CSGO visual update contains bug that lets players wall hack

Nick J. June 13, 2020

A recent Counter-Strike: Global Offensive update created a serious issue that can bestow a massive competitive advantage to some players.

A Redditor showed off a bug that allows players to see the outline of enemies through Nuke’s B-site silo. The bug seems to be caused by Counter-Strike’s contrast update. The patch added a new contrast setting to the popular FPS and was meant to make player models stand out from the background of the game’s maps.

Since Valve introduced custom player models in CSGO’s Shattered Wed update last November, players have complained that some of the new models are sometimes difficult to see against CSGO's varied maps.

The game's “High Contrast” update was meant to fix that problem by changing the contrast around player models so that their outlines would be more visible against the map's textures. CSGO's recent update seems to be the reason for the glitch, and may also be tied to several lighting improvements made to specific areas of the map.

CSGO has seen numerous changes over the last few months, with new settings options popping up almost weekly. These new settings have ranged from a profanity filter to the long-awaited flip of Dust 2’s doors.

The contrast filter, according to the official Counter-Strike blog, is a post-process effect, meaning that it renders after everything else. That may be the reason some players can see the outlines through certain map features.

Although Valve has adjusted Counter-Strike’s models before, sometimes even with the help of professional players, the most recent update was the first that added a new setting to improve visibility. Glitches that help players locate opponents in CSGO are nothing new. For example, Team Liquid player Kieth "NAF" Markovic once used a clever trick dating back to CS 1.6 to allow him to see a rotating player through a smoke on Dust 2 by using the HE grenade's particles to reveal the player model behind it. Even before that, CSGO players that turned on Ambient Occlusion in their graphics card control panel could see through smokes completely.

With the amount of work that Valve has put into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive lately, this bug should be fixed quickly, especially with ESL One Rio's Regional Ranking tournaments, CS Summit 6 and WePlay! Clutch Island, coming up soon. Until then, users that don't want to get caught by CSGO's Overwatch team might want to turn the setting off.