CS:GO modder releases roguelike mode 3 years in the making before Counter-Strike 2 can kill it

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roguelike mod
(Image credit: Orel/Valve)

An incredible mod for CS:GO has turned Steam's biggest game into a roguelike, but it's only 80% done and unlikely to ever be finished due to the impending changes coming with Counter-Strike 2.

As the name implies, Rogue adds a roguelike - or roguelite, if you're pedantic - game mode to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Developer Orel says it's an early access version, but it's already extremely impressive, with procedurally generated levels, three-player co-op, a card-based ability system, unique enemy types, and eight playable characters.

Orel published a video earlier this month breaking down the three years of development that went into the Rogue mod, and more recently worked with content creator 3kliksphilip to create an English version of the video translated from the original Russian, which you can see below.

The video is full of anecdotes about clever development tricks used to get the very non-standard mode up and running in CS:GO. For example, since this is a roguelike with upgradable stats, weapon damage has to be modified from the straight values weapons have in the normal game. That initially seemed impossible because weapons like sniper rifles can just one-shot kill a player with a headshot. The solution? Set the player's health value above 32,769, which for whatever reason resets the HP counter to display as 1, and gives the headroom for advanced damage calculations.

Orel says that Counter-Strike 2 "acts as this project's main villain." He says "the fact is that some features of the Source engine, on which key mechanics of this game mode are based, simply do not work in Source 2." That includes essential development tricks like the aforementioned HP calculation. CS2 also switches the scripting language from Squirrel to Lua - a massive obstacle to porting a mod containing 50,000 lines of code.

With all that in mind, Orel has launched the mod at only 80% completion in order to get it into players' hands before CS2 kills the project entirely. He concludes the video by asking Valve to consider supporting the old Source engine features that allowed this mod to exist, but isn't particularly hopeful about the possibility. "I am distraught that this idea, which has been my dream for three years, will now most likely sink into oblivion."

The best roguelikes and best FPS games should get together more often.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.