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Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Playing ‘Counter-Strike 2’

Counter-Strike 2 is finally here, meaning you can jump in and get to grips with the new shooter today. While it may technically only be an update to CS:GO, it is effectively a brand new game and there are a lot of new things to get your head around, from the new engine to grenade physics and of course reworked maps.

With thousands of players playing the Limited Test over the last few months a lot of the new systems have already been figured out and those players will no doubt have a big advantage over you if you are just starting your CS2 journey today. But that also means that before you even boot up CS2, you can take a look at some of the things they have learnt and go in with at least an understanding of how best to play the game.

Of course, once more people get hands-on and once the pros start playing CS2 properly there will no doubt be new tricks discovered. But for now, these are five things that I wish I had known before I played Counter-Strike 2 for the first time.

Bullets Don’t Make Massive Holes In Smokes, Grenades Do

One of the big, new, fancy features in CS2 are the new smoke grenades that will naturally fill a space instead of being a set shape all the time. The new physics behind them means that you can shoot a bullet through the smoke and it will create a hole in the smoke thanks to the velocity of the bullet. It sounds like a really cool idea, and there will no doubt be some amazing plays thanks to it, but most of the time it isn’t all that useful.

Shooting through a smoke directly reveals your position to anyone on the other side leaving you exposed, and also only creates a tiny hole to see through, so it’s still easy for opponents to hide on the other side.

However, throwing a HE grenade into the smoke will cause a bigger area to disperse, giving you an actually useful amount of space to look through. You should also be able to throw your grenade from a safe space, so you can hide away out of sight while still getting a good look at the gap it creates.

You Can Have Both M4s In One Match

I started with the smoke change because on paper that is the biggest difference to CS:GO, but being honest the actual best change is the new buy menu in CS2 that allows you to actually use the guns you want to. Whereas in CS:GO you had to choose between the M4 and the M4A1-S in each match, as well as a few other weapons, you can now set up your buy menu to have whatever you want in a game.

This means that you can have both M4s available to you in a game, which for solo players is the greatest addition ever as you can never be quite sure what position you will end up taking on the CT side. Make sure to kit out your custom buy menu before you enter your first game to make sure you have all your favorite toys at your disposal.

Play Premier Matchmaking To Get A Rank

CS2 has done away with the badge system and now gives you an actual MMR number to try and improve. The higher your number the better player you are, and you will be matched against players of your level. In other games, such as Dota 2, grinding MMR is one of the most fun and frustrating things to do, so no doubt you will want to get your CS Rating nice and early.

However, one thing that is not immediately obvious is that you only get CS Rating for playing the Premier matchmaking mode. This mode will give you and your opponents the chance to ban maps until only one is left to play on, meaning you could end up playing any of the active duty maps. Compared to CS:GO where you could get a high rank by grinding one map this is a great change and should hopefully lead to more people playing all the maps and not just Dust 2.

Pre-Firing Angles Is The Best Way To Beat The Lag

One would hope that Valve has managed to fix this for the final launch, but so far in the CS2 Limited Test there have been a lot of issues around peeking and who sees what and when. People have reported being shot around corners by people they can’t see when in reality it’s just a case of the client not updating quickly enough and there being a disparity between what you see and what your killer will see.

The best way to account for this is to prefire every corner if you are about to move around it and if you are holding an angle prefire if you hear a noise. It’s certainly not a perfect solution and it is something that Valve needs to fix quickly, but shooting at a location you think someone is before you actually see them, seems to be the best way to deal with this so far.

You’ll Need To Relearn Some Maps

Before you jump into Premier matchmaking you need to know that some of the iconic maps from CS:GO are now very different, so you should probably take an offline tour around them before jumping into Premier. All the maps have had some tweaks, but a few of them are just small visual improvements like new lighting. Others, however, including the iconic Inferno, have a totally new look and a few important changes, that you will want to figure out.

You can of course jump into an offline game to have a look around the new maps to get a feel for them, and then even play some casual matches to get your bearings. But jumping into Premier without knowing what they look like is not going to be a good idea and will likely lead to a loss of that all-important CS Rating.

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