How to play Counter-Strike 2 limited test beta

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Counter-Strike 2, a sequel to CS:GO, has launched with a limited test beta ahead of the full release. Here’s everything you need to know about downloading, accessing and playing the CS2 beta.

Instead of a standard release trailer, Valve took a different approach in unveiling the long-awaited Counter-Strike sequel. The developers released a trio of videos on YouTube revealing tick rate improvements, dynamic smoke grenades, and map evolutions.

We also finally have an official release window for Counter-Strike 2, with the new game slated to release in Summer of 2023. Fortunately for a lucky few, Valve released a limited test beta to get started before the full release.

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However, the CS2 beta is very limited in terms of access, and so very few players are able to play. Here is everything we know so far about the Counter-Strike 2 limited test beta.


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When does the Counter-Strike 2 limited test beta start?

The limited test beta began on March 22 and has no official end date. Players can keep track of limited test announcements on the Counter-Strike 2 blog post.

The full release for CS2 is due in Summer 2023, so expect the limited test to end before then.

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How to access Counter-Strike 2 limited test beta

If you are selected to participate in the Counter-Strike 2 limited test, you will receive a notification on the main menu of CS:GO. More players will be added to the beta over time. There are no keys or drops for access to the CS2 beta.

The developers elaborated that a number of factors go into which players are selected, like playtime on Valve official servers, trust factor, and Steam account standing.

If you receive an invitation, select ENROLL and begin the download. As of June 7, the majority of CS:GO players still don’t have access, with only a lucky select few invited so far. Roughly less than 1% of the CS:GO player base has access, based on various estimates.

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Valve says more players will be added “over time,” and to “keep checking your CS:GO main menu to see if you have received an invite.”

Valve has released numerous updates to the beta, to add new maps and fix issues, but so far, no new waves of invites have taken place, as of July 18.

Do I need a key for the Counter-Strike 2 beta?

No – there are no keys or codes required for the CS2 limited test beta.

You will simply need to wait for the pop-up in the main menu of CS:GO for your invitation.

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Valve has warned players to avoid potential scams offering access to the limited test through a key, and not to log in to any third-party sites offering these fake keys. Don’t click on any links on social media to get access – they will be scams.

There are also no ‘drops’ – so watching a Twitch stream won’t grant you access either.

What’s included in the CS2 limited test beta?

The first Counter-Strke 2 limited test offers deathmatch, unranked competitive, and Casual, on Anubis. Ancient is also available now, but only in Casual and Deathmatch. Wingman has been removed in the latest update.

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Valve has said that future limited test releases will offer other game modes, maps, and features.

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You can see the full list of maps we know are coming to CS2 here.

How to report a bug in Counter-Strike 2

If you encounter a bug during your time with Counter-Strike 2, the devs have implemented the ability to report a bug. To do so, you will need to follow their recommendation: “send an email to cs2team [at] valvesoftware [dot] com and title your email “CS2LT Report.”

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So, if you experience a glitch or any irregular bugs, make sure to try and report them so that the final product can be as polished and complete as possible.

Are skins in the CS2 limited test?

You can also use all of your existing skins and other items from CS:GO in the limited test beta.

Although all skins, stickers, gloves and knives are the same, some of them have a slightly new appearance, especially when impacted by the new lighting.

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However, while all your items are available, you won’t be able to modify them, such as adding or scraping stickers. This will need to be done in CS:GO. Trade-up contracts are also not available in the limited test.

For more information, Valve has an official FAQ on the beta here.

For more guides and information on Counter-Strike 2, be sure to check out our other guides:

What will happen to skins in Counter-Strike 2? | Will Counter-Strike 2 be on Steam Deck? | Everything we know about Counter-Strike 2 | Pros react to Counter-Strike 2 | What is Follow Recoil in Counter-Strike 2? | Every game mode in Counter-Strike 2 | Counter-Strike 2: Every confirmed map from CSGO in Source 2 update | Can you play Counter-Strike 2 on console? Will it come to PS5 or Xbox Series X?

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