were revelations that part of the reason the game was so quickly abandoned by Valve was the development of Dota Underlords. This second Dota 2 spin-off was reportedly made a priority by staff due to the company’s bonus structure and its timing in the staffing calendar, at the expense of everything else.

Though CSGO wasn’t a part of those discussions, more stories have come out regarding Valve’s corporate structure hurting its games. If that doesn’t change, the Source 2 version of CSGO may never come.