How Does Counter-Strike 2 Compare to VALORANT?

How Does Counter-Strike 2 Compare to VALORANT

Valve has finally let the cat out of the bag — Counter-Strike 2, the long-awaited sequel to CS:GO, has finally begun to roll out as an open beta for select users. This news is momentous, not just for the Counter-Strike fanbase but for the wider esports industry as a whole. For over a decade, CS:GO has sat at the pinnacle of competitive gaming. It remains a consistently popular choice for use with offers on wagers, such as those compared and furnished by leading platforms such as oddschecker. Its role in the rise of esports cannot be downplayed, with many of the biggest teams, players and tournaments calling the franchise home in 2023. 

 As such, Counter-Strike 2 clearly has big boots to fill, but early signs suggest that it’s up to the task of assuming its predecessor’s mantle. Critical improvements in visual fidelity and underlying mechanics have modernized the series while preserving the core underlying gameplay. 

 That said, an honest appraisal of CS2 must take into account its latest and greatest rivals occupying the tactical FPS space, not the decade old game it was designed to replace.

Since 2020, VALORANT has been touted as the ‘Counter-Strike killer’, and for good reason. VALORANT wears its influences on its sleeve, incorporating the skin economy, core game modes and positional gunplay of Valve’s iconic franchise, yet VALORANT is much more than just a Counter-Strike clone. 

Developed by the biggest studio in global esports—Riot Games, the organization behind League of Legends—VALORANT has been designed from the ground up to be not only the best tactical FPS on the market, but also the best hero-shooter, in doing so stealing the limelight from Blizzard’s popular Overwatch series. 

So how does VALORANT hold up against Counter-Strike 2? Let’s take a look at the various pros and cons of each title below.

Tick Rate

Server latency is an increasingly important element of modern esports, as it’s a major factor in ensuring fair play and delivering a top quality and rigorously competitive environment. When VALORANT launched, one of its biggest selling points was its 128 tick rate servers, which became the industry standard. To contrast, CS:GO’s outdated servers could only manage a tick rate of 64. While this may be barely noticeable for the casual gamer, such a discrepancy could result in game changing outcomes at the top levels of competition.  

With an aim to correct this, CS2 has launched a so-called sub-tick rate system. Effectively, rather than increasing the ticks per second of their servers, Valve have found a means of packaging more information into each game state update. In practice, this brings CS2’s latency right up in line with VALORANT’s.


Both VALORANT and CS2 focus on delivering a core gameplay experience built around pure deathmatches and a bomb-defusal game mode. However, VALORANT incorporates Hero Shooter features as part of its character customization process. This is perhaps the chief difference between the two games; CS2 continues the Counter-Strike tradition of having every player start out with equal equipment and abilities. 

The so-called agent classes in VALORANT each occupy distinct roles. For example, Sentinels are a predominantly defensive class, whereas Initiators specialize in area control. This adds an additional layer of strategy to VALORANT’s gameplay, though FPS purists may argue it detracts from the game’s ability to demonstrate individual player skill. Ultimately, this amounts to a subjective difference that results in VALORANT and CS2 occupying overlapping, but not identical spaces.

Competitive Circuit

When it comes to true esports credentials, CS2, which will directly inherit CS:GO’s roster of international Majors tournaments, is unquestionably the better option at present. After all, CS:GO has over a decade of investment and history behind its tournament circuit, whereas VALORANT and Riot Games have only recently begun adding depth to their tournament offerings. 

Time will tell whether VALORANT may ultimately supplant the Counter-Strike franchise as the world’s top FPS esport, but suffice to say, with the arrival of CS2 this won’t be happening any time soon.

Masri serves as the Chief Content Editor at BestKodiTips. With three years of experience, she excels in creating technical content, focusing on how-to guides, Android and Kodi tutorials, app reviews, and addressing common technological challenges. She ensures to stay abreast of the latest tech updates. Outside of work, Masir finds pleasure in reading books, watching documentaries, and engaging in table tennis.

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