Counter-Strike 2 smokes

Counter-Strike 2 will have meta-shaking smokes and a sub-tick system

By Kenneth Williams


Mar 22, 2023

Reading time: 3 min

Counter-Strike 2 will make major adjustments to the standard tactical gameplay, with smokes and a new sub-tick server system being the biggest change of them all.

March 22, 2023, will be one of the most important dates in Counter-Strike history. Valve has revealed a ton of details about the secret new project, including massive changes to maps and rendering. However, CSGO grinders are most likely excited about the changes to smoke grenades and the mysterious new sub-tick system.

CSGO developer Valve revealed a huge chunk of smoke changes in a dedicated video to pair with the announcement. The small group of clips shows massive changes, such as the ability for smoke to diffuse through doors and windows and even meld together. The biggest difference is that the smokes can now change after they bloom based on player actions. 

Counter-Strike 2 new smokes peek

Some clips show players shooting through smokes to create temporary holes to peek through. Others show grenades blasting them away entirely. No matter if they sit still or shift around, they also look much prettier thanks to Valve’s Source 2 rendering engine.

This opens up massive gameplay opportunities for clever players. Teams can now coordinate grenades to suddenly blast away smokes, creating new peek spots on the fly. Grenade lineups meant to cover major areas, like outside Nuke or Overpass A site, will now meld together to form perfect cover. Close-quarters areas like Mirage connector and Inferno banana can also finally be flushed out without worrying about empty corners.

Counter-Strike 2 sub-tick system will improve every aspect

Counter-Strike 2 will debut a new sub-tick server system, which should improve nearly every aspect of gameplay.

In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the tick rate refers to how many times the server responds to player inputs. The standard for Valve matchmaking is 64, but most third-party servers offer 128 ticks a second. Valve’s new system, however, does away with ticks entirely, with the server reacting instantly to everything each player does.

Counter-Strike 2 subtick servers

It’s not clear exactly how this will affect gameplay, but hype videos claim it results in smoother movement and gunplay. CS2 will continue to be a game of milliseconds, so instant updates should result in more reliable performance. Players will have to wait for the limited beta test to learn exactly how it feels to play.

Switching to sub-tick could also mean relearning a ton of techniques for Counter-Strike 2. The tick rate can affect many grenade lineups, so players will need to readjust. Precise movement tricks like venthopping or strafe jumping may also be affected. Spray control is another important gameplay element affected by tick rate. It’s also not clear how the system will deal with lag, but Valve probably has a few tricks up its sleeve for optimizing the Source 2 engine.


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