As if we need further proof that smartphones are basically tiny PCs that fit our hands nicely, you can now play Counter-Strike on just about any Android phone. To be clear, we’re not talking about a cash-grabbing gimmick in the guise of a mobile game, or a clone of arguably the most-loved first-person shooter of all time; this is the real deal, with AI opponents (a.k.a. bots) thrown in for good measure.
Alibek Omarov is the developer responsible for the port, and according to him, his work has a compatibility rating of “95 to 100 percent” with the PC release. More impressively, the game will work even without root access, and installation is easy and requires very little technical knowledge.
Now, before you read the instructions on how to get Counter-Strike on your Android device, it should be noted that you’ll need a Steam account, plus a copy of the game from Steam to make the port work. Also: Touch input, especially on a small screen, isn’t the ideal way you’d want to play a skill-based game like Counter-Strike.
Another caveat is that there’s currently no way to play against or with other humans, so you’re limited to playing against bots for the meantime. But as anyone who’s played against AI opponents will tell you, they can be a lot of fun.
With those out of the way, here’s how to (unofficially) install and run Counter-Strike on Android:
- Download and install Omarov’s CS16Client app here. Do note that there are separate apps for single-core and multicore devices.
- Get the latest Xash3D app here and install it.
- Create a folder named “xash” in your device’s SD card directory.
- Copy the “cstrike” and “valve” folders from your Steam installation on your PC (usually under C:\Steam\steamapps\common\Half-Life), then transfer them to the “xash” folder.
- Run the CS16Client app to launch the game.
We’ve wasted hours playing Counter-Strike on multiple Android phones, which isn’t to say that we’ve gotten the hang of it. And while we’d certainly rather play it on a desktop with a mouse and a keyboard, running the game in a touchscreen environment still feels fun and hugely rewarding.