Everything we know about Maps in Counter-Strike 2
Over the past few weeks, excitement surrounding Counter-Strike 2 has been building, and now the CSGO community's hopes have come true, as Valve has officially confirmed the release of a new CSGO version.
With its debut, Counter-Strike 2 will introduce significant alterations to the core gameplay of CSGO, including changes to smoke physics, server tick rates, and map enhancements, promising an exhilarating experience.
The all-new game will usher in considerable modifications to the classic maps of Counter-Strike, with varying degrees of updates for each map.
In the reveal videos for Counter-Strike 2, Valve disclosed that they have organized the new maps into three categories: Touchstone, Upgrades, and Overhaul.
Touchstone maps are long-standing, unchanged legacy maps in Counter-Strike 2 compared to other maps. These maps have minimal changes, primarily focusing on visual enhancements and lighting improvements.
Upgraded maps are those from CSGO that have received substantial updates to lighting and textures, utilizing the advanced graphics of Source 2 to the fullest extent.
Lastly, the Overhauls are complete reconstructions of Counter-Strike's oldest maps, whether from CSGO or earlier versions. These maps showcase new lighting, textures, structures, and potential updates to the map's gameplay.
Active Duty Pool
The Active Duty Pool consists of maps that were at some point available for competitive play and utilized in CSGO tournaments. While some have transitioned to the Reserve Pool, others remain playable today.
Cache and Anubis, once part of the Active Duty Pool, are not featured in Counter-Strike 2. Meanwhile, Vertigo has emerged in the game files.
It is unclear if Valve plans to revamp Cache for Counter-Strike 2. As the latest addition to the Pool, Anubis has a strong possibility of being included.
1. Dust II
Counter-Strike is synonymous with Dust II, as the two are inseparable. Dust II is typically the first map that comes to mind when players think of Counter-Strike, and it is a prominent part of the game's latest version.
As a Touchstone map, Dust II's most significant updates pertain to lighting, with the rest of the map remaining unchanged.
A fan favorite in Counter-Strike, Mirage was initially developed for Esports play in the Cyberathlete Professional League for CS 1.6. Since then, it has become a central map in Counter-Strike.
Mirage is the only map playable in each CS major since its release. Due to its enduring popularity, it will likely continue to be a key map in CS2.
Like Dust II, Mirage is classified as a Touchstone map, with its most substantial update being improved lighting. The rest of the map remains unaltered.
The classic CS 1.6 map, Train, was designed by a Counter-Strike creator and has made a comeback after being relegated to the Reserve Map Pool in May 2021. The map is cherished by many long-time players.
As a Touchstone map, Train's primary update involves lighting enhancements, while the rest of the map stays mostly the same.
Nuke has been a staple in competitive play since CS 1.6, and its prominence continues in Counter-Strike 2.
As an Upgrade map, Nuke's most significant updates include new lighting physics and custom textures.
Overpass stands out as a unique map in the pool and is one of the few Active Duty Pool maps created specifically for CSGO. It will also be featured in Counter-Strike 2.
Classified as an Overhaul map, Overpass has been entirely reconstructed, with updates to textures, lighting, structures, and some gameplay elements.
As one of the game's oldest maps, first appearing in CS 1.1, Inferno is a Counter-Strike classic and will be included in Counter-Strike 2.
Inferno is an Overhaul map, undergoing a complete rebuild with changes to gameplay, structures, textures, and lighting.
Ancient is a more recent addition to the Active Duty Pool and serves as the spiritual successor to Aztec. Despite initial controversy among players, it will return with minimal changes.
As an Upgrade map, Ancient's primary updates consist of new lighting physics and custom textures.
Cobblestone's standing within the community remains debated, but its fans were saddened by its removal in 2019. It seems set to reappear in Source 2, with its Terrorist spawn entry showcased.
Cobblestone's classification is currently unknown, but it is anticipated to be part of the full game at launch.
Deathmatch, Hostage, And Bomb Defusal Maps
This category features a diverse range of maps, from fan favorites to infamous ones. While many maps are showcased, a few historically significant CS maps were notably absent. The reveal video did, however, include the following maps:
A favorite among old-school fans, this Bomb Defusal map was prominent in CS 1.6 and heavily played in the Esports scene. Sadly, Tuscan was left behind during the transition to CSGO.
As an Overhaul map, Tuscan has been entirely reconstructed, including updates to textures, structures, and gameplay.
This quirky, classic hostage map has been around since the game's beta release in 1999. It now appears in the new game with a refreshed look.
Although Italy likely won't join the Active Duty Pool, it is heartening to see it updated for a new iteration.
As an Overhaul map, Italy has been fully rebuilt, featuring new textures, lighting, structures, and gameplay changes.
Baggage is returning in Counter-Strike 2, delighting Arms Race (or Gun Game) fans who appreciate this classic map. It first appeared in CSGO, specifically designed for the Arms Race game mode.
The inclusion of Baggage suggests the Arms Race mode might also return. As an Upgrade map, Baggage's primary updates include new lighting physics and custom textures.
A few other maps not shown in the teaser videos but found in the game files are:
Maps Present In The Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test
The maps included in the Counter-Strike 2 limited trial are currently accessible for players who have gained access to the CS2 beta, complete with the graphical enhancements of Source 2.
Dust 2 is the only map available since the beta's inception, though data miners indicate that this may change in an upcoming update.
Unsurprisingly, the Counter-Strike 2 beta launched with the franchise's most iconic map. The familiar layout serves as an excellent benchmark for new gameplay features and nuances of CS2.
However, some players have noted that Dust 2 lacks reflective surfaces or other elements that showcase Source 2's full graphical potential.
As a result, more maps are expected to join the testing pool to assess the new build's stability across various PCs.
Mirage, Overpass, Nuke, And Ancient
Counter-Strike 2 data miner Aquarius suggested in a recent tweet that code hints at Mirage, Overpass, Nuke, and Ancient being added to the limited test "unless devs change their minds."
It remains unconfirmed whether any of these maps will be included in the test, but comments under the tweet suggest that players are particularly interested in seeing Overpass or Nuke added to the beta.