Counter-Strike 2’s first major update arrives, ahead of full summer launch

Counter-Strike 2's first major update arrives, ahead of full summer launch

Counter-Strike 2’s first major update has arrived from the game launched as a limited test in March, bringing with it a radical new loadout system, new purchase mechanics, and – finally! – a new card for testing purposes, Mirage.

The loadout system has the potential to be the most disruptive change, as you can now choose five “mid-tier” pistols, rifles, and weapons (SMGs/shotguns) to carry in a match. Previously, weapons like the silent and non-silenced M4 were assigned to the same category, so you had to do without one of them – but here you can sacrifice one of the lesser-used rifles to have both options available. This change has been requested by players for a long time and would also make it easier for Valve developers to add new weapons in the future, so it’s a big win in my book.

Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test competitive match sequences.

When Counter-Strike: Global Offensive first appeared over a decade ago, it sported a radial buy menu designed to seamlessly integrate with gamepad controls – after all, the game was at originally intended to buy a console-focused iteration of the franchise. This menu has been replaced in the new Counter-Strike 2 update, in favor of a simpler grid-based buy menu that displays your teammate’s buys. Basically, it’s now possible to redeem unused weapons, armor, and grenades before the purchase timer expires at the start of each turn, saving you the dastardly fate of spending all your hard-earned cash on a weapon you’ve purchased. accidentally – always a pain given the importance of Counter-Strike’s circular economy system.

There are also some technical changes in the new update, but the most interesting one doesn’t actually affect the game client itself – it’s the addition of ray tracing support to the Counter-Strike’s Hammer map editor. As Counter-Strike maps have become more complex, the process of calculating a level’s lighting has taken longer and longer, making map creation unnecessarily laborious – because you you may need to repeat this compilation step hundreds or thousands of times.

By adding support for ray tracing hardware (i.e. recent Intel, AMD, and Nvidia graphics cards), compile times can be dramatically shortened. Valve’s suggested minimum spec for this is an Nvidia “2060Ti” (they stand for RTX 2060 Super), with an RTX 2080 Ti or better recommended; the AMD minimum is an RX 6600 XT, with a 6800 XT or better recommended. This change should streamline the process of developing new Counter-Strike 2 maps and comes with new workshop tools for creating weapon finishes, decals, and maps.

After three months on Dust 2, it’s also great to see another map added to the Counter-Strike 2 limited test: Mirage. This is another gritty map with a long history in CS:GO, and one that gets minor lighting and geometry changes, rather than the more substantial updates we’ve come to expect for maps like Nuke. and Overpass.

There are also plenty of other miscellaneous changes, from a better sounding FAMAS rifle and chickens that get cooked if they die in a molotov cocktail (embedded below), to a more nebulous undertick move” more precise and less floating” and the return of multi-key keyboard shortcuts, the latter for accessibility and content creation reasons. Of course, there are also plenty of undocumented changes discovered by the community – like the fact that you can shoot through metal vent covers without breaking them (NSFW Language).

THE full patch notes definitely worth reading, but expect highlights and lowlights to be highlighted on the GlobalOffensive subreddit and other communities over the next few days.

No new Counter-Strike 2 test invites appear to have been sent out alongside the new update, but with the game set to launch in the summer, hopefully interested players won’t have too long to wait – if Valve Time allows it, of course.

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