As an avid Counter-Strike player for over 15 years, I‘ve eagerly followed the news and updates on Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) ever since it was announced back in 2022. With CS2‘s upcoming launch fast approaching, many longtime fans of CS:GO are wondering what‘s next for the game they‘ve sunk thousands of hours into perfecting smoke executes on Mirage or mastering the spray control of the AK-47.
While CS2 will take over as the shiny new hub for Counter-Strike esports and competitive matchmaking, CS:GO still has a passionate player base and rich legacy worth revisiting. As someone who started competing in local CS 1.6 tournaments in internet cafes as a teenager in the 2000s, I can‘t wait to jump back into some of my favorite CS:GO community servers and game modes for one last ride after CS2 drops.
In this in-depth guide, I‘ll cover how to access CS:GO in a limited capacity post-launch, what you can and can‘t do gameplay-wise, and tips to resolve any issues. I‘ll also take a nostalgic trip through some of the things that made CS:GO so special over its decade-long run at the top.
Opting into the CS:GO Beta
Here are simple steps to access CS:GO after CS2‘s launch on Steam:
- Open your Steam Library and right click on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Select Properties then navigate to the Betas tab
- In the drop down menu, select "csgo_demo_viewer – 126.96.36.199"
- Close and wait for CS:GO to update to the beta version
- Once updated, launch CS:GO to access the legacy game and client
This will allow you to load up the old CS:GO dashboard, play offline with bots, and join community servers. However, you won‘t have access to official competitive matchmaking.
What You Can and Can‘t Do Post-Launch
Here‘s a quick rundown of what gameplay options are still available in CS:GO post-CS2 release, as well as what‘s restricted:
|Accessible Game Modes||Restricted Game Modes|
|– Offline bot matches||– Competitive matchmaking|
|– Community servers||– Wingman|
|– Workshop maps||– Casual/deathmatch|
|– 3rd party services like ESEA, Faceit||– Danger Zone|
You‘ll still have plenty of unofficial ways to play CS:GO through community servers and other third party matchmaking options. Let‘s explore those more below.
Community servers have been at the heart of Counter-Strike since the modding days of beta 1.0. Here are a few classic CS:GO community server types I recommend revisiting:
- Retake – Practice clutch scenarios and site retakes
- Surf – Zip around challenging obstacle courses
- Zombie Escape – Survive against zombie hordes
- Jailbreak – Complex mini-games and prisoner scenarios
- Gun Game – Progress through weapon upgrades on kills
Sites like GameTracker have listings of active servers, or you can search community forums for recommendations. Be sure to save your favorites for easy direct connects.
The Steam Workshop houses over 180,000 CS:GO maps, mini-games, and custom modes. Some classics like aim_botz are worth replaying as you warm up your flick shots. Subscribing to Workshop maps guarantees you can load them up anytime without needing server connects.
Third Party Services
Third party matchmaking services like ESEA, Faceit, and Esportal give you alternative options for organized 5v5 pick up games and leagues. The advanced anti-cheat and higher skill ceilings appeal to veterans.
CS:GO vs CS2 – What‘s Changed?
Let‘s compare some of the key differences between CS:GO and Counter-Strike 2:
|Over 10 years of content updates||Brand new UI and graphics powered by Source 2|
|Established skin economy and trading||Improved textures, models, and physics|
|Classic maps like Dust, Mirage, Inferno||Higher max resolution and refresh rate support|
|Large playerbase and esports scene||Overhauled competitive matchmaking|
Given CS:GO‘s vast amount of existing content and history, both games will likely coexist for some time as they cater to different audiences.
Remembering CS:GO‘s Legacy
It‘s hard to overstate CS:GO‘s impact over the past decade plus. Let‘s take a nostalgic trip through some of the things that made it so special:
- The meteoric rise of early CS:GO esports and legends like NiP, Fnatic, Cloud9, and Astralis
- The NA vs EU rivalry that fueled so many Major finals
- The bitter defeats and hard-fought victories on maps like Nuke, Inferno, and Overpass
- Getting flashy dragon lore AWP skins from rare case drops
- Big brain 200 IQ plays resulting in a 1v4 clutch to win the game
- Nail-biting championship moments like coldzera‘s jumping AWP 4k on Mirage
- Late night 10-mans in Discord with both friends and rivals
From major tournaments watched by millions to late night matchmaking with the boys, CS:GO gave us endless memories over the years. And while its esports reign might end, the community and nostalgia live on.
Troubleshooting Errors & Issues
As you relaunch CS:GO on the beta branch post-CS2, you may encounter some errors like these:
- VAC unable to verify game session – Restart CS:GO and Steam. Verify game files. Whitelist in AV.
- Error 126 – Check firewall and AV exclusions. Reinstall CS:GO.
- Missing map files – Defrag CS:GO content, re-download maps in game.
For persistent issues, contacting Steam Support and providing your detailed specs, logs, and troubleshooting steps is recommended. They can further assist with any account or technical issues.
The Future of CS:GO
While CS:GO‘s esports reign ends with the arrival of CS2, the game still holds a special place for so many of us. It‘s the CS that introduced me and millions of others around the world into this legendary series. The memories and impact will live on for years to come.
For any nostalgic fans looking to revisit CS:GO after CS2 hits, I hope this guide helps you access all the classic community servers, workshop maps, and game modes you‘ve come to love over the past decade. I know I‘ll be logging countless more hours of surf and gun game even after the pros have moved on.
So load up CS:GO on that beta branch one more time, make sure your crosshair settings are on point, and let‘s enjoy one final ride together before the future CS2 era begins.