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Counter-Strike 2 is very real and already playable – at least if you were lucky enough to receive an invite from Valve to the first-person shooter’s limited test.

If you were not included in the initial wave of invites, don’t be too disappointed: Valve’s criteria are very strict and even some very massive names have missed out on getting access, such as streamer xQc and even CS:GO professionals like G2’s Hooxi and m0nesy.

Even Brazilian soccer superstar Neymar Jr. – known as a big gaming fan – bemoaned his lack of an invite on Twitter.

If not even these stars could secure an invite beforehand, what can you do to receive access to Counter-Strike 2? Here’s everything we know about the limited test and how to get in.

Counter-Strike 2: how to get access to the limited test

Valve stated its official criteria for getting access to Counter-Strike 2 early on Steam, writing the following:

“Players are selected based on a number of factors deemed important by the Counter-Strike 2 development team, including (but not limited to) recent playtime on Valve official servers, trust factor, and Steam account standing.”

If you haven’t actively been playing CS:GO recently, your chances are going to look bleak for a while. For Valve, that certainly makes sense: They need experienced players to gather relevant feedback and are not dependant on extraordinary players numbers to generate hype. CS:GO is the most popular game on Steam and recently broke its record for peak player numbers multiple times – the hype creates itself.

Valve said that it would add more players to the test over time, which will mean that it’ll probably relax its restrictions a bit as time goes on. However, if you want to boost your chances of being selected for the CS2 test, you should be a bit more active in CS:GO.

You should also be on your best behavior in the game, because anyone with “VAC or game bans in CS:GO cannot play Counter-Strike 2 on VAC-secured servers.”

Counter-Strike 2: how to find your test invitation

Valve will inform selected candidates for the Counter-Strike 2 test in CS:GO’s main menu, where you will get a notification. If you see that notification, click “ENROLL” and download CS2. Launch CS:GO after the download is done and choose “Limited Test” to play CS2.

Initially the limited test will offer Deathmatch and Unranked Competitive matchmaking on Dust2 with more content being added over time. Your XP will carry over to CS:GO while you play CS2. You’ll have access to all your CS:GO items in CS2 as well, which will also be the case for the release version.

Counter-Strike 2: beware of limited test scams

Valve already had to issue a warning about scams promising access to CS2’s limited test. Stay away from any third-party sites pretending to be able to get you access or keys – CS2 keys do not exist.

For now, the best you can do to earn a Counter-Strike 2 limited test invite is to be patient, play CS:GO, and be well-mannered and fair when in the game.