How to Play CS2 Arms Race – Is Arms Race in Counter-Strike 2?

In one of the latest CS2 updates, Valve reintroduced one of the most popular casual game modes from CS:GO to the new iteration of the game – the CS2 Arms Race. Learn all about the game mode and how it’s changed in this article.

cs2 (baggage

Credit: Valve

What is the Arms Race?

The CS2 Arms Race (also known as Gun Game) is a fan-favorite game mode where players fight for themselves, trying to kill their opponents as quickly as possible, with their weapons changing every two eliminations.

Every time a player gets two kills with a specific weapon, they go up a level. There are 16 levels in total, with the last one being the golden knife. The player who gets a kill with the golden knife wins the match and ends the game.

However, you can also use your knife throughout a CS2 Arms Race match. If you knife somebody during the game, they will go down a level, while you automatically go up a level. This mechanic raises the stakes and enables players to catch up if they have a tough start to the match.

Additionally, the two best-performing players throughout the match from both sides become team leaders. Getting one kill on the opposition’s leader will instantly level you up and move to the next weapon.

The weapons available in each CS2 Arms Race match are not identical, but they always follow the same structure:

1 Automatic Rifle
1 Sniper Rifle
4 Assault Rifles
1 Heavy Machine Gun
3 Submachine Guns
1 Heavy Pistol
3 Pistols
2 Shotguns
Golden Knife

Unfortunately, there is no special prize for winning an Arms Race match apart from pride and some XP, which count towards your weekly care package.

How to Play Arms Race CS2

Getting on a CS2 Arms Race server is very simple.

  1. In the main menu, click the Play tab and go to the Matchmaking section.
  2. Then go to Arms Race and load up a game.
  3. Despite Arms Race being a fresh addition to CS2, wait times shouldn’t be longer than a minute.

Once you’re on the server, it’s time to showcase your abilities. The CS2 Arms Race is about practicing your skills with different weapons, so don’t worry too much if you’re not great at first. Learn to use each piece of your arsenal and prepare for future ranked matches.

Since the main point of the Arms Race is training rather than winning, play aggressively and concentrate on your aim. Staying passive and conservative won’t do you any good in your long-term journey towards improvement.

CS2 Arms Race Maps

Together with the game mode itself, Valve added reworked versions of two infamous Arms Race maps from CS:GO – Baggage and Shoots.

While the layouts of both maps have remained unchanged, they received a hefty graphical upgrade in line with other CS2 competitive maps. After the improvements, Baggage bears some resemblance with Nuke, while Shoots uses the same assets that can be seen on Ancient.

Both maps are small and symmetrical, making them very simple to learn. This approach to map-making is often used when creating maps for some of the casual CS2 game modes to make it easier for new players to learn the game.

Although Arms Race is back in CS2, five of the seven Arms Race Maps from CS:GO are nowhere to be seen. While Baggage and Shoots have been added to the game, all of Lake, Safehouse, St. Marc, Lunacy, and Monastery were left behind. It will be interesting to see if they also receive official remakes in the future.

It is evident that enhancing the casual game mode experience is not Valve’s main priority right now. The release of new CS2 content will be gradual. The swap over to CS2 hasn’t been easy, and their main short-term goal has to be ironing out their marquee game modes in Premier and Competitive.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments