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New Counter-Strike 2 update adds workshop features, removes birds which players kept mistaking for grenades

Flock, stock and two smoking barrels

A shot of a player running out of a smoke cloud firing a weapon in Counter-Strike 2 on the Overpass map
Image credit: Valve

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a FLASHBANG COMING RIGHT AT YOUR FACE - QUICK, LOOK AWAY oh wait it's just a bird after all. That's not just me hallucinating after one too many cups of Joe - it's a description of recent events in Valve's bomb-fiddling FPS Counter-Strike 2, where players keep mistaking the avian decorations on certain maps for bouncing balls of death.

Valve have now removed the birds in the course of the latest Counter-Strike 2 patch, which also re-enables Counter-Strike 2 workshop features, letting people upload maps and host them on community servers.

Thanks to Alice0 for tipping me off about this and pointing me toward this Reddit thread's worth of ruffled feathers from a couple months ago, in which Global Offensive players were all in a flap about various misleading decorations on maps like Inferno and Overpass, ranging from the aforesaid Hitchcockian invaders to flies over rubbish bags and poor, innocent flowers. I can't say the birds have ever caught my attention, but then again I'm not very eagle-eyed.

It's worth noting that Counter-Strike players haven't always been this mad about birds invading maps. Back in 2016, the developers dressed up chickens in Xmas jumpers to ring in the festive season. Alice0 and Pip (RPS in peace) were enthused enough to write a whole feature about it. The broader question is: what's the right balance of utility and aesthetic splendour when you're making a competitive multiplayer map?

Anyway, here's a rundown of the new Workshop features, which are the most substantial aspect of the update.

- Enabled uploading CS2 maps to the workshop

- Community Servers can host workshop maps

- Added paint metalness and roughness by color features to Solid Color, Hydrographic, and Spray-Paint finishes in the Item Editor

- Added option to toggle "Automatic PBR Color Correction" to all sticker types in Item Editor

- Various Item Editor help system updates including "mat_fullbright 10" to test PBR

- Various updates to workshop tools

The full changelog includes a number of game-wide fixes and tweaks. Knives are now choosier - they'll "prioritise" hitting enemies over team-mates, when both are in range of your swing. Guns won't fall through the floor quite as often, and smoke grenades won't panic and detonate prematurely when they're stuck in crevices, bless 'em.

Are you playing/enjoying Counter-Strike 2? Where does it rank on the pecking order next to other first-person shooters? The game's recent reviews on Steam are Mixed at the time of writing, partly reflecting the absence of cherished features that Valve have promised to re-add eventually.

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