The Differences between Valorant and CS2 (CSGO)

Valorant and CS2 (CSGO) are the two most popular FPS Esports, so what’s the difference between the two? This article will tell you!

Updated on Oct 20, 2023
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The Differences between Valorant and CS2 (CSGO)

Valorant and CS2 (CSGO), are two of the most popular FPS Esports games, with CS2 (CSGO) being a mainstay for over a decade, and Valorant being the new kid in Esports.

Although they are both FPS games, that focus on two bomb sites and attacking and defending, they have some key major differences! Those are what we are going to cover in this guide!

Agents and Abilities in Valorant


In Valorant, it will come as no shock to you that each player on your team plays a different agent. These agents are unique and have their own skill sets, strengths, and weaknesses. At the moment, there are 19 different agents to play, all with unique abilities!

In Counter-Strike, however, every player in the game plays essentially the exact same character. Skins for these characters have been implemented over the past couple of years, but there are no abilities! This means CS is a lot more reliant on player skills.


This was a major reveal in the world of Valorant when the game was first announced, as it made the game feel more like a mix between Overwatch and CS2 (CSGO), rather than just a CS2 (CSGO) reskin.

Unique Valorant Map Mechanics


Both games keep things fresh with different maps being in the rotation for various game modes, and with Valorant recently adding Pearl and removing Split from the competitive map pool, these maps are becoming increasingly unique.

A key difference between the CS2 (CSGO) and Valorant maps is that most Valorant maps contain a feature unique to that map. An example of this might be the teleporters on Bind or the three spike sites on Haven.


In fact, the newest map of Pearl is arguably one of the closest to a Counter Strike map, with no special gimmicks, although it is the first map to feature a small crawl space in Defender Side Water, a similarity CS2 (CSGO) often uses in maps, especially Mirage.

Buy Phase Differences


In both games, the Buy Phase allows you to purchase guns from a variety of options, but the mechanics behind these differ! In Valorant you can only purchase guns, abilities, or armor, whereas, in CS2 (CSGO), you can purchase different kinds of grenades too, such as smoke grenades and mollies from the buy menu!

Valorant seems more user-friendly with the buy zone purchases too, as you can cancel purchases, and refund your credits. You can also request a gun from teammates, whereas in CS2 (CSGO), you have to manually ask and get them to physically drop the gun! In our opinion, these are features that CS could do with!


You can also see how many credits your opponents will have in Valorant, which then leads to different strategies being available every round. This is a key difference in the strategical side of Valorant, and the two games are very different in this aspect.

Smaller Valorant Map Styles


Another major difference between the two games is that Riot Games’ Valorant has smaller and more condensed maps and map design. Riot Games even said that the idea was to have close-up gun fights, and fewer open spaces, which is why running and gunning can sometimes work!


This is not feasible in CS, due to the gun mechanics, such as the spray pattern of the assault rifles, especially the AK-47! When you exchange fire in CS, you need to be standing still when you shoot, which in Valorant, you can get away with. This has been seen as controversial in the gaming world, with such a big difference seen to be affecting the gameplay level and skill required between the two games!

Weapon Skins and Cosmetics


In the new game of the two, the only way to get skins feasibly is through whatever is in your store or Night Market that day. In Counter Strike, however, you can purchase cases, or purchase skins directly off the Community Market on Steam! Between the two games, this is one of the biggest differences for the community and gamers.


Players like to be able to customize their game, and although the skins share a lot of similarities, players want to spend their money whenever they want, not just have an option of four skins a day! Players can get skins in Valorant through other methods, such as the VCT Champions skin bundle, which came out for its namesake, the biggest Valorant event at the time.

There we have it, the four biggest and key differences between Valorant and CS2 (CSGO)! What do you think is the biggest? What is good and bad for both games? Let us know!
We personally think that having different abilities is one of the best features of Valorant, and although we love our Desert Eagle one taps in Counter Strike, we would love to see more ways to kill an enemy!

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