During the CS:GO ESL Pro League Season 17 playoff action, Valve dropped the curtain on their most anticipated successor yet, Counter-Strike 2 (CS2). That's right, the polished-up sequel to the biggest Esports FPS game to date is really happening. To no surprise, fans went crazy wanting to know everything they could about CS2, especially what changes are being implemented in terms of gameplay. Because all of this will ultimately determine whether Counter-Strike 2 is better than CS:GO.
That question is currently being answered by the community through the Counter-Strike 2 playtest. Which is slowly letting more and more players in until the title finally drops in the summer of 2023. The verdict from the player base so far is that yes, Counter-Strike 2 is a better, more refined game than CS:GO. But, why is that? Well, we break down the reasoning right here by comparing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Vs Counter-Strike 2.
What is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive?
Back in 2000, Valve released the first game in their then-new tactical FPS series, Counter-Strike. At the time, it set a new benchmark for FPS games on PC and progressed to become one of the most popular FPS titles on the platform. After 12 years, they produced a revised version based on their new Source engine, which we now know today as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or CS:GO for short.
The Concept of the tactical FPS has always remained the same. Teams of 5v5 players compete in 15 or 30-round contests, taking turns preventing or attempting to plant a bomb on a “bomb site” to secure a round. Although that may seem like a relatively simple concept, it's resulted in the most strategic and popular Esports FPS game for over the last decade.
What is Counter-Strike 2
Counter-Strike 2 will take over CS:GO in the same way that it did with its predecessor, Counter-Strike, over a decade ago. CS2 is being built on Valve's new and improved, Source 2 engine. The rules of the game have not changed one bit. However, the same cannot be said for the gameplay, as a lot is changing the FPS's meta.
There are two key changes to gameplay that are playing a role in the argument of whether Counter-Strike 2 is better than CS:GO. One is an obvious improvement, the other is up for debate.
The obvious argument is that Counter-Strike 2 is implementing 128-tick servers. CS:GO, on the other hand, ran on 64 tick servers. In essence, Tick Rate provides the in-game response when you command an action, such as shooting or jumping, to your player actually performing that action on-screen. For the most part, the 64 tick rate produced a nearly seamless response from command to on-screen action in CS:GO. However, there were times when the 64 tick rate had milliseconds of latency, which didn't adequately reflect your response. Sometimes resulting in you missing a shot, or dying.
As the developers put it, “the server will know the exact moment you fired your shot, jumped your jump, or peaked your peak” with 128 tick rate and sub-tick updates in Counter-Strike 2. As a result, your actions and the exact moment when you perform them are more precisely depicted. Obviously, this is an improvement, and one reason why Counter-Strike 2 is better than CS:GO.
Up For Debate:
The new responsive smoke grenades, on the other hand, have some gamers on the fence. In CS:GO, smoke grenades are a key piece of utility used to block off lines of sight, gain map control, and make a push on a bomb site. However, they will no longer function the same in Counter-Strike 2. That's because the new “responsive smokes” will now dissipate if you throw a HE grenade in the middle, then shortly re-form after. Bullets will also create small windows of vision in them.
To some extent, this is completely altering how smoke grenades are used in terms of strategic gameplay. Although many players were skeptical about this change at first, time in the playtests has shown it's not as drastic of a change for gameplay as players thought. Nonetheless, it will change the meta of how smoke grenades are used in CS2. As a result, it's still up for debate whether or not this feature is making Counter-Strike 2 better than CSGO.
Counter-Strike 2 is being built on Valves' new Source 2 engine. And there really is no debate; Counter-Strike 2 is without a doubt graphically better than CS:GO. You can see everything for yourself in the “Leveling Up The World” video posted by Valve. The lighting is improved, the colors are more vibrant, and the maps are more detailed than ever before.
What's more, utility such as HE grenades and Molotovs have been reworked to now look more realistic than ever. And, perhaps most importantly, skins look 10x more vibrant. As a result, the prices of numerous skins, and the cases you get them from, have skyrocketed.
Is Counter-Strike 2 Better Than CS:GO?
Change isn't always welcomed. Especially with something we've known and grown so accustomed to over the last decade. However, we feel the changes in Counter-Strike 2 are resulting in a better product than CS:GO. This mainly falls on the shoulders of the 128-tick servers, and the new Source 2 engine, which are pushing performance and graphics to new heights.
It's hard to exactly say if Counter-Strike 2 is better than CS:GO in terms of gameplay. As that is ultimately determined by you, the player. So far, the response from the community seems to be yes. And we side with that verdict. We feel the community may neglect the gameplay changes in Counter-Strike 2 at first. However, as with anything, once you get use to it, it won't be as big of a deal. In fact, you may even come to like it. As a result, it's only a matter of timebefore everyone is eventually saying “Counter-Strike 2 is better than CS:GO”.