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CS2 A Call to Arms update brings back Arms Race, adds Kukri Knife, new case, and more Dot Esports

After months of nearly daily updates to Counter-Strike 2 at the end of 2023, Valve has been keeping quiet about upcoming updates to the iconic FPS, leaving many fans disappointed and worried about the state of the game. Folks, you need not worry—Valve is back.

CS2’s biggest update yet, A Call to Arms, arrived totally out of the blue on Feb. 6 and features everything from mass gameplay changes and bug fixes to CS2’s first case, a new knife skin, and even Zeus skins!

Even better, the update is now live. Here’s what makes up a content-packed A Call to Arms update for CS2.

What’s in the A Call to Arms update for CS2?

Beloved game mode Arms Race makes epic return

Baggage, a map set in an airport, in CS2.
Arms Race is back! Screenshot by Dot Esports

One of Counter-Strike’s most beloved game modes Arms Race has finally been ported to CS2. The game mode, which sees players battle in a free-for-all on small maps, works just like its CS:GO version; get a kill, and your weapon will swap. Cycle through the weapons until you reach the knife (or Zeus) and land the final blow to win the game.

Arms Race wouldn’t be Arms Race without some iconic maps—Valve has also ported over Baggage and Shoots to CS2, with both in rotation as soon as the update went live.

CS2’s first case, the Kukri Knife, Zeus skins, and more

The Kukri Knife, with a bright Fade skin, as part of the new CS2 Kilowatt Case.
Classic skins, modern blade. Image via Valve

Alongside Arms Race, the Feb. 6 update introduces the Kilowatt CaseCS2’s first-ever weapon skin case. 17 community-designed weapon finishes are included in the Kilowatt collection including Counter-Strike’s first new knife in over five years, the Kukri Knife.

This long curved blade comes with the full set of classic knife finishes including Fade, Crimson Web, Slaughter, Case Hardened, and more, and looks a little like a cross between the Huntsman and Falchion Knife.

The Kilowatt Case also includes Counter-Strike’s first Zeus skin, the Olympus. Featuring a caricature of Zeus wielding a thunderbolt and streaks of lightning, it’s a shocking first addition of finishes for the Zeus, which itself received a little buff with the Feb. 6 update—it now recharges and can be used again after 30 seconds.

As well as the Kilowatt Case, the update also includes 21 new stickers and six Music Kits to outfit and customize your CS2 experience.

A whole new level of custom sticker crafting

An MP7 skin with a player selecting a custom sticker placement in CS2.
A whole new level of crafting. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Arguably the biggest cosmetic change in the A Call to Arms CS2 update is custom sticker placement. You can now pick and choose where on your weapon you’d like to place your stickers. Rotate, flip, and place your favorite stickers wherever you so please—but once they’re stuck on, you’ll need to scrape them to add more.

Not only that but you aren’t limited to four stickers anymore: Valve has boosted the total sticker count on a weapon to five. The future really is now.

As well as Arms Race, the new case, and the custom sticker placement, Valve also made many gameplay improvements including networking changes to combat the effect of peeker’s advantage, various sound fixes, and map updates.

Below you’ll find the full patch notes for CS2’s A Call to Arms update. The official update page can be viewed here.

CS2’s A Call to Arms update: Full patch notes

Arms Race

  • Added Arms Race to available game modes.
  • Added maps “Baggage” and “Shoots.”

Weapon Finishes – Kilowatt Case

  • 17 community-designed weapon finishes and the Kukri Knife with original finishes as a rare special item
  • Various bug fixes and tweaks to existing skins

Stickers

  • Ambush Sticker Capsule is now available for purchase.
  • Added support for flexible sticker placement. Stickers can now be placed at user-specified positions and rotation when applied to weapons.
  • All weapons now support up to five stickers.
  • Added a zoom feature during sticker placement to allow for higher precision sticker application.
  • Various bug fixes and tweaks.

Zeus

  • Made the Zeus reusable in all game modes after a 30-second recharge delay.
  • Added support for applying stickers and name tags to the Zeus.
  • Adjusted the Zeus first-person model position.
  • Added Zeus kill icon to kill cards and post-round damage report.

Music Kits

  • NIGHTMODE Music Kit Box is now available for purchase in standard and StatTrak versions.

Smokes

  • Smokes now cast shadows.
  • Smoke rendering and animation have been improved.

