Counter-Strike 2 main menu

How to download CS2 and get ready for the official release

By Kenneth Williams


Jul 11, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

Excited for the official switch from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to Counter-Strike 2? Here’s how to tell if you’re one of the lucky few able to download CS2, and how to get ready if you aren’t.

Valve has doubled-down on Counter-Strike 2, adding more maps and exciting features to keep beta testers entertained. However, the test’s exclusivity is still the major factor keeping players from experiencing the future tactical shooter. Only a select group of hardcore CSGO players are allowed in, but it’s possible that some players have access only to not realize it.

Players will learn if they have access to the beta in the home screen. After loading up CSGO, they will see a special splash screen advertising the beta test. It should look like this.

CS2 limited beta test download invitation

If you see it, click on the green Enroll button and it will open Steam. The client should automatically begin downloading the beta. While the image claims that it requires 15 gigabytes of free space, try to have at least 20 to make sure the download process goes smoothly. There will also be updates to the beta that could expand its file size. 

Only a select group of players can download the CS2 beta, but how can you help qualify for the test? Valve has been mostly quiet about qualifications, but it’s confirmed that beta access is only offered to players who regularly play on Valve servers. If you’re more of a FACEIT guy, it may be worth heading back to 64-tick servers for a while.

How to download CS2 once it comes out on Steam

When CS2 officially comes out, players can download it the same way they previously downloaded CSGO.

The only difference will be that Counter-Strike 2 will likely have a different Steam page than CSGO. Valve has yet to confirm if CS2 will replace the Source 1 version of the game entirely or if it will function as a different client. Considering that all of the skins will transfer over, it’s more likely that CSGO will cease to exist in its current form. There could be a legacy version without skins to preserve custom maps and communities, but the company is unlikely to backport all the new content to the older version.

The developer has also not confirmed that CS2 will be free to play, but it is overwhelmingly likely that it will be. Of course, that low price only applies to the gameplay parts of CS2. The skin economy will live on, including all of its insanely expensive halo skins.


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