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How to play CS:GO after Counter-Strike 2

Here's how to keep playing CS:GO after CS2's release

A terrorist in CS:GO with a special skin for the AK-47 heads through a doorway, followed by a teammate.
Image credit: Valve

Want to go back to playing CS:GO now that Counter-Strike 2 is released? You may have heard that Counter-Strike 2 was released as a total replacement of Valve's venerable Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. And it's true - for the most part. But if you're hankering for the good old days of CS:GO once more, there is a way to keep playing Global Offensive.

In this quick guide we'll explain exactly how to play CS:GO after Counter-Strike 2's release - as well as the limitations involved in doing so.

How to play CS:GO after CS2

To play CS:GO after the release of Counter-Strike 2, here's what to do:

  1. Right-click Counter-Strike 2 in your Steam Library.
  2. Click on Properties.
  3. Navigate to the "Betas" tab on the left.
  4. Open the dropdown menu next to "Beta Participation".
  5. Select "csgo_demo_viewer -".
  6. Close the Properties window and launch the game.

Setting the beta mode to "csgo_demo_viewer -" will force the game to download and launch the old Counter-Strike: Global Offensive files instead of the shiny new Counter-Strike 2 files. As long as you've followed these steps, it doesn't matter if the game still says it's Counter-Strike 2 in Steam - it's actually going to launch CS:GO.

However, there's a big downside.

While you can indeed play CS:GO after Counter-Strike 2 has been released, there are no servers and therefore no matchmaking in Global Offensive. So while you can potter around in private matches against bots all you like, you won't actually be able to compete against other players in CS:GO like you can in Counter-Strike 2. The sad fact for CS:GO lamenters is that both the servers and the playerbase has moved onto CS2, and there's no moving them back.

On the bright side, you can still go around exploring the maps exactly as they used to be in Global Offensive - and in fact it's a great way to appreciate exactly what's changed and what's stayed the same with the upgrade to Counter-Strike 2!

That wraps up this quick guide on how to play CS:GO after the launch of Counter-Strike 2. If you're looking to start a new journey in the world of Counter-Strike, check out our beginner's guide to the best Counter-Strike 2 settings, and our list of the best Counter-Strike 2 crosshair codes.

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Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.