Gameplay

  • Added a “Refund All” button to the buy menu.
  • Added a setting to disable first-person bullet tracers.
  • Silencers can now always be reattached regardless of whether detaching them is enabled or not.
  • Player pings are no longer blocked by invisible geometry.
  • Various adjustments to sub-tick shooting.
  • Fixed several cases where players could silently drop down vertical surfaces.
  • Improved smoothness of sliding along surfacesFixed an issue where collisions between players were jittery.
  • To ensure loadouts are correct at the beginning of matches, loadout changes are no longer allowed while searching for Premier, Competitive, or Wingman.

Sound

  • Added the option to select an audio input device for VOIP from the audio settings menu.
  • Added the option to change your microphone threshold (the minimum loudness before we start transmitting audio) from the audio options menu, as well as metering for your current mic loudness.
  • Added the option to listen to your own microphone from the audio settings menu to hear how you sound.
  • Replaced the M249 fire sound effect.
  • Replaced the Zeus charging, charge not available, and charge ready states sound effects.
  • Further reduced occlusion effects.
  • Minor mix adjustments.
  • Fixed an issue where some player-centric sounds were being perceived as originating from slightly behind the player.

Networking

  • Reduced peeker’s advantage in many cases.
  • The amount of peeker’s advantage in the steady state is reduced by 16ms.
  • Also reduced the frequency of situations that lead to very large peeker’s advantage due to excessive command queue depth.
  • Added cl_ticktiming console command that prints a report breaking down the various sources of latency.
  • Added an option to buffer server updates and user commands by one or more packets. This can be used to smooth over stuttering due to packet loss, at the expense of increased latency.

UI

  • Added support for separate main menu and item inspect background map settings.
  • Added “Baggage” and “Warehouse” as options for the main menu and item inspect background maps.
  • In-game team-only chat will now be prefixed with the team (e.g., “[T]” or “[CT]”).
  • Added ‘XP Overload’ status which is awarded to players who have earned all of their normal XP. during the week (11,166 XP) and reached reduced XP gain.
  • XP Overload status is attached to players’ names in the scoreboard, main menu, death notices, etc.
  • XP Overload status is awarded for a minimum of one week.
  • Additional tiers of XP Overload status can be unlocked by earning all of the normal XP over multiple consecutive weeks.
  • Agents with unique end-of-match cheer animations now have unique defeat animations as well. You can disable playing defeat animations for the local player in settings.
  • Added more accolades to end-of-match.

Miscellanious

  • Adjusted the range of CS Ratings allowed to party together in Premier matchmaking.
  • Fixed a case where high-DPI mice would result in jittery mouse movement.
  • Added Minor improvements to animations during demo playback.
  • Disabled rich presence update when running Steam Client in tournament mode.

Maps

Inferno

  • Fixed various gaps and adjusted grenade collision to make grenade bounces more predictable.
  • Adjusted texture blending to improve player visibility.

Ancient

  • Adjusted grenade collision on bombsite B ground to make grenade bounces more predictable.

Anubis

  • Fixed holes in world at Lower Tunnel.
  • Fixed collision on all pillars so players can no longer pixel boost.
  • Fixed collision so utility does not fall out of world on top of structure at T Start.
  • Fixed missing collision on steps at Street which would allow dropped weapons to fall out of world.
  • Improved vis at CT spawn.
  • Fixed invisible boost ledge at Bombsite B.
  • Fixed various gaps in the world.
  • Fixed missing collision on stair geo at CT spawn that allowed weapons/bomb to fall out of the world.
  • Fixed missing collision at Fountain that allowed weapons/bomb to fall out of the world.
  • Fixed some doors not generating bullet decals.
  • Fixed vis issue at Street.

Overpass

  • Fixed some collision that was causing unpredictable player movement.

Mirage

  • Added collision to prevent bomb becoming unreachable.
  • Adjusted some collision to prevent a ledge/pixel walk.
  • Fixed player getting stuck when strafing on Middle Ramp by simplifying geo of floor and wall.
  • Removed a clip brush from Apartments to improve flash lineups.

Nuke

  • Built some collision to prevent the bomb from getting stuck behind barrels.
  • Fixed some disappearing mesh.
  • Fixed dynamic shadow clipping on characters at Vending.
  • Improved clipping in vents.
  • Fixed bombsite water to have better reflections on low settings.
  • Fixed vis issue at T-spawn.
  • Fixed collision on Ramp in Bombsite B.
  • Fixed holes in world.

Vertigo

  • Fixed holes in world and other minor geometry bugs.

Italy

  • Adjusted some collision to prevent players getting stuck in Apartment.

Office

  • Fixed a case where players could jump on a wall.
  • Fixed a case where players could get stuck if they crouched.

Nicholas Taifalos

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