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Counter-Strike 2 finally has one of the most-loved maps of all time

From the first Counter-Strike to CSGO one map has remained a fave, and now it’s hit Counter-Strike 2 as Valve welcomes community creations.

Counter-Strike 2 maps: A soldier from Valve FPS game CSGO standing in front of an explosion

The greatest Counter-Strike map, whether you’re playing 1.6, CSGO, or Counter-Strike 2, will always be Dust. That’s immutable. That’s an objective truth. But there are plenty of other arenas in Valve’s landmark FPS that deserve plaudits, especially those that have been built and shared by the community. An old favorite that has survived in various iterations across virtually every version of the game, one of the coolest and most-loved CS maps, is finally in Counter-Strike 2. It arrives alongside some other fantastic additions, as Valve finally welcomes community creations to its somewhat struggling sequel.

We’ve got a pretty strong roster of Counter-Strike 2 maps so far, including the revised version of Dust and the beloved Office, one of my personal favorites and the setting for countless late ‘00s machinima movies. But as the Valve FPS game passes its one-year anniversary, it’s about time community creations finally arrived. Counter-Strike 2 players have been building terrific maps for decades, and one of the all-time greats has just landed in CS2.

Pool Day, the close-quarters stalwart from Counter-Strike and CSGO, is now available for Arms Race in CS2. Rebuilt in Source 2, this is one of the most-loved maps in the entirety of Counter-Strike Workshop history. Each team starts in their respective changing room – as soon as you spawn, you’re basically nose-to-nose with the enemy. The eponymous pool serves as both a breakwater and a pitfall. The temptation is to charge in full force, but if you don’t look where you’re going you’ll end up in the deep end, where you’re easy fodder for anyone with an AK.

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Also returning, now that community maps are available in Counter-Strike 2, is another CSGO classic, Santorini. It’s got a new look and a new name – Thera – but otherwise this is the iconic bomb-defusal map from Counter-Strike’s previous generation. You can play Thera in Deathmatch, Casual, and Competitive.

Mills is a new creation, and feels a little like Inferno but more open. There’s also Memento, another new map, available in Wingman, which inherits the close-up combat of Italy, and Assembly. This last one is real tricky. Set within the confines of an airplane hangar, it’s filled with potential ambush spots, lots of cover, and tight corridors – if Pool Day is about flat-out fighting, Assembly feels more tactical, nervy, and attritional.

Counter-Strike 2 maps: Pool Day, the new community map in Valve FPS game Counter-Strike 2

All of these new CS2 maps are available right now. Valve has also made some amendments to competitive games. The per-map skill groups – those ranking groups that players are divided into on each individual map – are now revealed to you after you’ve won just two games on that map. That should make it easier to see how good your comrades and your opponents are in any given arena.

Despite some issues when it first launched, Counter-Strike 2 is starting to feel more and more like the shooter that we always wanted. If you want to up your game and play like a pro, get the Counter-Strike 2 best binds. Alternatively, check our guide on the Counter-Strike 2 best guns so you know how to use your dollars in the buy menu.

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