The launch of the highly anticipated Counter-Strike is imminent, as Valve marks the 20th anniversary of the iconic gaming platform Steam. 

CS2’s release window has been teased constantly throughout 2023, announced in March 2023, with the CS2 limited test beta being rolled out to CS:GO players few and far between, adding to the hype.

As of September 14, the CS2 beta has been rolled out to even more players than before, suggesting CS2’s official launch is closer than we think. Here’s everything we know about CS2’s launch window. 

When Will CS2 Officially Launch? 

While the actual release date for CS2 is still under wraps, Valve has implied that CS2 will release sooner rather than later. Valve’s initial release window was “Summer 2023,” but now it’s mid-September, and fans are wondering when the CS:GO sequel will actually drop. 

In a lengthy post celebrating Steam’s 20th anniversary, Valve discussed some of their most successful titles, milestones, and progress over the last two decades. Of course, one of their most popular titles is CS:GO, and Valve couldn’t resist making a little nod to CS2’s arrival.

“The year isn’t quite over,” Valve says, “but so far we’ve released a huge Steam Client update, Counter-Strike 2 entered into beta (and launches soon) and there are now more than 11,000 titles verified or playable on Steam Deck.” 

While this quote leaves much to the imagination, we can predict that CS2 will launch around the predicted release window of September 23 or later, but definitely before January 2024. Technically, Summer lasts until September 30, so there’s still plenty of time for Valve to make their expected release date.

The newest CS2 update sees Counter-Strike beta 2 access granted to players with a CS:GO Prime account (meaning they bought the game before it became free-to-play). With this, we can guess that CS2 is close to being officially launched, as all maps are now fully playable on the new engine, Source 2. 

How Do I Access The CS2 Beta? 

An example of a CS2 beta invitation.

Previously, to get CS2 limited beta access, you needed “recent playtime on Valve official servers, trust factor, and good Steam account standing with no recent VAC bans.” However, Valve has overruled this to allow more players access to the new game’s beta stage. 

As long as you hold a CS:GO Prime account, meaning you purchased the game before it became free-to-play, you should now have access to the CS2 beta. 

If you’re confused about this, all you need to do to check your Counter-Strike 2 access is load up the original CS:GO. A pop-up notification will appear on the game’s main menu, inviting you to participate in the Counter-Strike 2 beta. 

You can also follow these steps below to check your access.

  1. First, go onto your Steam account and click “Help” then “Steam Support.”
  2. After clicking that, select “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.”
  3. This menu should tell you the date you purchased CS:GO. If you have access to the limited test beta, it will also say, “Added to Steam Library as part of Counter-Strike 2: Limited Test Invite.”

Final Thoughts

Counter-Strike 2 could launch an day now as the initial Summer 2023 release window draws to a close. 

We’re excited to see all the new changes, like responsive smoke grenades, complete graphical overhauls, and tick-rate changes, brought to life on the new Source 2 engine, also used by Valve’s popular MOBA, Dota 2

Pro players will quickly transition to CS2 ahead of pro tournaments like IEM, ESL Pro League, and BLAST Premier events in 2024. The next Counter-Strike Major will be held in Copenhagen, in March 2024, so there isn’t much time for players to get their CS2 practice in!