How Many People Play CS:GO? – CS2 Update

CS:GO is one of the world’s most popular games, and has consistently appeared on most-played lists since its release over a decade ago. But what’s the exact number – how many people play CS:GO? Let’s find out.

how many people play cs:go

Image source: Steam

How Many People Play CS:GO: The Numbers

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s monthly player count averages around 700,000 to 900,000 total players. During peak periods, CS:GO is topping out at over 1.5 million players, a record for the game. This is according to SteamCharts. It’s a credit to the incredible growth seen in the scene, with the numbers the highest they’ve ever been. With everyone stuck indoors during the pandemic, it’s surprising that the CS:GO player count has been surpassed in such an emphatic fashion. The increasing hype surrounding CS2 has seen more players get back into CS:GO, in preparation for the biggest-ever update to the game. It has been a self-fulfilling prophecy, with headlines each week about CS:GO’s ever-increasing player count. The numbers have continued to grow year on year, no doubt partly due to the best CS:GO players contributing to a booming competitive scene.

The announcement of CS2 saw the biggest jump in players, as gamers hopped on to see if they had gained Beta access. With the news that skins would carry over to the new game, players who hadn’t played in a while felt comfortable jumping back in, safe in the knowledge their skins have value for years to come.

The Stats

Want to find out how many people play CS:GO? Steamchartsis the place to go. According to their data, CS:GO has averaged over 700,000 active players at any given time during January 2023, with the average for the year going up from there. The peak was over 1.1 million CS:GO players later on in May 2023. It’s a credit to the incredible growth seen in the scene, with the numbers the highest they’ve ever been aside from April and May 2020, when most players were stuck indoors anyway.

The numbers have continued to grow year on year, no doubt partly due to the best CS:GO players contributing to a booming competitive scene.

The move to a free-to-play model in 2018 has surely helped build a solid base of Counter-Strike active players. Valve deserves praise for its long-term commitment to the game. There are consistent updates keeping the game fresh with new skins and maps being added frequently. Even something like the Wingman mode, which flipped the CS:GO formula on its head by making it a 2v2 game, has contributed to keeping CS:GO at the forefront of gaming.

CS:GO vs Valorant Player Count

Released in 2020, Valorant is the biggest competitor to CS:GO in the competitive shooter genre. Comparing the CS2 vs Valorant player count, it’s impressive that CS:GO has continued to grow in the way that it has. Each month, Valorant has approximately 17 million active players. Comparatively, CS:GO active players top out at around 36 million per month. For many players, CS:GO is the old faithful, the one that keeps them coming back for more. The series has had over two decades to make its mark on players, while Valorant is still relatively new.

There are many players out there who have tried Valorant and have decided to return to CS:GO. We’re seeing it a lot in the CS:GO pro scene, where the grass seems greener on the other side, only for them to return after a short stint away. Take juliano for example, a legend of the women’s game that recently returned to CS:GO. There’s just a beautiful simplicity to Counter-Strike. As CS:GO itself said: “minutes to understand and a lifetime to master.”

Competition brewing between the pair only benefits avid players. It keeps both Valve and Riot Games on their toes. They continue to strive to make their games the best they can be. Avid followers of CS:GO news will be aware of the CS2 maps and the rumored Source 2 engine update coming to CS:GO, representing the next innovation for the game that will surely sway many players to choose the game over Valorant.

How will CS2 Change the CS:GO Player Count?

The announcement and subsequent release of CS2 has shown off some exciting changes to the game. The ability to see through shot smokes the biggest update to Counter-Strike’s core gameplay in years. It’s the perfect evolution of something that could simultaneously change little for the average player. In fact, it could completely overhaul the meta at the top of the game. There will be detractors, sure – but Counter-Strike will continue to grow as it has done, regardless.

It’s likely that CS2 won’t just affect the CS:GO player count, but the viewer count online too. Already, CS:GO is constantly getting over 100,000 viewers during off-peak hours on Twitch. During evenings and competitions that can go upwards of 200,000. That increased attention will only turn viewers into players, especially as many legendary ex-pros make their return to the game.

So, to finish off – how many people play CS:GO right now? Well, it’s over 1.5 million most of the time, with Counter-Strike 2 massively increasing that number.


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Why is CS:GO increasing so much in popularity?

There are a few factors that seem to causing an increase in popularity. The first is the esports scene. CS:GO esports has never been healthier, with an incredible level of competition across the board. This has translated to audience viewing figures, with even casual players tuning in to see the best CS:GO players competing on the big stage.

Another is of course the upcoming CS2. The launch of the new title is extremely exciting, and many gamers are getting back into the franchise in preparation. It has resulted in a very positive vibe being created around the Counter-Strike scene, and players are more excited than ever to see what Valve is cooking for release this summer. Finally, there are plenty of gamers who are leaving Valorant for CS:GO. The games are extremely similar, but at the moment the tide is turning back towards CS:GO in the tactical shooter genre. The timing of CS2 couldn’t be better.

Can this rise in players be sustained for CS:GO?

There will be a ceiling to the number of people playing CS:GO eventually. Without a modern console release, there will be many unwilling to play on PC in order to play the game, opting for other games such as Call of Duty. Right now though, the number is continuing to grow, and long may it continue. Counter-Strike has been around for well over two decades now, and audiences continue to return despite so little change in the core gameplay. Even if the franchise hits its ceiling, Counter-Strike isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

Will CS:GO ever come to console?

While CS:GO was released for PS3 and Xbox 360, those versions were quickly abandoned. While a modern console release could add more players to CS:GO, it’s unlikely. The game relies too much on PC-specific features such as a mouse and keyboard to ever be a true success on consoles. With Valve, anything is possible, but we certainly wouldn’t hold our breath. If it doesn’t happen at the start of CS2, we’d assume it’s never happening at all.

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