What are the CS2 maps? The arenas in which glory is earned. The crucible to which you and your rag-tag squad will attempt to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The lovely-looking maps where you’re bound to hit a few sick AWP shots, probably.
Counter-Strike 2 is a free upgrade to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, reinventing several important elements that fans know and love, such as CSGO console commands and the CSGO ranks system. While the free PC game retains the same competitive energy, Valve has put a fresh coat of paint on maps and visuals. Here is every Counter-Strike 2 map that you can try out in both unranked and ranked play.
Before the launch of CS2, Valve divided the returning maps into three categories based on their design changes: Overhaul, Upgrade, and Touchstone. Overhaul maps have been revamped from top to bottom, Upgrades represent maps with improved lighting, and Touchstone maps received fine-tuning to areas that needed attention.
Every CS2 map
Here are the competitive Counter-Strike 2 maps:
- Dust 2
Ancient was added to CSGO as a replacement for Train, and it’s going to be sticking around in Counter-Strike 2. The jungle aesthetic of Ancient was already a treat for the eyes, but it looks even better in Source 2. Ancient is popular for its greenery and puddles. In Counter-Strike 2, the water appears more textured, adding a pleasant touch to the map scenery. Just like Anubis, Ancient was placed in the Touchstone category.
It’s fair to say Anubis is one of the nicest-looking maps in CS2, sporting brand-new textures while utilizing Source 2’s lighting system to make the combat zones stand out. Anubis didn’t receive an overhaul or upgrade, instead, it’s been placed in the Touchstone category.
Dust 2 is a Touchstone map in Counter-Strike 2, meaning Valve has kept the layout the same while improving the lighting in a few key areas. The most noticeable lighting change is in CT-Spawn and Tunnels. Previously, both areas were lit with a dim silver light, but that has been replaced with fresh yellow bulbs. Other areas of the maps are also much brighter to drastically improve character reading, making it easier to spot enemy models. Due to Source 2 rendering, Dust 2 looks much more spacious, even though the layout is the same.
CSGO’s Inferno map has always been a feast for the eyes, but with the latest upgrade to the Source 2 engine, it’s nothing short of breathtaking. The cobbles are brighter, and due to light shifts, the alleys appear much wider than they are. The latest iteration of the map has been given a lovely coat of paint to reflect CS2’s bright visuals.
Nuke is in the Upgrade category due to its heavy enhancements. The location’s layout remains the same, but the textures and models used to build the maps have been through a transformation. The bulk of the upgrades seen on Nuke take place inside the main buildings — Valve has worked hard on improving the corridors and both bomb sites. The reflections on the floor and ramp are also very noticeable. The A site is basked in sunlight, whereas the underground B-area retains the gloomy blue but with better visuals. The reds and yellows are also much brighter, a detail that was missing in CSGO.
Mirage in Counter-Strike 2 is a visual spectacle to behold. Compared to CSGO, the palace in Mirage glistens with expensive tiles. The reflections are so crisp it appears as though the tiles have just been meticulously polished to a mirror-like finish. Outside the palace, Mirage looks mostly similar to its CSGO counterpart, besides the colors. However, the reflections and rich color palette breathe new life into the dusty location, offering a stunning and immersive gameplay experience.
Overpass has undergone a complete overhaul, as a result, the German park looks much fresher, with major visual tweaks in Counter-Strike 2. Visually, one of the biggest changes Valve made to Overpass was by upgrading its water effects. Don’t splash around too long in the fresh puddles, a sniper typically overlooks B-site!
The changes made to Overpass are so drastic that players will find it hard to believe they ever played the map without them, particularly the underpass which was difficult to lock down for a long time due to poor lighting. The congested area looks much more spacious in decent light. The developer has also planted new balloons in the party benches, adding a pop of color to the bleak scenery.
Another Touchstone update, this time for the classic hostage map, Office. The Source 2 engine has introduced upgrades to the way glass shatters in-game, which is perfect for Office as the building is surrounded by glass. This map is very difficult to win as the T-side due to the huge advantage CT has in terms of positioning with the hostages.
Finally, Vertigo rounds off the list of Counter-Strike 2 maps. It’s yet another Touchstone map – aside from a welcome lighting upgrade, it remains largely untouched. While this map used to be incredibly unpopular in CS:GO when it was first introduced, it has slowly gained fans as the map has been played a lot at the highest level.
Every CS2 Premier map
As mentioned in our CS2 ranks and ratings guide, there’s a difference between competitive maps and the map pool in Premier. Players can vote between seven maps in Premier, forcing players to ban which maps they don’t want to fight on before the match takes place.
Here are the Counter-Strike 2 maps you can play in Premier:
- Dust 2
Every CS2 Wingman map
Wingman is a 2v2 competitive mode that shrinks regular maps down to just one bomb site. This is a great opportunity to practice your attacking and defending skills, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Here’s a list of the maps available in Wingman mode:
Unreleased CS2 game modes
There are several game modes and maps that were teased by Valve in the lead-up to CS2, but we’ve heard nothing about them since the game launched. Valve has been criticized for not including a lot of features that CSGO used to have, however, it has been slowly reintroducing these missing features as the months go on.
The game modes that we’re expecting to see make a return include Gun Game, Demolition, Flying Scoutsman, and Danger Zone. In the last major update to the game, Arms Race was added back to Counter-Strike 2 along with the maps: Baggage and Shoots.
Here’s a list of the unreleased maps in Counter-Strike 2:
- Short Dust
Now that you know the confirmed Counter-Strike 2 maps, you should have no trouble jumping into a match now that the Counter-Strike 2 release date is finally here. For those still unsure about the Counter-Strike 2 changes in the FPS game, it’s worth taking a closer look at what’s in store — such as the Counter-Strike 2 binds and Counter-Strike 2 smokes. Be sure to check out the best Counter-Strike 2 settings, as well as the lowdown on Counter-Strike 2 skin transfers if you’re a returning player.
Additional contributions by Christian Vaz.