How To Play Short Matches in CS2?

Learn how to play short matches in CS2 and enjoy quick, intense action. Find out about the changes made by Valve and the new 13-round format.

So you’re strapped for time but still want to dive into some Counter-Strike 2 action? Well, short matches are your ticket. Although Valve has made some changes, here’s how you can still enjoy those quick, intense matches.

What Happened to Short Matches?

First, let’s clear up some confusion. The short match format, where you needed 9 rounds to win, was a fan favorite in CS:GO.

However, in CS2, Valve decided to streamline the matchmaking experience by moving to a 13-round format, known as MR12 (Max Rounds 12).

Why the Change?

Valve’s intention was to reduce the fragmentation of the player base and ensure quicker queue times.

By eliminating the option for short matches, they aimed to keep the community more unified, reducing wait times for everyone.

Playing Short Matches Now

While you can’t directly select the old short match format in competitive mode anymore, there are still ways to get a shorter gameplay experience:

1. Wingman Mode

If you’re really pressed for time, Wingman mode is a great alternative. It’s a 2v2 game mode played on smaller sections of the maps, and it’s perfect for quick, competitive matches. Here’s how you can jump in:

  • Open CS2: Fire up the game and head to the main menu.
  • Select Wingman: Choose the Wingman game mode from the available options.
  • Find a Match: Queue up and enjoy the fast-paced action.

2. Deathmatch

Deathmatch CS2

While not exactly the same as a short competitive match, Deathmatch can still scratch that quick-play itch. It’s all about instant respawns and non-stop action. Here’s my go-to method:

  • Select Deathmatch: From the main menu, choose the Deathmatch option.
  • Join a Game: You’ll be dropped into a game with continuous respawns, perfect for quick bursts of play.

3. Custom Lobbies

For those who miss the specific structure of short matches, creating or joining custom lobbies with friends is a solid workaround. Here’s how:

  • Create Lobby: Start by creating a lobby and inviting your friends.
  • Set Rules: Customize the match settings to mimic the short match format (e.g., setting the win condition to fewer rounds).
  • Play: Enjoy a tailor-made CS2 experience with your squad.

4. Quick Competitive Games

Competitive game

Although CS2 defaults to MR12, these matches are generally shorter than the traditional MR15 games. Here’s how to ensure you’re maximizing your time:

  • Warm-Up First: Jump into a quick Deathmatch or practice session to get your aim sharp before queuing for a competitive match.
  • Focus on Strategy: With fewer rounds, each decision is more impactful. Play smart and make every round count to keep the game moving quickly.

Also Check: All CS2 Game Modes


While the classic short match format is no longer a direct option in CS2, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy shorter, intense matches. Whether it’s through Wingman, Deathmatch, or custom lobbies, you can still get your CS2 fix without committing to a lengthy game. So gear up, dive in, and make the most of your game time!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you do short games in CS2?

No, the dedicated short match option from CS:GO is not available in CS2. However, you can play quicker modes like Wingman or Deathmatch.

Is there short mode in CS2?

No, CS2 does not have a specific short mode. Matches are now standardized to a 13-round format (MR12).

How long are matches in CS2?

Matches in CS2 typically last around 30-45 minutes, depending on the pace and number of rounds played.

Why are CS2 matches shorter?

CS2 matches are shorter because Valve adopted the MR12 format to reduce match length and ensure faster queue times by unifying the player base.

Posted by
William Westerlund

William is an author, editor, and an avid gamer with over 10.000 hours in CS:GO (Counter-Strike 2). He also enjoys playing Rust, Dota 2, and TF2 but never became a top 1% player in any of those games.