Counter Strike 2 System Requirements Detailed: Can I Run It? Answered

Counter Strike 2 has some very friendly system requirements, listed here.

Image via Valve
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Counter Strike 2, like its predecessor Global Offensive, is designed to be played by a huge range of PC setups. It’s not nearly as demanding as many other AAA FPS games, having a list of system requirements modern hardware can be heard laughing about across an ocean. However, CS2 is still a massive, across-the-board upgrade over CS:GO, meaning the kind of rig you need to run it at a standard framerate is likely much more demanding than a game made 10 years ago. Here are the Counter Strike 2 system requirements detailed.

Counter Strike 2 System Requirements Detailed

Screenshot by GameSkinny

The CS2 system requirements listed on the game’s Steam page are oddly sparse, especially given Valve’s history with the PC platform. There’s no recommended spec, only a minimum, as well as a Steam OS and Linux set of reqs. They are:

CS2 Windows Minimum Requirements

  • OS: Windows® 10
  • Processor: 4 hardware CPU threads – Intel® Core™ i5 750 or higher
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Video card must be 1 GB or more and should be a DirectX 11-compatible with support for Shader Model 5.0
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 85 GB available space

CS2 SteamOS + Linus Minimum Requirements

  • OS: Ubuntu 20.04
  • Processor: 4 hardware CPU threads – Intel® Core™ i5 750 or higher
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD GCN+ or NVIDIA Kepler+ with up-to-date Vulkan drivers. Support for VK_EXT_graphics_pipeline_library is highly recommended.
  • Storage: 85 GB available space
  • Sound Card: Highly recommended

These are some seriously minimal requirements. We’re talking hardware more than a decade old. Even GPUs as venerable as the GTX 700 series boasted 3GB of RAM, and the i5 750 came out in 2010 at the latest. And while I have no doubt that a computer with hardware of these ages could run Counter Strike 2, could that same PC run it well?

Related: Can You Play CS2 on Mac? Answered

Can My PC Run Counter Strike 2 at a Playable Framerate?

Screenshot by GameSkinny

If your PC barely meets the minimum specs for Counter Strike 2, I think it will be playable, but don’t expect it to run at anything approaching 100 FPS on most settings. If your rig struggled to play PS4 and Xbox One games at or around 30fps, you’ll need to upgrade.

When I tested CS2 on the Steam Deck, which has about the power of last generation’s consoles, performance was a mess. You’ll want something a bit beefier than what Valve recommends to see more playable performance.

However, if you’re willing to turn some settings way down, the gain in FPS can easily make up for the sacrifice in visual quality. And the thing about Counter Strike is that top-level players might use the best PCs money can buy, but they don’t play at the highest settings the game allows. Rather, many play at a 4:3 resolution, sometimes stretched, or a very low 16:9 resolution. They also turn many of the graphics down to lower settings to maximize their framerate.

The most advanced PCs can likely hit more than 300fps at competitive settings in CS2. You don’t, of course, need to hit those numbers. Running CS2 at around 60fps, while not ideal, still leaves it at least playable on lower-end hardware.

Recommended CS2 Build

If I were to recommend a budget-conscious build that can play most games at modern settings and CS2 at higher framerates, I’d say:

  • OS: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel i7 9700k or AMD Radeon 5800X
  • Memory: 16 GB
  • Graphics: NVIDIA 3060 or AMD RX 6600

With all the other parts — motherboard, CPU cooler, case, etc. — a PC with these base specs might run you at or around $1,000. It will also run most games at higher than 60fps at 1440p at medium-high settings and will be easily upgradable down the line. It would slaughter Counter Strike 2, as well. If you wanted to spend less, you could get a slightly slower CPU and GPU from a previous generation and still do fine.

Those are the Counter Strike 2 system requirements, as well as our recommendations on whether your rig can run it and what you would need. As the game gets more updates and optimizations from Valve, expect even lower-end hardware to see some performance improvements. For more on CS2, check out our guides hub.

About the author

John Schutt

John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.