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At the end of March 2023, Valve, the developer of Counter Strike, announced that CS:GO would be ported to their latest game engine – Source 2. The community was shocked by the news and everyone was waiting for the major changes that were to come. One of them concerned the infamous tick rate, but what exactly is it and why is it important?
What Is Source 2?
Initially, all Valve games ran on a server called Source, but after the release of Half-Life 2: Episode Two rumors began to circulate that a new version was being developed. Years later, in 2015, the developer officially announced that its latest invention, Source 2, would be released, and the first game to be ported to it was Dota 2, via an update known as Dota 2 Reborn.
By 2022, 6 major Valve titles were ported to Source 2 and they were:
- Dota 2
- Robot Repair
- Dota Underlords
- Half-Life: Alyx
- Aperture Desk Jobs
Despite this, people still wondered, what about Counter Strike? After all, it’s not only the biggest Valve game, but also one of the biggest games in general. Hundreds of millions of people play CS:GO and it was only fitting that it would be ported to the new engine. However, Valve has been fairly quiet on this front and no official news has emerged for quite some time. At least until 2023.
What Is Counter Strike 2?
As mentioned above, in March 2023 Valve announced that their biggest game, Counter Strike Global Offensive, was being transferred to Source 2. And while this in itself wasn’t all that surprising, one part of it certainly puzzled a lot of people, and that was the fact that unlike with games such as Dota, the CS:GO transfer wasn’t going to take the form of a simple update. Instead, the developer announced that they would create an entirely new game – Counter Strike 2.
So it was announced that a new game would be released in the summer of 2023, and it was to be the biggest technical leap in CS:GO history. In addition, anyone who already owned Global Offensive was to receive Counter Strike 2 completely free.
Admittedly, no specific date was given at the time, but that was enough for the excitement level among CSGO players to skyrocket. Especially considering the fact that the developer also immediately provided a test version to selected members of the community. The purpose of this was to get feedback from real users and improve the products ahead of its eventual official release. Besides, it was of course a great way to increase the hype around the upcoming update.
What Is Going to Change?
With plans to switch to Source 2, many changes were announced. Most of them were, of course, related to the appearance of the game, as the new engine provides greater graphical capabilities. New and improved maps, better-looking skins and more realistic lighting were all promised. In addition, the developer announced that grenade smoke, which had been a huge meme among the CSGO community until now, would also be significantly improved. It was expected to become more interactive and realistic-looking after the transition to Source 2. However, one of the most important changes announced in the update was an improvement in server’s tick rate. Unfortunately, many players don’t even know what that is exactly.
What Is Server Tick Rate?
The server’s tick rate is a concept inherent in online gaming since its job is to “coordinate” the activities of all players connecting online. More specifically, it is a parameter that determines how often the server saves, processes, and updates information about what is happening in the game. This allows users to know what other people are doing on the map in real time, regardless of which part of the world they are connecting from.
Why Is It Called “Tick” Rate?
“Tick” in the name derives from the fact that information on the server is processed and saved in short intervals called ticks. Their frequency is measured in Hertz, and the more frequent they are, the better the server runs and the less chance of mishaps. And what kind of mishaps can there be?
Well, if the processing intervals are longer, there is more room for certain items to be lost, or delivered to the player with a delay that will hinder the game. The best functioning servers are those that do not allow any pieces of information to slip.
What Is the Tick Rate in Counter Strike?
Competitive video games need to have the highest possible tick rates that would allow them to provide the best experience for players, who usually connect from many different parts of the world. This includes Counter-Strike, of course. And with CS2 coming and the improved tick rate expected to be a huge part of it, you might think to yourself that the servers in CS:GO were really bad.
The server tick rate of CS:GO was actually pretty good. In fact, it was one of the best among competitive games, as it was 64 and could even be bumped up to 128 through third-party servers. However, it is true that there were slip-ups, and information sometimes escaped notice. Therefore, Valve worked hard to fix the problem and introduced a solution called “sub-ticks.”
What Are Sub-Ticks?
Sub ticks is a new solution announced by Valve, which is expected to significantly improve server architecture and reduce the “tick rate effect.” Their task will be to log everything that happens between ticks, regardless of their frequency. As a result, everything that happens during a match will be recorded to the point where the servers will register the exact moment you shoot, jump, or even move at all. This improvement is expected to significantly affect the quality of online gameplay.
As you can see Counter Strike 2 has the potential to greatly improve the online gaming experience. Now that you know what that famous Tick Rate is, you also know what to expect and look forward to with the arrival of the new game. Unfortunately, we’re still waiting for the exact date, but one thing is certain. As soon as CS enters Source 2, the entire Global Offensive community will be there.