CSGO dev says trusted accounts see few cheaters, players disagree

By Nick Johnson


Dec 9, 2020

Reading time: 2 min

A conversation between CSGO developer John McDonald and a twitter user revealed that Valve has stats that say trusted accounts very rarely see cheaters. But CSGO players don’t seem to agree.

In a Twitter thread, McDonald quoted some statistics from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that said that highly-trusted accounts see a confirmed cheater in only one game out of every 40, meaning that those accounts face a cheater in matchmaking about 6% of the time. A user claming to have “good trust factor” disagreed, saying that he thought he faced cheaters in almost 20% of his games.

The statistic quoted by McDonald is both frustrating and incredible at the same time. On one hand, trusted accounts having a clean game 94% of the time is great given that CSGO has hovered around one million concurrent players for all of 2020. But from a player’s point of view, hearing that statistic while still questioning whether the other team is cheating isn’t as great.

How many cheaters are there in CSGO?

According to data from SteamID, anywhere between 500 to 1000 accounts are VAC banned each day, but that doesn’t take into account which game the account received the ban for. While CSGO’s Overwatch bans are game bans and usually last a limited amount of time, VAC bans are forever, and they cover every game that uses Steam’s anti-cheat system. In other words, if an account gets banned from one VAC-secured game, it is banned from all of them.

There’s isn’t any hard data available to see how many players actually cheat, but VAC has banned thousands of accounts in 2020 alone.

What is CSGO’s Trust Factor?

The real problem in CSGO comes from the game’s trust factor mechanic. There’s no way for players to check their trust factor, and they have few instructions from Valve on how exactly they can improve it.

Trust factor is only one problem when it comes to CSGO’s perceived cheating problem, but it’s not helping. Players that think they have high trust might not actually have such a high value, and without instruction or intervention from Valve CSGO developers, cheating complaints will only get worse. There’s even a way for players to see if they’ve played against any players that have received a VAC ban.

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But there is good news. According to the accounts that SteamID has measured, VAC bans have decreased since Steam’s huge VAC wave in September. Hopefully the drop is due to CSGO’s trusted mode and not a new way for hackers to gain access to CSGO. Either way, Valve has shown they’re on the case.


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