A power shift may have taken place in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but it’s not the kind that players are used to.
FACEIT players are reporting on social media a significant uptick in the frequency of encountering cheaters. The discussion comes after a significant change to standard matchmaking that was designed to combat hackers in CSGO’s default matchmaking service for Prim account holders.
Earlier this month, Valve introduced a major change to matchmaking in CSGO that made item drops and ranked matchmaking exclusive to Prime users, with a $15 price tag on Prime status. This was primarily designed to combat hackers by adding a relatively paywall to the game’s most popular features.
The trouble is that there were already an abundance of hackers playing CSGO at the time. With ranked matchmaking now off-limits to players on free-to-play accounts, hackers may have found something of a safe haven in third-party matchmaking systems like FACEIT. FACEIT does not filter players based on Prime status and therefore can offer a similar ranked experience to players that cannot play standard ranked matchmaking anymore.
Though FACEIT is widely credited as having a superior anti-cheat engine relative to VAC, the sheer number of cheaters and their commitment to staying ahead of anti-cheat institutions makes this situation a difficult one for FACEIT, at least in the short term.
Over time, FACEIT may be able to implement its own way of identifying potentially problematic free accounts to deal with cheaters manually. The standard matchmaking CSGO experience being the best one is still a strange turn for fans who have long needed to look elsewhere for the best experience available.
FACEIT anti-cheat has greater access to players’ PCs, which allows it to have a better ability to catch people using cheat software. VAC does not have as much control over players’ PCs and therefore cannot screen out cheaters as effectively.
FACEIT’s anti-cheat is still far from perfect however. Longtime players of services like FACEIT and ESEA can tell many stories about cheaters making their way into games. Generally speaking, FACEIT’s stronger anti-cheat has been a big part of its popularity with CSGO players.
Yes, CSGO players without a Prime account can play on FACEIT. Since CSGO became free to play, FACEIT’s policy has required anyone that all players lacking prime status, having few hours played in CSGO, or with a new Stream account use the company’s anti-cheat client as a preventative measure against those players who reperesent a relatively high risk of cheating.