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What’s causing desync in CS2? Here’s what the community thinks

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CS2 is not a perfect game by any stretch, but the game’s shooting mechanics have always been buttery smooth until desync errors reared their ugly heads.

Earlier, players complained about rubberbanding issues in CS2, which was promptly fixed according to Valve. For a while, the stuttering was noticeably reduced or gone for most players. However, following the Steam video recording update, there has been a noticeable downturn in performance as reported by players. On Reddit and other community forums, players have been tearing down Valve’s infamous “what you see is what you get” subtick slogan after experiencing terrible desync and poor hit registration in CS2. But is Valve’s experimental server system really the culprit?

Here are what top players are saying about CS2’s desync problem and what may be causing it behind the scenes.

Players blame subtick for desync in CS2

CS2 players have posted multiple clips showing desync errors, with some leading to major gameplay problems.

So far, many players have posted videos showing them getting shot and dying several seconds later. Some clips even depict players dying without any enemies in sight possibly due to delayed server response. For example, there’s a video from a player named MojitoBurrito in which he falls off Vertigo’s skyscraper despite walking into a safe playable area.

This has caused a ruckus among players who claim to have experienced similar desync during their competitive games. According to the community, subtick is to be blamed, a new tickrate system Valve introduced with CS2. It’s important to consider that subtick might be malfunctioning, but that’s not the definitive answer. Subtick has sparked controversy since the game transitioned to Source 2 in 2023, but it has been working smoothly for almost a year.

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However, there’s a chance that this issue could stem from the game not accurately registering shots between ticks. This can result in discrepancies between what players see and what the server registers. If subtick data isn’t accurately integrated, it can cause noticeable desync when the client predicts the game state for a smooth experience.

Alternatively, it could simply be a ping issue. Most of the videos shared have telematry turned off and have been recorded from game demo, which has a history of being inaccurate. No matter how advanced subtick is, having a stable and low ping is crucial in CS2. Players experiencing high ping may have their deaths recorded at a later time after the enemy has already disappeared from their screen. On the other hand, a low-ping opponent will witness the player with high ping skipping a few frames and bucking across their screen. This is a common issue that exists in most online shooter games, and subtick can’t simply resolve it.

Still, it can’t be a coincidence that so many players have experienced desync since the last CS2 update. Hopefully, Valve will acknowledge the issue and roll out a fix soon.

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