Can You Play Competitive CS2 Without Prime?

CS2 is one of the most competitive first-person shooters out there. If you want the complete competitive experience of CS2, you must play one of the competitive game modes available. However, certain features in CS2 are locked behind Prime, and many players don’t know if the competitive game mode is one of those features.

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The regular competitive game mode that Counter-Strike players are familiar with is available in CS2 for everyone, regardless of whether they have Prime. However, CS2 doesn’t have just one competitive game mode. Keep reading to learn more about whether or not you can play competitive CS2 without Prime.

What is CS2 Prime?

First of all, let’s discuss what Prime in CS2 actually is. Prime in CS2 is an upgrade that unlocks certain features of the game that aren’t available to players who don’t have Prime. You can purchase the prime status upgrade from the official Steam store page of CS2 or the in-game store.

One of the primary benefits of the Prime status upgrade is that players get access to VIP Prime lobbies, which only includes other players who have CS2 Prime. While Prime costs $14.99, it is worth it since players with access to Prime lobbies don’t have to deal with hackers that often.

Playing Competitive CS2 Without Prime

There are two competitive / ranked game modes in CS2 that most players are concerned about. The first is the traditional competitive game mode, which is in Counter-Strike since Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The second was introduced to the game with the launch of CS2 and is called the Premier game mode.

Unfortunately, you cannot play the Premier game mode if you don’t have Prime. But you can enjoy the regular competitive game mode even if you haven’t purchased the Prime status upgrade. However, there are a few caveats to that as well.

While you have access to competitive CS2, you won’t have access to the complete experience since you won’t be able to receive a rank without Prime, which is one of the main reasons that people play CS2. In other words, no matter how good you are, you won’t get a rank to show off to your friends.

Another thing that you should keep in mind is that you won’t get access to the competitive game mode right out of the box. If you have created a new Steam account to play CS2, you won’t be able to play the competitive game mode until you reach a certain level by playing other game modes like the Deathmatch and unlock competitive CS2.

How to Play CS2 Competitive Without Prime?

If you are new to CS2 and don’t know anything about the game, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here is a complete step-by-step guide on how to play competitive CS2 without purchasing Prime.

  • Step 1: Launch CS2.

  • Step 2: Click the “Play” button from the home screen.

  • Step 3: Complete the “Training Day” if you are playing from a fresh account.

  • Step 4: Click “Matchmaking” and play Deathmatch until competitive is available.

  • Step 5: Click “Matchmaking” and “Competitive” once it gets unlocked.

  • Step 6: Select the maps you wish to play on.

  • Step 7: Click “GO” to start finding a match.

  • Step 8: Accept the match once the game finds one for you and enjoy.

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You can technically play competitive CS2 without Prime, but you can only play the regular competitive game mode. You can’t play the Premier game mode. Plus, you also won’t be able to receive a rank after playing the competitive game mode.


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