On this page, we will give you a complete overview of all CS2 maps, their characteristics, the updates they received, and how the active duty map pool has changed. All this while comparing them to the CS:GO competitive maps.
CS2 Map Upgrades
Some Counter-Strike maps needed fewer improvements than others, which is why Valve decided to divide them into three categories from the CS:GO competitive maps:
- Overhaul (Overpass, Inferno, Italy) – Maps in this group received a total makeover, having been rebuilt from scratch using all the new Source 2 tools and rendering features to create beautiful and realistic scenery.
- Upgrade (Nuke, Ancient, Anubis) – Upgraded maps use new Source 2 lighting, as well as a physically based rendering system, which improves the quality and realism of different surfaces, shadows, reflections, and models.
- Touchstone (Dust 2, Mirage, Vertigo) – Maps placed in this category did not need many changes to start with, being some of the best-looking maps in CS:GO already. Lighting and character read improvements were all these maps needed to be up to par with other, more heavily reworked CS2 maps.
All CS2 Active Duty Maps
Despite there being 10 maps available in CS2 right now, not all CS2 maps are played competitively. If you’re going to be gambling on CS2 matches you should know that, currently, there are seven maps in the active duty map pool, which professional players use to play their competitive matches and esports betting sites consider when pricing the odds for their betting markets.
Mirage has been a fan-favourite for a number of years, largely due to its simple layout and being relatively easy to learn. It is especially popular among players who solo queue (play by themselves), as the map rewards individual plays and does not require as much teamwork as some other maps later on this list.
From one classic map to another, Inferno has a place in every CS fan’s heart and is widely considered the best decider map in a competitive BO3 series. Multiple legendary Counter-Strike moments took place on Inferno, like Happy’s infamous Deagle ace, Dosia’s pit nade, and Stewie2k’s solo B site hold. A highlight from all CS2 maps.
Nuke is one of the most tactically demanding and unique maps in the game, mainly because of its vertical layout, which means that the two bombsites are stacked on top of each other. This allows for a lot of strategic variety and creativity, which can be seen in different teams’ approaches to specific in-game situations.
Despite Overpass being often criticized for its size and long rotations, it has not left the competitive map pool rotation ever since it joined it back in 2013. It is sometimes referred to as the AWPer’s paradise, due to it having a myriad of very long-distance angles, and a lot of spots to fall back to as a sniper – a unique point from all CS2 maps.
Vertigo is one of the most disliked maps in the competitive pool right now, both among casual and competitive players. Even though it bears some similarities with Nuke (the vertical layout), it is a far cry from the beloved map in the eyes of the community, with one of the main reasons being its poor sound design and awkward gun fights.
Many people aren’t fond of Ancient, due to its colour scheme being primarily green, as it does not provide as good visibility as some other, so-called “orange” maps, like Mirage or Inferno. However, thanks to the new CS2 graphics, the map’s playability improved, along with various visual upgrades which are contributing to CS2 tournaments.
Much like Ancient, Anubis really benefitted from CS2’s design improvements, which is especially noticeable in the new realistic water physics present all around the map. Anubis has been a breath of fresh air in the professional map pool, as it favours the T-side, which is quite uncommon in competitive Counter-Strike nowadays.
CS2 Maps Not in the Active Duty Map Pool
There are three maps currently in CS2, which are not in the active duty map pool and are not played competitively in esports tournaments. However, they are available to play in selected game modes inside the game.
Here’s the list of all remaining CS2 maps:
Perhaps the most famous map in FPS history, Dust 2 has been a staple in Counter-Strike for over 20 years. Even though the map has always had a huge fanbase, it was removed from the active duty map pool in November 2022.
Game modes: Competitive, Casual, Deathmatch
Italy getting a remake in CS2 was one of the most surprising pieces of news coming into the new game. Being around for more than two decades and being one of the two hostage maps available in CS2, it holds a special place in the hearts of fans of that game mode.
Game modes: Casual, Deathmatch
Office is a unique map in that it has its own dedicated and loyal community of players, who choose to queue exclusively for Office games. Much like Italy, it is a hostage map which has never been played competitively by professional players.
Game modes: Competitive, Casual, Deathmatch
Images credit: Valve