Esports Gaming

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive vs CS2: What’s New and Different?

Counter-Strike 2 is here, and Valve has officially removed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. With Counter-Strike 2 came several changes that impacted communities, like the competitive Counter-Strike scene, CS2 betting, and skins trading. To understand the scale of this impact, we must understand what changes came to Counter-Strike with CS2. To help you with that, here is a complete explanation of the main differences between CS2 and CSGO.

Grenade, Visual, & Map Changes

First up, we have the visual and map changes. Iconic maps like Dust 2 and Mirage remain the same for the most part. But other maps like Inferno got significant overhauls with new textures, routes, and structures/buildings. 

All maps got visual changes to lighting and particle effects. CS2 maps feel more vibrant, brighter, and realistic. It includes particle effects for grenades, with the most noticeable difference being with the smokes.

New Ranking System

Probably the most significant difference between CS2 and CSGO is the ranking system of both games. CSGO had only one ranked game mode where players received a rank based on in-game performance. In CS2, on the other hand, we have a Competitive and a Premier game mode. 

The Competitive mode has a similar ranking system to CS2, but the ranks are now map-specific, meaning you have a different rank for each map. The Premier game mode is also ranked but uses a rating system with a player’s skill level represented by a number.

Sub-Tick Networking

The next big difference between CSGO and CS2 is with networking. In CSGO, the networking system that connected players used 64-tick servers. CS2, on the other hand, uses a sub-tick system. Sub-tick is a brand-new networking system developed by Valve, which we haven’t seen in any other game.

According to Valve, this new sub-tick server update architecture allows CS2 servers to know the exact instant something happens rather than relying on the next tick. Thanks to it, players have reported improved hit registration and movement in CS2. 

Loadout and Buy Menu

The loadout and buy menu for CS2 has been overhauled from the ground up. The buy menu for CSGO was wheel-shaped for better usability on Consoles. The CS2 buy menu, on the other hand, is flat, with all options displayed right in front, similar to that of Valorant. 

With CSGO, the loadout included Starting Pistols, Regular Pistols, SMGs, Shotguns, LMGs, Assault Rifles, Scoped Rifles, and Sniper Rifles. The Loadout for CS2 now has only four categories: Starting Pistols, Regular Pistols, Mid-Tier, and Rifles.

The best part about CS2’s loadout is that players can keep both the M4A1-S and the M4A4 in it, allowing them to choose between them during the match instead of deciding before it starts. You can also have none of the M4s if you like. 


CSGO and CS2 are different in many ways. CS2 got a new sub-tick networking system, map-based ranking in the competitive mode, new Premier ranked mode, updated buy menu, overhauled loadout, and multiple visual changes. Try CS2 for yourself and see if you can spot these differences or even some more.