Counter-Strike 2, the highly anticipated sequel to CS:GO, is currently in the midst of a limited beta test before its official release. If you’re eager to join the action, here’s a comprehensive overview of how to download, access, and enjoy the CS2 beta, by dexerto.
Valve unveiled the Counter-Strike sequel through a series of YouTube videos, coinciding with the announcement of the limited-test beta’s commencement on March 22. Additionally, Valve confirmed the official release window for Counter-Strike 2, set for Summer 2023. Lucky participants in the beta won’t need to wait until the full release.
As of August 31, Valve expanded access to the beta, making it available to more players who meet the specified criteria.
How to Obtain a Counter-Strike 2 Beta Invite:
If you’re selected to participate in the Counter-Strike 2 limited test, you’ll receive a notification within the main menu of CS:GO. Valve plans to invite more players gradually, and there are no keys or drops required for CS2 beta access.
On August 31, Valve outlined the eligibility criteria for invitations, which include:
- Having CS:GO Prime Status
- Maintaining an Active Competitive Skill Group
- Playing the majority of your official matchmaking games in one of the regions where the Limited Test is available.
If you receive an invitation, you’ll find an invite option at the top left corner of the CS:GO main menu. Click on it, select “ENROLL,” and begin the download process.
How to Launch CS2 Beta
Once the beta is downloaded, navigate to CS:GO in your Steam library and launch it. CS2 can be launched from the same game launcher as CS:GO, with both options available for the time being.
Upon clicking “Play,” you’ll be presented with two choices: launching CS:GO or Counter-Strike 2. Opt for “Counter-Strike 2 (limited test)” to access the beta. You can also set CS2 to launch by default if you prefer, simply by checking a box.
Once you’re in the beta, consult our guide for the best settings to optimize FPS and gain a competitive edge.
Do You Need a Key for the Counter-Strike 2 Beta?
No, you do not require keys or access codes for the CS2 limited test beta. You’ll receive an invitation through a pop-up within the CS:GO main menu.
Valve has issued a warning against potential scams offering beta access keys and advises against logging into third-party websites that claim to provide these keys. Avoid clicking on any social media links promising access, as they are likely scams.
What’s Included in the CS2 Limited Test Beta?
The initial Counter-Strike 2 limited test offers deathmatch and casual game modes on all competitive maps. Inferno is the latest addition to the map pool, accompanied by the Premier Matchmaking system, which has been revamped for CS2, featuring per-map skill groups, MR12 matches, and more.
Valve has announced that future limited test releases will introduce additional game modes, maps, and features. In previous beta phases, Competitive and Wingman modes were also available.
Reporting Bugs in Counter-Strike 2
If you encounter a bug while playing Counter-Strike 2, the developers have implemented a bug reporting system. To report a bug, follow their recommendation: send an email to cs2team[at]valvesoftware[dot]com with the email title “CS2LT Report.” Reporting glitches and irregularities helps refine the final product.
Are Skins Available in the CS2 Limited Test?
All your existing skins and items from CS:GO can be used in the limited test beta. While skins, stickers, gloves, and knives remain the same, some may have a slightly altered appearance due to new lighting effects.
However, you won’t be able to modify your items, such as adding or scraping stickers; these changes must be made in CS:GO. Additionally, trade-up contracts are not available in the limited test.
When Can You Play the CS2 Beta, and How Long Will It Last?
The Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test beta has been active for some time. If you’re invited, simply follow the instructions in CS:GO to download and enjoy the beta. As for its duration, the beta is expected to run until the official game launch in Summer 2023, suggesting that the full game may arrive sooner than anticipated.